The victorious crew of the 56-metre Royal Huisman ‘Aquarius’ are all smiles tonight in Saint Barths after pulling off a spectacular win in the opening race of the 2019 Bucket Regatta. Aquarius’ win took place in near perfect superyacht racing conditions with winds in the range 12 to 17 knots and is all the sweeter according to helmsman Mike Sanderson – CEO of Doyle Sails – given it is the first time the Dykstra-designed boat has ever raced.
“What a fantastic way to start the regatta and for Aquarius’ first ever time on the racecourse,” said Sanderson after racing. “We are all delighted with the way the boat performed and with the crew work around the course.”
Despite not pulling off the perfect start which made for a difficult first upwind leg, the ‘Aquarius’ crew – which included Doyle Sails representatives Daniel Fong and Chris Blunden – soon got the dark blue boat in the groove and purring its way around the anticlockwise round-the-island course.
“We had six times America’s Cup winner Murray Jones on board calling tactics which helped us shave time at every opportunity,” Sanderson said. “We are all delighted to have come away with a win to start this regatta.”
Aquarius – which features a 100 per cent Doyle Sails inventory – completed the 25-mile (40-kilometer) course in a fraction under two and a half hours to take the top spot in Class C – Les Elegantes des Mers, beating the well-sailed J Class ‘Velsheda’ in second place by nearly three minutes on corrected time.
Doyle Sails boats performed well in other fleets too today.
The company’s founder Robbie Doyle along with Peter Grimm and Phil Maxwell helped the 60-metre (197-foot) Perini Navi ‘Perseus 3’ to a five-minute winning margin in Class E – Les Grand Dames des Mers.
Meanwhile, Luke Molloy and Matt Bridge were onboard ‘Hetairos’, the 66-metre (218-foot) Baltic which won Class A – Les Gazelles des Mers, and Mario Giattino and Salvo d’Amico from Doyle Sails Italy helped the 50-metre (164-foot) Dubois-Fitzroy ‘Ohana’ to victory in Class F – Les Voiles Blanche (White Sails).
Racing at the Saint Barths Bucket 2019 continues over the weekend with one race and day on Saturday and Sunday.