Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012
29 March 2012
With just three days to go to the start of Oyster’s 2012 Caribbean Regatta, the fleet of 25 Oysters is making its way to the British Virgin Islands, the fifth Oyster event to be held in this most beautiful of sailing locations. Renowned for its crystal blue waters and fantastic weather the stunning archipelago of islands offers one of the most picturesque settings anywhere in the Caribbean.
The Oyster fleet, ranging from 46’ to 82’, will gather at Nanny Cay Resort and Marina on Monday 2 April for Registration and the Skippers’ Briefing. As usual there will be much activity on the dock as crews prepare for the Concours d’Elegance sponsored by Pelagos Yachts before heading to the beach for the welcome party hosted by Nanny Cay, followed by dinner at Peg Legs Restaurant. Entertainment is being organised by the BVI Tourist Board.
Racing starts on Tuesday 3 April with Race 1, sponsored by Lewmar, taking the fleet round to the beautiful, palm tree fringed beach at Cane Garden Bay where the fleet will anchor overnight and enjoy a pig roast and barbecue supper at Myetts Garden Inn.
On Wednesday 4 April Race 2, sponsored by Raymarine, sees the fleet head to Virgin Gorda where berthing has been reserved at the Bitter End Yacht Club, always a favourite with Oyster regatta fleets. That evening participants will enjoy a Caribbean barbecue, Jump Up and limbo competition.
Lay Day on Thursday 5 April gives everyone a chance to relax and for those who are still keen to get out on the water for some more action and fun the Oyster Regatta dinghy regatta takes place that afternoon.
Friday 6 April and Race 3, sponsored by Dolphin Sails, will take the fleet around Virgin Gorda on a 25-mile course before they head into the stunning new Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Marina on the north eastern tip of Virgin Gorda. A very warm ‘Italian’ welcome will be awaiting participants at the YCCS Clubhouse, where they will enjoy spectacular views over North Sound.
Saturday 7 April, and Race 4, sponsored by Pantaenius, finishes back at Nanny Cay where the regatta party conclude in style with the prize giving, dinner and dancing late into the night.
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 1
2 April 2012
A fleet of 25 stunning examples of the Oyster range of yachts has gathered in the idyllic Caribbean setting of the British Virgin Islands for the 28th event in the Oyster Regatta series. The dockside at Nanny Cay Marina was a hive of activity today, as crews meticulously prepared their yachts for the Concours d’Elegance. The magnificent Oyster fleet has been given a very warm welcome by the team at Nanny Cay Marina, a glorious safe haven on the south western coast of Tortola, where the Oyster Customer Service team has been in attendance to assist the fleet for several days prior to the start of the regatta.
Proving that Oyster regattas are as popular as ever with owners, this event showcases 12 different examples of the distinctive Oyster range, from the Oyster 46 to the Oyster 82. At the Skippers’ Briefing, Oyster Chief Executive, David Tydeman, welcomed all the competitors. “It is great to have you all here and we are all looking forward to an immensely enjoyable event, it is nice to see some regular attendees but it is especially nice to welcome nine Oysters and their owners who are joining us at an Oyster regatta for the first time. We will be visiting some of the Virgin Islands most prestigious locations, including the new YCCS clubhouse on Virgin Gorda, which is the Caribbean home of the famous Sardinian club, which hosted our Jubilee Regatta in 2010.”
For the welcome party, Oyster owners and their guests gathered at the renowned Peg Legs restaurant at Nanny Cay Marina for a complimentary cocktail party sponsored by Nanny Cay Marina, followed by an excellent Caribbean buffet. Conversation centered on the week ahead, especially the fantastic experience of meandering through the gorgeous islands and the fabulous parties at spectacular venues. The British Virgin Islands consists of over 60 tropical islands of breathtaking beauty, which are considered to be some of the best cruising grounds anywhere in the world.
