Dazzling conditions were the order of the day for the third race of the Oyster Regatta BVI. With 15 knots of steady Trade Winds, flat water and brilliant sunshine, the Oyster fleet enjoyed a magnificent race around the scenic island of Virgin Gorda and its outlying islands. Oyster CEO David Tydeman addressed the Oyster owners at the Skippers’ Briefing and concluded that the race would commence in the narrow confines of the North Sound before the fleet would burst out into the exposed yet utterly sublime waters of the western approach to the stunningly beautiful archipelago. There can truly be few places on earth as beautiful to sail as the Virgin Islands when the wind blows and the sun shines, as it has done, every day for the Oyster Regatta BVI.
After a fabulous close reach to Necker Island, the Oyster flotilla bore away to the southwest, unfurling spinnakers in gleaming sunshine to accelerate through the electric blue ocean swell. The Oyster family had a memorable experience; surfing six-foot waves in warm air with the spectacular views of Fallen Jerusalem and a close passage past the granite outcrops known as The Baths, it really was sailing at its best.
Ross Appleby’s Oyster LW48, Scarlet Oyster raced with great precision and tactical awareness to take the gun. However, with one race left to sail, there is a tremendously close finish expected for the 12 Deck Saloon Oysters racing in Class 2. From Ireland, Stephen and Aileen Hyde’s Oyster 56, A Lady was victorious today and having scored well in all three races currently leads the field. A Lady has overtaken Scotland’s Bill Munro’s Oyster 575, Boarding Pass III, which could only manage an 8th in the Round Virgin Gorda Race due to sail damage at the start. Marshall Glynn’s Oyster 49, Norman g III had a superb race today gaining their first podium position of the regatta. However, Class 2 is proving to be very competitive as typified by Ian Galbraith, skipper of Jigsaw, the Oyster 53 took the “First across the start line prize” with pride and a rapturous applause from the Oyster family.
In Class 1, the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean, skippered by Philip Scully sailed well yet again to take line honours and the corrected-time win. However, Chris and Susan Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea were so very close to winning the race. John Noble’s Oyster 655 Neki took third place and received a huge round of applause at the Prize Giving. John and his wife have never raced before, let alone attended an Oyster Regatta but their eagerness to learn and passion for sailing has shone through in the race around Virgin Gorda. The last race will confirm the podium places for this class, Starry Night of The Caribbean currently lead overall, but Ravenous, Magrathea, Matawai, Neki, Blue Horizons and Rivendell of Wight are all still very much in the running.
After racing today, the Oyster fleet bid a fond au revoir to the Bitter End Yacht Club. John Glynn, VP of Sales and Marketing was quick to thank the Oyster family. “It is such a pleasure to have the Oyster owners and their guests at the Bitter End. By co-incidence, it is interesting to know that Oyster Yachts was established in 1973, the same year that the Hokins family purchased the land that the Bitter End Yacht Club stands on today. Our club and Oyster have similar values; friendship, loyalty and first class service and I am sure that many of the Oyster family will return and I can assure you, we will always be delighted to see you.”
After the Dolphin Sails Race Around Virgin Gorda, the Oyster fleet moored stern to at the fabulous new superyacht dock at the YCCS Virgin Gorda. The Caribbean clubhouse of the famous Sardinian Club is absolutely spectacular and probably the most luxurious yacht club anywhere in the Caribbean. Set in a divine landscape of tropical plants and granite boulders, the Clubhouse amenities include an infinity pool with a gleaming teak bar and a view that takes your breath away across the North Sound. A sumptuous buffet supper was served on the YCCS Clubhouse lawn, as a full moon blessed the grand occasion.
After dinner, an energetic steel band played the night away to a packed dance floor, there maybe a few aching limbs for the final race of the Oyster Regatta BVI; the passage race to Nanny Cay Marina sponsored by Pantaenius.
ResultsPhoto GalleryPhotos: Yacht Shots BVIWritten by: Louay Habib
© Oyster Yachts 2013