It was another special night at the Bucket when owners, crews, sponsors, volunteers, families and friends gathered at the Collectivité to recognize deserving winners at the Awards and closing party.

Bruno Magras, president of St. Barths, helped kick things off by presenting with the organizers a special sculpture, by local artist Kay Quattrocchi, to the first-time-ever local St. Barths entry: the 32 metre Child of LIR. The All Star Crew Award, for the peer-recognized yacht that most focuses on professionalism and fun, was presented by Rybovich’s Carlos Vidueira to Rebecca, while the Wolter Huisman Memorial Award, given to the yacht that stands out as competing in the true spirit of the event, was presented by Royal Huisman’s Jaap Gelling to Visione. Perini Navi’s Edoardo Tabacchi then presented the Perini Navi Cup to Rosehearty and the ceremonies moved on to a third-to-first countdown for awards in each class, which included Perrier-Jouët champagne and a stunning Ship’s Bell Clock from Chelsea Clocks as prizes for the class winners.

As each team took to the giant outdoor stage, an organizer-assigned fight song blared across the sound system, moving many of them to dance, cheer and otherwise “ham it up” for the cameras.

Finally, the naming of the overall winner, kept as a surprise until the end, brought Nilaya, the victor in Les Gazelles des Mers class, back on stage to receive a newly crafted Hermes take-home Bucket along with more Perrier-Jouët champagne, this time in a 3 litre-size Jeroboam.

But the real winners this year, as everyone agrees, were the people of St. Barths who rose together to recover from Irma and two other devastating 2017-season hurricanes. In remarkable fashion, they worked for the greater good and welcomed Buckateers with open arms and warm hearts. The Bucket organizers, with full support from Stewards Perini Navi, Rybovich, Royal Huisman and Vitters, were honored to turn what has become the traditional Bucket donation (to an island charity) into early assistance for the urgent need to pay for and ship high priority materials to the island. As well, proceeds from the sale of the 2018 Bucket Poster on-site this week will add another 11,000 Euros to the original contribution made in September.

We can all be proud that we supported the resolve of the people who live here to show the world that St. Barths is back. We thank each and every yacht owner for making the journey and being part of this very special edition of the Bucket.  See you next year!

Photographs © 2018 by Ed Gudenas