J Class duo Velsheda and Hanuman heading to Saint Barths Bucket

J Class duo Velsheda and Hanuman heading to Saint Barths Bucket


J Class duo Velsheda and Hanuman heading to Saint Barths Bucket




March 15, 2024

Image credit:

© Michael Kurtz - Pantaenius

The renowned Saint Barths Bucket superyacht regatta has long been popular with J Class yacht owners and crews, many of whom have enjoyed success at the Caribbean spring showcase event over recent years.

This year Hanuman and Velsheda will compete under ORC Superyacht handicapping in Class B over three days of racing around a typical mix of ‘Bucket’ style courses which usually include at least one race around the island itself.

While both have won at the Saint Barths Bucket before, this time Hanuman in particular are looking forwards to a relatively low intensity, fun, long weekend which will include a celebration of the owner’s 80th birthday. Velsheda meanwhile are quite potent under the Superyacht rule and with a full crew could consider themselves among the contenders for overall class victory.

Hanuman’s Josh Luckhurst explains, “The family have been enjoying using the boat in New England which is really their focus recently. This year the Clarks decided to have the boat in Florida for the season, where we transported the rebuilt motoryacht Atlantide to unite with Hanuman as a J Class tender.”

He adds, “Timing-wise Saint Barths works for the family and they love the island and the regatta but we are really approaching it at a lower tempo, looking to enjoy more traditional Bucket style racing. We won’t use the pole and will sail the boat more like a Superyacht. The focus is on the family’s enjoyment of the event rather going there to try and win.”

Hanuman plan to race with a cruising main, J3 headsail, an A2 or A3 kite set off the bow and a crew of 10 additional pro sailors which will include Peter Isler navigating, Tony Mutter on the helm and Charlie Enright on mainsail trim. “We are really taking the goal of winning out of the equation this time,” highlights Luckhurst.

Velsheda’s owner and crew are also confirmed fans of the event and will be using the regatta to start their build up towards the season’s pinnacle class racing event in Barcelona during the America’s Cup.

We love the event, our owner always like to do the regatta and I guess we are building up to the Barcelona event. We had a few new-ish crew members in the afterguard at the back of the boat and so it gives them the opportunity to sail together more. And our sailing team is pretty cool all in all, we have this group of guys who have sailed on Velsheda for years and this is an event the owner and we all like to do together,” enthuses Don Cowie, Velsheda’s mainsail trimmer.

Velsheda welcomed the young Australian Rolex Fastnet winning navigator Andy Green into their talented, highly experienced afterguard at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia where he formed a strong working relationship with strategist, four times America’s Cup winner Grant Simmer and veteran tactician Tom Dodson.

The more sailing we can do the better, for sure, and it was great to see how those guys gelled in Porto Cervo last year,” highlights Cowie. “We will see how it goes against some of these Superyachts, we kind of need some lighter upwind sailing to get on terms with them but let’s see….”

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