St Barths
March 22 - 25, 2012

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St Barths Bucket: 2011 Sailing Instructions

Download the 2011 SI (pdf)




24 – 27 March, 2011


The Bucket Race Office is located under the Marquee at the Quay in the port of Gustavia, with back office operations located upstairs at the Capitainerie:
Back Office      Open Wed / Mar 23, 0800          0690 22 89 45
Race Office      Open Thurs / Mar 24, 0900         0690 88 25 69

Boat Captains are to complete their regatta registration at the Bucket Race Office no later than 1700, Thursday, 24 March.

Crew waivers will be available at the Bucket Race Office. They must be signed by all crew members and guests and returned prior to Friday morning’s pre-race briefing. Yachts which do not submit crew waivers will not be scored. For any change in crew or guests during the regatta, crew waivers must be updated to reflect new crew members.

The Captain of each yacht entering the St. Barths Bucket Regatta will be made an annual member of the St. Barths Bucket Association, our official FFV Association. French citizens sailing in the regatta must be holders of a valid FFV Sailing License. The Bucket Association can issue temporary FFV Licenses for the event. Please contact Wendy Kronenberg at +590 590 27 56 50 ( to obtain a license.

All competing yachts are to use the harbor channel when transiting to and from the race course each day, leaving Gros Ilets to port when departing the harbor and to starboard when returning. Yachts must not transit through the anchorage between Gros Ilets and Les Saintes.

Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. Association Bucket Regattas, the Organizing Authority, sponsors, all other affiliated organizations and individuals, will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.

Each yacht is required to maintain €1,500,000 in liability insurance. It is the responsibility of each Yacht Captain and Owner to certify that all crew aboard are properly insured against all liabilities and injuries incurred while participating in the Regatta.

Notices to competitors will be posted on the notice board located in the Marquee at the port of Gustavia dock and posted on the St Barth’s Bucket website.


24 – 27 March, 2011


The St Barth’s Bucket will be governed by the following:

  1. the rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing
  2. the Bucket Rating Rule
  3. the prescriptions of the French Federation of Sailing (FFV)
  4. these Sailing Instructions, which incorporate the “Superyacht Racing Safety Protocol”

Any and all rules of the St Barth’s Bucket found in these Sailing Instructions are superseded in any situation by the General Prudential Rule: COLLISIONS ARE TO BE AVOIDED BY ANY AND ALL MEANS.These rules constitute a comprehensive set of guidelines with a primary focus on collision avoidance while encouraging fair competition and good sportsmanship.None of these guidelines and rules should affect the spirit of Bucket Racing from years past.

3.1 Any amendments to the Sailing Instructions will be posted on the official notice board no later than 0900 on the day it comes into effect except that changes to the program shall be posted by 2000 on the day before the change takes effect. Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board.

3.2 Oral changes to the sailing instructions may be given on the water by hail on the race committee VHF Channel in accordance with rule 90.2 (c).   

The race committee will broadcast its intent on the race committee VHF channel at 1000 daily.

5.1 Three races are scheduled, one each day from Friday, 25 March through Sunday, 27 March.  One race must be completed to constitute a series.

5.2 The scheduled start time for the first yacht each day is 1100.

6.1 Yachts will be separated into three classes, Les Gazelles des Mers, Les Grandes Dames des Mers and Les Elegantes des Mers. A Notice listing the yachts by class will be posted on the official notice board. At the race committee’s discretion, the three classes may sail different courses on any given day. The start times will be adjusted accordingly to compensate for any course differential, therefore the order of finish will dictate the fleet winners each day.
6.2 Class flags shall be displayed on the backstay at least six feet above deck at all times while the boat is racing. If such display is not feasible, class flags shall be displayed from the stern pulpit. The Les Gazelles des Mers class will use Pennant #1, Les Grandes Dames des Mers class will use Pennant #2 and the Les Elegantes des Mers will use Pennant #3. 

7.1 Each yacht shall designate a Safety Tactician and submit his or her name and local mobile phone number to the Race Office at registration.

7.2 The Safety Tactician must be a member of the afterguard whose primary responsibility will be collision avoidance and have no other responsibility above and beyond safety related matters (collision avoidance, safety communication, navigation, etc.).

7.3 The Safety Tactician will be responsible for communications on the Bridge to Bridge Safety Channel (refer to SI 24.2) and any other communications which enhance the safety of the yacht.  

7.4 The Safety Tactician must attend all pre and post race briefings and will be responsible for ensuring the Race Log, Declaration Sheets and Kattack portable GPS units are returned to the Race Office as soon as practical following racing.

8.1 The pre-regatta Captain’s Briefing will be held at 1700, Thursday, 24 March at the Dock Marquee. Attendance is mandatory for the Boat Captain, designated Safety Tactician and Racing Tactician (if applicable).

8.2 There will also be daily, pre-race briefings each morning at 0900 at the Dock Marquee. The race course, weather and any safety issues will be addressed. Starting Times, Race Logs, Declarations Sheets and Kattack portable GPS units will be distributed.

8.3 There may be the need for a post-race safety meeting depending on safety incidents on the race course that given day. Yachts will be notified via VHF and mobile telephones. These meetings are mandatory for Boat Captains, Safety Tacticians and Racing Tacticians.

9.1 Race Logs, Declaration Sheets and Kattack portable GPS units will be distributed to Safety Tacticians at the daily pre-race briefings. The Race Log will call for mark rounding times, recorded wind speed and direction, and any anomalies encountered in navigating the course. The Declaration Sheet must specify all safety related incidents your yacht is involved in on the race course and other information the race committee may deem necessary.

9.2 The Kattack portable GPS unit is to be attached to each yacht and activated prior to arriving in the starting area (separate instructions to be provided). It is the race committee’s intent to distribute the units on the 2 days prior to racing to mount correctly and test. The Kattack GPS unit and completed documents are to be submitted to the Race Office as soon as practical after racing, but no later than 2 hours after each yacht finishes racing.

9.3 The portable GPS unit will track the yacht’s course each day. After racing, each yacht’s track will be uploaded, providing an accurate record of course sailed and proximity to other yachts. The race committee will thus, have a comprehensive record of every crossing, rounding or passing situation that is inside the 40 meter minimum separation. Any yacht not activating their GPS unit or returning it following each race day by the deadline will not be scored.

10     MINIMUM SEPARATION  (40 Meters)
10.1 Due to the size and lack of maneuverability of many of the entries, a minimum of 40 meters separation must be maintained between competitors from when the first yacht starts until all yachts have finished racing. This 40 meter separation includes all mark roundings as well as meeting, passing, and crossing situations. 

10.2 Due to the dynamics of yachts under sail, a precise measurement of 40 meters can be difficult. If questions arise, they should be resolved via VHF bridge to bridge communication. The event organizer expects best efforts with compliance and good sportsmanship in maintaining minimum separation.

11.1 For safety reasons, yachts are encouraged to run their engines in neutral at any time during the race. Engines may be put into gear and thrusters may be used at any time during the race for safety reasons and for collision avoidance.

11.2 A yacht that puts her engine in gear or uses her thruster at any time after 5 minutes prior to her individual start, must submit a written declaration of “engine/thruster use” to the Race Office as soon as practical after racing, stating the time the engine was in gear or thruster used and the reason for using them.

Racing will take place in the vicinity of St Barthelemy and its adjoining islands.  A chart showing the racing area is Imray-Iolaire #A 241. The rendezvous location for racing will be just outside Gustavia Harbor entrance. The Race Committee signal boat will be located SSW of Les Saintes (approximate location: to be provided at the Captains' briefing).  

13.1 A list of the marks of the course, which includes islands, rocks, yellow flashing light buoys (marking nature reserves) and inflatable marks, and their approximate location can be found in Exhibit 1.

13.2 Inflatable buoys will be large orange or yellow tetrahedrons.

13.3 Courses for each race will be selected by the race committee from those outlined in Exhibit 2. The marks for each course, order to be rounded, and side to be passed are included in the course description.

