The sailing crew on board Altair on day two

On day two of the St Barths Bucket I sailed with Altair. A 29m Sparkman & Stephens, she was invited to participate in the bucket for the first time this year, slightly bending the 30m rule. Racing alongside the Perini giantesses in the Grand Dames class, Altair turned out to be the little sailboat who could, winning her class unexpectedly on the last day due to a tense face off between Seahawk and Clan VIII in the last seconds. I spoke to the owner about his first Bucket experience.

You won your class today! How has it all been?

This has all been so exciting. Every day was a challenge. I was at the helm racing for the first time - I typically just cruise in Altair so venturing into the racing world is scary but exciting; I love the tension of it all. On day two for example, there was such a tight finish that we didn't know if we ended up fourth or fifth, but that is what a race is all about! And today Clan VIII sneaking past Seahawk at the very last second was what allowed us to win our class. We owe them some champagne I think! Tension at the last minute, all hands on deck - that is what all of to is about.

What makes this regatta so enjoyable?

Everyone here is so nice, my crew are wonderful, everyone in St Barths is amazing, so this is what the bucket is all about. This is my first entry. I have been here as a spectator three other times and was lucky enough to be invited this year and here I am. This is a gathering of all the biggest yachts in the world, 38 in total, and it is something to behold. This is the granddaddy of the superyacht races. It couldn't be better to be here among such beautiful boats. We are 29m so the typical 30m rule has been slightly bent for us and I am so happy to have been here.

The owner at the helm

Why do you sail?

Sailing yacht owners tend to have been raised on sail boats and there is a certain adventure about a sailing yacht - I think it's what attracts us to these big sail boats. I tell some of my friends that even sitting on my boat at the dock is an adventure. Wind and sail boats have been around throughout history, and so I feel like we are all part of history. Even with these new boats that are high tech and involve the latest innovations - they are just an evolution in history, they are still sailing boats. They call to mind exploration and adventure, and I love to be a part of that.