Newport Bucket Regatta This Weekend

P2 (pictured), Hanuman, MITseaAH, Timoneer, Altair, Tenacious, and more sailing megayachts are in Newport, Rhode Island for the tenth-annual Newport Bucket Regatta.

The race, which is being held Saturday and Sunday, with Newport Shipyard as the base, is a friendly competition. Though, the megayacht owners and crew understandably take great pride in vying for class trophies. Seventeen yachts from 72 to 156 feet are competing in three classes: Les Gazelles des Mers, Les Grandes Dames des Mers, and Les Madamoiselles des Mers. Each class is based on performance, with a mix of LOAs. There may be a bit more friendly competition in the air this year, as last year’s Newport Bucket Regatta had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Irene.

The Newport Bucket Regatta grants the perpetual Bucket trophy to the overall winner, plus daily awards for first in class. There are further series awards for first, second, and third place per class. The awards include custom-inscribed, handmade clocks by Chelsea Clock, a Massachusetts-based company whose timepieces are aboard many a megayacht as both practical and aesthetic pieces. Vitters Shipyard, one of the sponsors, is presenting the Vitters Seamanship Trophy to the megayacht that demostrates the best sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety. And yet another sponsor, Royal Huisman, is presenting a special trophy, too, though details haven’t been divulged.

Even with this being the 10th edition of the Newport Bucket Regatta, the overall Bucket Regattas are celebrating their 25th anniversary. The races include a St. Bart’s event and previously were held in Nantucket, Massachusetts, as well. A commemorative coffee-table book, The Bucket Book, is available for purchase, created to capture the images and anecdotes over the years.

Next year’s Newport Bucket Regatta is already set, for August 23 to 25.

UPDATE, AUGUST 27, 2012: The results from the weekend are in. Indio won the Bucket trophy, having faced some spirited competition. Vitters presented its trophy to MITseaAH. Lady B earned the Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket trophy, presented by Royal Huisman. The crew was rewarded for its hospitality and enthusiasm both on the water and on shore. And, Wild Horses received an award, too: the Chippewa Bomb, for what the Bucket committee calls “creative and fun ‘branding’ of the other yachts.” The Chippewa Bomb is a real bomb, though deactivated, of course, dating back to World War II. It is given each year, again in the words of the Bucket committee, “in recognition of those who perpetuate the non-adult behavior that pervades all Bucket Fleets.”

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