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St Barths
March 24-27, 2011
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St Barths Bucket: 2010 Sailing Instructions (Posted March 25, 2010)

  (NOTE: 2011 Sailing Instructions will be posted by February 15, 2011)


The Bucket Race Office is located on the third floor of the Capatanerie Building above the marquee in the port of Gustavia. The Race Office telephone number is: 590 690 22 89 43 (effective 22 March).

Boat Captains are to complete their regatta registration at the Bucket Reception located on the marquee no later than 1700, Thursday, 25 March.

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

Each yacht entering the St. Barths Bucket Regatta will be enrolled as an annual member of the St. Barths Bucket Association, with FFV Recognition. French citizens who are not part of the yacht’s permanent paid crew, must have a valid FFV License. The Bucket Association can issue temporary FFV Licenses for the event. Please contact our St. Barths Bucket Manager, Wendy Kronenberg at +590 590 275 650 (nfyachts@wanadoo.fr) 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. The organizing authority, all 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.

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.

8     CHANGES TO SAILING INSTRUCTIONS Any change to these Sailing Instructions will be posted on the Notice Board before 0930 on the day it will take effect and distributed to competitors at the daily pre-race briefing.


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

a)  the rules as defined the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea<br />
     1972 (COLREGS)  www.boatingsafety.com/colregs
b)  the Bucket Rating Rule
c)  the prescriptions of French Federation of Sailing (FFV)
d)  these Sailing Instructions, which incorporate the ‘Superyacht Racing Protocol’.
e)  If there is a conflict between COLREGS and the Sailing Instructions then the
     Sailing Instructions shall take precedence.

Any and all rules of St Barth’s Bucket found in these Sailing Instructions are superseded in any situation by the General Prudential Rule: COLLISIONS ARE TO 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 should affect the spirit of Bucket Racing from years past.

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

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

3.3  The Safety Tactician will be responsible for communications on the Bridge to Bridge Safety Channel (refer to SI 8.2) and any other communications which enhance the safety of the yacht.

3.4  The Safety Tactician must attend all pre and post race briefings and will be responsible for ensuring the Race Log and Declaration Sheet are properly filled out and returned to the Race Office as soon as practical following racing.

4.1  The pre-regatta Captain’s Briefing will be held, Thursday, 25 March at 1715 at La Bistro.  Attendance is mandatory for the Boat Captain, designated Safety Tactician and Racing Tactician (if applicable).

4.2  There will also be daily, pre-race briefings each morning at 0900 at the Marquee. The race course, weather and any safety issues will be addressed.  Starting times and Race Logs will be distributed.

4.3  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 phones. These meetings are mandatory for Boat Captains, Safety Tacticians and Racing Tacticians.

Race Logs & Declaration Sheets will be distributed to all Safety Tacticians at the daily pre-race briefings, The Race Log will call for mark rounding times, recorded wind speed and direction, any anomalies encountered in navigating the course. The Declaration Sheet must specify all safety related incidents observed or involved in on the race course and other information the race committee may deem necessary. Completed documents are to be submitted to Registration as soon as practical after racing, but no later than 2 hours after each yacht finishes racing.

6     MINIMUM SEPARATION  (40 Meters)
Due to the size and lack of maneuverability of many of the entries, a minimum of 40 meters separation must be maintained between competitors at all times 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. 

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 Protocol expects best efforts with compliance and good sportsmanship in maintaining minimum separation.

7.1  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 a yacht to take such action as will best aid to avoid a collision.

7.2  Yachts may engage their engines and use their thrusters at any time until 5 minutes before their individual starts. They are not required to make a declaration if they do. If their engines are engaged during this period, they shall keep clear of all other yachts under sail.

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

8.1  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 1030 each morning.  The official time for the St Barth’s Bucket Regatta will be Atlantic Standard Time UTC.

8.2  The Bridge to Bridge Safety Channel will be VHF Channel 17.All yachts will be required to maintain an active radio watch on VHF 17 from the time they approach the starting area until departing the finishing area following the race. This channel will provide an active, bridge-to-bridge communication capability for the fleet and should be used in close quarters to determine intentions, resolve any confusion, and assist with collision avoidance.

8.3  When discussing potential course changes for collision avoidance on VHF bridge to bridge, yachts shall consider first,  maneuvers that conform with COLREGS prescriptions, recognizing starboard tack rights over port, overtaking rules and other rights of way defined within the COLREGS and these Sailing Instructions.

8.4 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.

8.5  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.

There are three races scheduled, one each day from Friday, 26 March through Sunday, 28 March. The scheduled starting time for the first yacht each day is 1100.

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: 17 53.1N / 062 51.5W).   

11.1  A yacht shall start in accordance with SI 14, leave each mark of the course on the required side and in the correct order, and then finish the race by crossing the finishing line.

11.2  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.

11.3  Inflatable buoys will be large orange and yellow tetrahedrons.

11.4  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 will be included.

