St Barths Brief

St Barths Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

Super-fast 100’ COMANCHE Yacht smashes record at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015

April 30, 2015

The recent debut of the striking 100-foot Comanche yacht at the 6th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 has been a huge success. This year’s Caribbean regatta, hosted by the fantastic St. Barth yacht holiday location, was attended by an amazing number of 70 teams, competing in 10 classes.

100ft superyacht Comanche at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 - Photo by Christophe Jouany

100ft superyacht Comanche at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 – Photo by Christophe Jouany

Maxi yacht Comanche has surpassed all expectations and performed excellently in the match-off between the newest, fastest, and most sophisticated racing yachts in the world. Commissioned by experienced sailor Jim Clark and constructed by Hodgdon Yachts, Comanche was built as a sailing vessel capable of breaking records.

Sailing yacht Comanche at full speed - Photo by Michael Gramm

Sailing yacht Comanche at full speed – Photo by Michael Gramm

Superyacht Comanche set the first record during construction at Hodgdon Yachts, when becoming one of the of the largest single-hull infusions undertaken stateside. Subsequently, she smashed the second record during Les Voiles de St. Barth on April 15, when she established a speed record of 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 4 seconds in the Maxi 1 class.

The fleet of luxury sailing yachts at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 - Photo by Christophe Jouany

The fleet of luxury sailing yachts at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 – Photo by Christophe Jouany

During the four-day regatta, Comanche superyacht claimed all the line honors in her division and took second place, just behind sailing yacht Rambler 88, with 12 points on the scoreboard according with the corrected-time performances. This year’s regatta was the first time that Comanche and Rambler 88 were seen competing against each other, providing an amazing competition.

Superyacht Comanche and Rambler 88 yacht - Photo by Christophe Jouany

Superyacht Comanche and Rambler 88 yacht – Photo by Christophe Jouany

Comache’s skipper, Ken Read, said:Unreal sailing with the “Fat Bottom Girl” (Comanche) at the Voiles St Barths. When the rivals all go home happy the stars aline. Comanche wins line honors 4 for 4. Mission accomplished. Rambler wins rating handicap in class 1. Mission accomplished. The first meeting of the monsters a huge success. These boats are changing how we look at sailing. A special thanks to the owners who are making it happen.”

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Wrap Up

April 21, 2015

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 came to an end in the breath-taking Caribbean yacht vacation location – St. Barth on Sunday, April 19. Established in 2010, this year’s 6th edition of the popular regatta hosted an amazing fleet of 70 yachts, including speedy multihulls such as Lloyd Thornburg’s Mod 70 yacht Phaedo 3, as well as technologically sophisticated new-builds such as George David’s sailing yacht Rambler 88 and Jim and Kristy Hinze-Clarke’s superyacht Comanche.

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Fleet © Jouany Christophe

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Fleet © Jouany Christophe

In the Maxi 2 class, sailing yacht Selene won on corrected time, and charter yacht Lupa of London placed second on the final day of the regatta to secure the class victory overall. Lloyd Thornburg’s U.S. entry in Multihull class, Phaedo 3 yacht, won once again on the last day for a fourth time over four races. Maxi yacht Comanche and sailing yacht Odin established the records for Maxi 1 and Maxi 2 classes, respectively.

The event’s largest, fastest yachts sailed in Maxi 1 class, and it was George David’s superyacht Rambler 88 that won the four-race series there. All eyes had been on Rambler 88 and the larger Comanche during the first two race days, since no one had yet seen the two yachts sail against each other. The powerful superyacht Comanche showed blazingly fast speed, taking line honors in every race. Rambler 88, however, took three first-place finishes in a row on corrected time.

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Winners © GRAAM Michael

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Winners © GRAAM Michael

By Day 4, when Rambler 88 took second to Hap Fauth’s sailing yacht Bella Mente, the focus had returned to who was doing the best on ratings. Rambler 88 maintained her place at the top of the scoreboard, but Bella Mente was able to replace Lucky as runner up. Bella Mente, Lucky and Comanche had all shared the same point score after Day 4 race, but Bella Mente’s performance handed the tiebreaker to their team.

During the prize giving, Principal Event Partner Richard Mille presented George David, who has also become the overall winner of the Maxi division, with a Richard Mille Caliber RM 60-01 Regatta watch.

Start of Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015

April 15, 2015

Following a glamorous opening party held on the Quay General de Gaulle, it was a spectacular start to Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 yesterday, on April 14, 2015, marked by 15-20 knots of wind. Being hosted by the fabulous Caribbean yacht holiday destination – St. Barth, the popular regatta has welcomed 70 teams, racing in 10 classes.

Superyacht Rambler 88 at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Day 1 © Jouany Christophe

Superyacht Rambler 88 at Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 Day 1 © Jouany Christophe

On Day 1, the seven-boat Multihull class, which was the last of the 10 classes to start, was won by the Mod 70 yacht Phaedo 3. Phaedo 3 finished the long course in just over two hours and 25 minutes, approximately 34 minutes ahead of the next fastest boat in the fleet, superyacht Comanche. Though Comanche beat Rambler 88 yacht by ten minutes in real time, Rambler won on corrected time (5:04:48 compared to Comanche’s 5:11:30).

Mod 70 yacht Phaedo 3 © Jouany Christophe

Mod 70 yacht Phaedo 3 © Jouany Christophe

In the Maxi 1 class, sailing yacht Bella Mente, a favorite here, unfortunately was unable to participate in the race on Day 1, because of an equipment failure that occurred only a few minutes before the start. In the Maxi 2 class, charter yacht Lupa of London led the way on the opening of day of the regatta.

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 to see record level of yacht participation

April 08, 2015

With almost 80 entries, roughly a dozen more than last year, this year’s 6th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth will see a record level of participation. To run from April 13 to 18, the event has become one of the most important events on the Caribbean sailing circuit, combining good-vibes racing with stylish shore-side pursuits on the delightfully small yet enormously sophisticated French island of Saint-Barthélemy (aka St. Barth), a popular Caribbean yacht charter destination.

The new Voiles de Saint Barth's Poster - Photo credit to DR

The new Voiles de Saint Barth’s Poster – Photo credit to DR

“With lots of cooperation from many, many people we have been able to exhibit that St. Barths is a valid destination for serious race teams,” said Competition Manager Annelisa Gee, noting that seven 40-foot team containers are being accommodated this year. “That’s huge, because it means logistics of getting boats and equipment here are getting better with each edition. Bigger and better – that’s  the common theme each year, whether it’s referring to the number and quality of boats that come, the amenities and on-shore events for the teams, or adding – in the case of this year – an offshore racing option to the tried-and-true tactical inshore race courses that everyone likes so much.”

Sailing over four racing days (Tuesday-Wednesday, April 14-15, and Friday-Saturday, April 17-18) will be Maxi, Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, Racing Multihull, and One-Design classes negotiating various distance courses that typically snake through and around the reefs and smaller  islands surrounding the 9.5 square miles of volcanic island that is St. Barths.

Les Voiles de St Barth © Jouany Christophe

Les Voiles de St Barth © Jouany Christophe

Superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88, both sporting the newest in sail racing’s technological advancements and measuring in at 100′ and 88′, respectively, will surely be the most gripping to watch in the ten-strong Maxi division, especially if organizers choose to showcase the power of these thoroughbreds with a newly designed super-sprint option of 40 plus miles to Tintamarre Island off St. Martin. Dependent on sea state and weather conditions, the other Maxis (and possibly Multihulls) could also sail this course, and they would certainly be no less ambitious about optimizing the reaching legs to achieve a maximum speed – and fun – factor. The Maxi group includes returning teams on the Maxi 72 sailing yacht Bella Mente, which just won overall honors in the Caribbean 600; the Swan 80 superyacht Selene; and the Marten 72 yacht Aragon, while newcomers are the Farr 73 yacht Maximizer, Swan 90 superyacht Odin, the Baltic 78 charter yacht Lupa of London, and the RP 63 Lucky.

With Lupa of London (skippered by Great Britain’s Jeremy Pilkington) fresh off class wins at Giraglia and the Maxi Worlds as well as line honors and overall IRC victory at the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, she may be the new team to beat, but not if Lucky has any say in the matter.

“We’ve been around for eight years racing a TP 52 and just transitioned to the RP 63 this spring, so Les Voiles de St. Barth will be our first event in the boat,” said Lucky’s owner Bryon Ehrhart (Chicago, Ill.), who won the 2010 Middle Sea Race (with his TP 52, also named Lucky) on his first try and followed through with impressive finishes at a slew of other “bucket list” sailing events, including Hong Kong to Vietnam (which he won in 2013) and the China Sea Race (second in 2014). Now it’s time for Ehrhart to check off Les Voiles de St. Barth; he says the regatta’s reputation put it squarely in his sights. “I understand it is very well run and in a beautiful setting with great breeze,” he said. “The class includes some of the best competitors in the world, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we match up against them.”

Luxury sailing yachts competing in Les Voiles de St Barth © Jouany Christophe

Luxury sailing yachts competing in Les Voiles de St Barth © Jouany Christophe

In the Spinnaker division, 49 boats will compete, including David Cullen’s J/109 Pocket Rocket and Eamonn Rohan’s chartered Solona 44 Ramanessin, both defending class champions. As in all divisions, it won’t be known until closer to the event how classes will be split exactly, but a sure bet for tough competition will be new contender Spookie, a Carkeek 40 known for cleaning up in IRC and HPR racing in the States. Spookie’s Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.), who co-owns and sails the boat with his wife Heidi Benjamin, concedes that the CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) Rule prevailing at Les Voiles de St. Barth may not be as favorable for his boat, but he respects it nevertheless.  “We don’t race just for rating, we race for the competition and the sport,” he said.  “We competed in Les Voiles a few years ago with Decision (also a Carkeek 40) and had a great time. The racing is spectacular; we like the combination of the courses, and of course, the atmosphere in St. Barth can’t be beat.”

Benjamin claims Spookie is very strong sailing downwind and reaching: “The challenging part for us is going to be upwind against the bigger boats, which is what got to us last time we raced here with Decision. We are pretty sure that boats like the TP 52s (Vesper, Sorcha, Conviction-Team Vag) will have a strong advantage upwind.”

Another Spinnaker division competitor returning with a different boat is Jim Madden (Newport Beach, Calif.).  He’ll be sailing his Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad VII with a crew of 16 versus the nine he raced with last year when he won his class on his J/105 of the same name.

“I usually like to have two sizes of racing boats,” said Madden, who sailed the Swan 601 to victory in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race and the Onion Patch Series that preceded it. “For the larger boats, I focus more on their ability to ocean race and do coastal point-to-point racing, like what we’ll be doing at Les Voiles de St. Barth. I hadn’t heard much about Les Voiles until last year when a few of my crew suggested that we do it. I went there not knowing what to expect, and it actually turned out to be one of the best events I’ve ever done. The island is beautiful, and the race organization did a really good job running the event with clear communication and fair races. It was also windy for the most part, and more breeze makes for more fun.”

The Non Spinnaker division currently has 10 entries, ranging from Matt Dana’s 31-foot J/95 Shamrock VII to Steven Schmidt’s 70-foot Hotel California, which returns each year clearly to have the most fun out of any, sailing with family and friends.

Melges 24s are expected to have their own one-design start, with returning teams Budget Marine/Gill, Island Water World, and Boost’n Sail leading the charge, while nine Racing Multihulls will compete, giving the new Gunboat 55 Toccata a chance to show its wares against the MOD 70 Phaedo 3, which just smashed the Carribean 600 record; the equally powerful Nigel Irens 63 Paradox; the sleek, flying French GC 32 Le Carré/Diamond Genesis, and Gunboat’s newest foiling G4 Timbalero 3.


Another successful St. Barth’s Bucket for Stephens Waring-designed sailing yacht BEQUIA

April 07, 2015

Stephens Waring Design sailed aboard their 91’ sailing yacht Bequia in the granddaddy of superyacht regattas, the St. Barth’s Bucket. This year’s edition of the popular Caribbean regatta was once again marked by idyllic sailing conditions, gorgeous island scenery, and the vast spectacle of some of the finest yachts in the world.

Stephens Waring-designed Bequia Yacht at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket

Stephens Waring-designed Bequia Yacht at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket – Photo by

Superyacht Bequia is almost toy-like among these huge multi-decker sloops and ketches, yet the elegant and restrained design turns heads while standing proudly at the top of the heap that make up much of the superyacht fleet. However, this year there were several entrants about her own size to spice up the competition, including some decidedly racy additions to the fleet— superyacht Freya, a 91’ Swan, and luxury yacht Cape Arrow, a 100’ Southern Wind sloop, both sleek and slippery modern upwind machines.

Luxury sailing yacht Bequia

Luxury sailing yacht Bequia – Photo by

Day One featured the “Round the Island” race, a short beat up the southern side into 14-16 knots, followed by a bear-away to a jib reach then pop the kite for a long run to the western corner of the islets, culminating with a close reach to the finish. Bequia yacht is a witch on the reach and run, and the crew steam-rolled to the finish with a first in class—third in fleet.

Superyacht Bequia

Superyacht Bequia – Photo by

Day Two was the “Not So Wiggley” course, winding around the starkly beautiful islands to the west of St. Barth’s, and again the crew pulled away on the reaches and runs, celebrating another first place finish. On the dock that night, it was rewarding to hear passing yachties call her, “by far the prettiest boat there.”

Luxury yacht Bequia

Luxury yacht Bequia – Photo by

Day Three—the “Wrong Way Round”: features a long upwind leg in a sloppy sea, with little reaching and running.  On a long, shallow keel and yawl rig, the light winds at 9 kts, Bequia superyacht wishes for more. In a pursuit-style race, the time handicaps are assigned at the start, with each yacht having its own start time—the first across the finish is the winner. The crew slugged it out for sixth place to place 2nd in class. Mounting the podium the second year in a row was a good feeling.

The St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta—the sailing can’t be beat, and the fleet’s astounding.

Hodgdon sailing yacht COMANCHE at upcoming 2015 Les Voiles de Saint Barth

April 07, 2015

Built by Hodgdon Yachts, sailing yacht Comanche represents one of the newest participants in the 6th annual Les Voiles de Saint Barth, taking place from April 13 to 18 in the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter location – St Barth. Over 80 boats and 1,000 sailors are expected to attend the event, which has been a not-to-be-missed competitive gathering since its creation in 2010.

100ft superyacht Comanche by Hodgdon Yachts under sail - Photo by Onne van der Wal

100ft superyacht Comanche by Hodgdon Yachts under sail – Photo by Onne van der Wal

A unique combination of sportsmanship and conviviality – which makes for excitement both on the water and ashore – attracts a growing number of competitors each year. Among them are some of the leading names in the sailing world and they make an exceptional line-up at the event, which is firmly anchored as one of the Caribbean’s major sailing meets.

Sailing yacht Comanche - Photo by Onne van der Wal

Sailing yacht Comanche – Photo by Onne van der Wal

When it comes to regatta headlines, nothing beats having participation from superyacht Comanche – the newest and most sophisticated racing machine – built at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine. Designed by the French team of VPLP Design/Guillaume Verdier, the 100 foot pre-preg vessel – which features a state-of-the-art pre-preg carbon fiber hull – was launched in October 2014.

Comanche yacht at full speed from above - Photo by Onne van der Wal

Comanche yacht at full speed from above – Photo by Onne van der Wal

Comanche yacht’s first race was the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December 2014. Following a close race, the boat crossed the finish line shortly after sailing yacht Wild Oats XI. This proved that the sailing yacht has huge potential in both medium and strong winds, with serious acceleration.

“We’d like to extend our best wishes to Comanche and all of the boats participating in Les Voiles de Saint Barth,” said Ed Roberts, Hodgdon’s Global Director of Sales and Marketing. “It’s sure to be an exciting event that we’ll be watching closely.”

Claasen sailing yacht DRUMFIRE takes 4th place in St Barths Bucket Regatta 2015

March 31, 2015

This year’s St Barths Bucket Regatta, hosted by the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter destination – St. Barth, has come to an end and after three days of amazing racing the results are now in. Built by Claasen Shipyards in 2004, the 24m sailing yacht Drumfire took 4th place competitors in the most popular class: Les Mademoiselles des Mers.

24m Claasen superyacht Drumfire under sail

24m Claasen superyacht Drumfire under sail

With the 35 yacht entries divided across four classes, racing was close and proved for some memorable viewing for spectators and competitors alike.

Proving her mettle on the regatta scene, superyacht Drumfire more than held her own and performed consistently throughout the event.

Having achieved fifth place on day one and third place on day two Drumfire yacht closed the regatta’s final race, the ‘Wrong Way Round’ course, with a very respectable fifth place securing her fourth position overall within the class.

Claasen Shipyards congratulate to the owner and crew of Drumfire superyacht and to all involved in the Bucket for making the event such a success.

Below is an amazing video showing luxury yacht Drumfire during the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014:

Nauta-designed sailing yacht CAPE ARROW wins at St. Barths Bucket Regatta 2015

March 26, 2015

Nauta Design is excited to announce that sailing yacht Cape Arrow has won the St Barths Bucket Regatta in her category – Class C, Les Mademoiselles des Mers, after a record of three second places overall, ahead of Bequia yacht and luxury yacht Freya. Superyacht Cape Arrow is a beautiful 100-foot vessel, built by Southern Wind Shipyard and designed by Nauta and Farr Yacht Design in 2011.

Nauta-designed superyacht Cape Arrow at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket Regatta

Nauta-designed superyacht Cape Arrow at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket Regatta – Image credit to Ingrid Abery

Luxury yacht Cape Arrow was steered by Nauta Design’s passionate friend and client Mr. Pier Luigi Loro Piana, masterly supported by Tommaso Chieffi as tactician and by his excellent crew.

Nauta Design congratulates to the helmsman and the crew.

Below is a gallery for the luxurious charter yachts with design by Nauta.

A great success of SW 100 RS sailing yacht CAPE ARROW at St Barths Bucket Regatta 2015

March 25, 2015

It has been another successful St Barths Bucket Regatta for the majestic SW 100 RS sailing yacht Cape Arrow by Southern Wind. Superyacht Cape Arrow has once again confirmed her amazing potential in racing by claiming the central podium in one of the most popular Caribbean regattas, annually hosted by the lovely St. Barth yacht charter destination.

SW 100 RS superyacht Cape Arrow by Southern Wind - Photo by Carlo Borlenghi

SW 100 RS superyacht Cape Arrow by Southern Wind – Photo by Carlo Borlenghi

For the third consecutive year luxury yacht Cape Arrow features amongst the fiercest competitors in the fleet, chartered for the occasion by Pigi Loro Piana and his sailing team, made up of leading figures in international sailing, including former America’s Cup, Olympic and World Cup champions (Tommaso Chieffi, Lorenzo Mazza, Francesco Mongelli).

With three seconds on each day of the three coastal races, luxury yacht Cape Arrow was awarded first place in the category of Les Mademoiselles des Mers, followed by sailing yacht Bequia (Brooklin 90) and super yacht Freya (Nautor 90).

After a silent début in 2013, and  a third place last year, we presented ourselves at the St. Barth Bucket Race with a grudge and the desire to prove ourselves. The yacht had already demonstrated herself to be perfect for races of this type in previous years, but given the new ORC Ratings (which are more objective and scientific than the preceding standards), we were sure that Cape Arrow would be even more competitive. The crew was highly motivated and had time to familiarise themselves with the boat during the week before racing at Virgin Gorda in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta. This allowed us to make a series of adjustments and develop tactics that gave us the edge on opponents with more racing oriented structures. The perfect race was that of the second day, when we were able to keep up with our main opponent, Freya, and increase our advantage even when sailing upwind, where Freya was favoured. Cape Arrow is a winning yacht that ensures prime racing performance while guaranteeing the racing crew, living on board, the comfort of a luxury five star cruise“, states Giorgio Benussi, crew manager and Commodore of the Yacht Club at the Marina di Loano.

“The challenge of sailing aboard a Superyacht like Cape Arrow is created by the need to plan the tactic from the beginning so as to minimize unexpected events,says Tommaso Chieffi, tactician on the SW 100 yacht Cape Arrow, “the initial strategy in this type of racing includes far more tactical decisions during the regatta: things are planned well in advance to avoid having to make unexpected manoeuvers, which result in a loss of about 4/5 lengths on the opponents each and every time. From this point of view, the crew performed extremely well, especially in the second race, which led us to victory.”

Pigi Loro Piana won maximum satisfaction, making his name as one of the best Superyacht “owner drivers” while living the wonderful spirit of this fascinating race to the full with his remarkable crew.

St. Barths Bucket Regatta 2015: Day 3

March 24, 2015

Perseverance was the key to victory in four classes – Gazelles, Elegantes, Mademoiselles, Grande Dames –  on Day 3 of the St. Barths Bucket 2015, hosted by the popular Caribbean yacht charter destination – St. Barth. Sailing the “wrong way around” course meant the 35 participating superyachts launched their massive spinnakers at the start and took a clockwise tour of the island, testing sailing skills with a particularly lengthy beat up the backside. And though the superyachts, for safety’s sake, sail by rules that keep them at least 40 metres apart at all times, the competition was as close as anyone could wish for.

Superyachts Marie and Rebecca sailing in the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta 2015 - Image by Cory Silken

Superyachts Marie and Rebecca sailing in the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta 2015 – Image by Cory Silken

 Winning the day in Gazelles was the 44.9-metre sloop Visione, which also took overall regatta honors to win the coveted “Bucket,” which was held high with victor’s pride by owner Hasso Plattner at the final awards ceremony.

“When P2 was winning, we knew we had to be second,” said Visione’s tactician Jens Christiansen, explaining that in the pursuit-style format used here, Visione had started 18 minutes after the 38.1-metre Perini Navi charter yacht P2 and 15 minutes after the 33.4-metre Vitters Shipyard sloop Inoui, which had been second and third, respectively, behind Visione going into today. “Things got tense when we broke a code sail sheet on the way to the first mark. We got another sheet on and thought we had it under control when bang, it broke again. We really had it highly loaded; we didn’t lose boats but we lost 400-500 metres.” Thankfully, things went uphill after that. “We caught them (P2) quite quickly and passed them on the other side of the island, beating them by quite a lot in the end. The 10-11 knot winds suited us well. We were sailing very fast on the long beat, going farther out because we are that much faster than anybody else and staying clear of other boats in other classes so as not to get entangled in them tacking on each other.”

Sailing yacht Elena during the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta 2015 - Image by Cory Silken

Sailing yacht Elena during the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta 2015 – Image by Cory Silken

Visione’s first Bucket was in 2004, and the yacht has competed in half a dozen or so Buckets since. Built in 2003, well before many others here, she is still the boat to beat on principle. “We are the fastest, and we always start last. With the old rating, however, we always had to sail more than a perfect race to be able to win. We’ve been close by finishing second overall once or twice, but never winning. Now with the new rating system (captured within the new ORCsy rule), we can win.”

P2 took a sixth in the race to fall behind Visione and runner-up Inoui (which finished second today), in the overall standings.

The 30.2-metre sloop Cape Arrow, chartered by Pier Luigi Loro Piana, turned in all second-place finishes to top the Mademoiselles.

Superyacht Better Place sailing in the St. Barth's Bucket Regatta 2015 - Image by Cory Silken

Superyacht Better Place sailing in the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta 2015 – Image by Cory Silken

“We did two very good races on the first two days and managed to stay in front of boats that were faster upwind than we were,” said Cape Arrow’s tactician Thomaso Chieffi, veteran of four America’s Cup campaigns and a Volvo Ocean Race winner (as tactician aboard ABN Amro). “Today, we weren’t hoping to win the series; we were looking to maintain our second, but with the little change of rating that occurred overnight to the leading boat (Bequia, which won both race one and race two and took on five more minutes of handicap for race three, in which she finished sixth) and the fact that today was more our race, it made us eventually score a second and win the series overall. We are very pleased with the result. It came a little bit out of the blue, but we feel somehow that we deserve it. For peace of mind we checked the results, and we would have won the series regardless of the rating change.”

The 46.4-metre Royal Huisman ketch Elfje started 21 minutes behind the 44.6-metre schooner Adela and edged her out at the finish by eight seconds to win in Elegantes today. The two boats ended up sharing overall class victory in the interest of an amicable resolution to a safety rule debate, while close contender superyacht Marie, the 54.6-metre Vitters Shipyard ketch that had been tied with Adela and Elfje going into today, finished sixth for a third overall.

” This was one of the more interesting dilemmas I have come across in my 22 years of race management, ” said Race Chairman Peter Craig. “In short, the new ORCsy rule rounds to 30 seconds for starts in the interest of safe racing – a requirement for superyacht racing. When the first 2 races were rescored because of an inadvertent measurement issue with one certificate, the rounding factor was the difference in determining the class winner. With the two yachts overlapped at the finish of the final deciding race, the suggestion for dual class winners by Elfje and Adela is an example of good sportsmanship that is in line with the spirit of the Bucket. The two owners and crews are to be commended.”

As for the ORCsy rule that is in its infancy and was being closely analyzed here, Elfje’s tactician Mike Sanderson said, “It’s going to be brilliant. It’s going to take superyacht racing from being pure entertainment to something where we can compete properly and know how to change things each year to perform better.”

Taking overall victory in Grand Dames, the 37.6 metre charter yacht Axia was spot-on with its timing at today’s start and went on to turn in an equally brilliant performance over the course of the day to beat out yesterday’s leader, the 55.9-metre Perini Navi charter yacht Rosehearty.

“Today was by definition, truly a medium-wind day,” said tactician Robbie Doyle. “If it had been a light-wind course, we would have owed Rosehearty more time, and it would have been really tough for us. They would have had another five or six minutes, which is what we beat them by.” Doyle was explaining the race committee’s choice each day, under the new rule, to officially designate the wind conditions as light, medium or high, which in turn effects starting times and sometimes order of starts within classes. “When the medium-wind flag went up, we knew it was going to be a good race for us, especially because it was on the bottom edge of medium, which favors us. Still, it was a tough day, Rosehearty sailed a good race. We caught her at the top mark by setting ourselves up on a lay line that was right on, knowing that if they tacked right in front of us they may not make it. They decided to continue on to do a conservative approach to the lay line, and we just got our bow through them and were able to squeeze them up and hurt them, forcing them to sail right.”

In addition to the ORCsy rule being used here for the first time, the 2015 Bucket Regatta this year featured new stewards in ownership: Perini Navi, Royal Huisman, Vitters Shipyard and Rybovich.