Thirty-eight! That’s the number of sailboats that raced in the 2014 Saint Barth Bucket Regatta, which really is an unusual event for unusual boats. Most of these boats were not built for racing, yet there they are competing in some pretty muscular races, with owners bringing in professional race crews to assure safety out on the water.
For this year’s winner, Ed Bosarge, winning the Bucket has been on his ‘bucket list’ for a while. “It’s been a four-year ride to win,” says Bosarge, owner of Marie, a fabulous 55ft Vitters ketch that made its first appearance at the regatta in 2011, the same year that Bosarge brought four period WWII airplanes to The Bucket for an incredible air show. “It’s been a great journey,” he adds.
The 19th annual Bucket took place on Friday through Sunday, March 28-30 2014, with yachts—measuring over 100ft in length—divided into four classes: Les Gazelles de la Mer, with eight entries including the largest competitor, the 220ft (66.7m) Baltic yacht, Hetairos; Les Elegantes de la Mer with ten entries; Les Mademoiselles de la Mer with 11 entries; and Les Grandes Dames de la Mer with nine entries.
Over the past 19-years, the Bucket has evolved to a major regatta for large sailboats and safety out on the water is a big concern. This year the weather conditions were ideal with sunny skies and 16-20 knots of wind over the three days of racing. No major accidents, other than a few torn spinnakers and a broken halyard, were reported.
“One of our goals, based on feedback from participating owners, is to provide ‘like racing’—that is to have yachts which perform in a similar fashion, in a variety of different conditions, race together. That is difficult to do in some instances given how disparate many of the superyachts are, but it is an important consideration,” says race director Peter Craig. “There are a number of factors we take into account in our effort to make this happen—even if it means expanding the rating bands. A boat’s Sail Area/ Displacement Ratio (both the upwind & downwind numbers) and Displacement/Length Ratio (DLR) are three key factors that come into play.”
Safety on the water, great parties on shore, a mix of fun and sportsmanship: all of this is part of the drama and excitement of The Saint Barth Bucket, one of the most unusual–and spectacular—regattas in the Caribbean.
2014 BUCKET WINNERS:
Les Grandes Dames: Altair
Les Mademoiselles: Bequia
Les Elegantes: Marie
Les Gazelles: Nilaya