St Barths Brief

St Barths Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

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.

Video of 56m Perini Navi superyacht ROSEHEARTY practicing at 2015 St. Barths Bucket

March 23, 2015

Luxury charter yacht ROSEHEARTY (ex Audace) is a beautiful and majestic 56-metre vessel, built by Perini Navi to a design by Ron Holland in 2006. Below is a video showing superyacht ROSEHEARTY, while practicing at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket Regatta, which was hosted by the fantastic Caribbean yacht charter destination – St. Barth from March 19 to 22. The video was made by Rosehearty Crew and shared by Perini Navi Group.

Mixing up both traditional and contemporary flair, the elegant interiors of sailing yacht ROSEHEARTY by bespoke French designer Christian Liaigre can comfortably sleep up to 12 charter guests in 6 magnificent suites. These include a generous full-beam master suite with king bed and sitting area, two VIP suites with queen berths, as well as two queen berth cabins, each with additional single berths.

Luxury charter yacht ROSEHEARTY (ex Audace) is available for rent in the popular Mediterranean and Caribbean yacht charter locations.

An amazing start to the 2015 St Barths Bucket Regatta

March 20, 2015

Fort Oscar, directly across the harbor from the Capitainerie headquarters for the St. Barths Bucket, offered the perfect perch for watching the start of the first of three races planned over the next three days in the lovely Caribbean yacht charter location – St. Barths. And by the crowd that turned out there, it was clear that the majestic fleet of 35 superyachts would create an amazing spectacle as they kicked off their opening-day counter-clockwise circumnavigation of the island.

Luxury charter yacht Zenji at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket - Photo by Cory Silken

Luxury charter yacht Zenji at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket – Photo by Cory Silken

In medium winds and flat seas, Gazelles and Elegantes (Class A and Class B, respectively) took to the long course of 25.2 nautical miles, while the Mademoiselles and Grandes Dames made the medium course of 20.9 nautical miles their pleasure.

With four classes there could be only four winners, and today those were the 33-metre sloop Win Win, the 54.6 Vitters ketch Marie, the 27.7-metre sailing yacht Bequia and the 55.9 metre Perini Navi charter yacht Rosehearty.

Marie, which won her class and the coveted overall “Bucket” title last year, edged out long-time rival, the 44.6-metre superyacht Adela, in Gazelles by a minute and a half, even though Adela started 11 minutes ahead in the pursuit-style start.

Superyacht Adela sailing at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket - Photo by Cory Silken

Superyacht Adela sailing at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket – Photo by Cory Silken

“We were closing on her quite quickly on the penultimate leg when we were both running with our chutes toward the last bottom mark,” said Peter Wilson, one of Marie’s sail trimmers, “but it wasn’t until the last beat and 10 minutes before the finish that we actually got by her. We were both trying to lay the finish, and we had to get past them, so we put our bow down and tried to sail through them. We were abeam of them for quite a while.” Wilson explained that a left-hand shift helped Marie finally take the day. “We were clear ahead at that point, but it all depended on whether we had to tack to the finish or not. Had things gone a slightly different way, Adela could have beaten us, so the boats are well-matched and well-rated. ”

Rosehearty, winner in the nine-boat Grand Dames class, beat out charter yacht Zenji by about 13 minutes. Her tactician Paul Cayard said key to the crew’s success was practice, making no mistakes, and pushing the boat to its full potential.

“One of the biggest tricks with this boat is maneuverability,”said Cayard, who made his name in the Star class and as a skipper of America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race boats. “Maneuvering takes 10 times longer, so the key is to plan 12 minutes ahead. Having everyone know their roles and executing well is important.”

Sailing yacht Meteor at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket - Photo by Cory Silken

Sailing yacht Meteor at the 2015 St. Barths Bucket – Photo by Cory Silken

Though 15 seconds late on the start, Rosehearty tacked early at the first mark, which was critical to the entire race. “We were spot-on, which set us on a confident course.”

Class runner-up Zenji had started four minutes prior, and crew man Mike Toppa said it was when Rosehearty “cut the corner on us on the first beat” that they were first passed. “We caught up with them, got bow-to-bow, but they put their spinnaker up quicker,” he said. “They deserve to win.”

As for the first try here using the ORCsy rule, Toppa said, “I love it. We saw last week at Loro Piana that it was really accurate, and the test was the bigger boats and ketches – boats with more than one mast…how was it going to go? It was a really good starting point, much better than it has ever been before. Everyone’s positive and happy about it.”

Tom Whidden, another America’s Cup veteran with 12 or more Bucket regattas under his belt, agreed. (He is serving as tactician on the 37.2-metre Vitters sloop Ghost, which finished fifth today among the Gazelles.)

“If you didn’t like today, you don’t like sailing,” he said, describing conditions as “typical of St. Barths, with easterly trade winds ranging from 13-16 knots. “Change is always good, and owners are enthusiastic to see if there is a more equitable system than what we’ve been using. These boats are very difficult to handicap properly, and there are a lot of good, smart people who are trying to do that. As long as we have people who care about this involved (with the rule), we’ll do well. Afterall, you can’t find a more fantastic place to sail or more beautiful big boats in the world, so if we can find a way to make the racing better, more people will do it and everybody benefits.”

“Our goal was to keep this the way it always has been: an event by the industry for owners,” said Bruce Brakenhoff of Perini Navi, which joined Royal Huisman, Vitters Shipyard and Rybovich as joint stewards of the Bucket Regattas (a summer edition is held in Newport, R.I.) when the former owners were ready to pass the torch.

Sponsors of the St Barths Bucket Regatta are Alloy Yachts and Holland Jachtbouw. Supporting sponsors are Affinity Management Services, Burgess, Camper & Nicholsons, Doehle Yachts, Doyle Sailmakers, Dubois NA, Dykstra NA, Future Fibres, MTN, Newport Shipyard, North Sails, Pantaenius, Pendennis, Skuld Yacht, the Superyacht Report, Tradewind Aviation, US Trust, Willis, ZIS Insurance.

Fleet of multihulls to compete in Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015

March 18, 2015

One of the principles behind Les Voiles de St. Barth since the regatta’s introduction back in 2010 is that all the yachts, whatever their size or rating, are allowed to have free expression. In this way, in addition to the monohull craft, a number of multihulls also attend the popular Caribbean regatta, annually hosted by the lovely St. Barth yacht charter destination.

Les Voiles de St. Barth hosted by the fantastic Caribbean yacht holiday destination - St. Barth © Jouany Christophe

Les Voiles de St. Barth hosted by the fantastic Caribbean yacht holiday destination – St. Barth © Jouany Christophe

The fleet of multihulls competing in Les Voiles de St. Barth is an eclectic one, but the Caribbean Sailing Association has thought of everything. Indeed since last year its measurers have implemented a Multihull Ratings Rule. This special system for boats with two or three hulls aims to be more fair and egalitarian in its rating, since it takes into account the daggerboard and weight characteristics in its awarding of handicaps. This enables a set of very different multihulls to take the same start line, a key factor given that this 2015 edition of the race will, for the first time, play host to Erik Maris’ CG 32 Le Carré Diamond Genesis. A 32-foot foiling one-design catamaran launched in late 2012 and designed by Martin Fisher according to an idea by Laurent Lenne, it will compete alongside a 70-foot trimaran.

The 70-foot trimaran Phaedo3 will also be competing at St. Barths in April. The latter is none other than the former MOD 70 Foncia (launched in August 2011) with which Michel Desjoyeaux set the Round the Island record back in 2012 (two hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds) shortly before winning the European Tour and finishing second in the Multi One Design Championship. Owned by American Lloyd Thornburg since the winter, the boat recently excelled at the RORC Caribbean 600.

Phaedo 3 Yacht © Jouany Christophe

Phaedo 3 Yacht © Jouany Christophe

Onboard the famous names include Brian Thompson, Sam Goodchild and Pete Cummings. Suffice it to say that in elapsed time she will be hard to beat, but victory on corrected time is not necessarily a given, far from it in fact. “For this particular boat, the courses we’ll be setting will doubtless be a bit small, so consequently it will be interesting to see how boats like Peter Aschenbrenner’s Paradox  perform” explains Poupon.

This 63-footer regularly demonstrates that she is quick and perfectly adept at reaching over 30 knots of boat speed. She really showed what she was made of during the RORC Caribbean 600 2013 whilst a certain Cam Lewis was aboard. However, neither Phaedo3 nor sailing yacht Paradox will be able to dawdle along the route if they want to offset their rating difference with regard to their rivals. Indeed, Steven Cucchiaro’s 55′ Gunboat Flow and Chris Groobey’s Tocatta 60′ won’t be there just to make up the numbers.

Trimaran Paradox © Jouany Christophe

Trimaran Paradox © Jouany Christophe

Designed in carbon epoxy to guarantee a lightweight structure, the former includes all the necessary cruising comfort without sacrificing performance in any way. The same is true for the second, built in China at Xiamen, which put in her first appearance on the world stage back in 2013, during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. You get the picture then, in this multihull class at Les Voiles de St. Barth, there is a little something for everyone and some great surprises in store!

Video preview of 52m Royal Huisman superyacht ELFJE and her St. Barths Bucket 2015 Debut

March 17, 2015

Delivered by Royal Huisman in the summer of 2014, the 52,36m (172’) NextGEN superyacht Elfje (hull 392) has confirmed her participation as an elegant and effective offshore flyer in the upcoming 2015 St.Barth’s Bucket Regatta, running in the lovely St. Barth yacht charter location, nestled in the Caribbean. Luxury sailing yacht Elfje is a majestic performance ketch, with exterior lines and interior layout by Hoek Design and interior styling by Redman Whiteley Dixon. She is not only beautiful to behold on the water with breath-taking aesthetics and amenities, but also presenting high-tech systems and performance to match.

Royal Huisman superyacht ELFJE under sail - Photo credit to Cory Silken

Royal Huisman superyacht ELFJE under sail – Photo credit to Cory Silken

Thanks to the Spirit of Tradition revival, enthusiasts of fine sailing yachts can now enjoy the spectacle of a host of elegant new classics in ports, on passage, and at regattas around the world starting with the debut of luxury yacht Elfje at the upcoming 2015 edition of the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta.

Below is a video preview of super yacht Elfje sailing in the popular Caribbean yacht charter location, made by Acquafilms:

Video of 52m Royal Huisman sailing yacht METEOR at St. Barths Bucket Regatta

March 13, 2015

Luxury charter yacht METEOR is a majestic  52-metre aluminium gaff rigged schooner, launched by the premier Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman in 2007. Mixing up the classic lines of the Gloucester schooner with 21st century sail and rig technology, sailing yacht METEOR  has been beautifully penned by John G. Alden and John Munford. Below is a video showing this beauty at the St. Barths Bucket Regatta, a popular Caribbean race, annually hosted by the lovely St. Barths yacht charter destination. The video has been released by Royal Huisman.

Beautifully designed by John Munford and Pauline Nunns, the interiors of luxury superyacht METEOR boast timeless styling and beautiful furnishings, creating elegant and comfortable atmosphere. The vessel can sleep up to 6 guests in maximum comfort, providing them with 3 magnificent staterooms, including a master suite and 2 twin cabins.

Luxury charter yacht METEOR is the perfect vessel for socializing and entertaining with family and friends, thanks to her amazing leisure and entertainment facilities. She is available for rent in Europe, Western Mediterranean, as well as Caribbean yacht charter locations.

The Perini Navi Group to attend St Barths Bucket Regatta 2015

March 12, 2015

In a few days, the world’s best sailing yacht fleet will gather in the azure waters of the breath-taking St. Barthélemy yacht charter destination to attend the St. Barths Bucket Regatta 2015. Started over 25 years ago as weekend party in Nantucket, the Bucket has grown into the most prominent Corinthian spirited superyacht regatta in the world over the years.

Luxury Superyachts participating in the St. Barths Bucket Regatta

Luxury Superyachts participating in the St. Barths Bucket Regatta

Perini Navi together with Royal Huisman, Vitters and Rybovich are now the stewards of the Bucket and this year’s edition will have 36 participants divided into four categories: les Gazelles des Mers, les Grandes Dames des Mers, Les Mademoiselle des Mers and les Elegantes des Mers.

Crew aboard Perini Navi mega yacht SEAHAWK during the St. Barths Bucket Regatta

Crew aboard Perini Navi mega yacht SEAHAWK during the St. Barths Bucket Regatta

Perini Navi fleet will be represented by 6 yachts: the 38m charter yacht P2 in the Gazelle des Mers category and the 54m charter yacht Parsifal III, the 56m charter yacht Rosehearty, the 60m charter yacht Seahawk, 40m sloop State of Grace and the 56m charter yacht Zenji in the Grand Dames class.