Perhaps, David Tydeman, CEO of Oyster Marine summed up the Oyster’s Regatta 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 mesmerising vistas of extraordinary beauty but also tactically challenging wind shifts and current eddies.
On Monday morning revellers from the closing party of the 2012 BVI Spring Regatta had barely left the Regatta Village when the Nanny Cay crew had to go into full clean up mode and clear the docks for 24 Oysters as they arrived for their bi-annual Oyster Regatta BVI.
They arrived throughout the day and the event kicked off with a skippers briefing in PegLegs late afternoon, followed by a welcome party on the beach.
Despite predictions of little wind for the first race yesterday, 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 heading west from Nanny Cay.
Today's race from St Peter Island Resort, took the fleet on a stiff beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to round Ginger Island before running down behind Cooper and Salt Islands and reach between Dead Chest and Peter Island to finish off Nanny Cay. The sparkling 20knot conditions provided a fitting end not just to the regatta, but Alan Brook's jovial eight year tenure as Race Officer to the Oyster fleet. "I wanted this to be as memorable for the competitors as it was for me" he said at the finish after what turned out to be a classic trade wind race.
Mariusz Koper's crew have been out enjoying these Caribbean conditions ever since competing in last winter's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), and the slick teamwork they have developed together certainly showed. After electing to carry a spinnaker, the Kathlarsis II' crew made the most of their downwind sail round the back of Peter and Norman islands and back across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to not only lead the 23 strong fleet through the narrow Thatch channel and up to the Cane Garden finish, but saved their time against Stuart Smith and Barry Cooper's larger Oyster 82 Oceana which had elected to go white sail only.
Tomorrow sees the fleet race to Cane Garden Bay from Nanny Cay. In the evening crews will go ashore for a pirate party and treasure hunt before enjoying a buffet supper at Myetts Garden Inn.