Congratulations to the proud owner and crew on board SY Visione, the 44.9m Reichel Pugh designed Baltic build, on winning their class 'Les Gazelles' and the much coveted St Barths Bucket 2015, their very first win since competing in 2004.
35 stunning yachts in four classes (Gazelles, Elegantes, Mademoiselles, Grande Dames) descended on the beautiful island of St Barths, with some of the world's most passionate sailors, their families, friends and crew all competing in pursuit-style racing aboard these sophisticated sailing beauties, ranging from the 24m Hoek design Drumfire to the 58.6 m Perini Seahawk, with displacement ranging between 52-570 metric tons!
The Class, Les Elegantes, saw Adela (44.6m) and Elfje (46.4m) having overall class victory in the interest of an amicable resolution to a safety rule debate, 'an example of good sportsmanship that is in line with the spirit of the Bucket. The two owners and crews are to be commended' commented Race Chairman Peter Craig. Cape Arrow (30.2m) sailed a consistently good series with three 2nd places, winning Les Mademoiselles. The 37.6 m ketch Axia was spot-on with timing at the start of race 3, with an equally brilliant performance over the course to finish first and win their class, Les Grandes Dames.
The 2015 awards saw the 'Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy' presented by Alice Huisman to 27.2 m Wavelength; the 'Perini Navi Cup' and the 'Golden Pineapple Award' went to Rosehearty (55.9m) for the Perini with the best result on the water and best 'open boat' party spirit! The award that is earned by peer recognition through a yacht ballot, and has serious stature within the superyacht industry is the 'All Star Crew Award', which this year went to Elena of London (41.5 m) - congratulations to all her crew 'who display the pinnacle of the profession' in all tasks. The 44.7m Lady B deserves a mention here for having 36 crew plus 36 guests planned for every day..'You can't see the deck for all the people, and there are miles and miles of life jackets,' commented one of her crew!
Safe fair racing was order of the day with the new Offshore Racing Congress Superyacht Rule (OCRsy) being utilized in St Barths for the first time. It aims to make the handicapping more fair and transparent, handicapping the extreme differences in the yachts based on design data and measurements - it proved quite successful at the recent Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta in Virgin Gorda last month.
Jim Capron, the man responsible for initially creating the key safety rule that keeps superyachts at least 40 metres apart while racing, was honoured at the Superyacht Racing Association Annual General Meeting. Under the new rule, the race committee must officially designate the wind conditions each day as light, medium or high, which in turn affects starting times and therefore order of starts within classes each day.
“It’s going to be brilliant. It’s going to take superyacht racing from being pure entertainment to something where we can compete properly and know how to change things each year to perform better” commented Elfje’s tactician Mike Sanderson.
The success of the Bucket Regattas is the emphasis is more upon wholesome fun than about winning; in recent years, the fleet has overflowed with applicants even before the Notice of Race is published! Entertainment 'Superyacht style' saw a a 40 minute air show after racing, a glamorous 'yacht hop' on the Quay in Gustavia, an 'Eden Rock' gathering at St Jean Bay including a red carpet leading to the beach, and of course the final prize giving and party afterwards. The glamorous sophisticated French island lends itself perfectly to this fabulous event, with some first class recommended services for yachts, their crew and shorebased teams.
In addition to the ORCsy rule being used here for the first time, the 2015 Bucket Regatta featured new stewards in ownership: Perini Navi, Royal Huisman, Vitters Shipyard and Rybovich.
Read More Superyacht news....The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2015