04 - 09 April 2016

Oyster Antigua Regatta 2016

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04th April 2016

Introduction

An impressive fleet of Oyster Yachts, flying the flags of Germany, Ireland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America have gathered in Antigua, West Indies for the 37th Oyster Regatta. Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour is the starting and finishing point for the six day event, which includes four days of racing in the superb sailing grounds of Antigua, and features fabulous parties at some of the caribbean island's most famous locations. The impressive fleet includes fourteen examples from the Oyster range, including four of the very latest models. 

The Superyacht dock in Nelson's Dockyard was a hive of activity on Monday 4th April with owners, their family and friends, preparing their yachts for the regatta. The Concours d'Elegance judging was the first competition. Gleaming in caribbean sunshine, the magnificent fleet was a spectacular sight in the historic surroundings of Antigua's Georgian dockyard.

Registration for the 2016 Oyster Regatta in Antigua was followed by the Skippers' Briefing in the Copper & Lumber Hotel. David Tydeman, CEO Oyster Group, acting as Principle Race Officer, greeted the competitors.

“Welcome everybody to our 37th regatta, we have seven first timers, which is great to see. We also have Manfred Kerstan from Albatros, who will be celebrating his 80th birthday this week and Starry Night of the Caribbean, which is taking part in their 23rd regatta. We also have young children on at least three other Oysters and two yachts, Ayesha II and Dalliance, which will be taking part in the next Oyster World Rally. 

Oyster Regattas have two main objectives, that they are fun and safe and we have two very different levels of experience on the race course at the same time. We have experienced racing sailors on high performance yachts, as well as less experienced sailors, or those with young families. The experienced sailors know how to keep the racing safe  and we rely on those experts in the fleet to make the right judgement calls when there are relatively inexperienced people around them. Oyster Regattas fundamental principle is to be safe on the race course. There is a comprehensive Oyster team that have come to Antigua from Britain, Hamburg and Newport, Rhode Island and we are here to help you in any way we can during the regatta, feel free to come and talk to us and we will do everything we can to assist you. Thank you all for coming, I hope we have a safe and thoroughly enjoyable regatta.”

The Welcome Party for the Oyster Regatta Antigua was held at Boom, Gunpowder Suites, an exclusive part of the Admiral's Inn at English Harbour, dating back to the 18th century. The Oyster family gathered on the vast outdoor terrace boasting an infinity-edged pool with views across English Harbour and the stunning Oyster fleet. 

Racing at the 2016 Oyster Regatta Antigua starts on Tuesday 5th April with a race from English Harbour to Nonsuch Bay, with a course designed to give fantastic vistas of the south coast of Antigua and the thrill of Caribbean sailing at its best.

14th April 2016

Race Day One

Worthy Celebration.

Race One from English Harbour to Nonsuch Bay, sponsored by Raymarine.

The south coast of Antigua provided shifty conditions for the first day of racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua with the wind oscillating between south and south east and varying in strength from 6 to 16 knots. A course taking some of Antigua's greatest landmarks was sensational; Curtain Bluff, Shirley Heights and York Island. The final destination, Nonsuch Bay, is one of the most stunning natural bays in Antigua and was a fitting location to end a wonderful day's racing.

Principle Race Officer and Oyster Group CEO, David Tydeman, set a reaching start for all yachts with staggered time intervals of three minutes. Equally matched groups of yachts started together, producing several highly competitive encounters. 

None more so than in Class 1 between Maxim Kudryashov's Oyster 885, Guardian Angel and Oyster 885, Lush, sailed by Eddie Jordan. The two magnificent Oysters, both with spinnakers flying, were locked in a duel for several minutes, before Guardian Angel managed to pull away from Lush and extend a healthy lead on the water, taking line honours by just over 13 minutes from Lush. 

However, Terry Snow's Oyster 72, Magrathea, kept playing the shifts to their advantage and corrected out to win Class 1 for the first race, ahead of Lush and Guardian Angel.

