The Spirit of the Bucket
For over three decades, the St Barths Bucket has balanced competition and camaraderie in the Caribbean's most beautiful and well-loved superyacht regatta.
Every year a fleet of the world’s most spectacular sailing yachts descend upon the harbour in Gustavia, ready for the ultimate Caribbean regatta, the St Barths Bucket. Taking place between 15 and 18 March this year, the Bucket is a friendly three-day invitational regatta combining world-class racing and exclusive social events, all with a beautiful Leeward Island backdrop. Over 25 yachts between 28m and 78m are expected to compete this year, including last year’s overall winner, the 34m SPIP, and class winner 56m Rosehearty. As well as participating yachts, Gustavia harbour and the surrounding bays swell with superyacht spectators – both motor and sail – looking to immerse themselves in all the energy, excitement and unique atmosphere of the three days. For racing, yachts are split into six classes. As well as the long-established classes of Les Elegantes, Les Gazelles, Les Grandes Dames and Les Mademoiselles, there is also a representation from the J-Class fleet, with Svea, Topaz and Velsheda on the competitor list this year. Last year, the Bucket also debuted a new class, the Les Voiles Blanche, or the Corinthian Spirit, which was established to attract more owners interested in close, fun racing, without the limitations and expenses that have become so common on the regatta circuit these days. It came as a relief for many when organisers announced that the regatta would be going ahead. Like much of the Caribbean, parts of St Barths were badly hit by September’s hurricanes, and while the island is still recovering and a few beloved hot spots like the Eden Rock hotel remain closed for repair, many restaurants, villas and hotels are open for business. The Bucket is always a celebration of camaraderie, sportsmanship and fun, and its return for another year following the difficult times of the past few months promises to be another step in the healing process of the region. It would be difficult to find a superyacht regatta that embodies the same spirit that the St Barths Bucket does. It is unfailingly laid-back and convivial, with owners, guests and crew all taking part in the day’s racing before meeting, windswept and full of life, to celebrate shoreside in the evenings. As well as the scheduled functions – the welcome party, exclusive owner’s reception, yacht hop and prize giving ceremony – there is plenty to keep you entertained post-race on the island. For an unpretentious dinner spot with soul and second-to-none cuisine, St Barths regulars will point you in the direction of Eddy’s Restaurant, a true island treasure where you dine surrounded by tropical gardens, Balinese woodwork and a candlelit glow. After hours, head to Baz Bar, where you might be lucky enough to be serenaded by Jimmy Buffet himself, or to the glamorous Bagatelle, where the regatta’s winners and losers celebrate and commiserate with champagne and dancing on tables. To enquire about chartering a yacht during the St Barths Bucket, contact one of Ocean Independence’s trusted charter brokers.