Chris and Susan Shea, proud owners of Oyster 72, Magrathea are regular visitors to Oyster Regattas. The Magrathea crew is all Shea family members and their yacht has been in the Caribbean since crossing the Atlantic last November. “ The name Magrathea is an imaginary planet from the radio series ‘A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’.” Laughed Chris. “It’s really poking fun at life and we have a lot of enjoyment with our Oyster so it seemed very apt, we even have the number 42 on our spinnaker. In the radio series, the number 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life and sailing our Oyster is ultimately what we love to do! We really like the BVI, it has some fabulous scenery and there are so many places and islands to visit, all very close by.”
The Oyster BVI Regatta programme includes four races in the spectacular islands. Oyster regattas are organised exclusively for owners and their guests and besides well-managed racing, the fleet benefits from world-class customer service and technical support, provided by experienced Oyster staff and their regatta partners; Dolphin Sails, Formula Marine, Lewmar, Pantaenius, Pelagos Yachts, Raymarine, Reckmann and Yachting World.
The on the water action starts, Tuesday 3rd April with a race from Nanny Cay and finishing at Cane Garden Bay, where Oyster owners and their guests will enjoy cocktails on the beach followed by a barbeque supper at Myetts Garden Inn. The beach at Cane Garden Bay is considered to be one of the finest in the Caribbean. Especially famed for snorkeling, protected by a live reef the crystal clear warm waters are teaming with sea life. Myetts Garden Inn is a tremendous location, set amongst coconut palms and almond trees overlooking the white sandy beach and the Oyster fleet at anchor.
BVI photo gallery
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 2
Race 1 Sponsored by Lewmar to Cane Garden Bay - A perfect start.
3 April 2012
Despite predictions of little wind for the first race of the Oyster Regatta BVI, a light easterly breeze got racing underway, right on schedule for the Lewmar sponsored race to Cane Garden Bay. Oyster CEO, David Tydeman acting as Race Officer for the week, chose to send the Oyster fleet on an 11-mile course with a downwind start through The Cut, west of Nanny Cay.
The dramatic passageway between Tortola and St John was an impressive sight, as colourful spinnakers were hoisted aloft in bright sunshine. The impressive Oyster fleet enjoyed a relaxed start to the regatta, gliding through crystal blue waters at a gentle pace. After passing through The Cut, fresher conditions from the north ensured an invigorating tight reach passed Soper’s Hole. An exhilarating ride to picturesque Sandy Cay on the dramatic island of Jost Van Dyke marked the end of a thoroughly enjoyable race.
In Class 2, Ross Appleby’s Oyster LW48, Scarlet Oyster was the eventual winner but only just, eight seconds separated the vintage Oyster from John McTigue’s Oyster 56, Blue Dreams. Stephen and Aileen Hyde’s Oyster 56, A Lady had a splendid duel with Blue Dreams right around the course to claim third place. A special mention for the Oyster 55, Xiuma owned by Virginia Lee and Jonathan Wehrung, who are making their debut at an Oyster Regatta and showed great spirit and goodwill by completing the course, no doubt these attributes will stand them in good stead and improve their boat speed during the week.
In Class 1, Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean got the best start of the day but it was another Oyster 82 that was victorious. William B Dockser’s Ravenous was extremely quick today finishing three minutes ahead of their close rival the Oyster 82 Rivendell of Wight, owned by Robin and Carla Stoop. Chris and Susan Shea’s beautiful Oyster 72, Magrathea claimed third.
Racing in Class 2, Angela and Richard Parkinson are the proud owners of Oyster 575, Sophistikate, which was launched last summer. Joining them for the regatta is their son Oscar who is studying for his A-levels along with Sophistikate’s Oyster Project Manager, Paul Griffiths.
“Our previous yacht was an Oyster 46, which we owned for five years and cruised out of Ramsgate, Kent to destinations in France and occasionally further afield.” Explains Richard. “We loved the yacht and really enjoyed sailing her but we wanted to explore more of the world under sail and when the Oyster 575 became available, it was just the ideal set up for us. Working with Paul (Griffiths) our Project Manager at Oyster, we made certain personal changes to the original design, including a bunk for Oscar that converts to a sofa and various other small but important details. By planning the layout of the yacht before it is built, we have tailored-made features that compliment the appearance but actually cost very little to implement.”
Angela, Richard and Oscar Parkinson crossed the Atlantic with Sophistikate in the 2011 ARC and it was a fantastic experience, as Angela explains: “To be honest I was very nervous about the trip and would never have even considered crossing a vast ocean in anything but a totally reliable yacht but it was a ‘life changing experience’ and I thoroughly enjoyed our 16 days at sea.”
Sophistikate’s start to the regatta did not go according to plan, a problem with the spinnaker furler resulted in a retirement from the race. However, Matthew Vincent of Dolphin Sails had already anticipated their need for assistance and was ready to come aboard as soon as Sophistikate arrived in Cane Garden Bay. Matthew was greeted like an old friend when he came on board and he took his time not only to fix the problem but also enjoy a cold beer with the Parkinson’s after the job was done. Young Oscar took the opportunity afforded by the maintenance work to go for an adrenalin pumping wakeboard session much to the admiration of the Oyster fleet anchored in the bay.
The evening’s entertainment was provided with perfection; cocktails on the beach, watching the sun set over Jost Van Dyke was a relaxing way to finish the day. The staff at Myett’s beachside restaurant provided an enthusiastic welcome, as they happily served drinks and delicious appetisers to the Oyster family. A splendid barbeque was to follow, with a traditional pig roast and other Caribbean delights such as baked plantain, local fish and for the slightly more adventurous goat curry, The atmosphere for the first Oyster party of the regatta was made even more magical, with the smooth sounds of an excellent jazz band playing soulful classics from the likes of Grosvenor Washington Jnr and Quincy Jones.
Racing at the Oyster Regatta BVI continues on Wednesday 4th April with an 18-mile race to the idyllic Virgin Gorda in the North Sound.
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 3
Sponsored 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.
Photos: Yacht Shots BVI
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 4
Lay Day at the Bitter End Yacht Club - a Sailors’ Paradise
A Caribbean cocktail of warm air, blue sea and fantastic facilities at The Bitter End Yacht Club provided a perfect setting for a day away from racing at the Oyster BVI Regatta.
Oyster owners and their guests took part in a variety of pursuits including Laser Racing in the North Sound, snorkeling in Eustatia Sound and visiting the outstanding facilities at the newly opened YCCS Virgin Gorda.
Emma Hermanek of the Bitter End Yacht Club did a sterling job as acting race officer for the Laser and Hobie Wave racing. A good-natured few hours of friendly competition with plenty of banter ensued. Taking part were 14 different teams of owners and crew from six different Oysters. Starry Night of Caribbean, Blue Horizon of London, Naughty Nes, Ravenous II, Valentine and Scarlet Oyster.
Starry Night of the Caribbean was the victor in both classes but all of the sailors enjoyed the impromptu dinghy racing with the compliments of The Bitter End Yacht Club. Several yacht crews took the opportunity of exploring the enchanting surroundings of North Sound, including the newly built YCCS Virgin Gorda, a fabulous example of a luxurious yacht club where Oyster owners and their guests will enjoy a cocktail party and buffet on the Clubhouse Lawn after racing on Friday evening.
Racing resumes in the morning with the Oyster Round Virgin Gorda Race, sponsored by Dolphin Sails. Oyster CEO David Tydeman and Principal Race Officer for the Oyster Regatta BVI commented: “We should have about 12-15 knots of wind from the eastern quadrant, with some sparkling sailing conditions, there could be some swell coming in from the Atlantic for the early part of the race, which should make things exciting, I think we are in for a great race.”