“That is the first time I have raced Magrathea. So it feels great.” smiled Terry Snow. “I have to put it down to teamwork. We went out for a practice yesterday and today we were very focused on looking ahead and anticipating the moves. I have to say Ross Applebey did a great job on the strategy and that was part of a great effort by all of the team.”

Henrik Nyman's Swedish Oyster 625, Delicia took line honours and the win on corrected time in Class 2. Two Oyster 575s had a battle royal for second place. David and Leslie Joyce's Ayesha II and Dick Hammill's Spirit enjoyed a close race. Ayesha II was in second by less than three minutes after time correction.

“We have had a wonderful race.” commented Delicia's Henrik Nyman. “ Delicia is a beautifully built boat and we were very happy with the project manager Jean Pierre Cardin, who excelled both technically and with the interior design during the build. As far as winning, we are just a team of friends with no professionals on board, I wouldn't have it any other way.”

After racing the Oyster fleet anchored in Nonsuch Bay, one of the most stunning locations in Antigua. At the Prize Giving, class winners received the fantastic prize of Flir Night Vision Cameras from regatta sponsor, Raymarine. After the awards, the Oyster family enjoyed a seated dinner of a sumptuous beach barbecue from award-winning chef, Mitchell Husbands. 

Racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua continues on Wednesday 06 April, with a race from Nonsuch Bay to Jolly Harbour Marina on the north west tip of Antigua.

Written by Louay Habib
Images by Tim Wright

class 1 results - sponsored by RAYMARINE
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Magrathea72/10Terry Snow1
Guardian Angel885/04Maxim Kudryashov2
Lush885/01Eddie Jordan3
Starry Night of the Caribbean82/14Starry Yachts Ltd4
Zig Zag82/07John McMonigall5
Albatros825/04Manfred Kerstan6
class 2 results - sponsored by RAYMARINE
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Delicia625/09Henrik Nyman1
Ayesha II575/16David & Leslie Joyce2
Spirit575/28Dick Hammill3
Dalliance62/15Rory & Suzy McGrath4
Forever Young66/06Forever Young Partnership5
class 3 results - sponsored by RAYMARINE
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Jig Saw53/01Ian Galbraith1
Britican56/32Simon Brown2
Shelena545/01Phil Scourfield3

04th April 2016

Race Day Two

Spinnakers to Jolly Harbour.

Race Two from Nonsuch Bay to Jolly Harbour, sponsored by Lewmar.

The impressive Oyster fleet weighed anchor in the stunning natural harbour of Nonsuch Bay for the second day of racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua. The forecast for the day was not looking promising, the typical Trade Winds from the east were forecast to be effected by a low pressure system to produce light southerly winds for the morning, with a dying breeze backing to the east. The race from York Island to Jolly Harbour was downwind for the duration. However, the fickle breeze kept the Oyster fleet on their toes. Heating up the angle in the lulls, and coming down towards the next mark on bullets of pressure, was a key technique. In terms of strategy, choosing when to gybe, to stay in pressure, was the key to performance.

Principle Race Officer and Oyster Group CEO, David Tydeman, summarised the day's racing. 

“For once, the forecast was right, with the breeze dying off early in the afternoon and we had very close racing, leg after leg, until perhaps the very last, which was where some big gains and losses were made. Starting today was much smarter than yesterday, with everyone less than a minute from the gun. Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean was just two seconds shy of the line for the best start. 

In Class 1 the top four boats were just six minutes apart on corrected time, however their order had been continuously changing during the race. Oyster 885 Guardian Angel was the winner of Class 1 but at Curtains, the penultimate mark, Guardian Angel was in third place. 

In Class 2, Dick Hammill's Spirit had a fantastic race, especially considering that this was the first time they had raised their spinnaker on the new Oyster 575 and it was only in the last mile of the last leg that Henrik Nyman's Oyster 625 Delicia got their strategy spot on, to save their time and win the Class. 

In Class 3 it was great to see Oyster 53, Crackerjack gain confidence, switch from being a social entry and join the race fleet with two very young children on board. It was delightful to see the whole family in costumes crossing the line! Simon Brown's Oyster 56, Britican was impressive today, scoring the biggest winning margin of any Class and Ian Galbraith's Jig Saw had another consistent race to take second with the first of the new Oyster 545s, Shelena, taking third.”

The Oyster Regatta Party was held at The Tamarin Restaurant at Curtain Bluff Resort, one of Antigua's finest and long established beach resorts. Oyster owners, their guests and crew arrived to a spectacular sunset and enjoyed a very warm welcome from the Managing Director, Rob Sherman in the resorts fabulous facilities. Curtain Bluff proved its reputation for service offering nearly 130 people choices from a menu created especially for Oyster and serving some wonderful fine wines. After dinner, live music packed the dance floor, with sailors energised by the knowledge of a lay day the following day.

Racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua continues on Friday 8th April, with a racing around laid marks off Jolly Bay Marina.

Written by Louay Habib
Images by Tim Wright

class 1 results - sponsored by LEWMAR
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Guardian Angel885/04Maxim Kudryashov1
Magrathea72/10Terry Snow2
Starry Night of the Caribbean82/14Starry Yachts Ltd3
Lush885/01Eddie Jordan4
Zig Zag82/075
class 2 results - sponsored by LEWMAR
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Delicia625/09Henrik Nyman1
Spirit575/28Dick Hammill2
Dalliance62/15Rory & Suzy McGrath3
Ayesha II575/16David & Leslie Joyce4
Forever Young66/06Forever Young Partnership5
class 3 results - sponsored by LEWMAR
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Britican56/32Simon Brown1
Jig Saw53/01Ian Galbraith2
Shelena545/01Phil Scourfield3
Crackerjack53/39Sully O'Sullivan4

07th April 2016

Lay Day

Falling in Love with Jacqui O.

Antigua has a beach for every day of the year and without doubt one of the finest beaches on the Caribbean island was enjoyed to the full by the Oyster family on Lay Day for the Oyster Regatta Antigua. 

Jacqui O's Love Beach on the leeward coast of Antigua is blessed with fine white sand, crystal clear Caribbean water and a perfect view of Antigua's volcanic neighbour, Montserrat. For Lay Day at the regatta, Jacqui O's beach restaurant became the exclusive party location for Oyster owners, their guests and crew. Famous for lobster and fresh fish, with a wine list to rival any establishment on the island, the Oyster family enjoyed a fabulous long lunch.

“I wanted to create the perfect Caribbean beach rendezvous and I travelled through many Caribbean islands before I found Jacqui O's.” commented Jacqui O's owner Lance Leonhardt. “I am a boat owner myself and I wanted to produce an atmosphere that would attract yacht owners and crew to come and enjoy themselves, so it is very satisfying to have been chosen by Oyster to come to Jacqui O's.”

The playful nature of the occasion was evident in the afternoon with all manner of beach games including tug of war, beach cricket and water polo. What a perfect way to enjoy Lay Day at the Oyster Regatta Antigua.

David Tydeman, Oyster CEO and regatta chairman commented, “It was a wonderful day and a great opportunity for Oyster Owners to have fun in each other's company – one Owner said to me that he had more fun than whilst racing!”

Racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua continues on Friday 8th April with a round the cans race starting from Five Islands Harbour, Antigua.

Written by Louay Habib
Images by Tim Wright

08th April 2016

Race Day Three

Thrilling Trade Winds Racing.

Race Three - Five Islands Harbour and the South Coast of Antigua, sponsored by Dolphin Sails.

Race Day Three of the Oyster Regatta Antigua was truly magnificent, with the Oyster fleet enjoying exhilarating racing with solid Trade Winds piping up to 20 knots in brilliant sunshine and a turquoise Caribbean sea. The race area for the third race of the series was the west and south west coast and with an easterly air flow, there were several big wind shifts in the transition zone south west of Antigua.

Principle Race Officer and Oyster Group CEO, David Tydeman sent the fleet out on a reaching start from the picturesque Five Island Harbour to Sandy Island. Then a deep-water downwind leg to a laid mark, Albatros, west of Antigua. Followed by what proved to be a fickle upwind leg, skirting Cades Reef down to Curtains Mark for the smaller yachts and Legacy for the larger. A long downwind leg back to Albatros was followed by a beat back to Sandy and a fetch to the finish at Irish, just outside Jolly Harbour Marina. 

Race Three was probably the most tactical race so far, with several downwind and upwind legs. Judging lay lines and playing the shifts were key areas and there were several gentlemanly duels on the water, adding to the thrill. At the Prize Giving David Tydeman summed up the action across the three classes racing at the Oyster Regatta.

“With the wind back in the east, the laid marks would have just provided reaching courses, so we laid a mark three miles offshore due west and with the wind out of the south east, the fleet enjoyed long and testing beat after the reaching start. With the wind bending around the north and south of the island, the East coast created a tactical environment with gains and errors far outweighing any handicap variations. Those teams that got their strategy spot on reaped the benefits and with a long race the times were relatively close – all within a few percent in each class. Once again we had some incredibly close finishes after time correction the best being just 6 seconds between the two 575s in Class 2.  Tomorrow will be the last race and taking into account the discard, there is everything to play for across all three Oyster Classes.”

Class 1 was set a 29 mile course and halfway into the race there was barely a minute separating the fleet of five boats on corrected time. In the second half of the race, the wind shifts and the long downwind leg stretched out the fleet. Terry Snow's Oyster 72, Magrathea corrected out to win the Class just holding off Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean which finished second. 

Oyster 885, Lush, sailed by Eddie Jordan was close behind in third – they sailed their best tactical race so far in the regatta and finished on the water ahead of Guardian Angel – a great duel between these powerful yachts.

In Class 2, two Oyster 575s had a fantastic race. David & Leslie Joyce's Ayesha II had a cracking start, just three seconds shy of the line at the gun. Dick Hammill's Spirit had chosen to race with downwind sails and by the second leg had caught up with Ayesha II. However, Ayesha II had a lower rating as the team were racing with just white sails and Spirit needed to put distance on, to save their time. Spirit crossed the finish line first and after time correction, won the race by just six seconds on corrected time. Henrik Nyman's Oyster 625, Delicia, who has won the previous two races, was third.

In Class Three, Sully O'Sullivan's Oyster 53, Crackerjack nailed the start but Simon Brown's Oyster 56, Britican, showed their experience, especially in tactics, to take their second win of the regatta. Ian Galbraith's Oyster 53, Jig Saw was second, despite tearing a headsail and Phil Scourfield's Oyster 545, Shelena was third.”

The Oyster Regatta Party was held at The Akropolis Greek Restaurant in Jolly Harbour Marina in full view of the Oyster fleet. Delicious Greek tapas and a full bar for the Oyster Family was a fine way to end the evening. 
The final race of the Oyster Regatta Antigua will take place on Saturday 9th April, with a race from Jolly Harbour to English Harbour, along the south coast. There is all to play for across all three classes with the best three out of four races to count for the regatta.

