My first ever St Barths Bucket begins with me clinging helplessly to someone I have known for approximately two minutes (apologies Robbie from TracTrac!) as our tiny plane from St Marten careers at full pelt towards a mountain, appears to nosedive into the runway, before finally lifting skywards at the last second and skidding to a stop. Apparently this is all quite normal, although the pilots need a special licence for such terror-inducing maneuvers. Whatever, it was a fittingly dramatic introduction to what promises to be an adrenalin-fuelled few days.

Today as I familiarise myself with the island, it feels like the calm before the storm. Many boats are out for practise sails on the water, including S/Y Silencio, which today has our Mediterranean editor Bryony McCabe joining the race crew on board. And the real action kicks off tomorrow, with the J Class race.

Boomboys - photography by Tim Thomas

Down at the SYRA meeting Peter Craig touches on safety, especially on-board, commenting on a notable improvement over the past few years. Music to my ears as I’m gearing up for my first ever race. He also mentions a downward trend in entry numbers for the regatta – asking members for input on why this might be. “The fun aspect needs to be bought back,” came one suggestion. Although from what I can tell, there’s plenty of that going around.

Stay tuned for more.

Peter Craig - photography by Tim Thomas

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