Forty Seven yachts, all at or over 100 feet, competed in the 17th St Barth Bucket from March 22 to March 25, 2012. The largest yacht is the schooner Athos at 203 feet. A very elite group are invited to “gentlemanly” sailboat racing. Most of these boats are not designed to race. They are the owners homes and penthouses that move on the ocean. They have full time crew, and other sailors are invited to help race the boats. The racing is also a high party and social time, as caterers, musicians, and guest travel around St Barths. Elaine and I were lucky enough to watch the racing from the 47 foot catamaran, Petit Profligate with 3 other couples: Richard and Donna, Michael and Maryanne, and Glen and Kathy. We also spent another 7 days on St Barths.
This years race had four J Class Yachts competing. These are Americas Cup yachts, and replicas, designed and built in the 1930’s. On the first day of racing a serious injury was sustained by one of the crew on a J yacht while handling a spinnaker. All boats have at least one chase boat for rescue, and to provide any equipment needed during the races.
Below are pictures of the last day of racing, sailing a downwind leg to the finish, spinnakers a blazing.