Wonderful article written about the Club and St Barts:


St Barts Gustavia Yacht Club launched on the “Jewel of the Caribbean”

HomeTravelSt Barts Gustavia Yacht Club launched on the “Jewel of the Caribbean”

Santiago Travel July 1, 2017

By Simon Piggott

The St Barts experience starts immediately as you fly across from St Martin (SXM) and touch down on the island at Gustaf III Airport (SBH); this reminds the newcomer of some of its historical origins, when the island was a free port under the Swedish Crown.


You fly in over spectacular views of the Port of Gustavia, the island’s capital, which also takes its name from King Gustav III. The short airstrip is at the base of a gentle slope which ends directly on the beach. Considered the third most tricky airport in the world to approach, the descent to the runway is extremely steep, passing straight over a hilltop roundabout. Departing planes take off right over the heads of sunbathers, as at St Martin, although signs advise sunbathers not to lie on the beach at the end of the runway: a barrier has been put up to discourage bathers walking across the beach at that point. Anyway only specially licensed pilots are allowed to land at St Barts so do not worry!



The island’s original name was Ouanalao, Amerindian for pelican. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and renamed by him after his brother Bartolomeo. French settlers arriving in 1663 called it Saint-Barthélemy. In 1784 France ceded the island to Sweden in exchange for trading rights at the port of Gothenburg. The Swedes then sold it back to France nearly a century later in 1878.

At 25 sq.kms, the island is small and was not conducive to plantations, such as sugar, due to its being dry and rocky. It thus became a centre for buccaneers before and during the colonial wars, when bounties could be exchanged without paying tax. Over the years the inhabitants, while retaining their free port status, converted to trading, fishing and farming.

In 1957 David Rockefeller, who died earlier this year at the venerable age of 101, bought a plot of land and built a property at Colombier, one of the most beautiful bays on St Barts. Slowly the dormant island, which had become a département of France in 1946 (a similar status to Hawaii in the US) emerged onto the map of an eccentric collection of characters, who settled on the island in search of its privacy and seclusion vis-a-vis better known spots frequented by the international jet set. A good read is Randy West’s book of tales “A Sunny Place for Shady Characters” about his encounters over the past 40 years at Le Select, the island’s only Caribbean-style bar, located in the centre of Gustavia.



Over the past 20 years, the island has developed into a hub for discreet luxury tourism under the savvy guidance of Bruno Magras, first as mayor from 1995 and then as Président de la Collectivité, following its independence from Guadaloupe in 2007. The original settlers and even the sailors who visited the island in the early 1980s would hardly recognize St Barts today!

Christmas and New Year’s Eve now attract an international crowd, with superyacht spotting becoming a “national sport” – 2016 saw the likes of the 162.5m “Eclipse” whose owner also has a property on the island, the 115m “Luna”,  the 113m Le “Grand Bleu”, 101.5m “Symphony”, 96.25m “Limitless”, 92m “Aquarius” SY 88m “Maltese Falcon”, 85.6m “Aquila” and many more anchoring off Gustavia Port, which berths its largest yacht “Excellence V” at 60m. The owners are a mixture of European and American billionaires and friends, who appreciate the beauty and safety of the island, many of whom are members of Cercle.



It is within this growing international context that the Gustavia Yacht Club was established in 2016 by its Commodore, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and a number of founding members, who have fallen in love with the island and its human dimension, but lacked a place in which visitors and inhabitants alike could come together to enjoy the island’s beauty and its fascinating nautical past
and present.

Over a short period of time since September 2016 GYC has gathered in its Clubhouse on the Port of Gustavia over 280 members (many of whom have made St Barts their winter residence) including Benefactors, Founding and Ordinary Members in a cosy atmosphere reminiscent of a home within a home, with members active in sailing, motor yachting and all the other activities that the island offers Club members have started to take part in sailing events held on the island, starting with the New Year’s Eve Regatta round the island, which saw Donald in his W Class “White Horses” among others. This was followed by the coveted Bucket Regatta, which this year celebrated its 30th Anniversary.

In the Club’s first Role of Honour we congratulate GYC member Kim and his crew for winning the Les Gazelles des Mers class on the 33m Baltic “Win Win”, and Elena on her 88m Perini “Maltese Falcon” entering into the true spirit of the Les Grandes Dames des Mers class, which was won by the 56m Perini “Rosehearty” with Paul Cayard of America’s Cup fame as tactician.





“Koo”, the 43m Vitters won Les Voiles Blanches, racing under the new Corinthian Spirit Class ORCcs handicap , while “Wisp”, the Royal Huisman 48m sloop, took the Les Mademoiselles des Mers class.

“Spiip”, the 34m German Frers designed and Royal Huisman built sloop won the Les Elegantes des Mers class and was crowned overall winner of the Bucket! Add in the return of the mighty
J Class, Le retour des legendes being won by “Hanuman”, a Royal Huisman built in 2009, and the 2017 St Barts Bucket was really an unforgettable trentennial celebration!

Next on the sailing agenda was the Voiles de St. Barths in April, which saw a number of members and friends competing. This will be followed by the America’s Cup rendezvous in Bermuda in June, at which many GYC members will be present.

Fair winds to you all and looking forward to seeing you in the Med for the season and at the Monaco Yacht Show at the end of September, where the Club will have a stand on the port.

Read the original article here: http://ccercle.com/st-barts-gustavia-yacht-club-launched-on-the-jewel-of-the-caribbean/

 Thanks to all our Members for having participating to this great event at Sag Harbor in the Hamptons ! 

This was a lovely evening with friends and some live music.

The food that came out was excellent. They had put out and amazing cheese & crudites plates. The wine was excellent and varied. The staff was attentive courteous. 

Everyone thanked Benjamin, our Club Manager throughout the evening for a wonderful opportunity to get together.

 We hope you enjoyed it ! 


Sunday 4th June:
«Saint Barth Clean Up» : Organised by the Lions Club and the Rotary Club, it will take place on Sunday, 4 June. Meet-up is scheduled at 7am on the parking in front of Tom Beach Hotel. Gloves, bags, water and croissants will be given to each participant. People doing deep diving are expected by Serial Divers on the Colléctivité Quay at same time.
Benjamin will be at Tom Beach with a Gustavia Yacht Club Cap and will be representing the Club for the beach clean up day.
Celia will be with Serial Divers at the Colléctivité Representing the club there.
St-Barth Clean Up organisé par le Rotary Club et le Lions Club aura lieu le
Dimanche, 4 Juin prochain en partenariat avec la Collectivité, les clubs de
plongée Serial Divers et Splash, et Saint Barth Essentiel. Le rendez-vous est
donné à 7h sur le parking en face du Tom Beach, à Saint-Jean. Sacs, gants,
eau, croissants seront remis à chacun des participants. Les apnéistes seront
attendus par Serial Divers sur le quai de la Collectivité à la même heure. Un
pique-nique sera organisé au Zion le même jour pour remercier tous les bénévoles
impliqués dans cette action. Venez nombreux nous aider à rendre cette
île plus propre.

DE ST BARTH HARMONY : The School of Music St Barth Harmony is pleased to invite you to the final concert of the year with violins/violincelles taking place on Sunday 4th June at 4pm in the Anglican Church. Free entry.
L'école de musique St Barth Harmony a le plaisir de vous convier à son concert de fin d'année de violons /violoncelles qui aura lieu le dimanche4 juin à 16h00 à l'église anglicane.

Tiki Cocktails
Thursday, 8th June at the Clubhouse there will be Pina Colada's being poured for thirsty members 1800h-2100h. Usual snacks and beverages will be served as well. 
Jeudi 8 Juin au Clubhouse, Pina Coladas sera versée pour les membres assoiffés de 18h00 à 21h00. Des collations et des boissons habituelles seront également servies.    Clubhouse Hours:
Monday-Friday 900h-2100h
Saturday-Sunday 1100h-2100h
*Boutique will have the same hours as the Clubhouse*
**please note that while these are the posted hours the club is always accessible to members with the keycode to enter. 

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Picture courtesy of Andrew Lampert 
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What an amazing America's Cup! 

With everything on the line and Team Oracle down 5-1 against the Kiwis it was a perfect opportunity for the members of the Club who were there to see it all unfold. On Friday they gathered at the Royal Bermuda yacht club to discuss the competitors and the conditions which were plagued with high winds early on. Several members pointed out the distinct advantage the Kiwis had with their new pedal powered hydraulics, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sailing/2017/05/24/new-zealand-embrace-pedal-power-americas-cup-bid/ while others criticized few but grave mistakes the Americans made in a few races one of which cost them penalties for racing out of bounds. It looks like the next America’s cup gathering will be in Auckland where we should all be to cheer on the competitors.

Special thanks to our Social Committee representatives Mai Norton and Doug Foregger for hosting. 

Les Voiles are over And we had a great time at the Clubhouse. For those members wishing to know what the results are we have copied from the official website to make it easier for our members.


