- Created on Monday, 12 December 2011 22:36
- Written by Planet Fashion TV
- Category: Places
St. Barts is where the serious yacht crowd of the Mediterranean, Caribbean and East Coast meet in the winter; there's nothing like it in the world.
Last year in the week after Christmas more than 350 yachts filled the harbor, some having camped out for weeks to secure the prime spots on the quay (first come, first served). They ranged from the classic ketch Ticonderoga to the 452-foot motoryacht Sunrise.
Although some people come to be seen, celebrities and the very wealthy come to St Barts to hide out. This is a place where you can't be judged by the size of your jet (because large jets can't get in here) or what you drive (the narrow one-lane roads lead to the majority of people driving around in Euro mini cars), or your home (strict zoning keeps the size of a home to a limited square footage), thus you find cute little cottages that only cost $100,000 a week to rent!
But you can be judged by your yacht and all the biggest come at New Year's and then again the first weekend in April for the St. Barts' Bucket. Run by the same folks who put on the Newport Bucket, the race is only open to yachts 78 feet and larger. Last year 25 of the behemoths raced around the island, including two of Jim Clark's yachts, the 295-foot Athena and 156-foot Hyperion, and Joe Vittoria's 247-foot Mirabella V.
St. Barts wasn't always like this. Settled by pirates, and without a freshwater spring, the eight-square-mile island was an outpost that bounced between Swedes, Brits and the French. But no one fought over it with too much zeal, and the French actually sold it to the Swedes-and then bought it back.
Gone with the pirates and in with the trendy set. St. Barts is the what's cool place of the moment.
See our gallery of scenes from St Barts.