The 2019 edition of the St. Barths Bucket superyacht regatta is about to get underway on the turquoise waters around the secluded French Caribbean island.
Racing is set to begin tomorrow at 1100 local time in St Barths where the annual event has once again attracted a spectacular selection of the world’s most impressive superyachts to take part in three days of fierce but friendly competition.
The Doyle Sails team is out in strength at the regatta with company representatives from across the globe on-site racing alongside their clients to make sure they get the best performance possible out of their boats during the event.
Doyle Sails CEO Mike Sanderson is racing on one of the most striking boats in the fleet, the Dykstra-designed 56-metre (184-foot) Royal Huisman, ‘Aquarius’. Also on board from Doyle are fellow Kiwis Daniel Fong and Chris Blunden.
“It’s a big turn-out for Doyle Sails here in St Barths,” said Sanderson. “Across the fleet we have 14 people from the company out on the water, so it’s a big commitment but one that is well worth it.”
Sailing on the largest boat at the regatta – the gigantic 66-metre (218-foot) Dykstra/Baltic Yachts ‘Hetairos’ – is Luke Molloy from Doyle Palma and Matt Bridge from Doyle New Zealand.
The striking green plumb-bowed ketch is carrying two Doyle sails – as Molloy explained:
“Doyles have built a jib top – a big furling sail that is flown out front and for reaching,” he said. “And we have also supplied what we call a gennaker staysail – that’s one of our cableless downwind sail.”
Molloy said the Hetairos crew were cautiously optimistic about their performance in the regatta this week after spending several days race training in Antigua last week before making the passage to St Barths.
“The training went well last week,” Molloy said. “After that and having sailed the boat here in full racing trim from Antigua we are happy with our manoeuvres and our sail handling. We are looking forward to a fun week on the water in this spectacular venue.”
Despite this professional level of preparation for the regatta being mirrored throughout the fleet Molloy says the name of the game is making sure the racing is safe and fair and that everyone, especially the owners and their guest have a good time on their boats.
“The competition is going to be close, but the aim is to do the racing out on the racecourse,” Molloy said. “Hopefully when we are back on the dock there are no protests so that everyone can enjoy a drink or two together and any disputes can be resolved amicably over a beer.”
Racing at the 2019 St Barths Bucket regatta is scheduled to start at 1100 AM local time on Friday March 22 with racing running through to Sunday March 24. Check back for daily updates from the Doyle team at the regatta.
Watch the full interview with Luke Molloy on our Facebook page here: