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World’s Most Spectacular Sailing Superyachts Lining Up for St Barths Bucket Regatta 2024

Southern Spars is delighted to be returning to St Barths Bucket Regatta as a Friend of the Bucket once again in 2024. The event is truly unique in the sailing calendar, bringing together the world’s greatest superyachts to revel in the joy of sailing, and good-natured racing, conducted in the spirit of the Bucket.

The Bucket is special for those invited to take part in it, but also for onlookers, as it represents a rare gathering of a group of yachts at the absolute pinnacle of what’s possible for a sailing superyacht, and by extension, the best composite rig technology.

The first thought upon viewing these beautifully designed hulls will often be luxurious cruising programmes in the most desirable locations around the world. But increasingly, alongside an optimisation of comfort and enjoyment, the upper echelon of sailing superyachts is optimised with performance characteristics that let them pin their ears back when racing.

With a track record of supplying rigs to everyone from the America’s Cup fleet, to the world’s largest sailing superyachts, Southern Spars is trusted above all to deliver the perfect balance of performance and luxury, with uncompromising results.

St Barths will be awash with Southern Spars-equipped yachts come the start of the regatta, but here are a few to look out for:

Debuting…

Maximus

Photo: Guy Fleury / Vitters Shipyard

The Bucket has long been a home away from home for yachts that combine beautiful aesthetics with high performance on an epic scale. Every time a new yacht joins this exclusive club, it offers something fresh to the mix. New doesn’t always mean breaking the mould with radical aesthetics and modern designs. Sometimes, the enhanced combination of modern technology and classic elements is most awe-inspiring.

Epitomising this and poised to steal the limelight at the Bucket in 2024, is Frers 59 ‘Maximus’, constructed by Vitters Shipyard. Launched in October 2023, she’s ready to make her grand entrance.

At 59m, Maximus is the third largest Vitters yacht on the water, but there is plenty of subtlety and intelligent design behind her raw size. Southern Spars manufactured two 65.7m custom high-performance rigs for this project, constructed from hybrid-modulus carbon fibre. The rig’s lightweight construction and aerodynamic design allow her to enjoy fast, agile racing, while also delivering efficiency and stability for cruising.

Maximus is also equipped with ECsix multistrand composite rigging and a carbon fibre foil from our sister company Future Fibres and a full running rigging package designed inhouse by our partners at RigPro, including custom connectors and RigPro’s own custom moulded lockstrops.

RigPro Global General Manager Hamish Miller and Southern Spars Group Sales Director Vincent Guiot will also have the pleasure of joining Maximus’ crew throughout the Bucket.

Read more about Maximus.

Returning…

Velsheda

Velsheda, St Barths Bucket 2022. Photo: Dykstra Naval Architects / @silkenphoto

J-Class yachts bring an added layer of allure to any regatta, and they are no stranger to the Bucket. The spirit of the Bucket, which embraces sailing in all its rich heritage, is embodied by these beautiful classics – but don’t let their exteriors fool you – these America’s Cup icons are equipped with rig technology manufactured to the same exacting standards as the AC75s of the 37th Cup. Southern Spars is the rig manufacturer of choice for most of the J-Class yachts still racing, and rising from their iconic 1930s hulls are some of the most advanced composite rigs available.

Originally launched in 1933 by Camper & Nicholson, ‘Velsheda’ has been restored to fabulous racing condition. In the 30s, Velsheda was equipped with the leading-edge rig technology of the day—an aluminium mast manufactured by bending and riveting plates together. In 2024, she continues the spirit of innovation, with a lightweight, high-modulus carbon solution, produced in our Auckland production facility. It is always a pleasure for the Southern Spars team to refit yachts like Velsheda, bringing the legend of the J-Class roaring into life, for 21st century racing of the highest order.

Velsheda chasing down fellow Southern Spars-rigged J-Class Hanuman , St Barths Bucket 2022. Photo: North Sails / Atila Madrona

Velsheda is equipped with ECsix aft rigging and RAZR solid carbon laterals, both from Future Fibres. With performance and reliability assured by ECsix, RAZR provides specialist inshore rigging, originally designed for grand-prix inshore circuits, such as the 52 Super Series.

While she’s often pitted against modern replicas with some distinct advantages, Velsheda’s composite rig and rigging technology goes a long way towards optimising her for ease-of handling and pure speed over the water.

Vijonara

Photo: Hoek Naval Architects

Within the atmosphere of camaraderie that defines the Bucket, the Corinthian Spirit Class brings a further emphasis on fun, less-intense racing. But this is not to suggest a lower calibre of yachts in this fleet, which has always attracted incredible yachts, including 39 metre Hoek-designed sloop ‘Vijonara’.

Alongside the raw size and performance of the line up at the Bucket, it’s the yachts that bring pure poetry to the water that make it so special. The second hull in Hoek’s Truly Classic 128 series and built by Pendennis Shipyard, Vijonara has a unique elegance that’s quite at home with the likes of the J-Class. But while this gorgeous looking yacht, complete with delightful deck houses, is clearly built for a life of comfort onboard, that hasn’t stopped its owners from going to extra lengths to optimise her for performance.

Unstepping of Vijonara carried out by RigPro in January 2023.

Vijonara is equipped with a combination of technologies that has won just about every major event around the world, with Southern Spars’ unique expertise at delivering high performance at scale, combined with the unmatched combination of performance and durability provided by ECsix. Seeing a yacht with such beautiful classic aesthetics perform as well as Vijonara is almost uncanny, and truly something to behold.

We can’t wait to enjoy the spectacle and camaraderie of the Bucket, and wish every entry fun, successful racing, and a memorable event!

Working on a project which requires our unique understanding of luxury and high performance? Get in touch with Southern Spars and harness our expertise.

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