Been there, got the t-shirt! A big thank you is in order to S/Y Clan VIII who kindly hosted me for my first ever sail yesterday. I don't know what I was expecting, perhaps being thrust into a foreign world of technical yachting speak and terror on the high seas, but what I got instead was a day of adrenalin-fuelled fun, a patient crew who were endlessly generous with their explanations of the inner workings of this majestic Perini Navi, and an enthusiastic owner who told me that the St Barths Bucket is his favourite regatta in the world.

Photography - Tim Thomas

Last night, as I chatted to our current cover stars Stephen and Sherron Hemsley (guests aboard S/Y Meteor this year) and S/Y Inouï owner Marco Vögele over cocktails on the beach at Eden Roc – I started to understand why.

This is an event with a serious buzz – in part thanks to the location and the sheer number of boats taking part but also thanks to the perfect balance it seems to strike between competitive spirit and full-on fun. Yes, the owners I’ve spoken to definitely want to win – but they are also here for a good time. And in St Barths, well, that’s plain sailing.

S/Y Clan VIII - photography by Tim Thomas