Mr Hines: We have had a wonderful time here; competing is fun and bringing a group of friends, which really becomes a high point of their year.
Mrs Hines: That’s why we do it again and again because our friends enjoy it so much. We always try to bring new people on board every year who have never done it before.
Mr H: Over the years we have gotten to know people with boats so it is fun catching up with friends - it is like a big get together. We have done the Loro Piana regatta and the Newport Bucket, but St Barths is definitely our favourite. The winds here are always challenging and give you a thrill so it is great for our kind of boat.
Mrs H: It has been brilliant. We think that it is a wonderful thing that St Barths puts on. The French flavour adds a little bit of that specialness to it; the great restaurants and the great service that has come over from France.
Mrs H: I haven’t seen a change. I have heard that the Virgin Gorda regatta has changed and is growing bigger. That was intimate, not as much hoopla and that was very nice because you know everybody there. Whereas here you are a bit of a stranger; there are 48 boats and you don’t get to know everyone here so it’s a little bit more anonymous. Virgin Gorda still has that early beginning where you are one big family and that has a charm of its own. We haven’t been to Sardinia yet so we will have to find out.
TSO: When you designed Lady B, was being able to take part in regattas a major consideration?
Mrs H: No we didn’t think about it, we didn’t really know about these regattas before. Building Lady B was a four-year process, so while we were waiting we built a smaller carbon-fibre boat. We came down to St Barths at the time of the regatta and we thought; ‘Well, when we get Lady B we will definitely come back and do a regatta with her.’
Mr H: I enjoy coming here and seeing the new boats that have come out and how they are being built. Then interchanging with all the yachting people I have done business with; my designer, my builder, my project manager. All of those people are fun to see again and hear what they are doing. You might build a new boat at some point in the future, so that is always on my mind.
TSO: Are there any yachts at the Bucket that have caught your eye?
Mr H: Yes, the new Ganesha.
Mrs H: And I happen to love Twizzle, she is beautiful. But every boat has its charm and its particular flavour.
Mr H: This is our first year of charter - we haven’t pushed it but it is nice to have part of her sales offset.
Mrs H: So far it has been a positive experience for the crew. We have had very nice people on board, which is everything. We never thought we would charter but owning a yacht is just such a huge expense.
What is your biggest frustration with superyacht ownership?
Mr H: Until the boating industry starts to sell existing yachts, there won’t be many new yachts being built. Now it is starting to recover slightly, but yacht owners are having a very tough time.
All images courtesy of Anne Vandromme-Hood.
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