13.4 Course and starting sequence options (SI 14.2) will be discussed and distributed at the pre-race briefings.

14.1 The St Barth’s Bucket features a Pursuit Start with the slowest rated yacht starting first. The starting time for each yacht is determined using the Bucket Rule, course length, projected wind conditions and the course configuration. This modifies Rule 26.

14.2 After the committee boat is on station and has observed the prevailing conditions, the course and starting sequence for the day will be selected and announced on the race committee channel between 1015–1030 (unless postponed), emailed to all participants, and posted on the web site. The yacht’s starting time and the starting order can change from race to race because the wind conditions and courses will be different each day (refer to the Bucket Rule for details).

   14.3 The starting area will extend 200 meters on either side of the starting line and 400 meters on the pre-start side of the line. Yachts which are not in their starting sequence shall stay clear of the starting area and yachts which have yet to start should stay clear of yachts racing on the course side of the starting line.

   14.4 The starting line will be between a large black flag with a lime (The St. Barth Flag) on the Race Committee signal boat (on the island side of the starting line) and an orange inflatable tetrahedron approximately 500 meters on an approximate SW bearing from the committee boat.

14.5 A yellow inflatable tetrahedron ‘keep off buoy’ may be anchored adjacent to, or tethered to  the race committee boat. This buoy is considered to be part of the committee boat and yachts shall not pass between the keep off buoy and the committee boat.

14.6 The start time for the first yacht in fleet is scheduled for 1100 each day. A sound signal will be made for each start. The race committee will attempt to announce countdowns for each start. 

14.7 Should a postponement be required, the race committee will endeavour to do so in one-hour increments (each yacht’s start time will be moved back exactly 1 hour). The race committee will announce any postponement on the race committee VHF channel.

15      RECALLS
There will be no individual recalls. Any yacht crossing the starting line early shall not restart and will be awarded a 5 minute penalty. A yacht that crosses the starting line more than 3 minutes early will not be scored. This modifies rule 29.
A course change for any leg of the race will be signalled by a race committee boat in the vicinity of the last rounding mark. It will display flag C. The change will be signalled before the leading boat has begun the leg. The race committee will broadcast any course changes over the race committee VHF channel. This modifies rule 33.

17   ZONE
17.1 The zone is the area around a mark within a distance of .25nm of the boat nearer to it. A boat is in the zonewhen any part of her hull is in the zone. This modifies Definitions ‘Zone’ (note: 3 hull lengths have been increased to .25nm).

17.2 For any islands and rocks that are marks of the course, the center of the .25nm zone will be established and identified by Lat/Long in Exhibit 1 of these Sailing Instructions. This will enable navigators to plot the .25nm zone and avoid any confusion regarding the precise location of the zone.

18.1 A yacht being overtaken may sail above or below her “proper course” only until the overtaking yacht approaches to within 80 meters (approximately 2 boat lengths), at which point the overtaken yacht must return to her proper course to the next mark or obstruction until the overtaking is complete. This modifies rule 17.

18.2 Under no circumstances is a yacht being overtaken allowed to ‘luff’ an overtaking yacht (sail above close hauled) thereby slowing or preventing a yacht from overtaking. This modifies rule 11.

19      THE FINISH
19.1 The finishing line will be between a large black flag with a lime (The St. Barth Flag) on the Race Committee signal boat (in the same approximate location as the start) and an orange inflatable tetrahedron located approximately 0.8NM from the signal boat.

19.2 A yellow inflatable tetrahedron ‘keep off buoy’ may be anchored adjacent to, or tethered to the race committee boat. It is considered to be part of the committee boat and yachts shall not pass between the keep off buoy and the committee boat.

19.3 A sound signal will be made for each finishing yacht.

20.1 A yacht shall not take a Two-Turns Penalty. This modifies rules 44.1 and 44.2.

20.2 The Scoring Penalty as provided in Rule 44.3 shall apply except that Rule 44.3(c) is deleted and replaced with the following: “44.3 (c). The elapsed time for a boat that takes a Scoring Penalty shall be the elapsed time she would have been allocated without that penalty increased by 3%. If she takes more than one Scoring Penalty in a race, her elapsed time will be increased by 3% for each Scoring Penalty taken.”

