Palma, Mallorca 21 June 2012 – The 12-strong fleet at the 2012 Superyacht Cup Palma was graced with clear blue skies and a healthy 15-20 knot breeze today for Race Day 1 of the regatta sponsored by event partner Pantaenius.
The fleet was split into two classes to shorten the start sequence, the 35m Hoek designed Firefly having the best start of the day just 1 second off their allocated start time, crossing the line at full speed.
The two classes separated after the start with Class 1 given a slightly longer course for the faster boats. The fleet merged back together mid race at the most southerly part of the course off Isla de Sech confidently led by the 30m Hoek designed Reesle ahead of the chasing pack Ithaka (27m Jongert), Highland Breeze (34m Frers/ Nautor Swan), Maria Cattiva (40m Bruce King/Royal Huisman) and Atalante (27m Hoek/Claasen Jachtbouw) within a few minutes of each other.
Reesle and Highland Breeze were able to hold their positions to cross the line in first and second place and win their respective classes.
Ashore, celebrations continued well into the evening with well-deserved refreshments against the backdrop of tonight’s ‘Dock Olympics’ themed party and live music.
The weather forecast for tomorrow’s race promises similar conditions with clear skies ahead for the weekend.
Results – Day 1, 21 June 2012
1. Highland Breeze
4. Scorpione dei Mare
2. This is Us
4. Maria Cattiva
About the Superyacht Cup
Now in its 16th year, The Superyacht Cup is the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe and the Mediterranean. The event has become a favourite with owners, friends and captains around the world that visit Palma de Mallorca annually for the 4 day Palma regatta. Famed for its central location and reliable wind conditions in the Bay of Palma, the Superyacht Cup provides an ideal combination of professionally managed racing with a relaxed and fun atmosphere ashore. http://www.thesuperyachtcup.com
On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St.Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis including the 90-foot Rambler and the Swan 112, Highland Breeze; classic beauties such the Olin Stephen-designed Dorade and the Fife-built yawl Mariella; a trio of IRC 52s, multi-hulls including the 66 Gunboat Phaedo, and two large racing classes with a mix of Melges, J/boats, and a mix of 40-footers, including the hot-off-the-press Carkeek 40, Decision.
Over 60 boats are registered for this years edition, up fromwith a large number of returning entries, proof that the regatta has filled the need for spirited competition towards the end of the winter season a time when tourism typically begins to wind down in the Caribbean. Though that was hard to tell yesterday, at the islands tiny airport, as the steady stream of small commuter planes landing were filled with a duffle bag-wielding collection of sailors from the ranks of the Americas Cup, round-the-world-ocean races, and Olympic competition, that included Gavin Brady (Vesper), Scott Vogel (Rambler), Bouwe Bekking (Nilaya), Cam Lewis (Paradox), Charlie McKee and Ross MacDonald (Mayhem), Tony Rey, Jeff Madrigali, and Nacho Postigo (Powerplay), and Dee Smith (Decision).
But its not just the professionals that flock to Les Voiles de St. Barth, the regattas program and mix of courses also appeals to a competitive group of amateur and family racers that hone their skills on the growing circuit of Caribbean regattas that take advantage of this sailing paradise.
While not the easiest of destinations to reach some U.S. west coast sailors logged 16+ hours in transit, while others from Europe only slightly less the island of St Barths itself is a welcome reward at the end of the road: a turquoise blue, crystal-clear sea, pristine white sand beaches, and an array of fabulous restaurants just payoff for a long days journey.
Francesco Mongelli, navigator onboard Jim Swartz IRC52 Vesper, is here racing in St Barths for the first time. The Italian sailor, who sails primarily in Europe, has been racing with the Vesper crew since last October, and was clearly keen to have touched down in this French paradise, Its a mix of all the best sailing places, together with perfect weather and good food. Having spent the afternoon in a tender carefully checking out the coastline and charted (and uncharted) rock outcroppings, Mongelli added, Its pretty similar to Porto Cervo, the difference is that there you more or less know where everything is, and the charts are accurate. You cannot take the same risk here that wed take in Porto Cervo.
Racing will run from Tuesday, April 3 Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. The fleet will be split into seven classes: Maxi (> 21 meters), IRC52 (former TP52s that have been optimized for the IRC rule), Spinnaker I + II, Non-Spinnaker (racer/cruiser), Classic (vintage/traditional), and Multihull. Thursday is a layday at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddleboard competition.
New this year, Les Voiles will offer real-time race tracking with 2D visualization via the internet. Waypoint-Tracking (www.waypoint-tracking.com) developed the system in close collaboration with ISAF. The site will allow enthusiasts to follow the daily racing action live or to replay at a later time.