Photos: Yacht Shots BVI
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 5
Race 3 sponsored by Dolphin Sails – The Oyster ‘Around Virgin Gorda’ Race
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.
Photos: Yacht Shots BVI
Written by: Louay Habib
Oyster Regatta - BVI 2012 Day 6
Race 4 Sponsored by Pantaenius to Tortola
All smiles in the BVI!
Perhaps, David Tydeman, CEO of Oyster Marine summed up Oyster’s Regatta in the BVI at the final prize giving. “This has been one of the most friendly and enjoyable regattas of the 28 events we have had over the years. The sailing conditions have been nothing short of superb and the feedback coming from the Oyster owners is unanimous; the racecourses have provided a blend of amazing scenery and challenging sailing with close competition between the fleet. It had been especially pleasant to see nine Oysters in attendance for the first time and we hope that the experience will make them regular visitors to Oyster events.”
For the last day of racing, sponsored by Pantaenius, The Oyster fleet enjoyed a passage race to Nanny Cay Marina. However, light winds necessitated a shorter course. Starting in the North Sound, a route around The Dogs then passed the western shore of Virgin Gorda, Fallen Jerusalem and Ginger Island where a finish line was laid. These islands offer mesmerizing vistas of extraordinary beauty but also tactically challenging wind shifts and current eddies.
In Class 1, William B Dockser’s Oyster 82, Ravenous II, timed the line to perfection, however this was a very competitive start especially between Chase Leavitt’s Oyster 72, Holo Kai and the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean. The two powerful yachts were side by side through the line, just a few metres apart. Holo Kai managed to squeeze out Starry Night of the Caribbean and took up the early lead in the race. Chris and Susan Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea chose to stay further to the right of the course after the start and it looked like a good choice. The graceful Oyster had better boat speed than those fighting for air in the wind shadow of The Dogs. Starry Night of the Caribbean managed to get into clear air first and powered away to win by some margin. Magrathea and Ravenous II had a tremendous battle for second place and not just for the race but also for runner up overall. Both yachts crossed the finish line together to score the same finish time. It had been a fascinating duel lasting over two hours. However, after time correction Magrathea claimed second in class with Ravenous II third. Taking a hat trick of wins, Starry Night of the Caribbean was declared overall winner of Class 1, their crew boss John Burnie explained his thoughts. “It is just such a fabulous place to come for a regatta and I have to say that the courses have been excellent, hats off to Oyster, the event has really put a smile on Starry Night’s crew and of course our owner, his famly and guests. It is very satisfying to win but these regattas are all about enjoyment and I can safely say that we have had immense fun racing around the BVI.”
In Cass 1, a special mention must go to the two Oyster 655s; Michael Jones’ Blue Horizons and John Noble’s Neki, which came fourth and fifth respectively. Blue Horizons was competing in just their second regatta and Neki their first, and both yachts scored the same number of nett points. However, Blue Horizons won the duel by virtue of a better result, (but only by one place!) in the last race. Also in Class 1, two Oyster 66s, Valentine and Forever Young had a tremendous battle for the line, the two yachts both had young children on board that had become friends during the regatta. Forever Young crossed the line first but Valentine won the match after time correction.
In Class 2, Ross Applebey’s LW48, Scarlet Oyster was again untouchable, scoring their fourth win in a row by some distance. Ross is the youngest owner at the regatta but his team’s performance showed great maturity and the extensive amount of racing experience was a big factor in their victory. “This is the first Oyster Regatta that we have competed in and I must say that the friendliness and hospitality has been fantastic.” Explained Ross Applebey. “I was especially delighted that David Tydeman was on our table for the final dinner party but also the warm words of congratulation from Oyster owners has shown me the spirit of Oyster is first class. A very big thank you to everyone who has been racing and of course the Oyster team, this regatta has been a very special one for Scarlet Oyster.”
