St Barths Bucket

The St Barths Bucket Regatta is an annual boat race with parties as big as the sailing yachts. It’s a much-anticipated highlight on the Caribbean yachting calendar, where the island’s bohemian vibe combines with some serious racing action.

Though the Bucket’s origins were recreational at best, today, competing yachts must adhere to strict Superyacht Racing Rules, where a minimum distance of 40m must be kept between boats, and a pursuit race format must be kept, where each yacht is assigned its own start time. 

The history of the St Barths Bucket

St Barth is one of the smaller Antillean islands, with a wild, luscious topography and near-guaranteed 15-20 knots of breeze. It’s enough to lure some of the world’s finest sailing talent to its shores. The first St Barths Bucket Regatta held in St Barths was in 1995 with four yachts in attendance — SARIYAH, GLEAM, MANDALAY and PARLAY. To this day, it remains an invite-only race for yachts that are upwards of 30m (100ft) in length. 

Whether participating or spectating there is fun to be had
Whether participating or spectating there is fun to be had

Historical highlights from St Barths Bucket

It’s thought it was the Route de Rosé — a yacht race in the 1990s that traditionally started in Saint-Tropez at the end of the Mediterranean season in mid-October and finished in St Barths at the beginning of December in time for the start of the Caribbean season — that first brought international sailors to shores of St Barths. 

Entrants loaded cases of rosé wine on board, one of which had to be landed in St Barths to be consumed at the race-end celebrations. Today, yachts make the migration from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean via a raft of other races, including the RORC Transatlantic. It was the St Barths Bucket that put the island on the racing map, but ever since even travellers not competing in sailing flock to Gustavia to cruise its charmed Caribbean waters by yacht. 

Raise your glass of rosé to the winners
Raise your glass of rosé to the winners

Where is the St Barths Bucket Regatta?

The St Barths Bucket Regatta is held over three days in Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean. It’s located some 15 miles southeast of Saint Martin, and it’s because it’s one of the harder-to-reach islands that St Barths has become a firm favourite with the yachting crowd. Some believe this is why the island has also grown more expensive over the years (spurred on by David Rockefeller building the island’s first holiday residence in the 1950s), however, the real reason is because most goods on the island need to be imported. 

Explore all that Gustavia, capital of Saint Barthelemy, has to offer
Explore all that Gustavia, capital of Saint Barthelemy, has to offer

When is the St Barths Bucket?

Usually held in the month of March, superyachts from around the world gather in the Port de Gustavia, one of the most popular and beautiful natural harbours in the world, to witness the racing, to admire the boats and to attend the legendary yacht parties. Gustavia has been prized for its velvet sandy beaches, corrugated red roofs and French influence, particularly with its cuisine. March is considered one of the best months to visit the island, when the trade winds blow, the glowing sun beams and rainfall is rare. It’s also during the low season, so crowds are scarce. 

 Port de Gustavia
 Port de Gustavia

Social events to attend in St Barths

The St Barths racing calendar may have all eyes on the Bucket in March, but the Les Voiles de St Barths Richard Mille in April is where the sailing purists gather. Top athletes, skilled strategists and professional crews and skippers helm around 80 of the best racing sailboats, united by a love for the sport. 

Gourmands will hold out for the food festival in November that sees France’s top Michelin-starred chefs accept invitations from the finest establishments on the island to take part in a display of culinary mastery. For something a little more centred around socialising, the New Year’s celebrations in the month of December are where it’s at, drawing devoted followers who return year after year to celebrate the festive period aboard a Caribbean yacht charter with their loved ones.  

Looking forward to spring in St Barths? Speak to your charter broker today. 

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

- Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.

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