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Friday 15th April 2016

April, 9th 2016
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 Islands 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 1 then returned to Curtains and back to Legacy, whilst Class 2 and 3 powered on to the finish off English Harbour.    

Class 3
Simon Brown's British Oyster 56, Britican, continued to dominate the Class, scoring their third win of the regatta by nearly six 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 2

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 1
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, just enough to take the race by 52 seconds on corrected time and thus the Class 1 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 years 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 Itchyfeet, 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.

Click here to see the full regatta report including the results from Race Day Four.

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.

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