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ST. BARTH'S BUCKET REGATTA GETS UNDERWAY THIS WEEK
Wednesday 23rd March 2011

The St. Barth’s Bucket is an invitational regatta set in the Corinthian spirit.  Yachts participating will do so at their own risk.  This is a fun regatta and safety is the highest priority of the Race Committee.  Therefore, we extend an invitation to the owners, captains, crews and guests who participate to make this a fun and safe event. 

Event Organizers
The St. Barth’s Bucket is organized by The Bucket Association, St. Barth’s, FWI
The event is affiliated with and sanctioned by the Federation Francaise de Voile (FFV).

Eligibility
The St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta is an invitational event, open to sailing yachts over 100’ (31M), unless invited under the Grandfather Clause.  Considering the unprecidented level of interest in the Bucket Regattas in recent years, the invitational aspect of the event has become increasingly relevant.  With the Regatta often oversubscribed it is important for all applicants to understand the basis upon which entrants are selected. 

The invitation matrix is comprised of many factors including the yacht’s size and past participation, with major credit for contributions to the spirit of the event (the fun factor), sponsor affiliations and the crew’s understanding that Bucket Regattas are primarily about camaraderie and sharing the exhilaration of sailing these magnificent yachts to their potential in a competitive, yet seamanlike manner.  This event is focused upon the yacht Owners; hence chartered yachts receive low priority.

All Rules of the FFV (Federation Francaise de Voile) must be respected and followed by all Bucket participants.  This specifically includes the requirement for French citizens sailing in the regatta, to be holders of a current FFV Sailing License.  Temporary licenses may be obtained from the Bucket Committee. Also, each yacht is required to maintain a minimum of €1,500,000 liability insurance.  Both requirements will be documented on the Crew Affidavit, to be completed by each participating yacht, at registration. 

In addition, the Captain of each yacht will be made an annual member of the Association Bucket Regattas, our official FFV Association.

Applications
A generic, provisional event and rating application form will be posted on the bucketregattas.com website for information purposes only.  This application should be used only as a reference and should not be submitted.

Official applications for the St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta will be available approximately five months prior to the event.  To obtain an application, and/or to advise the Bucket Committee of your intention to enter the Regatta, contact the Committee at lisa@bucketregattas.com  (401) 848-5502.  We will add your yacht to the provisional entry list or the waiting list, and will send out official applications as they are ready for distribution.

Sailing Rules
The 2011 St. Barth’s Bucket will be sailed under the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 (RRS) - modified.  This is a departure from 2009 and 2010 Bucket Regattas, which were sailed under a COLREGS based Superyacht Racing Protocol.  Numerous items from the 2010 protocol will be incorporated in the 2011 Sailing Instructions to enhance safe racing given the inherent, unique challenges presented with the size of superyachts and their limited maneuverability.

A preliminary copy of the 2011 Sailing Instructions, incorporating the applicable superyacht protocol items, will be posted on the event website (Sailing Instructions) on or before 15 February 2011 and will be emailed to all entrants.  The final Sailing Instructions will be posted on the event website on or before 15 March and available at the Race Office on site.

Safe racing is a top priority at all Bucket Regattas.  Comments and feedback from entrants on the draft Sailing Instructions and any matters pertaining to safe racing is strongly encouraged.

Ratings and Scoring
Handicapping in all Bucket Regattas is accomplished by a pursuit start system, wherein each yacht is assigned her own starting time for each race, slower rated yachts starting first. The finishing order across the finish line determines the daily results.

Ratings and start times are determined using the Bucket Rule, a VPP (Velocity Prediction Program) assisted handicapping system administered by Jim Teeters of the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF), and the Bucket Organization. The Bucket Rating will give an accurate projection of each yacht’s performance under the full range of wind velocities and wind angles under which the fleet will be racing. For each day’s racing, the rule analyzes each yacht’s potential in the forecast conditions, adjusts start times and assigns the starting sequence accordingly.

Please note that the start sequence, and even the START ORDER, will change even when the ratings do not.  This is necessary if we are to give each well sailed yacht an equal chance to win regardless of the wind speed and course layout.

**New for 2011 – Courses and start times will not be announced until approximately one hour prior to the first start – to allow for the best analysis of conditions.

It is important to note that the Bucket Committee does not routinely change ratings between races. Corrections may be applied to a yacht’s base rating, but only after repeated observation of race results which do not accurately reflect the yacht’s demonstrated on-water potential. Rating corrections are applied, only for “gross anomalies” as defined above.

**New for 2011 – The rating committee will inform the fleet each day if VPP changes have been made, and to which yachts. 

For all entrants, it is critical to submit the information requested on the Ratings Application as accurately as possible. This is the primary input data used for your performance analysis.  Without exception, the greater accuracy provided by the yacht, the better the yacht’s chance of consistently performing well under the rule. For a complete description of the Bucket Rule and its application, visit the Bucket Website: www.bucketregattas.com
Classes
In 2005, when the Bucket Regatta grew beyond all expectations and the fleet doubled in size, it was determined that the fleet should be split into classes which considered their essential attributes.  However, the distinction of “Cruising Class” and Racing Class” seemed just, oh so pedestrian, for a fleet of this stature.  In the RC’s opinion, the designation of Les Gazelles des Mers” for the Racing Class and “Les Grandes Dames des Mers” for the Cruising Class, seemed far more appropriate. 

Both classes sail together on the same course, with awards for each division, and for the Bucket Overall Trophies as well.  Racing will be closest within the classes, where the yachts are sailing against vessels with the most similar attributes, so winning your class is truly the goal.  However, we have had remarkable results in the past between classes.  In 2010, the top ten overall positions were split equally between the “Gazelles” and the “Grandes Dames”!

The Bucket Race Committee may, at its discretion add an additional class if the size and composition of the overall fleet make this viable.

Captain’s Meeting
The Captain’s Meeting will be held at 1700 on 24 March 2011.  Location to be announced.  Sailing Instructions and the Superyacht Racing Protocol will be distributed via email, prior to the Captains Meeting, with additional copies available at the meeting.  Course diagrams, safety considerations and other regatta related information will be also distributed at that time.

At minimum, each yacht must be represented at the Captain’s Meeting, by her Captain, the designated Safety Tactician and her Racing Tactician, if applicable. 

Dockage
The Port Authority in Gustavia has been kind enough once again to reserve the entire quay for the St. Barth’s Bucket participants.  There will be room alongside for 22-24 yachts and we will do everything possible to arrange dockage for all who wish to be at the quay.  However, with a fleet of 40 yachts, anchoring will be necessary for many in the fleet and actually, in recent years a number of yachts have preferred to remain at anchor. 

Please indicate your dockage preference on the Event Application, but if you choose to be alongside, plan to participate in the Fleet Open House, which is one of the highlights of the Bucket. 

Please note that the Fleet Open House will change slightly for 2011, with each yacht receiving 15-20 invitations, so the Owner can choose his yacht’s representatives.  We will take a more pro-active position with regard to limiting the number of visitors per yacht.

Registration
Registration will begin on Thursday, 24 March at 0900 hours.  Two weeks prior to the event, the Captain will be notified with any additional items required to complete registration.  The Captain or designated crew member should report to the registration area with the information required. 

For more information see:  http://www.bucketregattas.com/stbarths/index.html.


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