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Highlights from the St Barths Bucket Regatta 2015

The St Barths Bucket regatta wrapped up this weekend on the sublime Caribbean island of St Barths, with much excitement on and off the racecourse, including an air show orchestrated on by the owner of superyacht Marie.

Instead of heading back into harbour on the second day of racing, the fleet lingered to see a 40-minute Bucket Airshow put on by the Texas Flying legends and featuring WW2 planes, including one of only a few Japanese Zero planes still flying today. The video above, taken from a yacht tender off of St Baths, shows the historic planes dipping and diving in their acrobatic feats over the water.

Marie’s owner Ed Bosarge has the yacht outfitted with military weaponry and historical accouterment, and the yacht is known giving a ceremonial cannon blast at events. On the racecourse, Marie, last year’s overall Bucket winner, battled hard against the other yachts in her Elegantes des Mers class. There was a three-way tie for first with four points each the second day of the race, making this class an exciting one to watch, but eventually Marie took third, bested by Adela in first and the new launch Royal Huisman Elfje on her tail in second.

The St Barths Bucket 2015 saw 35 sailing superyachts competing in pursuit-style racing with three races scheduled from 20-22 March. Other big regatta winners include Visione, the Southern Wind yacht Cape Arrow, currently for sale, and Axia, all first place in their class.

Festivities began 19 March with captains gathering for a briefing, followed by a fleet welcoming party roaring into the evening along with the invitation-only owners’ reception.

The impressive fleet ranged in size and type – from 27 metres up to 59 metres LOA and a mix of sloops, ketches and schooners – which are divided into four classes, Les Gazelles des Mers (seven yachts), Les Elegantes des Mers (nine yachts), Les Mademoiselles des Mers (10 yachts), Les Grandes Dames des Mers (nine yachts).

For the first time this year, handicapping was based on the new Offshore Racing Congress Superyacht Rule (ORCsy). Replacing the former ISYR and Bucket Rules, the new ORCsy rule aims to make the handicapping more fair and transparent, handicapping the extreme differences in the yachts based on design data and measurements. ORCsy was rolled out at the recent Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, proving quite successful and resulting in fewer challenges than ever before.

Plenty of recent launches will be on view, including the ShowBoats Design Award-winning yachts Elfje, from Royal Huisman, and Baltic Yachts’ WinWin.

Perini Navi will had a half-dozen yachts competing, mostly in the Les Grandes Dames des Mers class, including Seahawk and State of Grace. And Vitters will have seven yachts at the start line, including Marie, currently for sale.

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