J Class duo go 1,2 at The St Barths Bucket

J Class duo go 1,2 at The St Barths Bucket


J Class duo go 1,2 at The St Barths Bucket




March 27, 2024

Image credit:

Claire Matches

The J Class duo Velsheda and Hanuman dominated Class B, Les Elegantes at the recent St. Barths Bucket taking first and second place. Velsheda, steered by her owner with a full race crew, won all three races whilst Hanuman landed three second place finishes racing with a reduced crew and in a de-tuned mode racing without the use of a spinnaker pole.

The first race was a counter-clockwise round the island 22 nautical mile course in 12-18kts which Velsheda won by 5 minutes and 50 seconds from Hanuman. The second course was longer at 28 miles, a Bucket ‘Not So Wiggly’ sailed from a downwind start and was completed again in up to 18kts of perfect trade winds conditions. Racing under ORCsy rating Velsheda’s margin was just over five minutes.

After converging with six other boats at Roche le Bouf, a mark of the course, Hanuman’s Peter Isler enthused, “It was the greatest example of superyacht communications ever. Crews of J Class yachts, 200 footers, and modern 90 footers all there together, doing one of the hardest manoeuvres: a spinnaker takedown with a gybe onto a reach to round the rock. All the Superyacht rules of racing and proceedings for negotiation were in play, and it all worked!”

The final day of racing saw another round the island race sailed in a brisk 18 kts of breeze with big seas on the outside of the island, which was especially hard work for the helms. Velsheda and Hanuman completed the 1,2 again to comfortably seal the top two places.

Velsheda’s mainsheet trimmer Don Cowie, said: “We had a good regatta it was great to be out there racing again on Velsheda in Saint Barths which the owner enjoys. We had a significant advantage over Hanuman of course as we sailed with a full race crew and our spinnaker pole, and of course the J goes well when you pull the pole right back downwind, but Hanuman had a good time too, enjoying the owner’s 80th birthday on the Saturday night which was their main focus for the event. So, it was not ‘apples for apples’ as it were, racing on equal terms.”

Cowies continued: “On the second race Hanuman were about one minute 30 or a minute 40 ahead of us after starting in front of us and we overtook them upwind which was quite nice, that was more even boat for boat under J3s that was a bit more normal. The boat was going nicely and the boys have done a lot of good work on the boat through the winter. But the boat does go well in Saint Barth’s.  Now we are looking forwards to Superyacht Cup Palma in June.”

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