The pursuit classes at the Bucket enjoyed mild conditions today for their kick-off race in St. Barths, with mostly 15-16 knots of breezes and a manageable sea state prevailing on a 19.5 – 23.9 nm course that circled the island in a counter-clockwise direction. WinWin, Ganesha, Wisp, Perseus^3, and Q were all winners today, giving them a leg up on three races scheduled for each of their respective classes: Gazelles, Elegantes, Mademoiselles des Mers, Grand Dames and Voiles Blanche.
Q’s owners Kim and Nina Vibe-Petersen were especially proud of their team’s performance, because outside of their regular nine-person crew and family, they had only an additional three sailors helping them out. “It’s nice we can do the race ourselves,” said Kim Vibe-Petersen. “I can be on the helm…my son Sebastian is trimming…our friends can help put up the mizzen staysail and run around doing whatever. And the chef and stewardesses are out helping on deck, so everyone gets proud of winning!”
The Vibe-Petersens also own Parsifal 3, another superyacht that has competed here at the Bucket on 11 prior accounts. “Q is the old Mondango 2; we renamed and refitted her exactly 12 months ago to make her more lively and to our tastes, which is more Scandinavian, like Parsifal 3,” said Petersen, who, as anyone knows who has been here before, loves to get the music going as soon as possible after racing. “We always play ‘We are the champions’ or ‘The Winner Takes it all’ when we are coming in, even if we come in number three! Whatever happens tomorrow is fine; we won today, and you can’t take that away.”
Two defending champions, Unfurled and Rosehearty, finished third today in Gazelles and Grand Dames, respectively. Both teams will be gunning to win tomorrow or at the very least keep themselves in the top three. “Third is pretty good at this stage, because if you can stay in the top three through the regatta and maybe get a win in there, you’ve still got a shot at winning (overall) on the last day,” said Unfurled’s Communications Officer Steve Wilson. “It’s all about being consistent and keeping it all together.”
Wilson said jib trimmer Tony Reaper was picked up safely after he was washed overboard when a wave swept down the leeward side of the boat. “Our tactician, Gary Weisman, was saying, ‘We need some jib trim, where’s Tony?’ Obviously, he couldn’t see him, because he wasn’t there!”
Like it did yesterday when the J Class started its series ahead of the pursuit classes, Velsheda turned in a winning performance to remain at the top of the scoreboard. The six historic sloops sailed one windward-leeward race to make theirs a three-race series thus far. The plan is for the class to now join in the coastal races that the pursuit classes have planned for tomorrow and Sunday. They will, however, have their own fleet-racing start.
Tomorrow’s course, if conditions permit, will be the Bucket’s “Not So Wiggley Course”. The first signal for the J Class is at 11:00 a.m., followed by the pursuit classes at 11:25.