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The St Barth Bucket: a Majestic and Prestigious regatta

A fleet of yachts mostly measuring over 100 feet gathers in St Barthélémy every year in the month of March for three days of invitational pursuit racing.

Celebrating its 29th anniversary in 2024, The Bucket Regatta was born in August 1986 as the Nantucket Bucket, racing off the coast of the fabled summer island in the waters of Massachusetts. At the invitation of Nelson Doubleday, four gorgeous yachts made up that initial fleet: Sariyah, Gleam, Mandalay and Parlay. In 1995, the regatta found its winter home in St Barth, bringing its unique format of races primarily for majestic cruising yachts to the Caribbean. Today the entries are divided into five classes to make the racing more homogenous. The appearance of the sleek J Class, expected to return in 2025, adds to the allure of the event.

On the morning of race days, the docks in Gustavia are busy as beehives as the boats prep and head to the starting line, creating an eye-catching lineup of truly incredible sailboats designed by top naval architects. « Unique Bucket regatta hallmarks are spectacular island racing in dependable trade wind conditions, friendly competition and camaraderie, special shoreside parties, and all that St Barthélemy has to offer, » notes Peter Craig, event director and race chairman. « In addition to the traditional superyacht racing classes, The Bucket has now expanded to include a 90-Foot Class, where the yachts are slightly smaller than the 30m+ superyachts.

The Corinthian Spirit class continues to grow. This provides a way for yachts to compete with fewer racing crew and less resource-intense preparation for captains and crews. The Bucket will continue to evolve, both on the water and with shoreside offerings, into the future.

An economic shot-in-the-arm for the island, The Bucket provides donations to local non-profits and charities, including the Saint Barth Yacht Club Sailing School, Coral Reef Restoration, and other special needs. Caterers, cleaning services, food markets, charter companies, restaurants, and bars are all part of the support system—as well as hotels, villas, car rentals, yacht provisioning, and entertainment for event entrants, race committee and supporters. Long time stewards of the Bucket are superyacht shipbuilders Royal Huisman and Vitters Shipyard.

« The Saint Barth Bucket is legendary for its uniquely beautiful venue, breathtaking superyachts, and fantastic onshore entertainment. All participants enjoy the island’s spectacular beaches, as well as world-class shopping, dining, and hospitality. Throughout its 39-year history, the Bucket has been a truly non-commercial invitational event, dedicated to the enjoyment of yacht owners and their guests. There is simply no other sailing regatta in the world like the Bucket ».

Peter Craig
Photo credits

AnkNet / iStock

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