2018 Class Breaks and Information

2018 St Barths Bucket Regatta

Preliminary Bucket Class Breaks

Posted 27 February 2018. Updated 16 March 2018.

Comments from the Race Chairman…

We are pleased to be able to post the preliminary class breaks for the 2018 edition of the St Barths Bucket. We will provide the final ratings for the ORCsy fleet when the certificates are available from ORC. For those yachts racing in the Corinthian Spirit Class (ORCcs), rating certificates are issued after the information exchange session in St Barths.

We ask that participating yacht owners, captains and afterguard members assess the class breaks in the context of the facts and considerations that I share with you in this letter. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments, but I will ask that only the yacht owner’s designated representative contact us with any questions or comments.

BACKGROUND

We recognize that getting class breaks ‘right’ can be as important to good competition as proper handicapping. We publish these preliminary class breaks after considerable analysis and dialogue with our race management team, the ORC and SYRA.  There are many factors that are taken into account when determining class breaks including, but not limited to, displacement/length ratio (DLR), sail area/displacement ratios, rating bands, furling jibs when tacking, etc.  But there are, of course, limiting factors from a race management standpoint, such as the number and type of yachts entered and practical class size. This is especially relevant this year with a 6-yacht Corinthian Spirt class (ORCcs) and only 17 yachts racing under ORCsy.

One of our goals with ORCsy racing, based on feedback from participating owners, is to have yachts with similar sailing characteristics race together – that is to have yachts, which perform in a similar fashion in a variety of different conditions competing in the same class. That is difficult to achieve in some instances given how disparate superyachts are, but it is an important consideration. There are a number of factors we take into account in our effort to make this happen – even if it means expanding the rating bands.

Assigning classes based solely on ratings would be a simple task, look tidy on the scratch sheet, and often result in tighter rating bands. But this would not provide the quality competition that superyacht owners are looking for and deserve.

2018 CONSIDERATIONS / ISSUES

  • In any given year there are unique considerations and limitations concerning class breaks and this year is no exception:
  • There will be 26 yachts racing: 3 J Class yachts, a record 6 in the Corinthian Spirit class (ORCcs) and 17 racing under the ORCsy;
  • The J Class yachts are rated under the JCA Rule and starting prior to the pursuit fleet yachts with a conventional fleet start (as they did last year);
  • 2018 is the second year featuring a non-spinnaker ‘Corinthian Spirit Class’ (Les Voiles Blanche). This is an exciting initiative for superyacht racing, (SBB18 SI Exhibit 3 Corinthian Spirit, PDF);
  • Once again, we have a diverse ORCsy fleet of sloops and ketches, with LOA ranging from 28-56 metres, displacement from 64 to 524 metric tons, and a speed differential from the fastest to slowest yacht in fleet of 3 minutes per mile;
  • The pursuit fleet will be divided into 5 classes (2018 Preliminary Class Breaks (pdf) Updated 15 March 2018 ):

A – Les Gazelles des Mers
B – Les Elegantes des Mers
C – Les Mademoiselles des Mers
D – Les Grandes Dames des Mers
E – Les Voiles Blanche

  • As has been Bucket tradition, we will feature the popular pursuit racing format with a focus on class racing. The ORC will structure the start times such that each class finishes together (as opposed to the entire fleet), with class finishes staggered by approximately 7-10 minutes (gap will depend on courses/wind strength/class composition). This practice has not only provided safer racing, but also better class racing, minimizing interaction with yachts in other classes.

As stated earlier, we welcome your comments and feedback. Timely feedback is very important as last-minute changes to class assignments, especially those made on site, create problems of their own.

I look forward to seeing everyone next month and to the prospects of some exciting Bucket racing!

Peter Craig
peter@bucketregattas.com
Race Chairman

2018 St. Barths Bucket
Preliminary Class Breaks

Preliminary List of the Rating Allowances (pdf)
Updated 16 March 2018

2018 Preliminary Class Breaks (pdf)
Updated 15 March 2018

2018 SI Exhibit 3 Corinthian Spirit Racing Rules (pdf)