Ten days ago the Caribbean island of St Barths hosted the 22nd Bucket regatta with an impressive display of yachting’s elite. Epitomised with the unique view of 6 J-Class yachts and their towering black mainsails powering over the Atlantic swell. Their teams of professional crew venture to tame the beast whilst continuing to push it to the max…… and not to forget the two schooners, Adela and Elena.
Professional photographer Claire Matches (Schooner and J-Class photos below courtesy of Claire) was in place to catch the action from the deck of the mighty Elena and on the water. “The excitement never fades!”
A Brief History of the Bucket Regatta
In 1995, the first Bucket Regatta came to St Barths and today it is the second most popular week on the island after only the famed New Year’s Eve festivities.
The first Bucket Regatta was organized in Nantucket, Massachusetts in August of 1986. At a birthday celebration organized by Nelson Doubleday, several yacht owners participated in a spirited discussion about optimal yacht design and individual sailing prowess. The following day, with only a night of preparation, seven sailing superyachts raced on a hastily prepared 15 mile course on Nantucket Sound. The stated prize of this impromptu competition was simply to attain undisputed superyacht sailing bragging rights for the year. They soon learned, however, that the pleasure and enjoyment of a camaraderie formed at sea between like-minded individuals was the greatest prize of all. As a result, a nearby spare bucket was deemed sufficient to commemorate the racing accomplishment and the Bucket Regatta was born.
Between 1986 and 2001, the Nantucket Bucket flourished. The summer event then shifted to Newport, Rhode Island where the event was well hosted at the Newport Shipyard from 2002 to 2014.
In 1995, the beautiful French island of St Barths hosted its first Bucket Regatta and it has done so in March every year since then. Although the size of the yachts and competing fleet has grown significantly, the spirit of the event has remained unchanged. (Info courtesy of St Barths Bucket site)