20.3 A yacht that has broken rule 31 (touching a mark) shall not take a One-Turn Penalty. The yacht will be penalized 5 minutes. This modifies rule 44.1.

21       PROTESTS
21.1 The event organizer takes a proactive stance on enforcing safety and sportsmanship. Safe racing is the responsibility of everyone involved in Bucket Regattas. The level of sportsmanship in this event has set a standard in sailboat racing and the race committee fully expects the same level of mutual respect between competitors at all Bucket events.

21.2 The Superyacht Safety Protocol within these Sailing Instructions sends the implicit message that the focus is on safety and prudent seamanship, not competitive advantage. It reinforces the fact that Bucket Regattas are congenial racing events.

21.3 The yacht’s tacticians are expected to meet immediately following the racing to discuss and resolve any minor safety issues, sportsmanship, and issues pertaining to competitive advantage. If a competitor feels grievously wronged and insists on a protest hearing, this course of action, while discouraged, may be pursued. 
21.4 It is each yacht’s responsibility to check the notice board to see if she is cited in a protest.  

21.5 Penalties for breaches of a rule other than a rule in Part 2 may be less than disqualification if the jury so decides.

22       SCORING 
Yachts will be scored based on the order of finish. A yacht’s series score will be the total of her race scores without exclusion. This modifies RRS A2.

23.1 The yacht’s man-overboard procedure shall be practiced aboard each yacht at least once by the crew racing in the regatta prior to the first race of the series. Yachts are to pay particular attention to the use of propellers and thrusters when recovering a man overboard.

23.2  A boat that retires from a race shall notify the race committee boat by hailing or on the race committee VHF channel before leaving the race area, or the Race Office as soon as practical.

23.3 If the Event Organizer receives corroborative or substantiated reports of a yacht being handled in an unsafe, overaggressive, or unsportsmanlike manner, they may excuse the yacht from the regatta and/or declare the yacht ineligible for future Bucket regattas, with or without a hearing.

24.1 The race committee will use VHF Channel 72 for communication. All competitors must monitor this channel from the time they approach the starting area until departing the finishing area following the race. A time check will be broadcast at 1000 each morning. The Official time for the St Barth’s Bucket Regatta will be Atlantic Standard Time UTC.    

24.2 The Bridge to Bridge Safety Channel is VHF 17. All yachts must maintain an active radio watch on VHF 17 from their approach to the starting area until departing the finish area following the race. This channel should be used in close quarters to determine other yacht’s intentions, resolve confusion and assist with collision avoidance. If VHF 17 is congested, yachts may also use race committee VHF channel 72 for collision avoidance.

24.3 Back up to the Bridge to Bridge Safety Channel will be mobile phone communications. All competitors           will be provided with a list of mobile phone numbers for each yacht’s Boat Captain and Safety Tactician. Telephone communication is strongly encouraged when the VHF Safety Channel is in use.

24.4 Yachts equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) are required to operate their AIS system from the time they approach the starting area until departing the finishing area following the race. This can assist in maintaining safe separation between yachts and collision avoidance.

25       AWARDS
25.1 Daily awards for first place in class will be presented following racing each day (at the Dock Marquee).

25.2 Series awards for first, second and third place in the Les Gazelles des Mers, Les Grandes Dames des Mers and Les Elegantes des Mers classes and overall for the fleet will be presented on Sunday, 27 March following the racing that day at the Dock Marquee.

25.3 There will be special trophies awarded as well, for meritorious acts, boat handling and other notable behavior.

25.4 The Vitters Seamanship Trophy will be awarded to the yacht that displays the most sportsmanlike handling, particularly with regard to safety. This award will truly reflect the spirit of the Superyacht Protocol.

Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury nor death sustained in conjunction with prior to, during, or after the regatta.

The rules outlined here constitute a comprehensive set of racing and safety rules. The purpose of the rules is to encourage good competition, good sportsmanship and absolute collision avoidance. None of these guidelines should affect the spirit of Bucket Racing from years past, which is first and foremost:



Exhibit 1 • Marks of the Course

Exhibit 2Courses and Course Diagrams