melek, one of the largest yachts competing in the st barths bucket

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The largest yachts competing in the St Barths Bucket 2024

15 March 2024 • Written by Dea Jusufi

The St Barths Bucket 2024 is fast approaching, with the yachts competing for the coveted regatta title now confirmed. For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, several superyachts have also registered as non-competing "social entrants". This includes the iconic 88-metre Maltese Falcon and the 33.5-metre Mousetrap, which has stirred further excitement for this year's competition. BOAT takes a closer look at those vying for the top spot...

M5 – 78.4m

Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
Year: 2004

Top of the list is M5 (ex Mirabella), the world's largest single-masted sailing yacht. Her top speed is 16 knots, though owner Rod Lewis has said 22 knots is his fastest, at which point it feels like "flying on the water". Her exterior is owed to Ron Holland Design, whilst a 2019 refit saw RWD step up and refurbish her interiors – including a bar top made from ancient Egyptian red jasper.

Read More/M5: On board the largest single-masted sailing yacht in the world

Hetairos – 66.9m

Credit: Michael Kurtz

Builder: Baltic Yachts
Year: 2011

Two-time St Barths Bucket champion (and World Superyacht Awards finalist) Hetairos will also be competing this year. Dykstra Naval Architects was part of an international team of experts in charge of the design, which features a carbon composite hull, a lifting rudder and nearly 3,000 square metres of sails. She was most recently refitted in 2014, overseen by Vitters.

Maximus – 59m

Credit: Guy Fleury

Builder: Vitters
Year: 2023

Maximus is the newest competitor on the list, having been delivered in December last year. She is now the third-largest Vitters built after the 85.9-metre Aquijo and 66-metre Anatta. Described as a "wolf in sheep's clothing", the performance cruiser has naval architecture by Germán Frers and benefits from twin rudders and a lifting keel with a minimum draught of five metres.

Aquarius – 56m

Builder: Royal Huisman
Year: 2018

Aquarius was delivered to an "exceptionally clear" owner's brief – they wanted a yacht as well suited to Bucket regatta racing as to round-the-world family cruising. Her clean, "relaxed" interiors were handled by Mark Whiteley Design and inspired by the shipyard's earlier 51.6-metre build Meteor. Aquarius also has capacity for a 6.2 metre jet drive tender and an Aero sailing boat.

Melek – 56m

Builder: Perini Navi
Year: 2010

A number of innovations separate Melek from her sisterships. The yacht features a foredeck with a built-in hydraulic tender garage and an aerodynamic superstructure optimised for better navigation performance. The yacht is sure to turn heads in St Barths this year, owing to her grey-chrome exterior by Ron Holland Design. Leisure highlights include a Jacuzzi spa tub on the flybridge and a collection of sunloungers.

Panthalassea – 56m

Credit: Nigel Young Foster and Partners

Builder: Perini Navi
Year: 2010

Panthalassea has something to prove this Bucket. She recently underwent a refit that has brought her back to her "original racing potential" and is now ready for her "second wind" on the regatta course, according to Amsterdam Yacht Service. Exteriors are by Ron Holland, whilst an "extraordinarily light and airy interior" has been created by Norman Foster & Partners, with 12 guests able to sleep across the sailer's flexible accommodation.

Rosehearty – 56m

Builder: Perini Navi
Year: 2006

With several trophies to her name, including the winning title at the 2017 St Barths Bucket, Rosehearty will be looking to replicate her success this year. Some 1,560 square metres of sail area ensure nimble performance and a 2020 refit has left her ready to catch attention on the racing circuit. Rosehearty was delivered as Audace in 2007 and went on to win the Voyager's Award at the BOAT International World Superyacht Awards in 2019.

Read More/Extreme cruises: Sailing the Northwest Passage on board 56m Rosehearty

Adela – 55.1m

Builder: Pendennis
Year: 1995

Originally launched in 1903 (and fully rebuilt in the 90s), Adela is a veteran competitor designed by Dykstra Naval Architects. She has enjoyed numerous refits at the Pendennis shipyard over the years. Custom-made blocks and winches, concealed state-of-the-art communications and a modern climate control system all provide the comfort and convenience one would expect on a modern superyacht.

Red Dragon – 51.7m

Builder: Alloy Yachts
Year: 2008

Red Dragon is another fast cruising sloop designed by Dubois, who also completed the naval architecture. She's fitted with a 62.5-metre high modulus carbon fibre main mast, rig and boom, as well as custom winches by Alloy Yachts. The yacht represents the culmination of experience gained by the owner aboard his previous Red Dragon, a smaller sloop built by Vitters.

Read More/Non-racing superyachts now offered "social entry" package at St Barths Bucket

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