Oyster Regatta BVI 2012Race 2Sponsored by Raymarine to Virgin Gorda.
The Oyster Regatta BVI continued on Wednesday with a tactically challenging 18-mile race sponsored by Raymarine to the Bitter End Yacht Club on the beautiful island of Virgin Gorda. The majority of the race was a beat to the north of Tortola, around Guana Island and Great Camanoe with a finish in the vicinity of Scrub Island. The big decision was whether to stay offshore or to play the coast in search of lifts from the spectacular cliffs along the remote shoreline. The course exposed the fleet to open sea and the breeze piped up to as much as 15 knots in the gusts.
There was some very close sailing within the fleet, a really awesome sight as the graceful Oyster yachts swapped tacks, making gains and losses like a game of snakes and ladders. For some the race took as long as four hours but the rewards for making the finish was a warm welcome in one of the most magnificent settings in the Caribbean. Virgin Gorda is located in the North Sound, an archipelago of stunning islands forming the eastern extent of the Caribbean. One of the most remarkable features is ‘The Baths’ located on the southern end of the island, these unusual geologic formations echo the island's volcanic origins, as huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach, forming scenic grottoes that are open to the sea. After racing several yachts chose to cool off at The Baths before mooring at the Bitter End Yacht Club.
Ross Appleby’s Oyster LW48 was built in 1987 and comes from a time when the LW48 and LW395 were built by Oyster for one-design racing and hence is very different from the world-renowned Deck Saloon range that Oyster is now so famous for. Ross and his team on Scarlet Oyster enjoyed the beat and sailed intelligently to win for the second day in a row.
In Class 2 a tremendously close battle for second place took place between two Oyster 575s. Richard and Angela Parkinson’s Sophistikate and Bill Munro’s Boarding Pass III were often side-by-side right up the beat, each comfortably beating to windward at over seven knots, demonstrating excellent performance. It was not until the last few miles that Sophistikate managed to get a few boat lengths ahead by pointing better to windward to take second place in the race.
Boarding Pass III owner, Bill Munro is Chairman of a highly successful travel business. Barrhead Travel employs 600 people and for the last two years has been awarded by The Sunday Times as one of the top 100 companies to work for.
Bill took the helm of Boarding Pass III for four hours yesterday and also took great delight in making the crews lunch before the race! “Well the sandwiches weren’t very good and maybe I need a bit more time at the wheel!” Joked Bill “I am very competitive, I want to win every time I race, it’s just my nature. However it is important to enjoy the sailing as well and I love getting out on the water with Susan and our friends and today was a great race, thoroughly enjoyable. We bought the yacht eighteen months ago and due to business commitments I haven’t sailed as much as I would have liked but if we can get the time, I think our next adventure will be to explore the Eastern Seaboard of the States. Susan and I have been to a few ports along that coast and we really like it there, so it would be nice to experience a few more places that we haven’t been to before.”
In Class 1, the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean, skippered by Philip Scully sailed well to take the gun, which will give the crew much satisfaction after a problem with the spinnaker retrieval system cost them several places in Race 1. Michael Hahn’s Oyster 655, Matawai was second with Michael Jones’ Oyster 655, Blue Horizon third. The two Oyster 655s enjoyed the beat, with a powerful hull form and great stability the design exhibits great all round performance.
At the prize giving, John Glynn, VP of Sales and marketing at Bitter End, extended a warm welcome to 160 Oyster owners and their guests. “This is the sixth time that Oyster has come to the Bitter End Yacht Club and we are delighted to welcome you all, please make yourself at home during your stay, all of the club’s facilities are at your disposal.” A splendid cocktail party and barbeque was held at the Almond Walk Restaurant, which was extremely well received by the Oyster family. It was a beautiful moonlit night with a fresh breeze cooling the night air with good company, excellent food and live music right on the beach, the Oyster Regatta BVI was a special place to be.
Thursday marks a return to shore for the Oyster party and The Bitter End Yacht Club is a perfect location for Lay Day. For those who want to get back on the water, the club’s dinghy fleet is at their disposal and for Oyster owners and guests that wish to take it easy, there are plenty of luxurious shore side facilities available, including the Bitter End Yacht Club swimming pool and pristine sandy beaches along the Almond Walk. Saba Island is just a short complimentary two-minute ferry ride away, which is a popular spot with guests that have visited the magnificent location before. Racing at the Oyster Regatta BVI continues on Friday 6th April with a race around the idyllic island of Virgin Gorda in the North Sound.
ResultsPhoto GalleryPhotos: Yacht Shots BVIWritten by: Louay Habib
© Oyster Yachts 2013