One of the most venerable and highly anticipated events on the superyacht events calendar, the Newport Bucket Regatta, has been cancelled.
The cancellation of the 2015 installment of the Newport Bucket Regatta, set to take place August 27-30 in Newport, Rhode Island, has sent ripples through the superyacht racing community.
It seems this year the numbers simply weren’t there to make the event happen. As the Newport Bucket organisers say on their website, “With only two yachts entered to date and so many of the potential participants in the Med and/or with alternative commitments, a meaningful competition and related shoreside activities, hallmarks of the Bucket regattas, is very unlikely.”
But this is less a death knell for the event than a hiatus before it's brought back to life in a revamped format next year. The current Bucket Stewards are handing control over to Newport Shipyard owner Charlie Dana and Bannister’s Wharf owner David Ray.
Founded by the late Nelson Doubleday in Nantucket in 1986 and raced there for 15 years as the Nantucket Bucket, the regatta then migrated to the Newport Shipyard where it has been sailed out of ever since.
However, the owners of the Bucket Regattas will now be, “concentrating their efforts on the St. Barths Bucket and believe the Newport regatta would be well served in the local hands of David and Charlie, who are not only participants but also understand well ‘the spirit’ of what Nelson created.”
The re-invented Newport Bucket is tentatively scheduled to return July 21-24, 2016, under the new guise as the Candy Store Cup.
The earlier dates were chosen based on feedback from yacht owners and captains, with the organisers hoping the earlier date will attract more large sailing yachts that are in the area.
Charlie Dana and the new organisers of the Candy Store Cup also hope to take the superyacht regatta back to its roots.
“Initially, it was more of a party for the biggest sailing yachts that had no races to enter,” says Charlie Dana. “Here we are three decades later with such spectacular racing and imagery that the sailing fraternity is not only agog but out in full force. Racing these boats is something I never would have dreamt possible as a child. How lucky we are. We can't wait.”