As the Winch Turns: Day 4
Lots of champagne, Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque to be specific, rained on top-three finishers when they took the stage at the Bucket awards ceremony last night. Chelsea Clock awards were raised high with pride by class winners, while the ultimate prize, the slightly dented but overwhelmingly loved and coveted Bucket Trophy brought down the tent roof with applause when it was presented to the owner and crew of SPIIP, the Royal Huisman sloop that sailed to victory in Les Elegantes des Mers. Team SPIIP was deemed to have turned in the best overall performance among all classes with five or more entries, thus its acquisition of top Bucket honors and the Hermès take-home that features their names on a “plaque” hand-stitched on to the award’s likewise hand-stitched leather case.
The recipient of the All Star Crew Award presented by Rybovich was determined by peer vote in recognition of combining professionalism with fun and went to Perseus 3 in Les Grandes Dames des Mers. The Wolter Huisman Memorial Award for the yacht that has competed in the true spirit of the event went to Dannesgold in Les Elegantes de Mers, while the Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy, going to the team that demonstrates the best seamanship and/or sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course, went to Elfje, also in Elegantes. And finally, the Perini Navi Cup, awarded to the best-performing Perini Navi yacht here was won by Rosehearty in Les Grandes Dames des Mers.
Even after being here a week, some might not know that there are 3,000 permanent island residents in Gustavia (8,000 on the entire island). Its utilitarian bay, now the Port of Gustavia, was noted by Columbus when he first discovered the island in 1493 and named it for his brother Bartolomeo.
Because St. Barths was first settled in 1648 by French colonists from the nearby island of St. Kitts, its deep French roots still inspire much of the St. Barths style. Rue du General De Gaulle, Rue Oscar II, and Quai de la Republique provide endless shopping, while French-Creole favorites, fresh seafood and wonderful grilled specialties are enjoyed at restaurants and cafes reflecting the breezy, easy-going attitude of the French-speaking locals. With all this in mind, it’s also good to know that after the Bucket visits this small, pristine, purposely crowd-free island each March, it tries to leave something good behind. This year, the Bucket Regatta has designated a portion of its entry fee to benefit the non-profit Youth Sailing Program at St. Barths Yacht Club, which serves over 400 children each year.
With that said, it’s time for us all to say au revoir, put away our lucky Bucket socks and funny costumes (who let those dogs out anyway?) and wish each other smooth sailing and sweet St. Barths dreams…until next year.