Many of the competing boats are moored stern-to at the Quai General de Gaulle, site of the Race Village, where all of the daily breakfast and post-race activities and music take place. This evening, skippers and tacticians were on hand for the Skippers Briefing led by Loic Ponceau, Race Committee Chairman, and organizers Francois Tolede, Luc Poupon, and Annelisa Gee. Following that was Les Voiles St. Barth Opening Ceremony, where Bruno Magras, President of the Collectivit of St. Barth, welcomed more than 500 sailors to the weeklong event.
A regular and enthusiastic competitor in the Caribbean, Sir Peter Harrison was named the godfather or patron of this years Les Voiles. Harrison, owner of the 115-foot Farr-designed Sojana, told the crowd, As a visitor from England to this beautiful French island, one of the most beautiful in the West Indies, Im thrilled to be asked to the patron of Les Voiles. Bon vent Les Voiles de St. Barth, and good luck, everyone!
Also sailing on Sojana is Lionel Pan, who is also back for his third Les Voiles. He said, Obviously there are plenty of good reasons to be here, and to come back every year with the same enthusiasm: this place is made for sailing. In a very short time, Les Voiles de St. Barth has become the place to be, very much like Saint Tropez in the Mediterranean. And the word is spreading around. Shortly there will be a waiting list to be a part of the event!
The weather forecast for the next few days calls for light winds, though the breeze is expected to increase throughout the week. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3, two miles northwest of Sugarloaf Rock off Gustavia; one race is scheduled with a start time of 12noon.
By Norma Trease
As The Bard said “parting is such sweet sorrow”, and that is exactly the way everyone feels at the end of another fantastic edition of the Saint Barths Bucket. With every hug, every single-double-triple goodbye kiss, every sincere “I love you” a piece of your heart leaves with each friend and sailing companion who departs for their home ports by plane, ferry – or indeed by yacht. Yet we all know that in this world, we will all meet again, whether in another country, surely another regatta, boat show, wedding, or quay encounter in another port town. ‘Tis the nature of our biz! The upshot is that we carry with us, one and all, amazing memories of another Bucket, bigger and better than ever.
Michael Bradfield, owner of the superb Dubois-designed, Royal Huisman built Twizzle, summed it up as well as I ever could. “What a superb and exciting Bucket Regatta. The sailing was varied and challenging and brilliantly planned. The four categories were spot on and the exciting and tight finishes were a testament to the superb rating by Jim Teeters. Peter Craig as PRO and the team did a superb job of promoting a rich and varied regatta with a strong emphasis on safety and good nature. It was a privilege being able to take part.”
With forty seven yachts of this value and calibre, all competing for prizes, glory and bragging rights, racing can sometimes get a little hairy. Yet with the intense professionalism of both permanent and racing crews, once again, Bucket racing in Saint Barths remained safe, and with other than a few protest-enducing close calls, and some gear failure, everything turned out well in the end. However, there were some incidents of the yacht air-kiss variety.
On Day Three of racing, “Round the Island the Other Way”, with the four classes separated into two parallel courses, there were less of the mega-million-dollar-baby pile ups we all gasped at on Day Two. Day Threes’ biggest heart thumping moments happened at the finish line, which went between a marker buoy, and the lovely Burger yacht committee boat, Ingot. Blue Too, who had a great race, coming in 2nd in Class and 3rd place overall, narrowly avoided becoming the filing in a Perini panini. It was an exciting race for Perinis today, as Fidelis, and Parsifal III came across the finish line within inches of each other, and Andromeda also came exceedingly close to the committee boat.
BTW, a sincere “Merci Bucket” must be given to our three graciously loaned committee boats Rena, Krisujen, and Ingot. They are an integral part of Bucket racing, providing excellent hospitality and a great environment for our hard-working Race Committee officers, while also serving as appropriately elegant foils to the superb sailing yachts who pass them twice each day. Thanks very much!
It’s virtually impossible to fairly rate a gigantic fleet of this magnitude and diversity. No one has more data available, or crunches those numbers more assiduously than our ratings guru, Jim Teeters. Yet unfortunately, despite achieving the goal of many excitingly close-to-photo finishes, you can never please everyone in this super knowledgeable and experienced crowd. Amy Laing, who has for many years managed the complexities of the very busy Whisper program, delicately explained their frustrations at the ratings they received this year (which saw them start three from last on Day Three, for instance.) “The racing format needs work!” She further explained, “the size and number of yachts has rendered the objective of an overall winner impossible to fairly determine. The committee should be applauded for running this Bucket Regatta as competitively as it did given the obsolete format. I am sure Peter Craig will solve the format issue and Jim Titters will fairly rate the fleet in the future.” Extremely constructive criticism, and it is obvious that the Bucket racings need to be as varied and flexible as are the entries themselves.
Excellent racing and cruising skipper Dean Maggio, who unfortunately was involved in one of the few protests, looked at it from a historical perspective “this used to be resolved with a case of champagne, but no more! Maybe we could go back to that!” Capt. Johnno Johnson of Antara, always the Bucket host-with-the-most, also shared his frustrations too, “not matter how well we sail- and we’ve had some cracking good sailing here, we simply can’t get ahead of all of these bigger, newer boats. Sure, the owner and guests are having the time of their lives – but we like to at least be in the middle of the fleet.” Antara was this year awarded the Skulduggery Cravat for their always-excellent good humour, and much appreciated hospitality.
The All-Star Crew went to Endeavour - who were so much admired as they decorated the courses daily, and also came in top in the J-Class, with a very respectable 23rd overall. The Vitters Seamanship Trophy was given to Race Committee member Don Gunning, who worked night and day to keep this race safe, and enjoyable for everyone.
Lots of awards going around: Perini Navi Barracuda, took home the always coveted Escargot Cup – whose title is self-explanatory. The Alloy Yacht Award for the top performing Alloy Yacht went to Blue Too. In a charming speech, Alice Huisman presented the Wolter Huisman Memorial Award, given to the yacht or person who best exhibits the ‘spirit of the Bucket’ to Capt. Richard Archer of the Swan Virago, well-known for their competitive spirit, and intense emphasis on safety. The Perini Navi Cup, which had a lot of potential winners in this years bumper-crop, was given to Panthalassa, who had an excellent race, coming in 2nd in Les Grandes Dames class, and 4th overall.
BRAVO, BRAVI, BRAVE to every one of us all lucky enough to part if this always totally awe-inspiring event – or as Don Tofias, that yacht-loving, and Bucket-loving sailorman says “the 2012 edition of the St. Barths Bucket is now complete, and as always – Yachting was the Winner.”
Blogger Norma Trease, one of the most sincere Bucket fans ever, is celebrating her own 25th Bucket Regatta – but who’s counting?
This Is Us
Les Gazelles Winners
Les Grandes Dames Winners
Les Elegantes Winners
This Is Us
Les Mademoiselles Winners
All Star Crew Award
Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy
Perini Navi Cup
Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy
Don Gunning – Race Committee
Descriptions of Awards
Best Performance by an Alloy Yacht
All Star Crew Award
At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew. This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard. Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.
Spirit of the Bucket Trophy
This award is presented each year by Alice Huisman, to the yacht that best exemplifies the spirit of the Bucket Regattas. The selection is absolutely subjective, but considers sportsmanship, safe seamanship, best hospitality and overall contribution to the event.
We have created a lot of humor around the premise that “Bribes can get you anything in the Bucket” and this is where the truth comes clear. The Bucket Regatta was really started as a Club of yacht owners who loved nothing more than sailing their yachts well, getting the best out of them, and then sharing great yarns and libation at the end of the day. There are a group of owners who have contributed a lot to the event over the years, from tenders to parties, committee boats, etc. It is this Spirit that sets this event apart from all others. It is in recognition of this Spirit that the Wolter Huisman Memorial Trophy is awarded.
Perini Navi Cup
Perini-Navi Yacht with the best result.
Vitters Seamanship Trophy
Awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course. All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance. This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding. It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!
The Skullduggery Cravat is a perfectly tied Admiralty Noose, framed, with instructions in elegant calligraphy on how to tie a proper, 13 turn noose. This was originally awarded to the owner of SARIYAH in 2002, so his captain, Timothy Laughridge (Bucket Committee) could be hung at the pleasure of the Fleet.
The award was renamed and put forward by the Committee to reinforce the Bucket premise that we are NOT here to promulgate adult behavior. The Cravat will be awarded to the yacht and crew who display the best bucket humor. As a guideline, we again focus on SARIYAH, where one year they spent the evening prior to the last race, slaughtering a down feathered mattress, then they packed the feathers in with their spinnaker so when they set their ‘Chute with the Hawk logo the following day, they not only dusted the horizon with feathers, but left a rubber chicken hanging from their spinnaker pole!!!
Breathtaking photos, results and more on the web site: http://www.bucketregattas.com/stbarths/index.html
By Norma Trease
My mother used to say “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The Saint Barths Bucket version of this was heard at the end of today’s very rainy race from Rebecca’s helmsman saying “well, at least we don’t have to wash down – or chamois!” The other upside of this unseasonable – even cold – rain falling in buckets all day was that it brought wind. Albeit the gusty, the fluky, variable winds we saw proved as much a challenge as an asset. So Day One of the Saint Barths Bucket proved to be very interesting indeed, a dramatic start to an always fascinating racing spectacle.
To begin with, this incredible fleet, featuring 47 of the worlds’ most impressive sailing yachts, hailing from every yacht building nation on earth, with a LOA of close to two kilometers in length total is mind boggling to any normal human being, even us hundreds of die-hard Bucketeers. Add in a new, fourth ratings class, and the ever-present discussions which surround the Bucket Ratings System, and the stage is set for a lot of excitement.
Day One as usual featured the ‘Round the Island Race’ clockwise. The races here are based on the pursuit racing theory which has yachts begin at staggered times based on predicted performance, which when figured correctly (as if this were possible with a fleet of this breathtaking diversity), and counting in slightly differing courses for some of the classes – could, or should result in all of the yachts coming across the finish line at the same time. Great concept, and there’s doubt that no one does it better that our ratings guru Jim Teeters, but can you imagine the fear factor in that amount enormous, and hugely valuable fleet of floating assets bearing on the same finish line at the same time? Needless to say, it rarely happens just that way.
Todays’ Bucket racing proved about as good as it gets, despite the unseasonable weather. Most of the yachts had great starts, with many of them right on the money, or bare seconds behind their allotted times. Throughout the race, which was either 20.8 or 24.5 miles depending upon your class, there was some seriously thrilling sailing. The finishes – proving that the years of data crunching behind the Bucket Ratings system actually does produce results – were in a few cases almost too close. The final mark proved a bottle neck, which saw several encounters of the heart-stopping variety, including a couple of clusters of Perini Navis coming within drink-sharing distance of each other. A definitely too intimate meeting of Whisper, Rebecca and Salperton – which came very close to producing the seriously frowned-upon protest – was averted at the last minute by the usual gentlemanly discussion. No T-bones today!
These yachts, although increasingly built to perform on the race course, are still at heart cruising vessels, and invariably, the rarely seen stresses that racing places on the yachts can – and does – cause some damage. Depending on who you spoke to, there were anything from four to eight spinnaker sails shredded, including those on Barracuda and Meteor. Most seriously damaged was the largest yacht in the fleet, the very impressive 67m Baltic Yacht Hetairos, designed by one of hottest current yacht design collaborations possible, Dysktra and Reichel/Pugh. She unfortunately hit a submerged rock and did quite a bit of damage to her keel – yet finished the race to the bitter end.
This was a race where experience really counted. The gorgeous classic 43m ketch Rebecca, which was designed by German Frers, and built at Pendennis Shipyard, has participated in many yacht races worldwide. Their well-rehearsed team, composed of experienced former and current yacht skippers, has brought them onto the winners’ podium at numerous Buckets. They chose the conservative route, carrying up on deck and rigging three different spinnakers, and in the end, although they could have chosen a more aggressive approach, went with a heavier sail, but at least, brought it back on deck safe and sound. From my point of view riding on board as an ‘extra’, the swath she cut through the eleven vessel Elegantes de Mer class, with a start as second-to-last place, and finishing right in the middle provided a fantastic view of the entire fleet as we chased and caught up with most of the yachts on the course today.
The newly formed Mademoiselles de la Mer class, dominated by no less than ten Dubois designed beauties, saw a very excited Ed Dubois chortling over his very first ever Bucket race win on Lady B, snagging both first in class and first over all. Ganesha and Salperton IV came in at 2nd and 3rd place respectively. With the vast quantity of yacht owners they make happy year after year – not to mention the aesthetic satisfaction they bring to their legion of fans worldwide – they deserve lots of prizes. Congrats to him and his great Dubois team!
In Les Grandes Dames, a/k/a the Perini Navi class, there was a battle of titans, as two of the Bucket founder captains, Tim Laughridge and Ian Craddock did guest helmsman duty on Parsifal III and Antara. The light variable winds did not at all favor these elegant, stately beauties, yet that did not stop them from battling mightily all throughout the race course. Capt. Timmy snagged a First in class with some quite aggressive driving. Axia, with her multi-generation family team, their dogged hard work, and long-time Bucket participation, well merited their close 2nd in class. The sleek Panthalassa rounded out 3rd place in Les Grandes.
Adela, another long-time favourite Bucket boat, swept to first in Les Elegantes, with Blue Too and This Is Us chasing them closely. Overall winners were Lady B, Adela, and Mari-Cha III. The newly instituted daily prize givings were well-attended by many still soggy Bucketeers.
The rain stopped just in time for the chamois to be wielded, the champagne popped, and hors d’oeuvres to be prepared for the Yacht Hop, which due to some serious security measures, remained very civilized. Very popular were Bliss, Barracuda and Parsifal III, but as usual – the party winner favours always go to those dancing fools on Antara. Their theme this year was Motown, and they had the sound system, the tunes, the bling and the hairdos to carry it off in style.
The sun is out for Day Two of the Saint Barths Bucket 2012. We’re all looking forward to enjoying another great day out on the water. See you on the race course!
By Norma Trease
Emails are already flying back and forth from yachts, to skippers, owners, race crew, the Race Committee, to hotels on island and everything in between, just a short week in advance of the always breathlessly anticipated Saint Barths Bucket, March 22-25, 2012. Soon, yachts, owners and crew will be descending on this verdant little slice of Caribbean heaven, eager to share the tremendous excitement and pure sailing joy that is Bucket Racing.
Just announced by the Race Chairman Peter Craig is a spectacular fleet of more than 40 vessels, representing builders and designers worldwide. Once again, the fleet will be split into three classes: Les Gazelles, Les Grandes Dames, and Les Elegantes.
Needless to say, there will be a huge variety in the fleet, which this year will range from 27 to 62m LOA. He has published a detailed description of the various factors involved in the devilishly complicated task of calibrating the classes, so for more details, please do check St. Barths Bucket
|Les Elegantes des Mers|
|Adela||Schooner||Pendennis Shipyard||Dykstra & Partners||55m|
|Bequia||Ketch||Brooklin Boat Yard||Stephens||28m|
|Meteor||Schooner||Royal Huisman||Dykstra & Partners||52m|
|This is Us||Schooner||Holland Jachtbouw||Hoek||42m|
|William Tai||Ketch||Royal Huisman||Hood||40m|
|Les Grandes Dames des Mers|
|Andromeda la dea||Ketch||Perini Navi||Perini Navi||47m|
|Antara||Ketch||Perini Navi||Perini Navi||47m|
|Blue Too||Ketch||Alloy Yachts||Holland||34m|
|Clan VIII||Sloop||Perini Navi||Holland||45m|
|Fidelis||Ketch||Perini Navi||Perini Navi / Holland||56m|
|Ganesha||Sloop||Fitzroy Yachts||Dubois NA||39m|
|Helios II||Sloop||Perini Navi||Holland||45m|
|Parsifall III||Ketch||Perini Navi||Holland||54m|
|Les Gazelles des Mers|
|Endeavour||Sloop||Camper & Nicholson||Thomas Sopwith||40m|
|Hanuman||Sloop||Royal Huisman||Dykstra & Partners||42m|
|Hetairos||Ketch||Baltic Yachts||Dykstra / R/P||67m|
|Lady B||Sloop||Vitters Shipyard||Dubois||45m|
|Ranger||Sloop||Danish Yachrs||Burgess & Stephens||42m|
|Velsheda||Sloop||Camper & Nicholson||Nicholson||38m|
Everyone has a soft spot for one repeat Bucket boat or another, and back this year will be fleet favourites Antara, Andromeda La Dea, Axia, Parsifal III, Ranger and Sojana to mention but a few. A couple of newer beauties will be making their second Bucket appearances including Huismans Twizzle, and Hanuman; joined by Hoek-designed Marie, who fired up the crowds last year with their spectacular air shows of historic WWII planes. Making Bucket debuts this year are Holland Yachtbouw schooner Athos, at 62m the largest Bucket Boat 2012; and of course, it wouldn’t be a Bucket without a couple of brand-new Perini Navis, Clan VIII and Fidelis.
So, Bucket fans worldwide, prepare yourselves for the best week of the year coming up very soon, an annual treat for racing fans, and lovers of beautiful yachts alike. So it’s Bon Voyage and A Bientot until we see you next in Saint Barths!
When the third annual Les Voiles des St. Barth gets underway this April 2-7, there will be more that meets the eye than the simply stunning panoramic views of the colorful French West Indies island that hosts the event and the expansive blue Caribbean ocean that surrounds it. Competitive sailors and, for that matter, local residents and visitors alike will have the privilege of also indulging in the indelible impressions left by the aesthetically unmatched designs of some of the world’s finest yachts participating as well as the passion of their owners.
Among the 60+ entrants registered to date is what many call the world’s most famous yacht of all time: the 52’ (15.8 metre) yawl Dorade. Purchased in 2010 by Matt Brooks (San Francisco, Calif.), Dorade was designed by the late Olin Stephens and originally launched in 1930. She influenced nearly all developments in yacht design for the next three decades and was hugely successful in distance racing, taking overall victory in the 1931 Transatlantic race and the 1931 and 1933 Fastnet races, among others. Now, Brooks, who has spent the last year overseeing a refit and major restoration of Dorade, is utilizing Les Voiles de St. Barth as a platform for both yacht and crew preparation, with the goal of entering Dorade in her first major modern ocean race this summer: the Newport to Bermuda Race, in which she finished second in both 1930 and 1932.
“We are assembling and training a crew with the right skills, chemistry and experience to race Dorade and win,” said Brooks, who is a world champion in the Six Meter class as well as an accomplished mountain climber and world record-holding jet pilot. “We also are toughening up Dorade herself, readying her for the kind of long-range sailing she hasn’t seen in decades, keeping in mind that while she may be game, she is also an 80-year-old lady.”
Dorade will sail in the Classics division against such other standouts as Kate, an Intel 60 (18.2 metre); Cruinneag III, a 63’ (19.4 metre) ketch, and Marie Des Isles, a Gran Shpountz 65 (20 metre). Among Dorade’s crew will be John Burnham, an IOD World Champion and Shields ClassNational Champion; legendary Bermudian sailor Buddy Rego; Jesse Sweeney, Dorade’s navigator and a member of the Camper Emirates Team New Zealand’s meteorology team for the Volvo Ocean Race; and Jamie Hilton, a two-time 12 Meter World and North American Champion, who also was a member of Brooks’s team when it won the 2011 Six Meter World Cup.
“St. Barth is a legendary destination and a beautiful place to sail, and we are expecting great wind, great camaraderie among the competitors, and a good test of the new and improved Dorade,” said Brooks.
Another remarkable yacht that will be seen in St. Barth is the Hoek 115’ (35.2 metre) Firefly, the recently launched prototype for the new one-design F Class. The superyacht was designed to hold her own against larger (130’/39.7 metre) J Class yachts and sports some similarities such as a towering rig and long bow and stern overhangs to those massive yachts, which were built in the 1930s and have experienced a rebirth.
According to her designers, Firefly is a perfect mix of classic lines and retro-design details, optimizing her for the Spirit of Tradition classes hosted by some regattas, but at Les Voiles de St. Barth she will depend on her high-performance racing characteristics to prevail against eight other yachts thus far signed up in Maxi class (yachts 75’/22.86 metres and longer).
“The concept is to have a beautiful, classic-looking boat with a modern underbody, using the latest technologies in deck gear and rigging solely for use as a racing boat and/or daysailer,” said Mark van Gelderen, who supervised Fireflys nine-month building process and has been the captain since she splashed in June of 2011. Having headed straight to the Med to compete in a handful of maxi events, Firefly was further optimized to improve performance before heading to the Caribbean.
“We have a relatively young crew combined of professional sailors, very good amateurs and friends of the owner,” added van Gelderen, who will be skippering and driving together with the owner. “Within the crew we have Olympic, Volvo Ocean Race, big boat and dinghy experienced sailors a great combination of very motivated guys!”
Van Gelderen also explained that St. Barth will offer a great place for guests and crew to be entertained when not participating in racing. “There are beaches, great restaurants, shopping and peace and tranquility, all within close proximity,” van Gelderen said. “It’s the perfect combination.”
While three other Maxi Class boats — the 112′/34 metre Baltic Nilaya, the 112′/34 metre Swan Highland Breeze, and the 115’/35 metre Farr Sojana — are nicely matched size-wise to Firefly, no one is quite sure how they or five smaller Maxis in the class are going to compare speed-wise. Certainly all eyes will be on the 90′ (27.4 metre) Reichel/Pugh Rambler, which won the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barth and has been brought out of retirement by its owner George David (Hartford, Conn.) after its successor, Rambler 100 (which won last years Les Voiles de St. Barth with David steering) lost its keel and capsized in the 2011 Fastnet.
“These races invariably start a mile or two off Gustavia (the main harbor and capital of St. Barth), which means in any kind of a northeasterly trade it is a shifty first leg to a weather mark just outside the harbor,” said David, who most recently finished second overall and second in class with Rambler at the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600. “Then there are a couple of miles reaching either way across the south side of the island, so it’s a parade after that first weather mark, and you don’t want to get there second. Our ride last year, Rambler 100, got us there first every time with boat lengths to spare. It wont be so easy in the 90 footer.”
David noted that 15 of Ramblers crew sailing in the Les Voiles de St. Barth were present at the now-famous Fastnet incident, and a majority of them have sailed in the last two runnings of this regatta.
In addition to the Classic and Maxi classes at Les Voiles de St. Barth, there will also be a Racing Class with divisions for Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, 52-Footers, and Multihulls. Other notable entries include the Tripp 75 Blackbird, the Carkeek 40 Decision, the X 65 Karuba 5, and the Irens 63 trimaran Paradox.
With a Tuesday (April 3) through Saturday (April 7) schedule that includes four days of intense racing and a lay day on Thursday (April 5), the regatta kicks off on Monday, April 2, with opening ceremonies and cocktails at the festive Race Village on the Quai General de Gaulle overlooking Gustavia Harbor, where the event is headquartered. Lay day events planned for Nikki Beach include lunch and a surprise sporting challenge for all crews. Evening activities include off-site parties as well as post-racing bands and entertainment in the Race Village.
Organizers unveiled the official limited edition Les Voiles de St. Barth 2012 poster by well-known St. Barth artist Antoine Heckly. Only 300 posters will be printed, with the original artwork to be auctioned off during the crew party –hosted by the real estate agency, Sibarth — at Shell Beach on Wednesday, April 4. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to FEMUR (Foundation for Emergency Medical Equipment) to fund the purchase of a CT scanner to be installed in the new Radiation Center in the island’s Hopital de Bruyn.
Construction underway on second F-class yacht – the first challenger of the Firefly
A new order for the second F-class superyacht has been placed. Construction of the hull of this 115-foot Race Classic has started at the Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw yard in Makkum and the yacht will be finished by Claasen Shipyards. She will be an identical sister vessel to the prototype Firefly, which was launched in the spring of 2011 to considerable acclaim.
The new boat will be racing in the Spirit of Tradition class races and will be committed to a match racing circuit with her one-design F-class sister vessel. The genesis of the F-class has been a desire to bring back a sense of perspective and fun to racing. Like Firefly, this second yacht will be phenomenally fast and built to race.
Hoek Design has used all the experience gained to create the Firefly resulting in the F-class concept of a lighter (60 tonnes) and speedy classic racer with a limited interior. The design has been subject to extensive optimisation, including Velocity Prediction Program analysis. And the construction will also play a key role in this new yacht’s success. The hull building experts at Bloemsma have been responsible for many Truly Classics and three of the new generation of Js, and Claasen Shipyards has a similar pedigree of Dutch excellence.
“The new F Class Association has been established so that the boats can be built as a one design class,” says Hoek. “We are currently in serious negotiations for hull numbers three and four, and the expectation is that interest in the F-class will increase exponentially as people see what these amazing designs are capable of on the water.”
For more information see www.fclassyachts.com
The first half of the biennial New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, which finished up yesterday for seven classes, has also now concluded for five more one-design classes that have been racing since Saturday. The catch, however, was that today’s first race had to be abandoned and then competition cancelled when severe thunderstorms passed over Rhode Island Sound, leaving winners to be determined by cumulative standings posted yesterday.
The circumstances left J/105 skipper Damian Emery (Shoreham, N.Y.), sailing his J/105 Eclipse in the largest class here (20 boats), very happy. He is now the 2010 J/105 East Coast Champion, a title he also won in 2008 at this regatta, coincidentally under similar circumstances when a storm aborted racing on the last day. “The difference was that then, we shredded all of our sails because we didn’t get them down fast enough,” said Emery at the early afternoon Rolex Awards Ceremony where the sky had returned to sunny blue. “This time, we could see the front coming through and we were the first to drop our sails.”
According to Robin Wallace, the principal race officer for the White Course, where the J/105s and the Beneteau First 36.7s sailed, “It had looked as if the initial storm cell would track north of the course, but then a knuckle developed right across the sailing area, with heavy, heavy rain and winds up to 27 knots.” Since the Race Committee had forewarned everyone to keep their radios on, both fleets–which by then were approaching the first leeward mark on a twice-around course–knew to change course for home.
Eclipse’s tactician Dan Neff (Manhasset, N.Y.) explained that his team only needed an eighth or better in both races to win. “Based on our previous performance (victories in four of six races), we felt reasonably comfortable that we’d do that,” said Neff, “but the stress was still on.” Joerg Esdorn’s (Katonah, N.Y.) Kincsem, which finished second overall, “was capable of posting two bullets if we weren’t there.”
In a similar situation but with less of a winning margin was Ted Herlihy (South Dartmouth, Mass.), skipper of Gut Feeling in the 13-boat J/109 Class, which was sailing for its North Americans. Second-place Caminos, owned by Don Filippelli (Amagansett, N.Y.) and skippered by Ryan Dempsey, had only four points to make up, and Herlihy was “worried about what could happen.” In fact, in the pre-start time frame, the 10-12 knot breezes dropped to almost nothing, and Gut Feeling had a hard time getting to the line. “After the first mark we weren’t looking good,” said Herlihy, “and then the thunder storms roared in.” Caminos bow woman Kristen Robinson (Annapolis, Md.) said her team accepted that Gut Feeling out-sailed them over six races, “but we really wanted to battle it out today; I wish Mother Nature would have given us just 30 more minutes….”
Phil Lotz (Newport, R.I.), skippering Arethusa, seemingly trounced the competition in the 15-boat NYYC Swan 42 class to become that class’s National Champion for a second consecutive year. His team posted four victories in six races to lead Glen Darden/Phillip Williamson’s (Fort Worth, Texas) Hoss by 16 points in overall scoring. Lotz, however, was philosophically proud of his third- and fourth-place finishes in races four and six, respectively. He had had to fight back for the fourth from deeper in the fleet, and about the third, he said, “We all finished within a few feet of each other, and that sums up how racing went the entire weekend.”
Emery, Herlihy and Lotz all won Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariners for their performances.
Two more teams won their classes by never losing their early leads. Thomas Boyle’s Wings (Irvington, N.Y.) topped the seven-boat J/122 class and took the North American title home after a hotly contested battle with second-place finisher Pugwash, owned and skippered by David Murphy (Westport, Conn.), while John Hammel’s (Arlington, Mass.) Elan won in the eight-boat Beneteau First 36.7 class, winning all but one of six races.
