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.
For the final night of Oyster Regatta BVI, a prize giving party was held at Peg Legs Restaurant. 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 & Georgina Godolphin’s Oyster 655, Blue Horizons. In Class 2, George & Sam Chandler’s Oyster 56, Champlain and Richard & Angela Parkinson’s Oyster 575, Sophistikate were awarded prizes for their immaculate yachts
After the prize giving ceremony, 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 BVIs finest locations.
Owner of Oyster 72, Holo Kai, Chase Leavitt has come along 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 manoeuvre 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.”
Taking a hat trick of wins, Starry Night of the Caribbean was declared 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 family 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 Class 2, Ross Applebey’s LW48, Scarlet Oyster was again untouchable, scoring their fourth win in a row by some distance on the last day. 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.”