Often regarded as one of the world's most prestigious superyacht regattas, the St Barths Bucket welcomes some of the finest sailing talent from around the world to the port of Gustavia each year for three days of racing around the breezy Caribbean islands. After a two year hiatus, the Bucket is back from March 17 to March 20 with an impressive lineup of thirty yachts, each vying for the top prize.
The 66.8 metre Hetairos is back at the St Barths Bucket to defend her crown after storming to victory in 2019. The Baltic Yachts flagship is the largest entry in the competition this year, and her carbon composite hull, lifting keel, and nearly 3,000 square metres of sails will keep her speedy on the circuit. Naval architecture comes courtesy of Dykstra Naval Architects and among her expansive repertoire of features is a lifting rudder that enables her to achieve maximum sailing potential. The classic ketch was delivered in 2011 and most recently refitted in 2014, with Vitters overseeing the refit.
Delivered by Perini Navi in 2015, the 58.6 metre Perseus^3 was built to a design brief that called for the tallest carbon fibre masts ever constructed, which tower 78 metres above the deck. A carbon fibre bowsprit helped to create one of the largest ever downwind sail areas ever seen on a sloop, while state-of-the-art captive reel winches and furlers are fitted on board to handle the sailing system. She features all-aluminium construction and both interior and exterior design have been completed in-house by Perini Navi.
Fresh off the circuit at the Antigua Superyacht Challenge, the 42.4 metre Rebecca is heading north to try her luck at the St Barths Bucket. Designed by Germán Frers and built by Pendennis, she balances classic appeal with impressive performance. Rebecca took to the seas in 1999 and she features a number of noteworthy design details such as her sole, which is made from antique Heart Pine that was salvaged from a North American mill built in 1711.
First hitting the water in 1933, the 42-metre J-Class yacht Velsheda was built by Camper & Nicholsons as Charles Nicholson’s second J-class design. Her second season on the regatta circuit saw her enjoy a winning streak, triumphing at over 40 racing events and firmly sealing her position as one of the most technologically advanced examples of rigging and sails at the time. She will be joined in St Barths by fellow J Class racers Hanuman and Ranger.
A familiar face during race season in Gustavia, Hyperion was delivered in 1998 by Royal Huisman and has been meticulously maintained ever since, most recently with a refit in 2014. New sails were also installed in 2016, leaving her primed and ready to compete in another edition of the St Barths Bucket. Hyperion measures 47.4 metres in length and features naval architecture from Germán Frers with both interior and exterior design from the boards of Pieter Beeldsnijder.
The 34.1 metre Nilaya is one of the most successful sailing yachts in Baltic Yacht’s fleet, both in terms of regatta participation and bluewater cruising. Key features include a smart deck layout that allows for fewer crew members, temperature-optimised spaces designed for warm-weather cruising and 3.8 tonnes of sound insulation for quiet operations. She’s been built in composite and features a lifting keel for optimum performance, with naval architecture from Reichel Pugh Yacht Design. Exteriors and interiors are by Nauta, and the 2010-delivered sloop holds the crown for the 2018 St Barths Bucket.
Vijonara was delivered by Pendennis in spring 2018 as the second hull ‘‘Truly Classic 128’ series. According to the yard, the Hoek-designed yacht has been optimised extensively for performance in accordance with the desires of her experienced owners. The 38.8 metre yacht enters the St Barths Bucket in the Corinthian Spirit Class.
With several trophies to her name, including the winning title at the 2017 St Barths Bucket, Perini Navi’s Rosehearty will be looking to replicate her success in 2022. The 56 metre ketch is as elegantly-designed as she is fast, with naval architecture by Ron Holland. 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.
Part of Nautor Swan’s Swan 98 series, Drifter Cube was delivered in 2020 and is one of the newest yachts taking to the waters at this year’s St Barths Bucket. She came in a respectable third place at the Splendido Mare Cup in Portofino last year, so she’s no stranger to the racing scene. Measuring 31 metres, she will be competing in the 90-foot class at the St Barths Bucket.
The 43 metre Columbia is a steel-hulled replica of the original schooner by the same name and is a born racer. The original Columbia was designed as a Gloucester Fishing Schooner designed by William Starling Burgess and launched in 1923; the reinvented Columbia still bears the same graceful lines, sheer, bowsprit and the heart-shaped transom and was transformed by owner Brian D’Isernia. She features a 930 square metre rig with nine sails (including a 315 square metre mainsail) with hydraulic winches to ease handling.
Royal Huisman's Aquarius will also be looking to make the most of the trade winds in this year's Bucket regatta. The 56 metre ketch was delivered by the Dutch shipyard in 2018 but is designed as a world cruising modern classic. Huisman worked closely with Dykstra Naval Architects, Doyle Sails and Rondal to develop the rigging; she flies 3,000 square metres of sail when running downwind with a top speed of 16 knots, making her a serious contender.
Don't be fooled by her classic lines, Meraki is a thoroughbred racer. With an aluminium hull, Southern Spars carbon rig and in-boom furling tied neatly into a 50 metre package, Meraki will be one to watch in this year's Bucket lineup. Launched at the beginning of the pandemic this will be one of Meraki's debut regattas.