11.5  The course each day will be announced at the daily pre-race briefing. Additionally, the Race Committee will announce the course on channel #73 once the Committee Boat is on station.

12.1   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, projected wind conditions and the course configuration. The starting times for each yacht will be distributed at each morning’s pre-race briefing. 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 and some ratings may be adjusted during the regatta (refer to the Bucket Rule for details).

12.2  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 so start should not be on the course side of the starting line.

12.3  The starting line will be between a large black flag with a lime (The St. Barths Flag) on the Race Committee signal boat (on the island side of the starting line) and an orange inflatable tetrahedron approximately 600 meters on an approximate SW bearing from the committee boat.

12.4   A yellow inflatable tetrahedron ‘keep off buoy’ may be anchored adjacent to, or tethered to the stern of, 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.

12.5  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. 

12.6   Should a postponement be required, the Race Committee will endeavor 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 in a timely fashion on the Race Committee channel.

12.7  If more than one yacht is maneuvering in the starting area, the vessel assigned the next start time will have rights over any other yachts that are either late for their start or setting up for a subsequent start. 

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 5 minutes early will be disqualified from the race.

14.1  There will be a 0.25NM “Safety Zone” established around each mark of the course. The center of each 0.25NM Safety Zone will be identified by Lat/Long in Exhibit I of the Sailing Instructions.

14.1.2   Tacking or jibing inside the Safety Zone will result in a ten minute penalty.   The Safety Tactician must document any such maneuvers on the Race Logs provided at the pre-race briefing.

14.1.3  If tacking or jibing is required inside a Safety Zone, to avoid hazards to navigation and/or for collision avoidance, such maneuvers will not be penalized if properly documented on the yacht’s Race Log - and approved by the Race Committee.

14.1.4   Prior to, during, and after a mark or obstruction rounding, overtaking yachts in the Safety Zone must pass outside of yachts being overtaken, unless they can maintain the required 40 meter separation.

14.2  Yachts are encouraged to run their engines in neutral while approaching congested mark roundings, so they may engage their engine if necessary for collision avoidance.

14.3  Yachts shall not touch a starting mark, a mark of the course or a finishing mark. A yacht that touches a mark will have 10 minutes added to her elapsed time. Such contact shall be recorded on the yacht’s daily race log sheet.

15.1  As per COLREGS, overtaking yachts must stay clear of yachts being overtaken. A yacht being overtaken can sail above or below ‘proper course’ to the next mark only until the overtaking yacht approaches the 40 meter minimum separation, at which point the overtaken yacht must return to her proper course to the next mark or obstruction. Timely action by the overtaken yacht will allow the overtaking yacht reasonable time and opportunity to maintain the required minimum distance between yachts.

15.2  In the context of this rule, ‘proper course’ is defined as follows: On reaching legs the most direct heading to the next mark of the course or navigation obstruction which must be cleared. On upwind legs, the optimum VMG angle for the overtaken yacht. On downwind legs the optimum downwind VMG for the overtaken yacht.

15.3  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. 

16.1  The Race Committee may shorten course at any mark of the course. The finishing line will be between a Race Committee boat and the applicable mark. The Race Committee boat will display code flag ‘S’, make repetitive sounds, and will broadcast shortened course over the Race Committee VHF channel.

16.2  The Race Committee may abandon a race at its discretion and will broadcast race abandonment over the Race Committee VHF channel.   

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

17.2   A yellow inflatable tetrahedron ‘keep off buoy’ may be anchored adjacent to, or tethered to the stern of, 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.

17.3  The finishing line will incorporate a ‘Finish Safety Zone’, defined by the finishing line itself and a line parallel to the finishing line, approximately 0.25NM on the course side defined by two yellow inflatable tetrahedron buoys.

17.3.1  Before entering the Safety Zone, each yacht must be on their final approach to the finishing line. Yachts tacking or jibing within this Safety Zone will receive a 10 minute penalty unless the maneuver is specifically for collision avoidance and not for competitive advantage. The Safety Tactician must log any such maneuvers on the Race Log provided at the pre-race briefing.   After review by the Race Committee the penalty may be waived.

17.3.2 Before entering the Finish Safety Zone, each yacht should consider all traffic conditions so that their intended final approach accounts for all yachts which must be given rights while maintaining the required 40M separation.

17.3.3 If for any reason a yacht is unable to safely cross the finishing line, they may pass outside either end on an extended bearing.  The Race Committee will record the finishing time on the extended bearing. If the yacht is unable to lay the finishing line on her final tack and passes outside, a 10 minute penalty will be assigned.  If the yacht passes outside the line for safety reasons and in the interest of collision avoidance, and not to gain competitive advantage, no penalty will be assigned.

18.1  The Event Organizer will take an absolutely proactive stance on enforcing safety and sportsmanship. Any serious breaches in this regard will result in serious consequences. 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.

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

18.3  At the Event Organizer’s discretion, a Safety Committee may be appointed to handle any matters pertaining to breaches of the racing rules and safety or sportsmanship related issues. . The composition of the committee and hearing procedures will be made available at the Captain’s Meeting. The Safety Committee may convene a hearing to determine the facts prior to dismissing a yacht. Such hearings will be scheduled to start as soon as possible after racing. Representatives of yachts who are parties to hearings and their witnesses shall remain on call in the vicinity of the Race Office.

18.4   In the event of a collision, the Event Organizer shall not be compelled by any authority to convene a hearing and/or render a third party opinion as to which yacht is at fault.  Nor shall they be required to give evidence or disclose any documentation for any civil hearing. Any claim for damages arising from an incident while a yacht is bound by the Sailing Instructions shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts, according to the Civil and Admiralty laws of France and the French West Indies.

18.5  The Supeyacht Protocol within these 2010 Sailing Instructions is a departure from years past, when “a protest would be heard if accompanied with a case of chilled champagne (the quality of which might determine the outcome)”.  The implicit message in that statement still carries forward today, reinforcing the fact that Bucket Regattas are congenial racing events with a focus on safety and prudent seamanship not competitive advantage and bickering over boat lengths. Infractions regarding competitive advantage will not be heard. However, if a competitor feels grievously wronged and insists on a hearing, this may be addressed under the sportsmanship requirements of the Regatta.*
* At the Event Organizer’s discretion, the Champagne Rule may apply in this circumstance.

19    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 using a low point scoring system (1st place – 1 point / 2nd place – 2 points and so forth).

20.1  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.

20.2  A yacht that retires from a race or does not intend to start a scheduled race shall promptly report this to the Race Committee on the designated VHF channel and receive acknowledgement. If this is not possible she shall promptly report her actions to Race Office on shore.

21    AWARDS
21.1  Awards for first, second and third place in the series will be presented on Sunday, 28 March following the racing that day.

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

21.3  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.

The rules outlined here constitute a comprehensive set of safety guidelines that will be used in all Bucket Regattas. 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


Mark location descriptions below are approximate.  The Safety Zone Center is not necessarily on the rounding mark itself. For the purpose of defining each ‘Safety Zone’ (Sailing Instruction 14.1 and Amendment #1), the Lat/Long is the center of a circle, defined by a 0.25nm Radius. Navigators are strongly encouraged to plot the safety zone circles for the course each day so onboard navigation equipment can used when approaching and rounding marks of the course. Values are expressed in degrees, minutes and decimals of minutes.

Mark Mark Name Location Description Safety Zone Lat/Long
A Ile Coco SE of St Barth’s - 1.5nm ESE of Grande Pointe 17 52.2N /  062 48.7W 
B Roches Rouges SE of St Barth’s - 1.5nm S of Pte Toiny 17 52.3N /  062 47.8W
C Les Grenadiers NE of St Barth’s and La Tortue 17 55.5N /  062 47.7W
D Nature Reserve Buoy 1 600 meters ESE of Ile Toc Vers 17 56.5N / 062 48.7W
E Ile Toc Vers 1.5nm N of St Barth’s / East of Ile Fregate 17 56.8N / 062 49.1W
F Ile Fregate 1nm N of the Baie St Jean / 1nm ENE of Ile Chevreau No Safety Zone
G Nature Reserve Buoy 2 0.5nm NW of Ile Fregate 17 56.6N / 062 50.7W
H Ile Chevreau N of St Barth’s / 0.5nm West of Ile Fregate No Safety Zone
I Ile Pele 1.5nm NNE of St Barth’s and Pte Colombier 17 57.4N / 062 52.0W
J Ile de Boulanger 0.25nm west of Ile Pele 17 57.4N / 062 52.4W
K Isle Fourchue 2.5nm NW of St Barth’s No Safety Zone
L Nature Reserve Buoy 3 0.5 nm WNW of Isle Fourchue 17 57.4N / 062 55.2W
M Roche Table 4nm NW of St Barth’s / 1.5nm of Ile Fourchue 17 58.5N / 062 55.6W
N Groupers 12nm west of Ile Fourchue 17 57.2N / 062 56.8W
O Petite Groupers 0.5nm SW of Groupers 17 56.8N / 062 57.1W
P Roche le Boeuf WNW of St Barths /1.5nm west of Pte Colombier 17 55.8N / 062 53.7W
Q Nature ReserveBuoy 4 0.5nm SE of Roche le Boeuf 17 55.5N / 062 53.3W
R Isle de la Pointe Western most point of St Barthelemy 17 55.2N / 062 52.7W
S Inflatable Buoy A Orange Inflatable Buoy 3nm W of The Groupers 17 55.0N / 063 00.0W

Exhibit 2 • Courses and Course Diagrams


Pendennis Worldclass Superyachts

The Yacht Report

Dohle Yachts

Camper & Nicholsons International

Marsh Yacht Practice

Future Fibres

Atlass Insurance Group

Port de Gustavia

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