With 15 Oysters out of 198 yachts taking part in the 2015 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and 3 Oyster yachts also doing the ARC+ (via Cape Verde), this year certainly was a memorable rally with some superb stories.
Travelling over 2700nm starting in Gran Canaria all the way to St Lucia in the Caribbean, this journey saw many fulfilling a dream of sailing across the Atlantic.
The Oyster Owners’ party was held at the Santa Catalina Hotel, Las Palmas just before the ARC departure on 22 November and a stunning evening was enjoyed.
Three Oyster yachts took part in the ARC+. Nikitoo II, Oyster 54, Shelena, Oyster 545 & Spirit, Oyster 575 - departed on 08 November and completed the ARC+ with the fleet of 59 boats this time.
All in Cruising Class A, Nikitoo II was 12th in Leg 1, 6th in Leg 2. Shelena was 8th in Leg 1 and 4th in Leg 2.Spirit was 4th in Leg 1 and 2nd in Leg 2. All arrived safely into Rodney Bay by 30 November with the prize giving ceremony having taken place on 09 December.
Oyster ARC Support Team
Topping the table on customer service, the Oyster ARC Support team checked and serviced systems and kit before departure to assist owners and crew to make the journey to Rodney Bay, St Lucia.
Phil Wilson of Oyster 575, Isabel, said the following about the Oyster ARC Support Team “Thanks to so many people starting with the Oyster guys who are a credit to their product and organisation.”
Manfred Kerstan aboard his brand new Oyster 825, Albatros, completed the 2015 ARC in 6th in Cruising A class. Aged 79, when interviewed by the ARC Team he said, “It is now my 20th ARC, and I still like it. It’s just a lot of fun every year and a great personal experience for me, plus my doctor told me I should go sailing as long as I could to keep me healthy. So I will follow his instructions and go on!”The Results
Oyster 56, Raya, completed the ARC first in their Class, as did winners of Racing B Oyster Lightwave 48, Scarlet Oyster.
Oyster 625, Delicia, completed the ARC in the shortest distance closest to the Rhumb line in 2810nm sailing 340nm less than Oyster 825, Maegan.
Despite trying too hard and blowing their A2 spinnaker, Oyster 825, Maegan, arrived on 05 December 5th in Racing Class A and coming in 8th out of all boats on the water. Maegan received some superb feedback from the crew.
David Kenefick, an ex Figaro sailor said, “In November 2015 I did the ARC on Oyster 825, Maegan. For the first few days of the race we had in excess of 35 knots on a number of occasions and the boat performed extremely well in theses difficult conditions. The deck remained dry despite surfing at close to 20 knots, while down below was so comfortable you still would have thought we were still tied to the Marina in Las Palmas.
As the days went on Maegan stretched her legs with ease of doing 250-mile days in pure comfort and style. The boat is extremely well thought out with a large cockpit with all sailing controls behind (winches, steering position etc.) this makes for a clean and tidy boat.
The sail changes and manoeuvres were hassle free and very easy despite the boat being over 80ft.
It is a credit to Oyster that we crossed the Atlantic without a single problem onboard. All the onboard systems performed past expectations.
My biggest regret was that the ARC wasn’t longer and it was such a joy to sail on such a beautiful yacht.”
Charlie Hatfield, professional Bowman said, “Crossing the Atlantic on Maegan was a very enjoyable experience, I was amazed at how she managed with the constant 20kts winds and Atlantic swells. She was very comfortable to be on at all times, and never felt on edge or unstable. To arrive in St Lucia with only some sail damage, it shows the high standards the boat is built to, and this race was a great test on the boat to prove this.”
Javier Jaudenes, Naval Architect/Designer of ‘WinWin’ said, “Sailing across the Atlantic on SY Maegan was a fantastic experience. I was delighted by her comfort during the crossing. Her interior layout was able to accommodate 10 race crew without any clashes. She truly is a worldwide cruising vessel with excellent reliability.”
Gerald Veniard, Professional Navigator with multiple Figaro/open 60 campaigns said, “Very nice sailing and very good atmosphere onboard Maegan, with a very adaptable and highly motivated group of 10 people. English, NZ, Irish, Spanish and French Maegan speaks every language! She was always happy to push the limits that racing requires. I was very impressed by the reliability of the electrical and hydraulic systems onboard this Oyster 825. It is a great challenge to compete in an offshore race, 310hrs of racing and 3152nm covered, its more than two thirds of the boats life, with zero technical issues is outstanding!"
Team Brunel got both the line honours for Division II (IRC Racing) and overall division winner, with ARC regular Oyster Lightwave 48, Scarlet Oyster picking up first in Racing Class B. Whether swept up by the emotion of the evening or as a carefully planned move, the ARC crowded were on their feet cheering after Scarlet Oyster crewmember Tijs Van Langenhove proposed marriage on stage to his partner of 3 years Anna Vugbblija; the couple having met originally sailing on Scarlet Oyster. A surprised and delighted Anna said yes!
Enjoy the highlights and experience some of the ARC for yourself by watching this footage from the crew of Oyster 825, Maegan.