Written by Louay Habib
Images by Tim Wright

class 1 results - sponsored by Dolphin Sails
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Magrathea72/10Terry Snow1
Starry Night of the Caribbean82/14Starry Yachts Ltd2
Lush885/01Eddie Jordan3
Guardian Angel885/04Maxim Kudryashov4
Zig Zag82/07John McMonigall5
class 2 results - sponsored by Dolphin Sails
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Spirit575/28Dick Hammill1
Ayesha II575/16David & Leslie Joyce2
Delicia625/09Henrik Nyman3
Dalliance62/15Rory & Suzy McGrath4
Forever Young66/06Forever Young Partnership5
class 3 results - sponsored by Dolphin Sails
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Britican56/32Simon Brown1
Jig Saw53/01Ian Galbraith2
Shelena545/01Phil Scourfield3
Crackerjack53/39Sully O'Sullivan4

09th April 2016

Race Day Four

Fabulous Finale.

Race Four Five Islands Harbour to English Harbour, sponsored by Pelagos Yachts.

On the final day of the Oyster Regatta Antigua, two of the three classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.  Performance in the early part of the race was achieved by getting a good start and playing the gusts and lulls to maximise VMG, velocity made good. Along the south coast of Antigua, tactics came into play, especially staying inshore to avoid the worst of the current, enjoy flatter water and lifting pressure off the land.

Principle Race Officer and Oyster Group CEO, David Tydeman sent the fleet out on a reaching start from the stunning Five Island Harbour to Sandy Island. Followed by another reaching leg past Jolly and Curtains, keeping the fleet over a mile offshore. After two days of solid breeze, the sea state had built to a significant swell. The Oyster fleet was in its element, powering to windward after Curtains towards Legacy, a tricky upwind mark located near to Cades Reef in Carlisle Bay. The bigger yachts in Class One then returned to Curtains and back to Legacy, whilst Class Two and Three powered on to the finish off English Harbour.

Class Three 

Simon Brown's British Oyster 56, Britican, continued to dominate the class, scoring their third win of the regatta by nearly 6 minutes on corrected time from Ian Galbraith's Scottish Oyster 53, Jig Saw, who finished the regatta in second place. Phil Scourfield's British Oyster 545, Shelena was third in class. 

Since 2013, Kim and Simon Brown have been sailing Britican around the world with their daughter, Sienna who was 3 1/2 years old when they started. For the first couple years, Britican circumnavigated the Mediterranean, wintering in Sicily and at the end of 2015, sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
 
Sully O'Sullivan's family racing their Irish Oyster 53 Crackerjack were the life and soul of the event with the whole family sporting wigs and costumes whilst racing and laughing the longest at the parties. Crackerjack also won two of the prizes for best starts for the class, sponsored by Pantaenius and were awarded the “Spirit of the Regatta Trophy” – a regular prize given out to owners who embody the full spirit of these events – both on and off the water.

Class Two

A terrific battle for the class win went right to the wire between two of the latest designs from Oyster. Henrik Nyman's Swedish Oyster 625, Delicia led the class going into the final race from Dick Hammill's American Oyster 575, Spirit. Spirit got away well to keep her time on Delicia but a shrewd approach to Legacy by Delicia put them in the lead for the last leg to the finish. Delicia crossed the line and stopped the clock, anxiously looking back as Spirit made the final approach. Spirit won the last race by just over a minute to tie on points with Delicia, the two yachts also had the same number of wins and second places. Dick Hammill's Oyster 575, Spirit was declared the winner, by virtue of winning the last race. At the Prize Giving, Delicia gave Spirit the loudest cheer of all, showing great sportsmanship and friendship, two highly prized values that Oyster strive for.

In the last race of the Oyster Regatta, British Oyster 66, Forever Young was third, which culminated in a tie for third place for the series. 

Class One

Terry Snow's American Oyster 72, Magrathea and Maxim Kudryashov's Russian Oyster 885 Guardian Angel, went into the last race, knowing that for each, a win could secure the big boat class. Magrathea got away well but knew that the powerful yachts starting behind them would be hard to match on the beat and Magrathea was passed by Guardian Angel, Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean and Oyster 885, Lush, sailed by Eddie Jordan. Magrathea fought back passing Starry Night of the Caribbean but there was no possibility of catching Guardian Angel and Lush on the water. Guardian Angel took line honours followed by Lush. Magrathea crossed the finish line 11 minutes after Guardian Angel, which was just enough to take the race win just 52 seconds ahead on corrected time and thus the class one title for the regatta. 

