From the 25th to the 27th of March, 40 yachts lined the harbor of St. Barths, in honor of the 25th annual Bucket Regatta. The yachts varied in size and design, yet each one contained a crew that held the same objective; taking home the crown. In contrast to the competitive mood on the water, on land was a fun and welcoming atmosphere which enabled all of the attendees to enjoy the excitement.
Photo Courtesy of Pim van Hemmen
This year’s Bucket attracted its greatest number of participants, with 40 yachts competing for the trophy. Each yacht was separated into three separate categories: Les Elegantes des Mers (The Elegant Seas), Les Grandes Dames des Mers (The Great Dames of the Sea), and Les Gazelles des Mers (The Sea Gazelles). On the first day; March 25, the starter shot off his gun into the air at 11:30 in the morning, and all the yachts set sail to complete the “Around the Island Race”. The eventual winners of the day’s race each demonstrated a great sense of triumph, as each of the winning yachts was new to Bucket Racing, a rather impressive feat since many of the other participants were experienced racers. Following the first race, an air show commenced, featuring the acrobatics of antique World War II fighter planes. The spectacle added even more delight to the event, and bedazzled the multiple onlookers below. The remaining two races also succeeded in capturing the attention of its audience, especially with the suspense they both offered. According to the St. Barts Bucket Regatta Blog, the second and the third day of racing met with stunningly accurate starts and increasingly close finishes. On the third and conclusive day of racing, over 24 yachts finished in just over 20 minutes. The first three came in together, under just three minutes. The three lucky yachts that ultimately ended up winning the Bucket trophies were: Virago, Hanuman, and Symmetry, all yachts that were part of the Gazelle category. This marked an exciting feat for all three, for although each had participated in past regattas, none of them had actually won in the past. Although the competing aspect was indeed a great highlight of the event, it was not the sole purpose of the gathering. The St. Barts Regatta generally provides a chance for many people to connect, and enjoy themselves. The recent regatta succeeded in doing so. People were given the special experience of witnessing the nice spectacle of yachts cruising along the gorgeous waters of St. Barths, as well as the chance to bond with fellow attendees, and truly experience the world of sailing.