Svea wins J Class St Barths Bucket

Four wins and Sunday's second place gave Svea a winning margin of six points over Velsheda and seven on third placed Topaz at J Class raiser, the St Barths Bucket.

One year ago when the J Class fleet was at it hammer and tongs, racing their first regatta of a historic season, the newly launched Svea was in Europe still completing first sea trials.

Sunday they secured their first regatta victory together when they won the J Class at the popular Caribbean event, the St Barths Bucket.

Showing benefits from a winter of work rebalancing and optimising, as well as ever-improving crew work and cohesion, Svea won four of the event's five races and were only denied a clean sweep by the wily, benchmark crew on Velsheda who won today.

They seized the lead from Svea just over half way around the 20 nautical miles clockwise circuit around the island of St Barths and never gave it up.

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After launching last year, it became apparent that Svea – which was built to an adapted original design by Tore Holm to have a centreboard – suffered from lee helm.

That was an ongoing niggle last season.

Just three races in, in Bermuda, a furling swivel gave way. The crew only just saved the rig, but their America's Cup J Class Regatta was over.

Immediately another race against time ensued, battling to be ready for the J Class World Championship in Newport, RI.

And even here in St Barths they started on the back foot.

Their long planned pre-regatta week of training was stymied because the swell was too big to land the shipping containers with all their race sails and hardware.

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All in all, that made winning today extra sweet for the Svea crew.

"We are so excited to win. It is incredible for all of us." smiled Svea's delighted project manager and tactician Charlie Ogletree, "And we are so thankful to Tom (the owner) for what he has done for us and he has done an incredible job driving this week."

Svea had some area added to the leading edge of the keel and extended the length of the boom.

In 1937 the boat was designed with a 12 foot long centreboard (which is not permitted under current class rules). The balance was not perfect.

Svea has gained a small improvement in rating as her wetted surface has increased (due to the additional keel area) but is acknowledged this week as being quick downwind especially.

2018 St Barths Bucket, Day 4 Round the Island Race

1st Velsheda 2 hrs 23 min 47 sec
2nd Svea 2 hrs 25 mins 16 sec
3rd Topaz 2hrs 28mins 3sec

St Barths Bucket - Overall Results

1st Svea 6pts
2nd Velsheda 12pts
3rd Topaz 13pts

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