The Final Oyster Regatta Party and Prize Giving was held at the Copper and Lumber Hotel, in the heart of Nelson's Dockyard. A plated gourmet buffet was served on the water's edge next to the magnificent Oyster fleet and the exclusive al fresco bar was buzzing with stories from the regatta. 
 
David Tydeman welcomed the Oyster family to the ceremony. “Antigua has provided the Oyster fleet with fantastic sailing conditions and we have had safe yet very competitive racing; most of all, tremendous fun. Ian Galbraith's Jig Saw has an entourage of 16 here with many year's of experience and we also have a large number of Oysters sailing with children, which is great to see. This year, we have been to a number of great new venues and each and everyone of them should be congratulated for their efforts and their warm welcome.”

World famous Antigua band, Asher Otto with Itchy Feet, played a high energy live set which filled the dance floor, as the Oyster party went into full swing in the magnificent surroundings of Nelson's Dockyard. 

The Royal Southern Yacht Club has launched a repeat of their very successful 'Oyster Week' of 2010 and will run another event, exclusively for Oyster Yachts, taking place 04 - 09 July 2016 in the Solent. The 38th Oyster Regatta will take place in Palma Mallorca, from 04 - 08 October 2016.

Written by Louay Habib
Images by Tim Wright

class 1 results - sponsored by Pelagos Yachts
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Magrathea72/10Terry Snow1
Guardian Angel885/04Maxim Kudryashov2
Lush885/01Eddie Jordan3
Starry Night of the Caribbean82/14Starry Yachts Ltd4
class 2 results - sponsored by Pelagos Yachts
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Spirit575/28Dick Hammill1
Delicia625/09Henrik Nyman2
Forever Young66/06Forever Young Partnership3
Ayesha II575/16David & Leslie Joyce4
Dalliance62/15Rory & Suzy McGrath5
class 3 results - sponsored by Pelagos Yachts
yacht namemodelowner/skipperfinished
Britican56/32Simon Brown1
Jig Saw53/01Ian Galbraith2
Shelena545/01Phil Scourfield3
Crackerjack53/39Sully O'Sullivan4
class 1 overall results
yacht namemodelowner/skipperRace 1 PointsRace 2 PointsRace 3 PointsRace 4 PointsTotal PointsBest Three
Magrathea72/10Terry Snow0.752.000.750.754.252.25
Guardian Angel885/04Maxim Kudryashov2.000.754.002.008.756.75
Starry Night of the Caribbean82/14Starry Yachts Ltd4.003.002.004.0013.009.00
Lush885/01Eddie Jordan3.004.003.003.0013.0010.00
Zig Zag82/07John McMonigall5.005.005.006.0021.0015.00
class 2 overall results
yacht namemodelowner/skipperRace 1 PointsRace 2 PointsRace 3 PointsRace 4 PointsTotal PointsBest Three
Spirit575/28Dick Hammill3.002.000.750.756.503.50
Delicia625/09Henrik Nyman0.750.753.002.006.503.50
Ayesha II575/16David & Leslie Joyce4.004.002.004.0014.0010.00
Dalliance62/15Rory & Suzy McGrath3.003.004.005.0015.0010.00
Forever Young66/06Forever Young Partnership5.005.005.003.0018.0013.00
class 3 overall results
yacht namemodelowner/skipperRace 1 PointsRace 2 PointsRace 3 PointsRace 4 PointsTotal PointsBest Three
Britican56/32Simon Brown2.000.750.750.754.252.25
Jig Saw53/01Ian Galbraith0.752.002.002.006.754.75
Shelena545/01Phil Scourfield3.003.003.003.0012.009.00
Crackerjack53/39Sully O'Sullivan5.004.004.004.0017.0012.00

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