The second half for the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex officially starts Wednesday and serves as the Rolex US-IRC National Championship. Over all days, the event will have catered to 145 boats and 1200 sailors over seven days of competition.
New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex
July 17-24, 2010
Final Results for First Half – Monday, July 19, 2010 | Top three in each class
Position, Boat Name, Skipper, Hometown, Finishes, Total points
Blue Fleet – 6 races completed
Class 1 – NYYC Swan 42 (15 boats)
1. Arethusa, Phillip Lotz, Newport, R.I., 1-1-1-3-1-4, 11
2. Hoss, Darden /Phillip Williamson, Fort Worth, Texas, 2-6-5-4-5-6, 28
3. Daring, John Hele Newport, R.I., 5-8-3-5-7-2, 30
Class 2 – J/122 (7 boats)
1. Wings, Thomas Boyle, Irvington, N.Y., 1-1-1-2-1-1, 7 points
2. Pugwash, David Murphy, Westport, Conn., 4(SCP)-2-2-1-2-2, 13
3. Christopher Dragon, Andrew Weiss, Mamaroneck, N.Y., 3-4-3-3-3-3, 19
Class 3 – J/109 (13 boats)
1. Gut Feeling, Ted Herlihy, South Dartmouth, Mass., 2-1-1-1-2-4, 11
2. Caminos, Dan Filippelli, Amagansett, N.Y., 3-2-2-3-3-2, 15
3. Gossip, Steve Kenny & Greg Ames, Wainscott, N.Y., 1-3-4-2-3, 17
White Fleet – 6 races completed
Class 1 – PHRF 1 (10 boats)
1. Good Girl, J/100, Robert Armstrong, St. Croix, 1-1-1-2-2-1, 8 points
2. Settler, Peterson 42, Thomas Rich, Middletown, R.I., 2-3-2-1-1-2, 11
3. Act One, Summit 354, Charlie Milligan & Tom Roche, Newport, R.I., 2-3-3-3-3, 18
Class 2 – Beneteau First 36.7 (8 boats)
1. Elan, John Hammel, Arlington, Mass., 1-1-1-2-1-1, 7 points
2. Whirlwind, William Purdy, New York, N.Y., 4-4-1-2-6, 21
3. Kea/Slipstream, Chick Pyle, San Diego, Calif., 3-3-5-6-4-2, 23
Class 3 – J/105 (20 boats)
1. Eclipse, Damian Emery, Shoreham, N.Y., 1-1-4-1-3-1, 11 points
2. Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn, Katonah, N.Y., 6-2-1-4-5-7, 25
3. Savasana, Brian Keane, Weston, Mass., 3-3-5-12-1-5, 29
Green Fleet – All classes completed two races today
Class 1 – CRF 1 (3 boats)
1. Black Watch, Trevor Fetter, Dallas, Texas, 2-1-1, 4 points
2. Bolero, Edward Kane, Concord, Mass., 1-2-2, 5
3. Sumurun, Robert Towbin, Camden, Maine, 3-3-3, 9
Class 2 – 12 Metre (5 boats, Two races)
1. Courageous, Ralph Isham, New York, N.Y., 2-4-1-1-, 8 points
2. Victory 83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla., 1-1-2-4, 8
3. USA 61, Guy Heckman, Newport, R.I., 3-3-4-2, 12
Class 3 – CRF 2 (5 boats, Two races)
1. Chips, Jed Pearsall, Newport, R.I., 1-1-2, 4 points
2. Sonny, Joseph Dockery, Newport, R.I., 2-2-1, 5
3. Fortune, Don Glassie, Newport, R.I., 3-3-4, 10
Class 4 – 6 Metre (6 boats; two races)
1. Ranger, Thomas Rodes, Cambridge, Mass., 1-4-1-1, 7 points
2. Syce, Bob & FarleyTowse, Stamford, Conn., 2-1-2-2, 7
3. Madcap, Thomas Fair, N. Kingstown, R.I., 6(DNC)-2-3-3, 14
Class 5 –S Class (10 boats, two races)
1. Firefly, Alan Silken, Newton, Mass., 1-1-1-4, 7 points
2. Osprey, Mike McCaffrey, Newport, R.I., 2- 4-3-3, 12
3. Argument, Stephan Sloan, E.Greenwich, Conn., 3-5-8-1, 17
Class 6 – PHRF 2 (5 boats, Two races)
1. Park Place, O’Day 34, Richard Mentelos, Guilford, Conn., 1-1-1-4, 7 points
2. Wolverine, Frers 33, David Nauber, Higganum, Mass., 2-2-3-1, 8
3. Showdown, Bijan Rasadi, Groton, Conn., 3-3-2-3, 11