St Barths, French West Indies (March 22, 2015) – Perseverance was the key to victory in four classes (Gazelles, Elegantes, Mademoiselles, Grande Dames) sailing their last and final race at the 2015 St Barths Bucket Regatta. Sailing the “wrong way around” course meant the 35 competing superyachts launched their massive spinnakers at the start and took a clockwise tour of the island, testing sailing skills with a particularly lengthy beat up the backside. And though the superyachts, for safety’s sake, sail by rules that keep them at least 40 metres apart at all times, the competition was as close as anyone could wish for.
Winning the day in Gazelles was the 44.9-metre sloop Visione, which also took overall regatta honors to win the coveted “Bucket,” which was held high with victor’s pride by owner Hasso Plattner at the final awards ceremony.
Visione’s first Bucket was in 2004, and the yacht has competed in half a dozen or so Buckets since. Built in 2003, well before many others here, she is still the boat to beat on principle. “We are the fastest, and we always start last. With the old rating, however, we always had to sail more than a perfect race to be able to win. We’ve been close by finishing second overall once or twice, but never winning. Now with the new rating system (captured within the new ORCsy rule), we can win.”
P2 took a sixth in the race to fall behind Visione and runner-up Inoui (which finished second today), in the overall standings.
The 30.2-metre sloop Cape Arrow, chartered by Pier Luigi Loro Piana, turned in all second-place finishes to top the Mademoiselles.
As for the ORCsy rule that is in its infancy and was being closely analyzed here, Elfje’s tactician Mike Sanderson said, “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.”
Taking overall victory in Grand Dames, the 37.6 metre ketch Axia was spot-on with its timing at today’s start and went on to turn in an equally brilliant performance over the course of the day to beat out yesterday’s leader, the 55.9-metre Perini Navi ketch Rosehearty.
In addition to the ORCsy rule being used here for the first time, the 2015 Bucket Regatta this year featured new stewards in ownership: Perini Navi, Royal Huisman, Vitters Shipyard and Rybovich. — Jeanne Kleene
Title Photo © Tim Wright – Visione
Photos © Ingrid Abrey – Visione
2014 Aerial Footage
2014 Pigeon Vision
About The Bucket Regattas