On December 31, 14 boats crossed the start line off Gustavia for the annual New Year’s Eve Parade, an informal regatta with staggered starts for a handicapped pursuit race. “It was a beautiful sail out there,” says Mark Del Giudice, marina manager at Forty 1° North in Newport, RI, who comes to the Caribbean every year to organize the race, as he has done since its inception 18 years ago, alongside the St Barth Yacht Club and the Port of Gustavia.
The largest boat in the fleet was Abbott Brown’s 96ft Frers, Symmetry, skippered by Australian Ross Kleiman. Symmetry had the fastest elapsed time around the island, completing the circuit in 2h 01m 18s. Which means the record of 1h 32m 07s, set by Visione in 2004, is still anyone’s to beat!
White Rhino, a Swan 56, was the first boats to cross the finish line in the pursuit race; she was followed by the Swan 53, Puffy. Symmetry crossed in third place followed by the 34-footer Magic Carpet. The awards were presented on the dock at 5:00pm along with champagne to kick off the New Year’s Eve festivities on the dock.