Superyacht Cup Adopts ‘Bucket’ ratings.

Regular readers will know that we wonder why event organisers make sailing so complicated, but for an event like the Superyacht Cup, the rules don’t really matter to anyone who isn’t in it. Here then is a story about the new ratings system that will be used to make the racing closer and more ‘transparent’.

The Superyacht Cup regattas will use the same system as the St Barths and Newport Bucket Regattas – the ‘Bucket Rating’ which is a pursuit racing rating.

The system was developed by Jim Teeters, Associate Offshore Director at US Sailing, with the aim of creating an accurate and transparent system for rating superyachts of all designs and sizes.

Hank Halsted, Bucket Race Committee Chairman, has welcomed the move:

‘It is a great opportunity to bring the four regattas together on the same standard for pursuit racing, streamlining the application process and bringing parity to the regatta results. With nearly a hundred superyachts in the system, the Bucket Rule has truly hit its’ stride.’

The goal of the Bucket Rating system is to provide starting times for each yacht that result in the entire fleet converging on the finish line at the same time, and do this for a variety of courses in any wind speed. The Bucket Rating process is simple, only requiring measurements for length, weight, draft, ballast, rig and sail characteristics. From this, the yachts’ VPP (Velocity Prediction Programme) is calculated and combined with some ‘Observed Performance’ adjustments to produce a combination of technical capability and real sailing performance. This system has been modified over the years and proved itself with the results of the 2008 St. Barths Bucket where the first 10 of 26 boats finished within 150 seconds in a two hour race, with many of them overlapping.

‘The Bucket Rating system has shown over the past few years to provide one of the fairest and most accurate ways of rating different style and size superyachts over a varied race course’ commented Superyacht Cup Event Director, Patrick Whetter. ‘We want our events to continue to be fun regattas, where owners are familiar and confident with the rating system. By adopting the Bucket Rating we can bring the Superyacht Cup Palma and Antigua, and St Barths and Newport Buckets, closer together to help build the data and continually improve the system. We know how competitive everyone gets out on the water and we believe this system is the best possible option for fun, safe, fair and competitive superyacht racing.’

The next Superyacht Cup Antigua, 9 – 12 December 2008, will use the Bucket Rating for all classes, whereas the Superyacht Cup Palma will consider an IRC class in addition should there be sufficient demand.

Superyacht Regatta Calendar 

  • The Superyacht Cup Antigua, Dec 9-12, 2008
  • St Barths Bucket, March 26-29th
  • The Superyacht Cup Palma, June 24-27th
  • Newport Bucket, July 17-19th
  • The Superyacht Cup Antigua, Dec 8-11th (tbc)


For more information and the Notice of Race for The Superyacht Cup Antigua: