© 2019 Michael Kurtz / Pantaenius
Yachts using Doyle Sails at the Saint Barths Bucket 2019 have topped the standings in five of the six classes after the regatta drew to a spectacular close with a clockwise race around the tiny Caribbean island today.
The gorgeous looks and impressive performance of the 56-metre (184-foot) Royal Huisman ‘Aquarius’ have been turning heads all week here in Saint Barths and tonight the owner and crew are able to celebrate a stunning victory in Class C – Les Elegantes des Mers at the boat’s first ever regatta.
The win did not come easy however as the ‘Aquarius’ crew – led by Doyle Sails CEO Mike Sanderson with six-time America’s Cup winner Murray Jones calling tactics – had to see off a fierce challenge from their nearest rival, the highly competitive J-Class ‘Velsheda’.
The pair went into the final day tied on points having split the honours evenly over the first two days with a first and a second apiece. Some uncharacteristically cloudy and rainy weather prevailed before the start making for unpredictable conditions out on the racecourse with sudden gusts and dramatic wind shifts the order of the day.
The pursuit race format of the Saint Barths Bucket saw ‘Aquarius’ starting first, followed a few minutes later by ‘Vesheda’.
On the first downwind leg the J-Class looked to have the upper hand as her gigantic symmetrical spinnaker allowed her to sail deep running angles and she appeared to be making early in-roads into Aquarius’ lead. After the first turn however ‘Aquarius’ was the one making ground and the big black boat began to slowly but surely extend her lead.
The two boats were still in sight of each other on the final downwind section to the finish to complete the lap of the island but in the end the race went to ‘Aquarius’ by a winning margin on corrected time of eight minutes and 45 seconds.
In Class E – Les Grandes Dames des Mers, the American 56–metre (184-foot) Perini Navi ‘Rosehearty’ reprised her win from yesterday to edge out ‘Perseus 3’ a 60-metre (197-foot) Perini Navi into second place overall.
The two boats – both with 100 per cent Doyle sail inventories – started the final day tied on points, and both crews were clearly hungry for the class win – each starting on the very B of the Bang of the starter’s gun (actually the H of the Honk of the starter’s horn).
Neither boat appeared to put much of a foot wrong on their lap of the island but in the end it was the ‘Rosehearty’ crew – including tactician Paul Cayard and Doyle Sails Newport’s Tony Rey – who prevailed over the men and women of Perseus 3 – among them Doyle sails founder Robbie Doyle – by a winning margin of two seconds short of five minutes.
Three other yachts featuring Doyle Sails in their inventories also won their class at the Saint Barths Bucket 2019:
The 66-metre/217-feet Baltic-Dykstra ‘Hetairos’ in Class A – Les Gazelles des Mers;
The 34-metre/112-foot Alloy-Ron Holland ‘Blue Too’ in Class D – Les Femmes des Mers;
The 50-metre/164-foot Dubois-Fitzroy 'Ohana' in Class F – Les Voiles Blanche (White Sails).