Sailing Majesty: Highlights from the 2024 St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta

The 2024 edition of the St Barth’s Bucket Regatta is underway, and alongside the fleet of the most stunning sailing yachts in the world, the bay of St Barthelemy sees the presence of some of the most famous motor yachts ever built, gathered there to watch the race and participate in the super exclusive social scene.

MY Illusion, the world-known and celebrated 65m fast displacement Heesen motor yacht, stands out among the others. With a speed of around 30 knots, MY Illusion is indeed the perfect yacht aboard which to see and chase the regatta, being the only superyacht model capable of moving rapidly from the starting line to the buoys spread along the race field, reaching then the best spots to see the most exciting sailing manoeuvres and finally preceding the fleet to the finish line, winning a front-row seat to watch the race arrival!

Probably Heesen did not specifically envisage this sailing race-chasing prowess when developing the multi-awarded Fast Displacement Hull Form. I suspect that the driving factors leading to the massive investment in engineering, naval architecture, and design might have mostly been related to the aim of finding the best and most efficient hull form; to combine speed and fuel reduction (in the order of 30%, by the way), perfect seaworthiness, and overall increased performance; however, the fact is that these characteristics make Illusion the perfect yacht to own or charter these days in St. Barth’s.

What’s so special about the St. Barth’s Bucket? It is simply the single most stunning sailing superyacht regatta in the world. Firstly, it is the only regatta able to gather a 40-yacht fleet ranging from J-class to super large units such as the 88m The Maltese Falcon. Then it takes place in St Barth’s, the legendary isle in the French West Indies famous not only for its paradise-like Caribbean beaches but also and foremost for being the favourite destination of the uber-chic echelon of the international jet set.

The secret of the Bucket is indeed the unique ability to combine sporting fun at sea with the sparkling yet exclusive social life on land. At sea, this four-day, invitation-only regatta emphasizes spirited yet gentlemanly competition. There’s no prize money at stake, no advertisements, nor commercial sponsorships involved.

To guarantee fair scoring and racing, the participating boats are divided into categories based on how similarly they perform in the water. Each yacht is rated and handicapped by a team of race experts based on displacement, draft, sail area, and other characteristics. The Bucket is a pursuit race, e.g. smaller or slower yachts may start first, and the fastest are the latest to cut the starting line. The first yacht to cross the finish line in any category is the winner of the category, and the final score is attributed over the results of the 3 racing days.

The Race Committee does its best to convince the most competitive boat owners on the planet that having fun is more important than winning, but a race is a race, and the competition is fierce. This event brings together ‘la crème de la crème’ of worldwide sailing professionals and a good number of America’s Cup veterans and Olympic sailors race onboard alongside the regular crew.

But the action is not only at the race. Saint Barthelemy’s social scene and nightlife are legendary, and during the Bucket week, the glamour of the island reaches its peak. Villas and hotels are fully booked, and the waters around the island see an impressive array of motor yachts. This year the largest in attendance are the 138m Rising Sun and the 116m Multiverse anchored in the bay facing Gustavia.

Author: Maria Cristina Bernardini Giurlani





Mark Cavendish   Chief Commercial Officer

| Robert Drontmann   Sales Director

Heesen Yachts North America

Thom Conboy   Agent North-America, Mexico, Bahama's & Caribbean