2015 Newport Bucket Regatta logo

home |  st barths |  newportFRIENDs |  press |  about the bucket |  contact

  Yacht photo

2012 Newport Bucket Regatta: Recaps


Kattak logoWatch 2012 racing on the Kattack viewer


All sailing photos courtesy Billy Black

Please click to view  

Sunday's Blog Report by Grace Trofa

It’s a rarified world, this Bucket community and you do meet some of the nicest people. Newport may not have offered much in the way of wind, but that downtime, waiting, allowed some of us to get to know each other better, to reconnect with friends, enjoy time with family under a sunny blue sky, warm temps ,OK maybe TOO warm, but Newport did redeem herself with cool enchanted evenings.

I felt a sense of calm prevailing over this year’s Bucket. Sure we had some tomfoolery, which boat was using bungee cords to toss those water balls and Tenacious you were mischievous with those cannon balls. I’m sure many of you made new friends, probably after you started dancing with that stranger next to you on the dance floor and hopefully you will reconnect in St Barth’s or have a chance meeting in some off the beaten track island, happy to see a familiar face, which is what is so nice about the yachting world, you just never know where life will take you.

I enjoyed a wonderful conversation, which really was to be an interview, with Barbara Hines, a warm, spiritual woman who savors every moment is life, remember the crew’s bumble bee costumes from the yacht hop? Many are not aware that she is an accomplished painter and has some exhibits coming up, it is her paintings that adorns the walls of Lady B. So I was especially pleased  that the Wolter Huisman  Memorial  Spirit of the Bucket, awarded for the first time at the Newport Bucket was presented to Barbara and her husband Gerry.

During this Bucket, I got to cross something off MY Bucket List. Since interviewing Luca Bassani 5 years ago for Boat International’s Jubilee issue, (that issue was a keeper, the 25 best designers and 25 best yachts) I have been yearning to go aboard a Wally. The handsome Milanese owner of Indio graciously relented and allowed me to spend some time aboard, pre-race, giving me a tour of the boat, a chance to spend some time with his lovely wife and children and a short, “tease” sail. I doubt we have heard the last of Indio, imagine this was his first Bucket and he won the Newport Bucket. It was his friend Bassani who introduced the owner to the world of racing and it should come as no surprise to yacht owners everywhere that there is a new boat on the horizon. The family left Newport for Milan quickly since they are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary with a big party for friends and family in Portofino on Friday, think that Chelsea Clock trophy will be prominently displayed?

You know, the owners of MITseaAh are such good sports, she feels that the Newport Bucket is one of her most memorable yachting experiences. I was glad to see that they won the Vitters Seamanship Trophy, they are proof that it is not “all about the race”.

After that last glass of wine coupled with that last bite of hors d’oeuveres, it was beautiful to look out at the lawn and around the portico of Ochre Court, the Gilded Age in Newport also included the Gilded Age of yachting,  to see everyone enjoying the last rays of sun with family and friends, capping off what I think was a lovely time in Newport, till next year, fair winds.


Saturday's Report by Grace Trofa

It looked to us like a good time was had by all on the course today. The forecast was for light air, and it probably never did get much above 10 knots, but what was up with those late starts…think everyone was busy sipping rose, or, playing really cautious?  Mark McVay aboard Sorcerer II reports, “it was 10 to 15 knots true all day, ranging SE to ENE, very shifty, strong current, so people were misreading. But we made our start! I’d just like to say that we had the nicest group of people on board Sorcerer today, and I know that to be true because I know everyone who is here!” Fighting words!

Obviously, the Bucket community are big fans of Evan Goodrow , as Bucketeers rocked the night away! The  dance floor was packed, you lost your dancing partner but who cared, you just continued dancing with the person closest to you, friends, strangers, the night was a great opportunity for everyone just to let loose and have some fun. That’s the beauty  about the Newport Bucket community, friends gather, there is a lot of back slapping camaraderie, good will, for one weekend at least, everyone seems to forget the outside world and just enjoys being with like minded individuals with a passion for sailing. Even the racing was very cordial, no protests, no grumbling and no complaints for what ended up being a sunny New England late summer day. Life is good, guys.

In yesterday’s blog I warned Hanuman, Indio is out to get you .Indio beat out Hanuman in  the final stretch, one wonders, watching those final moments, if with a few more minutes they might have succeeded in even passing Tenacious, it was a nail biting finale. Indio is a sexy boat (ditto for the owner!)

Is it me, or does Bucketeer Donald Tofias reminded you of the Godfather? He is holding court at the nightly events, his leg injury (we won’t ask what he was doing when he got hurt) has forced him to sit out these races. But in the end he had the best view, undaunted, The Donald hired a helicopter to view the race, now that’s style. Wild Horses does reminds me of a lonely swan, suddenly without her mate, we were all so accustomed to seeing the girls together on the race course, White Wings and Wild Horses; Tofias, start building a partner for Wild Horses!

There are a few boats participating in the Newport Bucket for the first time such as Lady B. Gerry and Barbara Hines were gracious hosts as guests came aboard this lovely yacht during the yacht hop. They also revealed they have a sense of humor, the crew sported bumble bee getups, these black and yellow costumes that were a hoot, even their beautiful granddaughter was dressed as a mini bee.  

Gerry said, “We raced in St Barth’s twice, here it is a smaller number of boats, but it’s exciting.  I thought the wind would be higher closer to land and we made a mistake, live and learn, it’s a longer race I think then  St Bart’s and more challenging, the winds, the competition and the handicaps are always a surprise.” Barbara comments, “if the winds are right we will show them what the Lady B is capable of, she’s really the fastest.”

This is also the first Newport Bucket for Bolero owners, Ed Kane and his wife, though they have done the St Bart’s Bucket. “The Newport Bucket is smaller and a little more intimate, user friendly. People seem to be more involved in the event itself, with a sense of pride. Newport is, after all, the yachting capital of the world and so I think people want to be here… and the fact that the Bucket is here, plays to Newport’s strength.”

Charlie Dana has been in the Bucket since the beginning in Nantucket.  “It is a great honor to have it here, I mean the boats are beautiful, we really wanted it here. We approached Nelson Doubleday and told him we would try to keep the spirit. I remember Nelson would stand on a milk crate and the prizes were very simple. Newport has retained some of the simplicity of the early days”.


Friday's Pre-Race Report by Grace Trofa

With the Newport Bucket, it’s the specter of the lights on the Newport Bridge, the classic elegance of the yachts lined up along the dock, the illuminated masts as the sun sets on the horizon.  Not to take the shine off the patina of our sister race in St Bart’s, but the Newport Bucket feels more like a homecoming. It’s hard to believe the Bucket Regattas are now in their 26th year and yes, the boys are back in town.

Who will have bragging rights for another year was anyone’s guess, but Friday night it was all about meeting up with old friends, having a few drinks, enjoying a cigar, the calm before the storm for this competitive group of yachtsmen.

Spectators stayed tuned to VHF Channel  77 for Michael Nethersole’s running commentary on the race! He’s the source for those crazy Bucket stories you’ll want to share all year. Saturday’s weather forecast was described as dicey, so early Saturday it was anyone’s guess on the wind conditions.

P2 team manager, Jonathan Kline, summed it up best,  “Around here, even when the forecast is for light winds, it really depends on the sea breeze, Thursday’s forecast  was for light winds, we had 12 to 16 knots, Friday during practice the forecast was again light winds, we had 5 knots”  in other words, good luck today.

Friday night  was a great party, but also for a good cause as this year the Bucket honored the ALLY Foundation. I think everyone was touched by her mother’s speech, Friday would have been her daughter’s birthday and in the final moments party goers were actively submitting their highest bids on the items in the silent auction. Speaking of birthdays, Happy Birthday, Hank Halsted and John Gower, a popular Newport racer, John and Jen are usually seen on the dance floor and Hank is infamous for his banter and Bucket Spirit.

How about the heat generated by the black clad band Hot Mess, first time performing at the Bucket! Hats off to Blue Rock Catering that skewered lamb was something else, especially washed down with those vodka cocktails. What was up with those cannon blasts? Yes, we all know of the tradition of cannon blasts at sunset, but it began to take on a competitiveness as party goers caught on and  wisely covered their ears, as Andrew Le Buhn, broker at Camper & Nicholsons, succulently  stated, “I think the storyline here is who’s got the bigger cannon” .That said, we are off to a great start!

The 17 yacht fleet is divided into three classes Les Gazelles des Mers, Les Mademoiselles des Mers and Les Grande Dames des Mers, this is pursuit racing, slowest first, fastest last, first over the line, winner, easy to understand, so play nice, these are expensive toys. The start sequence can change depending on wind conditions.

Though Ted Hood has had many designs in the Bucket, this is the first time his son Ted Hood, Jr will be sailing on Tenacious. “I am a little bit partial to my father’s designs, what can I say! I appreciate the design, what goes into them, I know how these centerboard boats sail, they have the same motion, the same feel.”

Ed Kane who is a part-time resident of Newport is to be commended for his commitment to the restoration of the elegant Bolero, she’ll be out there doing her dance. If there was a prize for most creative spinnaker, Hanuman and Bolero would be battling it out. Nice to see a Wally in the mix, it’s their first Newport Bucket and when Indio’s yacht manager, Carlo Torre was asked what he is expecting tomorrow, he simply replied “to win.” Watch out Hanuman.

So what’s so special about the Newport Bucket? That Jonathan Kline is good with words, “First of all you get to sail in water famous for the America’s Cup tradition, then there is the added challenge of fog, fickle winds, lobster pots and very, very good sailors plus imported race crews to make the boats go faster” .

Everyone up for a challenge? See you on the race course!    

And here's some shots from Friday night's festivities.


The Bucket Anniversary Book: Download the informational pdf or Download the order form

The ALLY Foundation's check in desk. PHOTO ANNE VANDROMME-HOOD

That is a real sunset at the Newport Shipyard and not a fake background! PHOTO ANNE VANDROMME-HOOD