After three days of competitive sailing, Hasso Plattner’s beautiful 147ft Reichel/Pugh deign Visione, took top honors as overall winner of the 2015 St. Barth Bucket, which took place March 20-22.
Visione was also the class winner for Les Gazelles des Mers, with a second place win on Friday, and first place wins on both Saturday and Sunday, beating Viiters Shipyard’s Inoui for second place and Perini Navi’s 125ft sloop P2, which came in third.
“When P2 was winning, we knew we had to be second,” said Visione’s tactician Jens Christiansen, explaining that in the pursuit-style format, Visione started 18 minutes after P2 and 15 minutes after Inoui.
“Things got tense when we broke a code sail sheet on the way to the first mark.” They replaced the sheet only to have it break again and Visione lost ground. “We caught them (P2) quite quickly and passed them on the other side of the island, beating them by quite a lot in the end. The 10-11 knot winds suited us well. We were sailing very fast on the long beat, going farther out because we are that much faster than anybody else and staying clear of other boats in other classes so as not to get entangled in them tacking on each other.”
In the Elegantes des Mers class, for the first time in Bucket history, there was a tie for first place, with Adela and Elfje sharing the top spot.
“It was a very unusual situation, and there was good sportsmanship all the way around that resulted in these boats agreeing to the tie,” said Peter Craig, event director and race chairman.
It was an exciting year for The St. Barth Bucket, with a shift in ownership, as four of the major yacht builders took on the stewardship role for the event: Perini Navi, Royal Huisman, Vitters, and Rybovich. Each of these presented a special award to a Bucket yacht: Wavelength received the Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy; Rosehearty, the Perini Navi Cup, and the Golden Pineapple award, presented by Rybovich. The All-Star Crew Award, presented by Holland Jachtbouw, went to Elena Of London.
An air show put on by eight restored WWII warbirds from the Texas Flying Legends Museum and Rod Lewis Air Legends delighted the crowds watching the regatta making the Bucket experience one of the highpoints of the year.
For more information about the 2015 St Barth Bucket, visit: www.bucketregattas.com
BUCKET RESULTS 2015:
Overall Winner: Visione
Les Gazelles des Mers
Elegantes des Mers
1. Adela and Elfje (tied)
Les Mademoiselles des Mers
1. Cape Arrow
Les Grand Dames des Mers
Ellen Lampert-Gréaux lives in Saint Barthélemy where she is editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine.