The 170ft schooner Meteor was a popular winner of the 2009 St Barths Bucket which this year defied the economic gloom with a record breaking display of superyachting

In what must be regarded as one of the most spectacular superyacht regattas on record – 34 yachts measuring between 76ft (Wild Horses) and 289ft (Maltese Falcon) took part – the Royal Huisman built schooner Meteor came away with top honours at the 2009 St Barths Bucket which has just drawn to a close in the Caribbean.

This extraordinary event seemed to defy the effects of the economic downturn by putting on a show more impressive than ever. Outstanding sailing conditions – the trades were blowing at around 15 to 22 knots for the three day event – a sublime venue, which does relaxed chic better than any other Caribbean island and race management which strikes the right balance between fun and serious, combined to stage an outstanding show of heavyweight competition. This was supersailing at its very best.

The fleet, which included great names like Adela, Timoneer, Windrose, Ranger, Rebecca and the aforementioned Maltese Falcon, was split into Grand Dames (for slightly slower yachts) and the Gazelles in which the likes of Leopard 3 and Sojana featured. It was left to the well-tuned pursuit race system developed by Jim Teeters and Hank Halstead to serve up some intensely close competition.

With nine yachts in the fleet this was something of a Perini Navi fest and with Maltese Falcon looking dangerously fast in the Grand Dames fleet and the new go-faster 38m Philippe Briand designed P2 featuring in Gazelle, they got very close to the top prize.

But in the end it was a triumph for Huisman, Meteor, her hugely able crew led by captain Dean Maggio and designer Gerry Dykstra who developed the lines of the yacht with the Alden office.

I was lucky enough to be aboard Meteor on day one when we came home first. Yachting’s favourite musician Jimmy Buffet was also aboard that day. Jimmy owns a Tofinou, has ordered a Morris 36, has a Delta motor yacht and a house in St Barths. “Do you know guys I reckon I could do with one of these too!” quipped Buffet as he steered her to weather of Maltese Falcon – see picture.

To cap it all Alice Huisman was there celebrating 125 years of the iconic Royal Huisman yard and as the champagne flowed back at the dock in Gustavia is went down as a very special day to remember.

For full results check out and don’t miss the June issue of Yachting World when we will be bringing you some mouth-watering pictures and a fuller story of this outstanding event.