all images © carlo borlenghi

Ed Notes: (news is a day old, will update when new news is new again)

ST. BARTHS (23 March 2019) – On the second day of racing at the St. Barths Bucket, 34 superyachts enjoyed a quick pace around 23- to 26-mile “Not So Wiggly” courses, ironically named, since they were indeed quite wiggly, winding around turning marks that were the isles and rocks to the north and west of Saint-Barthélemy. Breezes of 12-18 knots blew steadily all day while five spinnaker classes and one non-spinnaker class battled for optimum positions going into tomorrow’s third and final race.

In Les Grandes Dames class, yesterday’s third-place finisher, the 55.8m Perini Navi Rosehearty sailed smartly to win by over three minutes and enter a three-way tie for first with yesterday’s winner, the 58.7m Perini Navi sloop Perseus^3, and yesterdays’ second-place finisher, the 47.4m Royal Huisman-built sloop Hyperion. After Rosehearty crossed the finish line, her team anxiously watched to see who, between Hyperion and Perseus^3, would edge the other out, and it was (to Rosehearty’s benefit) Hyperion by a mere 19 seconds.

“I’ve been sailing here on Rosehearty for five years, and I think this was maybe the most satisfying race I’ve ever experienced,” said tactician Paul Cayard. “Basically, we sailed the course about a well as you can sail it, and a lot of that is because we’ve sailed for five years with largely the same crew.”

Cayard mentioned the short kite runs between Ile Pele, Roche le Bouf and Ile Fourchue as being especially challenging, with the turn at le Bouf being his team’s best-executed maneuver of the day. “It’s tricky because there’s a sunken rock there; you have to have enough speed to coast through your whole maneuver, and you have to have the right trajectory, so that you don’t turn too sharp and scrub off all your speed.”

Yesterday, Rosehearty got picked off by Hyperion and Perseus^3 on the last windward leg to the finish, because her pointing angle is not as high, but today the team’s lead was too strong to overcome, and Rosehearty executed two tacks with confidence to make lay line. “It’s painful to tack compared to the sloops. It’s a big cost, but we had a high degree of confidence that the wind was going to go left, and we were going to get the payback. It did, and it all worked out.”

Similarly, WinWin’s owner believed this to be the best race day in WinWin’s history. The 33m sloop, entered in Les Gazelles, has sailed the Bucket three times and won its class in 2017.

“He loved it because of the overall fantastic racing and tight mark roundings,” said captain Ryan Taylor. WinWin started third behind the 33.4 Vitters-built sloop Inoui and the 34.1m sloop Nilaya and overtook them on the first beat upwind. “From there, our execution of maneuvers was very good. We made one jibe to everyone else’s four, which gave us nice time and distance on them.”

Other WinWin crew members noted that they are the smallest of seven boats in their class; in that respect it was exciting, because “the big boats are chasing us.” They were happy when the 39.7m sloop My Song finished second today, leaving yesterday’s winner, the 59.9m ketch Hetairos, with third-place overall. WinWin beat My Song by a mere 31 seconds.

In the non-spinnaker Corinthian Spirit class, or Les Voiles Blanche, the 49.6m sloop Ohana is leading after adding a second victory to her score line today. “We caught Q (the 51.7m ketch, which starts 8 minutes ahead) halfway up the first beat and didn’t pass her until after the two downwind legs, so we were together quite a long time,” said Ohana’s captain Mattia Dzaja. “They were chasing us today as well as yesterday. We didn’t imagine Corinthian class would be so much fun and so challenging; we thought we’d be sailing alone because we are the slower boats, but we are right in the middle of all the competition.”

The 35m ketch Sojana also posted a second victory to maintain her lead in Les Mademoiselles, while Blue Too did the same in Les Femmes. Velsheda switched places with Aquarius on the scoreboard, after winning today in Les Elegantes

Tomorrow’s course is scheduled to be the Wrong Way Around course, which will have the fleet once again circumnavigating the island, but this time clockwise rather than counterclockwise. The regatta prizegiving will take place at the Collectivité across the harbor from Bucket headquarters.