The big boys are gathering in Gustavia for the most glamorous superyacht regatta of the year – the St Barths Bucket 2014.
Caption: the 52m Dykstra designed schooner Meteor squeezes in stern to in the Port of Gustavia between two vast ketches – the first new 60m Perini Seahawk and the flagship of the event, the formidable 66m green Baltic ketch Hetairos.
38 sailing superyachts have descended on the tiny, chic, idyllic isle of St Barths for the 2014 St Barths Bucket. Commonly referred to as ‘The Bucket’, there really is nothing else like this event. Just to see some of the largest and fastest sailing boats moored stern-to in a horseshoe harbour that can barely accommodate their length is jaw dropping enough. Seeing them manoeuvring at battle speed is simply astonishing.
Now in its 19th year the St Barths Bucket has moved from an entertaining pursuit format procession to exhilaratingly close and increasingly competitive racing thanks to safe, fair rules and respected committee work. Thankfully the camaraderie spirit of the event remains.
Three of the main shipyard sponsors each have two new superyachts making their bucket debuts: two from Perini (60m Seahawk and 40m State of Grace), two from Royal Huisman (49m Kamaxitha and 37m Pumula) and two from Vitters Shipyard (46m Ganesha and 33m Inoui).
And it seems there will be no gentle start to the racing. With a forecast of 20-25 knot easterlies for the first race day tomorrow (Friday 28 March) and 15-20 knots for the weekend, three days of classic Caribbean tradewind racing await. No marks, just the small chic island of St Barthelemy and its outlying rocks to race around.
Stay tuned for updates.
You can track the racing live here
Full entries at event website here