In Class Two, Stephen and Aileen Hyde’s Oyster 56, A Lady did not win a single race but their consistent form produced the best set of results from the Oyster Deck Saloon Division to secure victory for the Irish Team. The A Lady team is all from Ireland and they took great delight in accepting the winner’s trophy and also the accolade of becoming one of the many Oysters that have circumnavigated the world’s oceans. “In a single word, this regatta has been excellent.” Exclaimed Stephen Hyde. “I have to say that sailing 45,000 miles has been good practice for the event but winning isn’t everything, there are so many good people at Oyster Regattas, I thought that the last Caribbean regatta was a great occasion and this one has certainly at least matched it. I have now sailed the world but I can say that there are few places as delightful to sail as the BVI, especially at an Oyster Regatta, it has been a memorable occasion.”
Second place in the division went to Richard and Angela Parkinson’s Oyster 575, Sophistikate, which finished the regatta in fine style winning the battle of the deck saloons, taking the last race of the event by over three minutes on corrected time and securing second overall, in a highly competitive class.
Three yachts had the same nett points after four races but Sopistikate was declared second by virtue of their final result. John McTigue’s Oyster 56, Blue Dreams was third ahead of Bill Munro’s Oyster 575, Boarding Pass III. Unfortunately the Scottish team on Boarding Pass III could not compete in the final race, a spinnaker wrap had damaged their main sail mechanism but every cloud has a silver lining, as Bill Munro explains: “It was difficult to watch the fleet leave this morning but I was pleased to hear from Paul Bateman (Oyster 56, Stardust of Burnham) later in the day. I think that Paul showed the true spirit of Oyster when he offered me a replacement for the broken part, which he had as a spare. We meet other Oyster owners on our travels and we always try to help each other and Paul’s kindness is a marvelous example of that.”
On the final night of the Oyster Regatta BVI, a prize giving party was held at Peg Legs Restaurant at Nanny Cay. Set right on the beach, under a carpet of stars, their was wave after wave of applause as the prize winners were announced. Oyster Owners and their crew take enormous pride in meticulously preparing and maintaining their yachts, ably assisted by the Oyster team who offer unparalleled worldwide support. Probably one of the biggest cheers of the night was for the winners of the Concours d’Elegance. Sponsored by Pelagos Yachts, Declan O’Sullivan was on hand to give out the prizes and the winners in Class 1 were Merle Gilmore’s Oyster 66, Lady Tara and Michael Jones and Georgina Godolphin’s Oyster 655, Blue Horizons. In Class 2, George and Sam Chandler’s Oyster 56, Champlain and Richard and Angela Parkinson’s Oyster 575, Sophistikate were awarded prizes for their immaculate yachts.
After the prize giving ceremony, nearly 200 guests enjoyed a sumptuous formal dinner and there were smiles all round, The Oyster family had enjoyed excellent sailing conditions, amazing scenery and a fabulous extravaganza of parties at some of the BVI's finest locations.
Owner of Oyster 72, Holo Kai, Chase Leavitt had come a long way to compete, Manhattan Beach California is over 3,500 miles from the BVI. Chase summed up the spirit of the regatta: “We have had a great time, we didn’t come here to win, we came to have some fun with good friends and we definitely achieved that. I think our best manouvre of the week was after the finish, we anchored off Cooper Island had some cheeseburgers and went swimming, which I have got to say was a tactical masterstroke! Thank you to all the Holo Kai team. The name means seafarer in Hawaiian and comes from a place that myself and my wife Marla hold dear but we are regular visitors to the BVI, we love the atmosphere and the variety of islands so close together makes it an very interesting pace to visit.”
The next Oyster Regatta will be a truly special event, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes from 9-14 July and held to celebrate the Olympic year. Following that, the Oyster fleet returns to Palma at the end of the summer, when many of the yachts on the Oyster World Rally will be gathering to make their way across to the Caribbean for the start of that event in Antigua on 6 January 2013.
Photos: Yacht Shots BVI
Written by: Louay Habib