And The Winners Are…

After three days of tight competition on the waters off the French West Indies island of St. Barth, many of the teams racing in Les Voiles de St. Barth headed into the final day today with the hopes of either dismounting class leaders or fending off competitors that were climbing up in the rankings. However, due to lack of wind the Race Committee was forced to make the difficult decision to cancel the final day of racing. Nevertheless, the eighth edition of the regatta didn’t dissapoint, with a week of fun and entertainment satisfying sailors both on and off the water. In the end, winners were crowned in all nine classes.

In Maxi 1, the competition was tight between the eight boats, but George Sakellaris’ Proteus shined throughout the week, defending its 2016 class win and finishing off the regatta with a solid three-point lead over second-place finisher Prospector. Also, for overall best performance among all Maxis competing, Sakellaris took home the regatta’s most coveted prize, the Richard Mille 60-01 Regatta Flyback Chronograph timepiece.

“We arrived here this week, knowing that it was going to be a super tough event like it always is here, with really high-caliber competition in the maxi fleet, and obviously we weren’t disappointed,” said Proteus Tactician Stu Bannatyne. “ A few different boats, have strengths in different conditions and we had to work really hard to get the results we did.”

Maxi 2 Class Winner: Windfall

Ian Walker, Tactician

“It was great for us because last year we had damaged the rigging after having won one of the earlier races so there was a bit of unfinished business for Mike, the owner of the boat. He steered the majority of the races and we had pretty much the same team back from last year, so it was very satisfying to win.”

CSA 0 Winner: Sorcha

Phil Harmer, Backstay Trimmer

“Les Voiles de St. Barth this year has been a really cool regatta. We’ve had lighter wind than you normally get here but that suits the TP52 style of boat. It has been great to have the owner Peter Harrison* racing here for a few years and be representing the title sponsor and great for us to win for Richard Mille watches and for Peter who is always trying something new and always wanting to fit in more and more events. We love it here and hopefully we’ll be back again next year.” *Harrison is CEO of Richard Mille for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

CSA 1 Winner: Fortunata

Kenneth Howery, Owner/Driver

“We’re very excited to place like we did. This is my first time winning any type of regatta, and I credit it toward our amazing team and Tommaso Chieffi, our tactician who’s sailed in the Olympics and the America’s Cup. Overall it was a fantastic week, with great racing and lots of fun off the water.”


CSA 2 Winner: Oystercatcher XXX1

Sir Richard Matthews, Owner

“This week, we had a good sail on the first day with breeze, but the truth is, our boat is quite slow in light air, and yesterday we were the slowest boat in our class for sure, but out of desperation, we tried something different and took a big chance on the last leg. It was better to be lucky than good on this occasion. Our tactician Saskia Clark, who has a gold medal in the Olympics and is the ISAF World Sailor of the Year, was very helpful in making the boat point in the right direction, and we’re all very happy. It’s our first time in St. Barth and we really enjoyed the courses and sailing around the island. It’s a really great event, and I hope we have the opportunity to come back. We’re going away with a lot of good feelings about St. Barth and about sailing here.

CSA 3 Winner: Blitz

Peter Corrs, Owner/Driver

“We got three bullets last year and another three this year at Les Voiles de St. Barth. Coming back here and doing this well is fantastic. I think our team sailed even better this year. Our team is so good, and I’m always excited to compete here. It’s a great way to end our Caribbean season.”

CSA 4 Winner: Pasco’s Jaguar

Chris de Glanville, Owner

“We got a third, a first and a second, so we managed to keep the consistency at the top. For us, the best day was Wednesday where there was good breeze and we had a fabulous race, and we raced the boat as well as we could have done. Basically we had a wonderful time; we really enjoyed it and would love to come back, and that’s genuine. It has been a different experience for us because we tend to just sail windward-leeward races at home, but this was very different and quite challenging at times.”

Melges 24 Winner: Team Island Water World

Frits Bus, Owner/Driver

“I’ve been a Melges 24 sailor for 20 years. We’ve been coming here every year and have won a few times and have broke our mast twice when we were winning so we have a little bit of history here. This year it was nice to win again and there was very good competition from the other islands. We come here to win and to have a great time with friends and we did just that.”

Multihull Winner: Fujin

Greg Slyngstad, Owner/Driver

“We love St. Barth so no matter what happens in the regatta we have a great time. Our boat does better when the wind blows. When the wind was blowing this week we were out in front. When it was less windy like yesterday it was difficult. It turned out great, we’ll be back, we had a great time.”