NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OYSTER • DOUBLE QUEEN'S AWARD YACHT BUILDERS
OYSTER - WORLD LEADERS IN DECK SALOON CRUISING YACHTS
OYSTERS IN VALENCIA • OYSTER SUPERYACHT UPDATE • OYSTER FASTNET WIN
ISSUE 63 AUTUMN 2007
Contents Issue 63
FROM THE CHAIRMAN Richard Matthews
EDITOR Liz Whitman
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Roger Vaughan
2007 CLASSIC MALTS CRUISE
OYSTER FIRST IN THE FASTNET
THE 2007 OYSTER FLEET
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA Roger Vaughan
INTERNATIONAL METRE RULE CENTENARY REGATTA Richard Matthews
PRODUCTION EDITOR Rebecca Twiss
THE PERFECT HOLIDAY RECIPE Gill Clements
FROM THE EDITOR We publish Oyster News three times a year and we know from our readers that the articles they most enjoy reading about are the contributions from Oyster owners. If you have a story to tell or information about cruising in your Oyster please let us know. Photographs are always welcome with or without a story. email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org FRONT COVER PICTURE: Oyster 72, Cookielicious during the Oyster Valencia Regatta 2007 BACK COVER PICTURE: Oyster Regatta Valencia 2007 prize-giving party at L’Hemisféric Photos: Nico Martinez
Oyster News is published by Oyster Marine Ltd. Oyster News is for promotional purposes only, privately circulated, and cannot form part of any contract or offer. Views, details and information herein are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher who will not be held responsible for the consequences of any error or omission. Pictures and illustrations are liable to show non standard equipment.
OYSTER SUPERYACHT UPDATE Richard Matthews
CRUISING IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS Yolanda Danioth
Welcome Welcome to this 63rd edition of Oyster News.
GALAPAGOS TO FRENCH POLYNESIA Dr Keith Hamilton
OWNER PROFILE – DAVID HOLLIDAY Roger Vaughan
LIGHTWAVE 48 REBOOT Paul Berger
PARALYMPIC SAILING UPDATE Hannah Stodel
It was a proud sight to see almost forty Oysters sailing competitively on a triangular course adjacent to practicing America’s Cup yachts during our Valencia Regatta. Speaking of pride, our cup is overflowing with news that, following an Oyster 53 winning its class in the Sydney Hobart in December, Scarlet Oyster, a 20-year-old Oyster Lightwave 48, has been confirmed as the winner of Class 1 IRC in this year’s Rolex RORC Fastnet Race. In the toughest Fastnet for years, with over two thirds of the fleet retiring, she beat 70 other yachts in her class and incredibly, considering the fleet of crack grand-prix race yachts in the 280 yacht fleet, was also 15th overall. Our hats are off for skipper Ross Applebey, son of Scarlet Oyster’s owner Gordon, and his nine-man crew. On the event and regatta circuit we are pulling the stops out for our 35th Anniversary year, kicking off with a party at the Painted Hall in Greenwich in January and followed by regattas in the BVI, Cowes and Palma. These events just go on getting better. On the cruising front this edition is full of contributions from owners who really are making the world their Oyster. These articles are the backbone of the magazine and we remain grateful to all our contributors. Please keep those stories coming. Fair winds and good sailing to all our readers.
Richard Matthews Founder and Chairman Oyster Marine
Newsroundup ARC EUROPE Congratulations to James Blazeby and the crew of his Oyster 45 Apparition for winning their class in this year’s ARC Europe. This annual west to east event, run by World Cruising Club, concluded in June when the fleet arrived in Lagos, Portugal. Despite three Atlantic gales Apparition also managed to take line honours in Class B.
LANDAMORES RELOCATE Everyone in the marine industry knows that Landamores and Oyster are like strawberries and cream - a perfect match. Landamores yard in Wroxham, Norfolk has been fitting out Oyster yachts since 1975. Something had to happen, since their yard in the village of Wroxham has been bursting at the seams for years while the Oyster range keeps on growing in size and volume. This September, after 80 years at the same site, Landamores are relocating to a spacious new facility less than a mile away with over 35,000 square feet of modern production space. In recent years Landamores has invested in LEAN manufacturing, which has played a big part in the planning
and restructuring for the new site. Additional space, production efficiencies and an investment in modern machinery will allow a substantial increase in production.
Oyster Regattas 2008 Dates Announced Supported by title sponsors, Montpelier, Oyster will run three regattas in 2008 in the British Virgin Islands (7-12 April), Cowes (21-25 July) and Palma (30 September - 4 October). Details from Liz Whitman at email@example.com
Adjoining Landamores new yard will be a separate marine training school for the Great Yarmouth College and Marine East, a government-backed agency, specifically for boatbuilding and the marine trades. Anthony Landamore is the third generation of his family to run the yard, which was founded in 1923 by his grandfather. Anthony has three children, a naval architect, a structural engineer and a maths graduate all with the potential to keep the Landamore flag flying well into the future.
SYS – An Apprenticeship in Excellence
Humphreys Yacht Design Selected for Volvo Ocean Race The Russian Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09 entry has selected Oyster designer, Humphreys Yacht Design, to design their Volvo Open 70 racing yacht. The Humphreys office has worked on the project since early May this year, and the build is expected to get underway in late August for a launch in the spring of 2008. In addition to a fleet of Oysters from the 525 to the 82, Humphreys Yacht Design has designed a wide variety of round-the-world race boats over the past 20 years, ranging from a Whitbread maxi and a Whitbread 60, to the hull design and naval architecture for Ellen MacArthur's Kingfisher and the BT Global Challenge fleet.
Southampton Yacht Services has always prided themselves on the quality of their apprenticeships and invested much effort in providing skilled tradesmen for the future. This year is particularly fruitful in that Piers Reid, in his final year of apprenticeship as a shipwright at SYS, has been short-listed for the Queen’s Silver Shipwright Medal and will be entering for the selection of the finalist later this summer, while Alice Le Good is joining SYS as an apprentice boat builder this year. She has already won the Young Apprentice of the Year Award at the Learning and Skills Centre South East in April.
IT’S VALENCIA AGAIN – IN 2009 The 33rd America’s Cup will be held in Valencia between May and July 2009. As we go to press, five teams have so far lined up to challenge the Defender, Alinghi, including the new British TEAMORIGIN, making a welcome return to this illustrious competition. Following the enormous success of our 2007 Valencia regatta, Oyster will be making plans to be in Valencia in 2009 – watch this space!
ABOVE: Oyster Charter were actively represented at the Antigua Charter show in December
Fat Boys Running Club Completes Three Peaks Yacht Race
Team 'Fat Boys Running Club', which included Oyster’s Quality Development Manager, Will Taylor-Jones, successfully completed the 2007 Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race finishing in tenth place and first of the cruising boats. The PowerBar Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race combines yachting and mountain running (and a little bit of cycling) into one of the greatest adventure challenges in British sport. Teams comprise three sailors and two runners, and their aim is to sail from Barmouth on the Welsh coast to Fort William in Scotland, via Caernarfon and Whitehaven, climbing to the summits of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis on the way. (The athletes cycle from Whitehaven into Ennerdale and run up and down Scafell Pike from there.) In total this is 389 miles of difficult coastal sailing, 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of running, with 14,000 feet of ascent to reach the highest points in Wales, England and Scotland.
Ones that didn’t get away! There seems to be a competition in the making for big fish stories from some of our owners. Mark Meyer, captain on Pete Savage’s Oyster 62, Venture, landed this tuna on the transit from St Thomas to New England, while the Oyster 72 Billy Budd hooked this 60Kg marlin on passage from Taha and Huahine in French Polynesia.
The race is open to monohull yachts only and engine power can only be used close to port, but yachts can be rowed, or even pulled along by crew members on the shore. There are no handicaps or adjustments, it’s a straight race and the first team to get their runners back to their yacht in Fort William, having completed all the mountains, wins the coveted Daily Telegraph Cup. The race attracts some of the world's best sailors and runners, as well as teams who hope just to complete the course - a considerable achievement in its own right.
Newsroundup THE OYSTER LD43- PRACTICAL MAGIC In a recent review, Motorboat & Yachting had some very nice things to say about the Oyster LD43: "Not only is the LD43 a beautiful toy blessed with Waterjet power, it’s also a stunning well-appointed cruising boat" "The LD43 has the potential to be a great party boat"
Oyster Regattas 2005 – 2007 DVD Launched A new film featuring highlights of our regattas in Antigua, the BVI, Cadiz, Cowes, Palma and Valencia 2005-2007 will be available at the autumn boat shows. If you would like to be sent a copy they are available with our compliments via our website at: www.oystermarine.com
"As for style, the LD43 is definitely old-school tie rather than new-money boy racer" "This is not a glitzy boat that shouts at you when you step on board; its charms are more subtle. Teak – that most enduring of woods – is used for the conservatively styled fit out, which is all first class, a match for the top-end production powerboat builders" "Under the two saloon settee and floor mouldings, which lift on powered struts, lies one of the most exemplary engineering installations to be found on any boat of any size. It is expertly installed in every way, and obviously finished off by an operator with an obsession for labelling. You are unlikely to find another build and machinery installation that makes you feel more comfortable about heading offshore on the most intrepid of trips" "If you are also looking for a boat with serious intent to back up the indulgence, the LD43 will not disappoint" "What impressed me so much, and what makes the LD43 easier to manoeuvre than usual, was the sophistication and flexibility of Hamilton's Blue Arrow control system" "With handbrake turns and full-ahead to full-astern crash-stops in their repertoire, waterjet boats have a reputation for fun and games. But their main advantages lie elsewhere, primarily as safety features. There's no risk of ripping the sterngear off or of catching a rope, there are no propellers to worry swimmers, and the combination of reduced draught and no sterngear increases your potential cruising grounds no end, allowing you to cross tidal bars and explore shallow waters. Intrepid types can even gently head up the beach and hop ashore" "The helmsman's lot is a very happy one, not least because the LD43 sports two extremely comfortable, fully adjustable leather-bound seats, with the clear dash layout and excellent sightlines for driver and navigator contributing to the mix" "The headline news with the LD43 is clearly its wonderful styling, its unusual waterjet propulsion, and its abundance of cockpit and saloon seating, but there's a subtext. and it's an important one too. Behind the glamour lies a serious cruising boat that is every bit as capable, well designed and engineered as any other mainstream production powerboat, with a high-quality build and an engineering installation to die for. For what some may consider to be a whimsy, it's deadly impressive" If you would like to see a copy of the article in Motor Boat & Yachting please contact Paul Harding at firstname.lastname@example.org
OYSTER 525 TAKING SHAPE The first new Oyster 525, announced in the last edition of Oyster News, is taking shape at the McDell yard in Auckland, New Zealand. McDell has already completed over 20 Oyster 53’s to a very high standard and everyone involved is confident that the 525 will set a new standard for build quality and design. Within weeks several 525’s were under contract extending delivery to spring 2009. The first 525 hull 01 is targeted to make her show premiere at London in January 2008 and is being built for Sir Peter Davis, his fifth Oyster yacht.
Oyster Events 2007 Cannes Boat Show 12 - 17 September Newport Boat Show 13 - 16 September
Photo: Denette Wilkinson
Southampton Boat Show 14 - 23 September
Oystercatcher XXVI wins right out of the box! Oystercatcher XXVI is a 42ft IRC racer built as an R&D project in Oyster’s custom workshop in Colchester. The usual work for the team, led from the front by master boat builder Geoff Hunt, is the building of plugs and moulds for the Oyster range. Rob Humphreys’ son, Tom, designed the new Oystercatcher, his first commission since graduating with honours as a naval architect at Southampton and joining his father’s office. Both hull and deck were built in carbon-epoxy, with structural engineering by Gurit (formerly SP Technologies). The project was planned around the opportunity to experiment with a ‘direct to female mould’ technique, which bypassed the conventional practice of first building a wooden plug or pattern and then taking a female mould from the plug. The system used removed one complete process, saving time and cost. In addition, and for the first time, Oyster used the resin infusion system under which the laminate cloth is placed into the mould dry and resin is then released under vacuum to migrate through the structure. Oystercatcher could not be completed in time for Cowes Week but launched on Friday 10 August and sailed to Ramsgate the same day for the Sail East Regatta. She won her first race overall less than 24 hours after launching and with a 1,2,1 scoreline was the overall regatta winner. The yacht will go on to test equipment and a number of technical build and design ideas, giving substance to the claim that we race - our owners get the results.
Prefers Cruising but... Customer Care Manager Eddie Scougall, who claims to know nothing about racing, has admitted to taking part in West Highland Week on the Maxi 84, Misty Blue, which Eddie once owned. Crewed by Oyster Project Manager, Debbie Johnson, Eddie won three races and came 4th overall in a 126 boat fleet.
Southampton Owners Dinner National Motor Museum, Beaulieu 15 September Annapolis Sailboat Show 4 - 8 October Annapolis Owners Party 4 October Genoa Boat Show 6 - 14 October Annapolis Powerboat Show 11 - 14 October Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 25 - 29 October Hamburg Boat Show 27 October - 4 November Barcelona Boat Show 3 - 11 November ARC Owners Party Las Palmas 22 November ARC - Start - Las Palmas 25 November
2008 London Boat Show 11 - 20 January London Owners Dinner Oyster’s 35th Anniversary Dinner The Painted Hall, Greenwich 12 January Düsseldorf Boat Show 19 - 27 January Miami Boat Show 14 - 18 February Oyster Regatta - BVI 7 - 12 April St Katharines Private View 24 - 27 April Oyster Regatta - Cowes 21 - 25 July Oyster Regatta - Palma 30 September - 4 October
The 2007 Classic Malts Cruise Starting from Oban on 14 July 2007, the annual Classic Malts Cruise, organised by World Cruising Club, included two Oysters in its fleet of just under 100 yachts, Brian Bonniwell’s Oyster 62, Wishanger II and Nick Blazquez’s Oyster 485, Sound of Breagha. United by a passion for sailing, scenery and single malt whisky, crews embark on a 200-mile voyage through the Inner Hebrides, choosing their own route from Oban to Skye, and back south to Islay. Hospitality offered by the coastal Classic Malts distilleries of Oban, Talisker and Lagavulin provides the social focus for a relaxed fortnight of cruising. All crews are welcomed ashore as guests of the distilleries, for suppers, ceilidhs, dancing and, of course, for a chance to meet those whose lives are spent making Scotland's finest whisky.
OUTE RH EB R
Oban - Talisker - Lagavulin ES ID
NORTH UIST SKYE SOUTH UIST
The cruise is a fascinating journey, a chance to explore both the West Coast and the subtleties of Scotland's finest whisky; to match island with malt, from peat-rich Islay to the rugged Isle of Skye. The sheltered sites of the distilleries were well chosen for sea transport, and today they remain a welcoming haven for sailors. The area covered by the Cruise includes the waters from the southern shore of Islay, the most southerly island in the Inner Hebrides, to the northwest of Skye. The islands of Mull, Iona and the Small Isles provide a multitude of anchorages along the way. Two weeks allows for a leisurely pace between distilleries, and some cruisers even take advantage of good weather by heading for the Outer Hebrides. They say you should always leave the best until last, and there is no doubt that the best party of the Classic Malts Cruise is always the final ceilidh at the Lagavulin Distillery on Islay. Whether it is the fine single malt whisky, the isolated location, the superb seafood buffet, the music and dancing, or just the company of so many enthusiastic cruising sailors that makes the party special, but whatever the ingredients, the mix was enjoyed by all the cruisers who reached Lagavulin for the final stage of the Classic Malts Cruise 2007. Entry information for the Classics Malt Cruise is published in January each year. Details from: World Cruising Club. Tel: +44(0)1983 296060 email: email@example.com www.worldcruising.com
ISLE of LEWIS
Sea of the Hebrides RUM EIGG
COLL TIREE MULL
TOP LEFT: Crews enjoying a visit and wee dram at Castle Tioram in Loch Moidart JURA
TOP RIGHT: The crew on board Sound of Breagha BOTTOM LEFT: Nick Blazquez’s Oyster 485, Sound of Breagha BOTTOM RIGHT: Brian Bonniwell’s Oyster 62, Wishanger II arriving at the anchorage at the Talisker Distillery Photos: Christine Spreiter
Photos: Tim Wright/photoaction.com
When the going gets tough… 2007 Rolex RORC Fastnet Race Twenty-year-old Oyster wins Class 1
In the toughest Fastnet for years, which saw over two thirds of the fleet, including many of the big names, retire an Oyster has won its class. Scarlet Oyster, a 20-year-old Lightwave 48 delivered in 1987, has just been confirmed as the winner of Class 1 IRC in the Rolex RORC Fastnet Race, beating 70 other yachts in her class, taking line honours and coming 1st on corrected time. Ross Applebey, the son of owner, Gordon, who was not able to be on board, skippered Scarlet Oyster. Incredibly, considering the fleet of crack grand-prix race yachts in the 280 yacht fleet, Scarlet Oyster was also 15th overall. Gordon Applebey, who has owned the yacht since 1992, is delighted and said:
Son Ross who sailed with a crew of ten said: "The first night was pretty brutal with over 50 knots apparent off Start Point. We went south early and managed to lay the Lizard in one tack and then on to Lands End. From there we had a wild reach across the Irish Sea under double reefed main and number 4 jib and from time to time had too much sail up even then. We beat the last 50 miles up to the Rock and from there had a stormy ride back to the Bishop, at times hitting 18 knots under asymmetric chute until we lost the head of the sail. We ran through the night wing and wing with a boomed out headsail and reset our remaining asymmetric at dawn, which carried us to the finish." For Oyster this is the second class win in a blue water classic in succession as, having already completed a circumnavigation with her previous owners, Michele Colenso’s Oyster 53 Capriccio of Rhu won the cruising class in the Sydney Hobart at the end of last year.
"Congratulations to Oyster - she stood up really well." However with a 71-boat class of grand prix race yachts in this year’s Fastnet, Scarlet Oyster's achievement cannot be under-estimated. We are promised a detailed account of the race from Ross Applebey for our next edition. Meanwhile the crew will be special guests at our owners’ dinner at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu on 15 September where congratulations will definitely be in order.
The 2007 Oyster Fleet The 2007 Oyster range comprises twelve modern sailboat designs from 46 to 125 feet, including the new Oyster 525, the Dubois designed 100 and 125 superyachts and the Oyster LD43 power boat. All Oyster yachts feature the Deck Saloon configuration we introduced to the world over 25 years ago, now in its fifth, ‘g5’ design generation. The benefits of the Deck Saloon concept, creating a light airy interior are now widely emulated but nothing comes close to the Oyster design. Every Oyster is built with blue water live-aboard cruising in mind. Great sailing performance, sea keeping, ergonomically designed cockpits and comfortable spacious interior layouts come as standard. As does a host of practical seamanlike features that make an Oyster an Oyster. Also standard is Oyster's After Sales Support, which our owners tell us is the best in the industry. Regattas and social events around the world encourage camaraderie and make owning an Oyster feel like belonging to a large, but rather special, family.
Oyster 46 The Oyster 46 is establishing herself as the quality choice in this popular size range. Her great interior layout, with typical Oyster build quality and her stylish deck, sets her apart. The 46 sails really well and has absolute best in class stability for real sail carrying power and comfortable passage making. John Maxwell’s 46, Solway Mist, was a convincing class winner in this year’s Oyster regatta in Valencia. Oyster 49 A winning combination of performance and accommodation. At several Oyster regattas the 49 has been the boat to beat. For those owners who for one reason or another feel 50 feet is as big as they want to go, the Oyster 49 could well be the boat for you. Oyster 525 The first Oyster 525 is in build now at McDell Marine in Auckland and is expected to launch by the end of the year. With hull lines designed by Rob Humphreys and input from Oyster’s specialist design team, a glance at her outboard profile confirms the 525’s stunning appearance. Careful, design development by a team of talented, artistic designers has created what we think is one of the best-looking Oyster Deck Saloon designs ever. Oyster 53 Now with a new g5 deck our experience in building over 50 of these yachts means the Oyster 53 just gets better and, with perhaps more traditional appeal, remains in our range alongside the new 525. The Oyster 53 is an ideal live-aboard for a couple who sail with two to four guests and need performance and comfort. Oyster 56 With over 70 yachts sold and now with a new g5 deck, the Oyster 56 remains a market leader. She has established herself as the most popular Oyster ever built and for good reason. An ergonomically designed cockpit, proven performance and stunning outboard profile amongst them. Oyster 62 The 62 is an excellent performer, proven by being top cruising yacht in the ARC and winning five firsts at Antigua Sailing Week. Twin wheels give safe and easy deck to cockpit access, while the cockpit itself is easily the best in her size range. Now with her new g5 deck styling she offers an even more striking outboard profile.
Oyster at the 2007 Autumn Boat Shows With a busy season of shows in the UK, Europe and the US we extend a very warm welcome to you to visit us and see some of the latest Oysters afloat.
Everyone is welcome to view our yachts, but we do get extremely busy. Therefore we always operate an appointment system on all our yachts and, unless you have a specific interest, we do try and restrict viewing to one yacht only. Booking an appointment ahead of your visit should ensure you get on board without having to wait. Appointments can be made via the on-line Boarding Pass request form on our website at www.oystermarine.com or please call our sales team: UK/EUROPEAN SHOWS: USA SHOWS:
UK office Tel: +44 (0) 1473 688888 USA office Tel: +1 401 846 7400
AMSTERDAM SEAPORT (HISWA) 4 - 9 September Oyster 655 Oyster LD43 Berth Nº E01
Oyster 655 The latest addition to the fleet, the first Oyster 655 was premiered at this year’s London boat show and 655/04 can be seen at the Southampton show. With her fully optimised hull lines, long waterline, generous sail plan and Kevlar/carbon hull, the 655 will appeal to owners looking for more performance. Oyster 68 The Oyster 68, developed from the 66, was conceived from the outset to offer the ultimate accommodation for a yacht in her size range. Careful optimisation with under cockpit headroom allows the owners and guest accommodation to be separated from the galley and crew quarters forward giving the yacht a big boat feel. Oyster 72 With five yachts in commission whose stunning good looks are admired wherever they go, the Oyster 72 enjoyed a tremendous first season. Oystercatcher XXV, won the Rolex/RYS Round the Island Race, and several other races overall, proving the yacht’s potential against world-class competition. A look below will show the 72 also offers luxurious live-aboard accommodation. Oyster 82 With sales into double figures, the Oyster 82 has proved herself beyond doubt as a really superb yacht. Light and well balanced, the 82 sails remarkably well. Built from cost effective tooling, our current flagship, the 82, offers a combination of build quality, performance and comfort above and below deck that really puts her into the superyacht league.
CANNES 12 - 17 September Oyster 72 Berth Nº QSP114 NEWPORT (USA) 13 - 16 September Oyster 46 Oyster LD43 South Docks SOUTHAMPTON 14 - 23 September Oyster 56 Oyster 655 Oyster 82 Berth Nº 299, 082, 081 Oyster LD43 - Berth Nº 196 ANNAPOLIS SAILBOAT SHOW (USA) 4 - 8 October Oyster 46 Oyster 53 Oyster 72 Dock: I GENOA 6 - 14 October New g5 Oyster 56 ANNAPOLIS POWERBOAT SHOW (USA) 11 - 14 October Oyster LD43 FORT LAUDERDALE 25 - 29 October
Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 by Dubois The ultimate Oysters! The project will commence with the 100 model, tooling for which is expected to start in the third quarter of 2007 with the first yacht scheduled for completion at the end of 2009. Drawings for the Dubois designed Oyster 125 will be available in October and tooling for the 125, launching in 2010, will commence next year. Oyster LD43 Heralded as the ‘yachtsman's powerboat’, reaction on both sides of the Atlantic has been fantastic to this striking new design with sales now heading for double figures. HamiltonJet’s revolutionary MouseBoat manoeuvring system and Yanmar 480 hp electronic engines come as standard.
HAMBURG 27 October - 4 November Oyster 46 Oyster LD43 BARCELONA 3 - 11 November New g5 Oyster 62 Oyster LD43
The Other Regatta in Valencia Oysterâ€™s 18th regatta was held on the eve of the 32nd Americaâ€™s Cup By Roger Vaughan
Thank you for a most enjoyable and spectacular evening - I can truly say that no one can teach Oyster anything about marketing. There were more happy faces than I have seen in three months in this city. Bob Fisher
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
Just as Oyster founder and CEO, Richard Matthews managed to give his owners a taste of the 31st America’s Cup by holding a regatta in New Zealand in 2003, he and his team somehow managed to position another Oyster regatta (the 18th since 2001) on the eve of the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain. This year, following a hard-fought Louis Vuitton Cup series, Emirates Team New Zealand was the last challenger standing. The 2007 America’s Cup would be a rematch. 39 Oyster owners, families and friends would have an exclusive, ring-side seat. The yachts, ranging from an Oyster 435 to a new Oyster 82 (and including three 72-footers, four 62-footers, and a brand new 655), began arriving at Port America’s Cup the week of June 11th. In addition, two of Oyster’s sleek new powerboats, the LD43, were on hand. The regatta would take place during the last week of the 17 day pause between the Louis Vuitton final and the Cup match. Those visiting Valencia for the first time were impressed by the look and feel of this decidedly Spanish city on the Mediterranean Sea. Spain has always been known for its eye-catching sense of design. There is a striking difference between the city’s old structures and the new but, architecturally, neither can be considered the least bit dull. And the way Valencia has been turned out for the Cup keeps one’s head turning. The ten-story sculptures marking the entrances to Port America’s Cup attract attention from half a mile away. If these art pieces that effectively embody the rigs of two Cup yachts crossing tacks are compelling, the Port itself is overwhelming. It takes several days to appreciate the enormity of what Valencia created for the Cup. A new channel 1000 yards long by 100 yards wide was dredged from the Med to a circular basin at the city end where the syndicate bases were built side by side. The basin is bisected by a superyacht pier. At the sea end, the channel separates two marinas (North and South) with combined accommodation for 600 boats. The channel runs parallel to a large commercial container port. What was once a rough part of town, with abandoned warehouses and one longshoreman’s waterfront bar, is now 250 acres of restaurants, shops, exhibitions, and parks. Everything about Port America’s Cup is extraordinary for both concept and execution. The quarter-mile-long sea wall of the south marina is built of six foot cubes of concrete stacked three deep and three high. The centerpiece of America’s Cup Park, Veles e Vents (sails and wind), is a cantilevered four-story building of stacked horizontal planes that is reception centre, bar, and restaurant. The whole building is hung on just two main support beams. The Oyster fleet was split between the North and South marinas. The skippers meeting was held on Monday 18th June, with the challenging Concours d’Elegance judging taking place that afternoon. Trying to pick out the best kept yachts in this impressive Oyster line-up is a task that resorts to details. >
FAR LEFT: Peter Morris and crew aboard Oyster 72, Cookielicious and Jose Alvarez’s Oyster 68, Starry Night
BELOW LEFT: The Veles e Vents building, America’s Cup Park BELOW RIGHT: First night dinner at Club Goleta
The Other Regatta in Valencia The first drinks party and dinner was held that evening at Club Goleta in the America’s Cup Park. The expansive entrance patio of the club was decorated with five of the slender, 75-foot hulls of eliminated Cup teams that towered on their cradles, their eye-catching hull adverts glistening in spotlights. One had to marvel at how the impossibly thin, delicate keels could support the 20 ton bulbs affixed 14 feet below their waterlines. Over 250 Oyster owners, crew and guests enjoyed canapes, drinks, and lively conversation under the tented roof of Club Goleta, run by an Austrian contingent that produced a meal many said was the best ever at an Oyster regatta. With Oyster host, Port America’s Cup Director, Jean-Pierre Maffe the evening’s honoured guest, talk of the upcoming Cup match was on everyone’s lips. Who is favoured?.... Is it true Alinghi is faster in winds above 10 knots?.... If Alinghi wins will they make changes to the boats?.... If New Zealand wins will the great distance to travel Down Under reduce participation? Maffe, a career sports manager who directed the World Cup when his home team (France) won it in 1998, said that like the rest of us he would be focused on the first leg of Race 1 for answers. He did volunteer that should Alinghi win, there was talk of them strengthening the boats for the 33rd America’s Cup so they could sail in higher wind velocities. That was encouraging news. The Oysters had the north America’s Cup race course to themselves for the first race on Tuesday, June 19th. But ‘The Presence’ was with them. Principal Race Officer Alan Brook, Oyster’s Joint Managing Director, was in receipt of an email from America’s Cup regatta Director, Dyer Jones, restating the rules: "All vessels are reminded of the 5 knot maximum speed limit for all spectator vessels....[and].... All vessels shall avoid interfering with the transit of the racing yachts of Alinghi and Emirates Team New Zealand and their team vessels”. GPS positions were given for what areas to avoid, and by how much (one mile). The reminder from Jones had the heady effect of raising the stakes. Here we all were, about to compete on America’s Cup waters. No one spotted any Cup teams out sailing, and Alan had no trouble setting a triangular course in the light wind that began to build slightly around noon. The first race, a triangle, began with a reaching start followed by a weather leg and a run, three times around. The fleet was divided into three classes: Class 1 - (Oysters 61 feet and over); Class 2 (Oysters 435 – to 55 feet); and seven Oyster 56’s made up Class 3. The short, one mile legs made it challenging for those boats whose skippers elected to use light, downwind sails. In eight knots of wind, the race took two hours. Race 2 began around 4:30 pm, just as the wind began to fall out. Alan had to shorten course to a finish after two legs. Even then, the fleet barely made it. BELOW LEFT: John Vogel’s Oyster 62, Hold Fast, and Nicky and Maria Fewer’s new g5 Oyster 62, Liberté of Waterford MIDDLE: Dinner alfresco at the stunning La Vallesa de Mandor BELOW RIGHT: Race 1 gets underway on the America’s Cup course FAR RIGHT: Eric and Marianne van’t Hooft’s Oyster 61, Emrar
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
Oysters are more at home sailing the ARC, or making fast, comfortable ocean passages than racing around the buoys. 24 Oysters have completed circumnavigations and to date, four Oysters are entered in the upcoming World ARC. Light wind isn’t a joy for these ocean-worthy cruisers. As the wind dropped below four knots, clumps of five and six boats struggled to finish in a current running from committee boat to pin. It was chaotic, with good nature prevailing among skippers and crews. One hoped the arrival of the afternoon sea breeze, around which the America’s Cup match had been scheduled, might arrive a few days early. Back at the marina, ‘The Presence’ emerged again. Oyster skippers who forgot to douse their old regatta flags bearing sponsor logos were sternly reminded to do so by America’s Cup authorities. Displaying logos in the marina other than those of Cup sponsors was verboten. Dinner that evening was held at La Vallesa de Mandor, a country palace built in the 19th Century by the Count of Noroña. He was titled by King Alfonso 13th for his agricultural innovations and his success raising livestock. La Vallesa is an enchanting place discovered by Alan Brook and Liz Whitman, Oyster’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing, on one of their scouting trips to Valencia. The palace sits on several thousand acres encompassing three small towns. For two hundred years, La Vallesa has produced fine wine, olive oil, and citrus. Alas, the Clementine trees wouldn’t fruit until Autumn, but there were several delicious red wines for tasting in sight of four spreading olive trees with trunks eight feet across. The Count moved the trees - now around 1000 years old - at great expense to grace his palace. >
What a superb regatta! The various locations were excellent as was the food and wine and L'Hemespheric was mind blowing followed by fireworks no less. Just great! Tim and Jane Iredale, Oyster 435 Quinta Blue
The Other Regatta in Valencia
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
Dinner redefined the concept of tapas, with half a dozen taste treats served before the arrival of lamb "tournedo" with vegetables cooked in a sweet wine sauce. Among the diners, talk had switched from the America’s Cup to vigorous replays of their own first day of racing. The confused finish of Race 2 was atop the list, including tales of crews fending off boats with no steerageway. Nicholas Weare, a Bermudian crewing on John and Barbara Podbury’s Oyster 53, Crackerjack who keeps his own Oyster 53, Magic in Hamilton Harbor, put it best when he said that racing behaviour on that island in the sun was predicated on the basis that not only would you meet your competitors in the bar after the race, you would encounter them in the shops, schools and on the streets for the rest of your life. "We compete hard," Weare said, "but we are always gentlemen." The same could be said of the Oyster fleet. Competition does continue to play an ever larger part in Oyster regattas. Starts are keenly contested. Most skippers have mastered the timing of half rolling their genoas in tacks - or rolling out the stays’ls - so the big heads’ls won’t hang up in the stays’l stays. And handling of light sails improves with every regatta. The final point spread among boats is usually small. Race 3 on Thursday was a good example. After struggling with light, variable winds for Races 1 and 2, a brisk southeasterly piped up for Race 3. With up to 20 knots true over their decks, and building seas, the capable Oysters attacked the racecourse with relish. Reefing was minimal. The lineups at the starts were tight, and tactics on the windward-leeward course were well-considered. We had to wonder, as we hammered happily to windward on Eric van’t Hooft’s Oyster 61, Emrar, how the thoroughbred Cup yachts would be making out in these conditions. No doubt they’d be back at their syndicate bases on the hard. Several times during the Louis Vuitton Cup, races were called off in similar wind speeds to avoid breakage to the boats. More good starts for Race 4. But just as the gun fired to start Class 1, with Richard Matthews showing his racing skills at the helm of the Oyster 82, Zig Zag with a very timely port tack start, the wind suddenly dropped below ten knots, barely enough to combat the sloppy seas. There hadn’t been so much as a cloud or any other visual warning. Again, the course was shortened to once around the three mile windward-leeward course. Just an hour later, the fleet was having a fast reach back to Valencia, rails down in 16 to 18 knots of wind. Go figure. Alinghi, of course, has done the figuring. Home court advantage has always played a key role in the America’s Cup. Throughout history, defenders have cunningly tipped the playing field in their favour. In the early 1900s, The New York Yacht Club required challenging yachts to sail across the Atlantic on their own bottoms, then defended with lighter, centerboard boats. Alinghi’s ploy is the weather patterns. While the challengers had to race the Louis Vuitton Cup in the predictably light conditions of April and May, Alinghi could design its boats for the sea breeze that begins with some reliability toward the end of June. >
I wanted to thank you for your kind invitation to join the Oyster party last night. The whole experience was fantastic, great ambience, fascinating company and unbelievable fireworks. I particularly wanted to thank you for your kind words about TEAMORIGIN, we really appreciate the support of people like yourself as it adds credibility and substance to what we are setting out to achieve. Nick Masson, Commercial Director TEAMORIGIN
MAIN: David Holliday’s Oyster 72, Kealoha 8
BELOW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Ken and Lesley Fogg’s Oyster 53, Sublyme of Lyme, John and Sonia Marshall’s Oyster 56, Rock Oyster and Richard Smith’s Oyster 56, Hawk Wing The Oyster fleet racing off Valencia Richard Matthews on board the Oyster 82, Zig Zag Graham and Victoria Hetherington’s Oyster 62, Great Bear IV
The Other Regatta in Valencia Those close to the event, including BMW/Oracle syndicate principal, Tom Ehman, were picking the defender to keep the Cup. Ehman spoke to the Oyster gathering at the drinks and dinner party hosted by his syndicate at the end of the Oyster lay day. Ehman was so convinced of Alinghi’s superiority, he said he only hoped the match would go beyond five races. Like the rest of us, he was surprised by ETNZ’s sweep of Italy’s Luna Rossa in the Louis Vuitton final. He was still reeling from Oracle’s 5 – 1 thrashing by Italy in the semi-final. After a video presentation in BMW/Oracle’s elegant headquarters - stark grey and white with wall-sized video screens broadcasting beauty shots of the Oracle boats sailing - Ehman took questions from the Oyster sailors. When asked about BMW/Oracle CEO and skipper Chris Dickson’s hasty departure from the team prior to the final race against Luna Rossa, Ehman said it was Dickson’s and Oracle boss Larry Ellison’s joint decision, and it had transpired in a "dignified and professional manner." We thought, just for a moment, we were listening to the spin of a political press secretary. Reality was restored by a ‘flying buffet’ dinner, in which unsuspecting waitresses were surrounded by hungry sailors as they exited the kitchen bearing trays of taste treats. Before long, teams of two were hard at work at the virtual coffee grinder station in the midst of the Oracle public space. Competition was pitched, and went on into the night. Earlier that day a contingent of golfers had departed for a day on the links, and a busload of non-golfing sailors had embarked for Albufera Park, 11 miles south of Valencia. The park adjoins the 1,200 acre Lake of the Lagoon, a man-made irrigation system with a maximum depth of 9 feet. Our destination was a Barraca, a small fisherman’s cottage on one of the lake’s canals. There we piled into local wooden work boats for a cruise through the narrow canals lined with tall grasses and bullrushes, cover for herons, ducks, and other birds. Back at the Barraca we witnessed the construction of an enormous rabbit and chicken paella made in a shallow pan four feet across. This is the home of the paella, an invention of necessity for using up the contents of the larder and making it tasty. The key seems to be reducing the liquid and adding the locally grown rice at just the right moment. The cooks nailed it.
MAIN: David Fass’s Oyster 56, A Sulana
BELOW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: David Yelloly’s Oyster 72, Spirit of Montpelier Wouter ten Wolde’s Oyster 56 ‘Olinghi’! Paella cooking at Albufera Park Chris Walker, winner of The Longest Drive
Some of the tactical decisions of Thursday’s races could have been better, as those who deigned to approach the weather mark on port tack discovered. But those and other indiscretions were resolved over a lively drinks and dinner party at La Malquerida, a restaurant on the roof of a former warehouse abutting Port America’s Cup. It’s a comfortable, sailors kind of place decorated with strings of bare light bulbs. Old wooden hog’s heads function as elbow rests. Richard Matthews’ honoured guest of the evening was acclaimed marine photographer, Daniel Forster. Introducing Daniel, Richard recalled photographs Daniel had taken 28 years ago when Richard was racing in the United States on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay during the tail end of Hurricane Frederick. (Daniel later joked that he must have been 12 years old at the time). Daniel, Richard said, had been able to get memorable images of them racing in 70 knots of wind under storm jib and tri’s’l. Richard and Daniel have been friends ever since. "Friendships and camaraderie is what this sport is all about," Richard said. Everyone raised a glass to that. >
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
You keep doing it, excellent regatta, great fun was had by all the crew. Each regatta sets a higher benchmark for the next one, keep it going! David Holliday, Oyster 72, Kealoha 8
The Other Regatta in Valencia After completing just four races, all the crews had a better appreciation of what the two America’s Cup teams would face. Consistency does not seem to be part of Valencia’s weather model. A day of light wind was followed by a strong blow that fell apart in late afternoon, then regained strength an hour later. The fourth and final day of the Oyster Regatta provided the most stable conditions of the week. The tall rigs of both defender Alinghi, and challenger ETNZ, both with their flat top mains’ls, could be seen in the distance practicing for their best-of-nine-race showdown that would start the next day. In the 12 knot breeze from the southeast, Alan Brook set a triangular course for a pursuit race. Handicaps based on a two and a half hour race were assessed at the start. The highest handicapped boat in the fleet, Tim and Jane Iredale’s Oyster 435, Quinta Blue, started first. Hans Kampers’ Oyster HP49, started one minute later. And so on down the line until David Yelloly’s scratch boat, Spirit of Montpelier, started 61 minutes behind Quinta Blue. In theory, all the boats would finish at the same time. The advantage of such a pursuit format is that once started, the racing is level: pass a boat, and you are actually ahead of them. The start was a reach. Those crews that set cruising spinnakers found the wind too far forward of the beam to carry the sails to the mark. Leg two was upwind. Leg three was a starboard tack reach. With a slight left-hand shift in the wind, leg four (leg one repeated) became a manageable port tack reach. The 1.5 mile legs made it a busy race, as spinnakers went up and down and everyone got lots of jibing practice. Boats that had risen to the top of their class in the previous four races kept their records intact in the pursuit race. In Class 2, John Maxwell’s Oyster 46, Solway Mist added another first to finishes of 1-2-1-2. In the Oyster 56 Class, David Fass took first with A Sulana, nicely bookending his 1-2-3-4 finishes. In Class 1, Graham and Victorian Hetherington’s Oyster 62, Great Bear - 2-5-5-2 - spoiled Spirit of Montpelier’s otherwise perfect regatta (1-1-1-1) by edging them out in the final race.
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
The final dinner and prize-giving was held in L’Hemisfèric, part of the City of Arts and Sciences complex built in the former bed of the Turia River that was diverted from its natural course through Valencia in 1957, after a disastrous flood. Designed by the Valencia-born architect, Santiago Calatrava, the complex is colossal in size and scope, a multi-building futuristic design concept set amid large reflecting pools. Calatrava first gained international recognition for his striking Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona, built for the 1991 Olympics. His creations merge function (structural engineering) and form (architectural flourishes). There’s not a right angle to be seen anywhere among the impossibly long, unsupported spans and the extreme, cantilevered overhangs, visible throughout the City of Arts and Sciences. The structures with their flowing, organic shapes are built of glass and steel finished in white concrete that glitters with shattered white tile fragments. If a troupe of white-clad storm troopers from Star Wars were to suddenly appear in the City of Arts and Sciences, they would look at home. L’Hemisfèric, the planetarium building, is half a rugby ball shaped shell with an opaque, ovoid roof that encloses a massive white sphere. Across the reflecting pond at night, with the wall open, the sphere provides the pupil of a giant eye. The sphere contains a planetarium and Imax theatre, and provides the focal point of a large auditorium floor. Dining tables were set up at one end to accommodate the Oyster sailors. Unbelieving at first, we witnessed one entire wall of the building being slowly raised by three large hydraulic cylinders, a feat that captured the attention of yachting gear innovator Peter Harken, Oyster’s guest for the evening. Richard Matthews presided at the awards ceremony, after which a video of the regatta, shot by Mike Marriage and Robert Matthews with stills by Nico Martinez was projected onto the sphere. The images were nearly life-size.
I feel that I must express my gratitude to you and your team for the outstanding Oyster regatta week in Valencia. I crewed in Cowes last year and that was fantastic. This regatta was unforgettable. I felt a real sense of pride at the prize giving dinner on Friday, being a member of the Oyster Group and working with an excellent team felt a real privilege.
Just as we finished dessert, a deafening explosion rattled both the glassware and the diners. For the next fifteen minutes, we learned why Valencia is considered the fireworks capital of Europe. What ensued was the loudest, brightest, most impressive display of fireworks in memory. The low altitude of the display made it appear to cover the entire sky. Dripping streaks of liquid fire hissed into the reflecting pond. The person next to me jumped as a wad of spent ash landed in the coffee cup he’d carried from the table to water’s edge. The concussions shook our bodies. Many held their ears. The sustained, rapid frequency of the explosions was delightfully and wildly disorienting. It was a stunning climax to an exciting week. Oyster revellers danced into the night and made plans for watching Race One of the America’s Cup the following day - now with a better understanding than most for the racing conditions Alinghi and Emirates Team New Zealand would encounter. FAR LEFT: John Maxwell’s Oyster 46, Solway Mist BELOW LEFT: An explosive last night party! BELOW RIGHT: Prize giving party in L’Hemisferic
Results CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE - PRESENTED BY YACHTING WORLD CLASS 1 Kealoha Oyster 72 David Holliday CLASS 1 Great Bear IV Oyster 62 Graham & Victoria Hetherington
TOP: Dick Long & Jan Wright with Martin Cowell from Lewmar MIDDLE: Wouter & Monique ten Wolde, Olanta, with Fiona Pankhurst from Raymarine BOTTOM: Richard Morgan, Blue Destiny, with Matthew Vincent from Dolphin Sails
56 CLASS 56 CLASS
Rock Oyster A Sulana
Oyster 56 Oyster 56
John & Sonia Marshall David Fass
CLASS 2 CLASS 2
Kindness Sublyme of Lyme
Oyster 47 Oyster 53
Jonathon Shingleton Kenneth & Lesley Fogg
RACE 1 - SPONSORED BY LEWMAR CLASS 1 1st Great Bear IV 2nd Aliara 3rd Blue Destiny
Oyster 62 Oyster 62 Oyster 655
Graham & Victoria Hetherington Roland Dane Richard Morgan
56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
A Sulana Gwylan Olanta
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
David Fass Charles & Nicky Manby Wouter ten Wolde
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Solway Mist Sine Die Silver Want
Oyster 46 Oyster 46 Oyster 53
John Maxwell Jesús Gasca Dick Long & Jan Wright
RACE - 2 SPONSORED BY LEWMAR CLASS 1 1st Blue Destiny 2nd Cookielicious 3rd Great Bear IV
Oyster 655 Oyster 72 Oyster 62
Richard Morgan Peter Morris Graham & Victoria Hetherington
56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
Ulrika of London Rock Oyster A Sulana
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
Jari Ovaskainen John & Sonia Marshall David Fass
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Silver Want Solway Mist Sublyme of Lyme
Oyster 53 Oyster 46 Oyster 53
Dick Long & Jan Wright John Maxwell Kenneth & Lesley Fogg
RACE 3 - SPONSORED BY RAYMARINE CLASS 1 1st Cookielicious 2nd Great Bear IV 3rd Emrar
Oyster 72 Oyster 62 Oyster 61
Peter Morris Graham & Victoria Hetherington Eric & Marianne van't Hooft
56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
Hawk Wing A Sulana Gwylan
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
Richard Smith David Fass Charles & Nicky Manby
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Solway Mist Sine Die Kindness
Oyster 46 Oyster 46 Oyster 47
John Maxwell Jesús Gasca Jonathon Shingleton
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007
RACE 4 - SPONSORED BY RAYMARINE CLASS 1 1st Great Bear IV 2nd Kealoha 8 3rd Cookielicious
Oyster 62 Oyster 72 Oyster 72
Graham & Victoria Hetherington David Holliday Peter Morris
56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
Rock Oyster Olanta Hawk Wing
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
John & Sonia Marshall Wouter & Monique ten Wolde Richard Smith
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Sine Die Solway Mist Anabasis
Oyster 46 Oyster 46 Oyster 49
Jesús Gasca John Maxwell Heinrich Schulte
RACE 5 - THE PURSUIT RACE SPONSORED BY DOLPHIN SAILS CLASS 1 1st Great Bear IV Oyster 62 Graham & Victoria Hetherington 2nd Cookielicious Oyster 72 Peter Morris 3rd Blue Destiny Oyster 655 Richard Morgan 56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
A Sulana Hawk Wing Sarabi
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
David Fass Richard Smith Harvey & Sue Death
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Solway Mist Sine Die Silver Want
Oyster 46 Oyster 46 Oyster 53
John Maxwell Jesús Gasca Dick Long & Jan Wright
The best placed yacht over all classes in the PURSUIT RACE (RACE 5) Presented by Cup Experience/Team Shosholoza Solway Mist Oyster 46 John Maxwell THE OYSTER REGATTA TROPHY - PRESENTED BY MONTPELIER For the best placed yacht in each class over the regatta CLASS 1 1st Great Bear IV Oyster 62 Graham & Victoria Hetherington 2nd Cookielicious Oyster 72 Peter Morris 3rd Blue Destiny Oyster 655 Dick Morgan 56 CLASS 1st 2nd 3rd
A Sulana Hawk Wing Rock Oyster
Oyster 56 Oyster 56 Oyster 56
David Fass Richard Smith John & Sonia Marshall
CLASS 2 1st 2nd 3rd
Solway Mist Sine Die Silver Want
Oyster 46 Oyster 46 Oyster 53
John Maxwell Jesús Gasca Dick Long & Jan Wright TOP: Graham & Victoria Hetherington and crew, Great Bear IV, overall winner of Class 1 MIDDLE: David Fass and crew, A Sulana, overall winner in Oyster 56 Class
Photos: Nico Martinez
BOTTOM: John Maxwell, Solway Mist overall winner of Class 2, with Madeleine Harvey, Director of Montpelier
INTERNATIONAL METRE RULE CENTENARY REGATTA
International Metre Rule Centenary Regatta By Richard Matthews
The Metre Rule marked the beginning of an era of competitive racing; the most well recognized being the America's Cup, which was raced in 12-Metre yachts between 1958 and 1987. Although the rule has become more sophisticated as technology has evolved, in essence the formula has changed very little over the years. Metre yachts have been built and raced boat for boat in 5.5m, 6m, 8m, 12m and 23m sizes. 12 metres doesn’t mean the length of the yacht, but refers to a measurement formula.
12 Metre Formula L+
(Sa) + 2D . F = 12 Metres 2.37
Launched by HRH Princess Diana and designed by Ian Howlett, White Crusader, as she was called then, was built by the now defunct Cougar Marine in alloy to contest the 1987 America's Cup in Fremantle, Western Australia. Then, as now, there was an elimination series to select a challenger and White Crusader made it as far as the quarterfinals.
There was a time when Crusader had some accommodation and an engine and we sailed her offshore, including several Fastnet races, but she went back to full 12-Metre racing trim for the 150th Jubilee Regatta held in Cowes in 2001. She had been laid up since then so we re-commissioned her at Fox’s and set off for a 200-mile open-water tow down channel to Cowes. Photo: Erik Russell
July 2007 marked the centenary of the International Metre Rule, which has generated a range of racing yachts known collectively as Metre yachts. To celebrate this historic anniversary, an international regatta was hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes for the various sizes of Metre yachts, in which we took part in my 12-Metre, K24 Crusader.
After six years it was amazing how many of our regular crew volunteered to come back and sail Crusader again, including well-known professional sailor Harold Cudmore, who skippered Crusader in Fremantle. We also took some younger crew eager to experience the feel of a 12-Metre, the legend of so many America’s Cup events before the new IACC boats took over. A 12-Metre can be best described as a yacht that sails through the water rather than over it. They weigh around 27 tons with 80% of that in lead on the keel so while they are long and narrow they are also incredibly powerful upwind. With a trim tab on the back of the keel, upwind in say 20 knots the 12’s will easily do 9+ knots to windward but, as Harold Cudmore knows, that’s too fast. With these yachts the trick is to jam them up into the breeze and slow to a target speed of 8.2 to 8.3 knots, which makes the best possible VMG to windward. The weather was against us at Cowes and only three of a scheduled six races were sailed, but we won them all and were presented with an antique trophy, the Commodore’s Challenge Cup, which had only just come to light at the RYS. Lots of yachting history here, it was previously won by T.O.M Sopwith in 1928.
LEFT MAIN: Photo: Peter Mumford/Beken of Cowes
TOP LEFT: Photo: Ken Beken/Beken of Cowes
The Perfect Holiday Recipe by Gill Clements, Oyster 72 Kealoha 8
Take a fabulous 72 foot Oyster, season with a great crew. Baste in a warm Caribbean sea for a couple of weeks, stirring gently at intervals. Whisk in a few great sails and rest mixture in idyllic surroundings. Throw in a couple of cricket matches, a few little adventures, the odd misadventure, a lot of laughs and copious amounts of rum punches (though this one should probably be omitted). What do you get? An absolutely amazing holiday.
At least, that’s how John and I see it - just hope David and Di, Ian and Nia enjoyed it as much as we did. I’m Gill and, together with my husband John, we’ve been friends with the Hollidays for 30 odd years. Now, Ground Rules for my account are thus: I know precious little about sailing, though I loved every minute of it and I’ve never been to the Caribbean before which probably accounts for what some would see as over-enthusiasm. It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start when David rang, back in October, to enquire whether John would like to see some of the World Cricket in the Caribbean in March 2007. It’s hard to speak when your teeth are gritted but it got easier when I realised Di was going and I was being invited too. Cricket instantly became my passion and I will never mention paint drying again. All the bits people tell you about the Caribbean are true. Yes, the people are incredibly warm and friendly. Yes, they’re laid back (sometimes I wondered if they ever went forward) and yes, yes, the sea is deliciously warm. It would be hard to find a more spectacular location to see Kealoha 8 ‘in action’ for the first time. She was at anchor in a beautiful sweeping bay which is the setting for a five star hotel but that pales into insignificance when you see The Pitons. It’s hard to describe them. They’re a bit like two towering carbuncles rising from the land either end of the bay.
We were about to embark on a fortnight of sheer comfort and air-conditioned luxury – as opposed to the camping-like existence my previous family sailing holidays had offered.
Ian arrived in the tender to collect us. Now this was another culture shock for me. My experience is limited to the sort of dinghy where you try not to sit down hard if you plan to wear those trousers ever again. I tried to be cool when this white leather-seated speed boat skimmed across the bay towards us, driven by A Man In Uniform. (If I’d have known that Ian would spend the next fortnight taking the mickey out of me, I’d have made sure I landed on both his bare feet thus starting a more balanced relationship than the one which was to follow.) But, at this point, I was in awe of everything. If you’ve been on Kealoha 8, you’ll know what I mean but I’ve never sailed on a boat of her calibre, especially one you can lie out on without something sticking in you. We were about to embark on a fortnight of sheer comfort and air-conditioned luxury – as opposed to the camping-like existence my previous family sailing holidays had offered. Amazing how quickly you can stow your gear if all you want is to plunge into the sea. It was bliss - warmer than I have ever known. And then, joy on joy, we all lay and basked in the late afternoon sun with a drink. Nothing else to do except to wonder at the comfort of the accommodation, taking our time to change and just relax until dinner – a dinner I haven’t cooked! It’s a bit funny at first having things done for you on a boat – my family see me as natural galley-fodder – but, to my credit, I managed to adapt very quickly and, Nia, if you read this, thank you again. We thoroughly enjoyed every single meal you cooked for us. Fabulous! >
The Perfect Holiday Recipe continued Martinique
David is a great planner and it was a great plan. We would move up north via Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay where the cricket was, stay there five nights, then head back south right down past St Vincent and on to the Grenadines as far as Tobago Cays. We all began to adapt to the pace, the pottering pace. It was beginning to feel like holiday mode. The only goal was to reach Rodney Bay and by midday we were on our way for another good sail, only two hours or so. David tried fishing and eventually hooked a barracuda. Back in October, we’d gone to great lengths to make sure we had really good tickets for the cricket but we needn’t have bothered. By mid-morning Friday, they were letting local schools fill up the empty seats for the England v New Zealand game. Even our expensive tickets had not guaranteed us shade. It was horribly hot and John and David agreed it was deadly dull and we couldn’t wait for it to finish, the prospect of a cooling swim was much too inviting. Not only that, we were off to a street party that evening. And what an experience that turned out to be: genuine carnival, not just something dreamed up to fleece the tourists - it was packed with locals, eating, drinking, dancing - just partying really - the atmosphere was tremendous.
St Vincent Port Elizabeth Mustique The Grenadines
Saturday was just a day to savour - perfect warm weather with a soft breeze - swimming, snorkelling, climbing Pigeon Island with all it’s military history. It’s got Holliday history as well, this is where Diana and her sister stood to welcome home Kealoha 8 after the ARC a few months before. Sunday, John and David had more tickets for the cricket, this time England v Canada. (Yes, Canada does play cricket, though fortunately none too well.) Di and I were off to the Rain Forest. This is amazing and a must if you have even the tiniest interest in ecology. It’s great how they have set the trip up. They picked us up from the marina and we saw lots of the countryside and just ordinary people living their lives. There’s something like an open ski-lift cabin that takes you all the way up and eventually above the canopy. Ah yes, this was the evening of an amazing coincidence. We had all been admiring a Bristol Cutter moored quite near us. David went over for a chat and returned with news that the couple sailing her knew John and me (always unnerving!) and they’d come for a drink later. In fact, they came from the same village outside Bristol where we’d lived for many years and latterly we had seriously considered buying their house. They’d sold up, moved to Devon and had this beautiful thing built for them to sail whenever and wherever they chose. OK, so I was green with envy.
Monday morning was a bit of a shock. Imagine a February day at sea in the English channel: grey seas, heavy skies, limited visibility and raining - and the boat was moving when John and I came round. A great result though. David and Diana had woken early and decided that we might as well use the time to put some miles under our belt and so, with a bleary-eyed Ian at the helm, we had set sail for Bequia at 6 am. We did 68 fantastic miles - this was such a great sail, good wind, gradually improving weather, with Kealoha 8 going like a rocket.
Tobago 30 www.oystermarine.com
After a short stop in Port Elizabeth we continued to Mustique, you can see how it’s achieved its reputation - there are the most amazing houses built all along the hillside and it is just paradise. We watched this massive orange sunset from ‘Basil’s’, a fashionable waterside bar, rum punch in hand (no surprise there then). Now, if we thought Mayreau and Mustique were stunning, nothing prepared us for Tobago Cays. David had been before and was keen for Di to see it. This is where you will probably think I am going over the top but it made Mustique looking ordinary. Imagine this vast horseshoe-shaped expanse of coral with every shade of turquoise stretching in bands across the seas, broken only by the white of the waves crashing in from the Atlantic. Then imagine all these tiny uninhabited islands in every direction with nothing but white, white sand and palm trees and lush greenery. Then add a background of warm sunshine and big white fluffy clouds. It is just heaven. Don’t imagine though it was just us, communing with nature, there were about 30 other boats, mostly large and expensive looking. But it doesn’t matter, it’s such a huge space, you can ignore everybody else if you want. It just has to be the ultimate playground. Decide: do you want to swim, snorkel, turtle-watch or just laze around. Any option will be divine. Even by Caribbean standards, the snorkelling is rated at the top and that’s what we wanted to do most. The array of fish and coral we saw was breathtaking.
We did 68 fantastic miles – this was such a great sail, good wind, gradually improving weather, with Kealoha 8 going like a rocket.
Tobago Cays was just as awesome when we came up from below on Friday morning. If someone had told me I would be snorkelling at 8 am, I’d had laughed, but that’s what we did. The best session was later but it did test David’s dinghy skills getting off the leeward shore surrounded by rocks but, as usual, he managed it comfortably. Leaving The Cays later in the day was like an admission of being on the way home and Canouan was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe returning to inhabitation was always going to be a let-down but it was not particularly welcoming to boats. Nevertheless, we felt duty bound to test the rum punch and that lived up to expectations. We were ready for our dinner and getting used to be spoilt by Nia’s cooking. >
The Perfect Holiday Recipe continued The best sail so far on this fantastic boat was after breakfast on Saturday, taking us four hours to reach Bequia. There were quite big seas running but Kealoha 8 just seems to toss them aside and slide through them. We spent our time on the look out for dolphins and turtles, with a remote hope of seeing a whale. No whale, but we did see a pod of dolphins en route. This time there were no boat boys vying to take our lines when we arrived in Port Elizabeth. It was odd, we had got used to gentle hassle from guys trying to sell us any manner of things but it was strangely deserted. Turns out they are all round the other end of the bay, celebrating the catching of a whale and helping to cut it up. Apparently, it’s quite a party especially as each island is only allowed to catch three a year. So much for conservation! There’s a turtle sanctuary on Bequia and we went to it on an open-back truck with the driver offering us a guided-tour en route. The guided part turned out to be him leaning out of the cab and shouting at us! This is the thing about the locals, they just see things differently. ‘Brother King’ who runs the turtle sanctuary is an enthusiastic character, clearly passionate about conserving the Hawks Bill turtle which is being souped into extinction. He picks up the babies a few weeks after they hatch and brings them through various tanks until they reach two years or so when he releases them on different islands. He reckons most of them won’t survive but, because conservation is becoming more of an issue, maybe some of them will live to enjoy real protection, not just the lip service there is now. Sunday and we were on St Vincent in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ location, Wallilabou Bay. Most of the sets are still there and you can see why this was the chosen location. It is quite spectacular. The local kids use it as a water park and it was fun watching them. There’s lot of boat boys touting all sorts and we engaged one to take us on foot to the waterfalls without any conviction that it was A Good Idea. These guys look pretty scary and here we were trotting off behind him into the unknown. In the event, he turned out to be very sweet and quite knowledgeable; anything you could eat, he knew about; birds and wildlife, not a clue.
It’s such a contradiction, you feel you are in the middle of jungle then some local comes tearing round the corner in a surprisingly up-market truck. Our guide had clearly cut a deal with the local waterfront bar run by one of life’s characters, a one-time film extra, Tony, and that’s where he delivered us. As a newly qualified expert on rum punches of the Caribbean, I should warn you that one in Tony’s bar is enough. Use the other one to wash any open wounds. Sadly, we all had two - but we had enough sense to come back to the boat and have dinner. Last whole day, we made every part of Monday count. We moved up the island a couple of bays to Chateaubelair - a tiny town of sorts on the shore of a huge sweeping bay. This is another of the plusses with Kealoha 8. You can get off the beaten track. The bay is not wonderful for mooring, something to do with the swell but Kealoha 8 can cope and with the fast tender, we were able to anchor in a nice sheltered bit well off shore. The plan was to go the Darveo Falls. All I said to Ian was that perhaps we could find somewhere to have a coffee while we sorted it out and he fell about laughing. Was I expecting Starbucks, he enquired. I did have to see his point. Clearly not a magnet for tourists, we found just one place claiming to be a bar. David, the ultimate negotiator, was soon on first name terms with Francoise, the owner, who agreed to make us some coffee - apparently not a frequent request. He eventually reappeared triumphantly with a battered kettle full of hot water, a small dodgy looking jar of Nescafe, a half used tin of Carnation milk, a selection of wet beer mugs and, incongruously, a fine bone china cup, chipped of course! Whilst we made our drinks he organised his mate to taxi us to the falls. When we eventually reached these remote falls, there in the middle of all this rain forest-like greenery was a solitary man, playing the steel drums. That’s the whole thing about the Caribbean, you never know what to expect.
We had had a blissful fortnight of sheer fun and enjoyment, seen some spectacular places and enjoyed the company of lovely people.
No more time, we sailed back to The Pitons, our last lovely sail. Best bit, we saw one, maybe two whales. OK, so we didn’t exactly eye-ball them but they were definitely whales. Dinner at The Dasheed was not only a spectacular location, looking down from on high through the darkness into the bay with Kealoha looking stunning, illuminated by her spreader lights, but the food and music were fabulous - a fitting finale. Does everybody wake up on their final holiday morning, with a confusion of thoughts of home and responsibilities crowding in again? We had had a blissful fortnight of sheer fun and enjoyment, seen some spectacular places and enjoyed the company of lovely people. David and Diana are the greatest fun to be with, wonderful hosts, and we are truly grateful to them. Ian and Nia, what can we say? They looked after us fantastically and we are in awe of their amazing range of skills. To you both and to the remarkable Kealoha 8, we wish you fair winds and many years of happy sailing. Kealoha 8 is available for Charter in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, for more information visit www.oysteryachtcharter.com
100 Oyster Superyacht Update By Richard Matthews
Since our press release in May, and the announcement in the last edition of Oyster News, our Superyacht project to build two Dubois designs at 100 and 125 feet has been gathering momentum. The Dubois and Oyster Design teams have been working together to optimise the styling and general arrangement plans for the 100, which will be the first yacht in the series. The Dubois team are now progressing the naval architecture (actually she will be 101 feet) while Oyster progress the interior planning and joinery details. Dubois is a world leader in fast cruising yachts over 100 feet and by the end of 2008 will have 40 of their designs afloat. Hamish Burgess-Simpson rejoins Oyster on the 1st September as our Superyacht Project Coordinator. Meanwhile, we have been working with RMK Marine in Turkey on settling the specification and details required for costing the yacht and getting tooling underway. Gary Scott-Jenner, formerly Engineering Manager of High Modulus Europe has joined the Oyster Design team and will take responsibility for the composite structural engineering. These yachts will almost certainly be built using the resin infusion laminating system to ensure consistently high quality. Hulls will be post-cured in a large oven to approximately 80ÂşC to stabilise the topside surface in preparation for when the yacht is exposed to high temperatures later in its life. The standard yacht will be MCA complaint and completed to Lloyds 100 A1. In June, just before the Oyster Valencia Regatta, everyone involved in the project at Oyster and RMK Marine attended the Dubois Cup event in Palma, which had up to 14 yachts, all over 100 feet and designed by Dubois, taking part. Thanks to the kindness of those owners and crews, this created a timely opportunity for us to take a careful look at these beautiful yachts and see just where the Oyster project might fit against other superyacht offerings. (Ed Dubois even got Dire Straits to play at their prize-giving party but thatâ€™s another story!) The Superyacht Cup in Palma followed the Dubois event and gave our design team and builders a unique chance to take a good look at what was possibly the largest fleet of sailing superyachts ever assembled. Just the thing to get those creative juices flowing but not to copy, since Oyster has always been leaders in design style and intend to remain so.
OYSTER 100 AND OYSTER 125 by Dubois
In July we met Mr Rahmi M Koç Chairman of the Koç Group, the owners of RMK Marine in Istanbul Turkey to sign a commercial agreement under which RMK will build the 100 and 125 for Oyster. The signing took place aboard Lady Edith Mr Koç’s 1925 vintage gaff-rigged 12 metre, preceded by a sail across the Bosporus enjoyed by Ed Dubois and myself. In a joint venture, RMK Marine and Oyster will share the cost of building female tooling for both yachts and, if required, the cost of building a first of class example of both vessels. The RMK yard based in Tusla, just outside Istanbul, has already completed a number of very large motor yachts to an international superyacht standard. Currently under construction is a 170ft S&S yacht building in alloy for Mr Rahmi Koç due for launch at the end of 2008. This project provides an ideal lead into the Oyster superyacht project, since it will benchmark build standards of joinery, engineering and electrical installations which can set the standard for the Oyster 100, or be amended to do so. The opportunity to view this yacht in build will give potential clients an opportunity to inspect the quality of workmanship first hand and proceed with confidence. The Oyster 100 will follow suit with the S&S 170 in having a full size, detailed mock up of her interior configuration set up alongside the yacht before fitting out begins. The first step, once joinery samples have been agreed, will be to create and set up the joinery for a complete cabin. Once approved all the interior joinery will be made and set up as part of the mock up so the detailing can be finessed and quality assured before going into the yacht. The Koç Group are the largest and most successful industrial group in Turkey, so successful that they are ranked at 200 in the Fortune 500 Companies worldwide. The group have their own bank with several hundred branches, they manufacture Ford cars and vans, make 22% of all the TV’s in Europe, refine 70% of Turkey’s petroleum, build ships, own the Turkish equivalent of B&Q and much more. This almost certainly makes RMK Marine the best-backed builder of large yachts in the world. A number of potential owners have already registered interest in the Oyster 100 and a detailed specification and costing will be available at or before the Southampton Boat Show in September. Tooling is expected to start during the third quarter of 2007 and the first Oyster 100 by Dubois is targeted to be afloat by the end of 2009.
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Cruising in the Solomon Islands by Yolanda Danioth, Oyster 56 Moana
PACI F I C O CE A N
Noro New Georgia
New Georgia Islands
SO L O MO N I S L A N DS
Our plan was to set sail for Micronesia in the North Pacific with a stop-over in the Solomon Islands. We soon discovered that the Solomon’s represent a destination on their own rather then just a convenient stop-over.
Our journey began with the 2004 ARC taking us from Europe to the Caribbean, then onto Panama and the Pacific Ocean. After taking a six month break in New Zealand, we cruised Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu during the austral winter. Ship and crew were still in perfect condition and we knew we didn’t want to be in New Zealand or Australia for the southern hemisphere cyclone season, so the decision was made to head north. Our plan was to set sail for Micronesia in the North Pacific with a stop-over in the Solomon Islands. We soon discovered that the Solomon’s represent a destination on their own rather then just a convenient stop-over. We had heard about the unstable political situation in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, and avoided trouble by simply not visiting the place. Our destination was Gizo in the Western Province and even though we passed many other islands on the way there we didn’t stop. After 752nm and five days at sea we arrived in Gizo Harbour.
Gizo, Ghizo Island The approach to Gizo is well marked with deep water. We anchored in Gizo Harbour, close to Kiribas village in about 8 metres with good mud holding. Clearance was done on shore by visiting the different officials, all these officials were helpful, relaxed and the process was straight forward. From the beginning it felt like being back in Polynesia. In the evening hours the villagers sung their charming songs. Their wonderful voices take you away and create a feeling of total relaxation. Everything sounded happy, flowery, colourful and full of life and spirit. Sometimes we could feel the influences from the sea and the rhythms of waves. >
LEFT: An idyllic anchorage ABOVE LEFT: Gizo townscape ABOVE RIGHT: Yolanda Danioth
Cruising in the Solomon Islands continued
The Western Province has more to offer to visiting yachts than any of the other provinces with clear lagoons, good sheltered anchorages, brilliant colours all year round, warm water and easy sailing.
” Gizo is the administrative and economic centre of the Western Province. All shops, banks and restaurants are located along the main street. Provisioning is easy, fresh produce or fish from the market, bread from the bakery, dry goods from the supermarket and everything else from the Chinese shops. Every day people arrive from the outer islands to sell fruit and vegetables in the local market. The seasonal products are displayed on banana leaves either on their own or in small piles, the market ladies are proud to present quality goods and ensure their produce doesn’t get too much sun or have rotten spots. Some of the green vegetables were new to us but communicating with the women was not always easy. The locals speak their own native language or in the best case Pigeon English. Of course English is the official language but in the market they have their own rules. So, with hand gestures and the help from passing shoppers we learnt what things were and how to cook them. A green fern with small leaves turned out to be one of the best fresh salads. We found that simply cutting the stem in small pieces and mixing with whole leaves, some coconut milk, spices, chilli, carrots and tomatoes made a very refreshing, crunchy, healthy lunch.
ABOVE LEFT: Stone carver displaying his wares ABOVE RIGHT: Gizo fish market RIGHT: Sanbiz Resort, Mbambanga Island
Time on Moana passed quickly, we either had visitors from one of the other four yachts in the harbour or local guests on board. From our research, we knew some of the best carvings in the world are produced in the Solomon Islands, the stone carvers frequently came out in their canoes to visit us and display their wares. Their offerings varied from fish, dolphins, manta rays, turtles to fishing Gods and many others sculptures. Apart from these private presentations to visiting yachts, the craftsmen were moaning about the lack of tourism. The day we arrived a mid-size
cruise ship was anchored in Gizo and a lot of carvers came to Gizo that day specially to sell their wares to the passengers. A lot of them failed and when the cruise ship left, they stopped by Moana on their way back to there villages. We got the feeling Moana had to make up for what the lack of trade with the cruise ship and at the end of our stay we had a complete collection and could almost become a retailer ourselves!
Konggulavata Bay, Ghizo Island Another attractive anchorage, further north from Gizo is Konggulavata. It is a remote place and before you visit you must get permission from the chief or his relatives. When you first arrive you will see nobody, but as soon as you are settled in, a canoe will appear. Always ask the first canoe paddler if it is okay to anchor off the island and what his name is. Make the effort to establish a friendly relationship straight away and you will not be asked for an anchoring fee. These people never refused us permission to anchor and were very curious about our nationality, names and general life on board Moana. They like to trade for their produce, so always be prepared for a good deal. We were lucky not to have overstocked with fresh goods when we left Gizo as these people were not greedy bargainers and often said they would take whatever we had to offer. We have a great deal of experience with trading and the thing you most have to bear in mind is to specify the maximum amount and the size you want. Otherwise you can end up with a pumpkin the size you will never forget and which is hard to store away! Good trading goods are: soup, t-shirts, rice, tea, sugar, old towels, DVD’s, washing-powder, batteries, matches and fishing gear.
Another thing you must clarify at the beginning of your stay is are there any crocodiles?! In some places you can’t swim because of the danger of crocs, Konggulavata Bay is one of these places. We watched the water surface throughout the day, but never actually saw one.
Sanbiz Resort, Mbambanga Island The weekend we visited Mbambanga Island the conditions were so calm we could almost anchor anywhere. This is not unusual in this area because October/November is the change over seasons so the weather is dominated by calms with a few squalls and showers. We took advantage of being so close to a resort and used their diving services, restaurant and the entertainment facilities. What a place! Clear warm water invites you for a swim or snorkel around your boat. On Saturday we chose to dive off Kennedy Island. John F Kennedy and his crew swam ashore to this island after their patrol boat was hit during the war.
The saying goes that Kennedy towed his crewmate by clenching his life vest between his teeth. Kennedy Wall was quite impressive. It drops off to a ledge at 20m and then drops off again to much deeper water. It is a popular meeting point for big fish which linger there and the shallow portion of the reef is home to some small critters. The water was so warm; we spent about 60 minutes in the water and never felt cold. Back at the Sanbiz Resort the dive crew took care of all our gear and washed everything with fresh water then returned back to use nice, clean and dry gear, what a service for yachties!
Every Sunday there is a BBQ lunch at the Sanbiz Resort. We didn’t want to miss this occasion so went ashore soon after having a late breakfast. We worked up an appetite by playing table tennis with the locals, but we hid from the ‘proficient Japanese’. They are too good and too fast - no chance for yachties with a lack of skills and experience. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, the staff were working hard to prepare the BBQ. They put up fresh flowers for decoration, prepared a rich buffet and weaved eating baskets. Sanbiz Resort was one of the most extravagant places we have been for months!
Saturday evening was time to go out. We went back on shore to the resort and were privileged to enjoy cold drinks and an unspoiled view of our boat at anchor. After the drinks we had to choose our main course, it had been quite a while since we had had lobster - so the choice was quickly made - Lobster in a creamy brandy sauce with local side-dishes washed down with a chilled Australian Chardonnay - fantastic!
Noro, New Georgia Island The only visitors to Noro are big fishing vessels or boats which need diesel. We belonged to the latter group, and motored the 20nm in calm conditions to get diesel from a big tank. The town is the home of a fish cannery, the company employs hundreds of people and is the biggest environmental polluter in the area. >
Cruising in the Solomon Islands continued
Our stop was short and successful. We purchased diesel for a reasonably good price at $SBD 5.40/litre. A bargain compared to the $SBD 8.00/litre we paid in Gizo. In addition to the good price we felt more confident fueling from big tanks with a high turnover. In Gizo fuel is provided in barrels which tend to get rusty and it is not uncommon for contaminated fuel to get into a boats tanks by fueling from these barrels. After taking on almost half a ton of fuel we were prepared to cross the Equator with its light winds.
Vanga Point, Kolombangara Kolombangara is a classic cone-shaped volcano and is almost circular in shape. The volcano rises up to 1700 metres and is the highest point in the Western Province. It rains almost every day. Therefore the island is very green and has good ground to cultivate groceries! At night it is cool due to the catabatic winds coming down the hills. What a treat in the tropics.
Vanga Point is well known for its progressive Agricultural College run by the Catholic Marist Brothers. The students learn how to plant, grow, harvest and sell products. It is obviously a very interesting place to visit but unfortunately we were too late in the season, the College was closed for two months (Christmas/New Year Holiday) and all the students had gone home to their families. Still some teachers and permanent staff were there and they showed us the College and explained their concept. We were also lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and were invited to join the celebration at the kindergarten for the end of the year. All the children, parents, teachers and officials gathered and closely watched the activities. It was a colourful lively place with presents, dancing and singing, mothers prepared a variety of food dishes which were arranged as a buffet. Closing the kindergarten was a community celebration, with us as special foreign guests. Our fellow cruisers Pauline and Mauro were unexpectedly visited by their friends from a nearby village. They brought fruit,
vegetables and two very big, freshly caught snapper with them. The fish were far too big for the four of us, so a quick decision was made to take them to the village which was much appreciated and we were all invited for dinner. Cooking facilities were very different to the galley on the boat. In traditional houses there is one area for living, sleeping and dining completely separated from the cooking area. Strictly speaking there are two houses. So, all the cooking and preparation take place in a specially constructed house. A welded steel frame stands over an open fire surrounded by stones to keep the heat in, this has no temperature regulation so it is quite a challenge to heat up a pan evenly. Finally all the finished dishes were put on a table, so everybody could take what they want. The food was wonderful, a tasty fish curry, grilled pumpkin in coconut sauce, beans with eggplants, rice and homemade pita-bread. Chatting with the locals was never boring, we were as interested in their life as they were curious about ours. A young girl called Regina became my companion. Soon after landing with the dinghy she
greeted us and was curious about where we were going, she then helped us find our way to the fresh water source so we could fill our drinking bottles. Unfortunately we could not run the watermaker, because the water was too murky as a river ran directly behind us into the sea. To thank Regina, we took her and her friends on a dinghy ride around the bay. She waved proudly back to shore when we passed the nearby houses. Her highlight was to be invited on Moana with her friends, this caused much excitement, they all looked with wonder and enjoyed the novelty of being on a big boat.
SOLOMON ISLANDS FACTS:
Paul, a young boy about eight to ten years old, seemed to take a shine to me and sang me a local song on our departure. During our stay Paul paddled out to Moana every day to deliver me gifts of fresh vegetables, this included freshly picked avocados, grapefruits, local potatos, papaya, spring-onions, cucumber or whatever he could get from his mothers garden.
Travel guide books: • Solomon Islands Cruising Guide ICA Island Cruising Association, by Dirk Sieling & Brian Hepburn This guide from 1999 is still up-to-date enough and contains all aspects of cruising in the Solomon • Lonely Planet – Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands An excellent addition to the above guide with places to see, background information and listings of facilities
It was a short but intense cruise in the Solomon Islands, during our time there we discovered that the Western Province has more to offer to visiting yachts than any of the other provinces with clear lagoons, good sheltered anchorages, brilliant colours all year round, warm water and easy sailing. In fact, we think it offers one of the best cruising grounds in the world. Only a handful sailors came to this remote area so it is still a place for explorers. The lagoons, atolls and islands reminded us of Bora Bora, just without the big groups of tourists and the large hotels. After 18 months we left the South Pacific with fond memories of superb cruising with unforgettable encounters, unique experiences and great fun.
Weather: The Solomon Islands lie on the edge of the New Zealand and Australian charts. The New Zealand Analysis and Prognosis gives the best information about weather systems in force where as the Australian Streamline Analysis gives an overview about the general wind gradient patterns which is useful to determine the wind flow in areas close to the Equator where pressure is usually weak. The weekly weathergrams from the NZ Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt is another great source for weather situations in the South West Pacific. On Sunday Bob usually gives you his ideas about the general weather patterns in the Southwest Pacific. Send the text "send nz.wgrm" to 'email@example.com' (no subject).This is a free service and highly recommended.
Money: The local currency is the Solomon Dollar ($SBD) Exchange rate (GBP) = $SBD 15.7 (July 2007) Credit cards accepted in resorts, dive-shops and any other tourist related places otherwise take cash, preferably AUD, NZD or USD. ATM and banks are only in main towns. Clearance: The procedure starts with Customs & Excise Division, the general declaration for our vessel was $SBD 103. Next step was Ministry of Commerce and Primary Industries, we just had to complete paperwork. The same happened at Immigration. Agriculture and Quarantine Service charged $SBD 60 for disposal of our garbage. From the Agriculture Ministry we got some leaflets on how to act during our stay in the Solomon Island. Malaria: Malaria is the greatest health risk in the Solomon Island as it is in Vanuatu and some other countries too. MOANA’s journey can be followed at: www.symoana.ch
LEFT: Regina and her friends visit Moana ABOVE LEFT: Moana at Anchor ABOVE RIGHT: Our dive boat
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Galapagos to French Polynesia By Dr Keith Hamilton, Oyster 62, Carpe Diem
The passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia was the longest in our planned circumnavigation, a little over 3000nm.
” Carpe Diem, our Oyster 62, left San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos on 25th March 2006. On board were Paul Fenn and Cristina Bruguera as Captain and Mate, together with Charlie Scott, Marielle Midi and myself.
We flew the cruising chute occasionally, but found the speed advantages were very little. As our Oyster 62 carries 2000 litres of diesel and we had full tanks to start we had no hesitation in motorsailing or motoring when the wind died.
We had a wonderful stay in the Galapagos, touring several of the islands, seeing the huge range of distinct wildlife that lives there. Swimming with seals was a definite highlight. In fact the seals were everywhere on the islands, the novelty and excitement of having them sleeping on our transom soon wore off however when we saw what vast amounts they excreted and how bad they smelt!
Fifteen days and 3110nm after leaving San Cristobal, we entered Baie des Vierges at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. We came into the bay at about 0400 with a full moon. I believe that this is one of the most spectacular bays in the Pacific and to enter it in moonlight with the blue glow on the surrounding peaks was a tremendous experience. We celebrated with a bottle of Champagne which had a very pleasant effect as we are ‘dry’ when we passage!
The passage from Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia was the longest in our planned circumnavigation, a little over 3000nm. We were hoping for good trade winds, but as we have found over the last few years since leaving England, weather patterns seem to be a lot less predictable than previously. Perhaps however, that is just a figment of ‘the good old days’ mentality that most sailors seem to have. We soon settled into the routine of passaging with watches of three hours on, six hours off, which rotated the time of day that we were working. We prefer this to the fixed watch times that some boats use - a personal preference only. The passage was relatively uneventful, we did our usual chores daily and relaxed, chatted, slept ate and read the rest of the time. As a crew we were not major fishermen but would often put out a trolling line at dawn and dusk to see what happened. When we did catch something, usually tuna, it created a bit of excitement and the freshest sushi/sashimi you could eat. Cristina then worked wonders with the fresh fish creating great ceviche and poisson cru. ABOVE LEFT: Lunch coming aboard ABOVE RIGHT: A visiting seal RIGHT: Cruising with the trades Photo: Charles Scott
We had reasonable winds and good sailing for most of our journey with the wind blowing from the aft quarter, so we would sail with a poled out genoa and main.
Baie des Vierges has spectacular pinnacles of rock surrounding it. It was called ‘Penis Bay’ by the Polynesians in tribute to the phallic shapes. This translates in French to Baie des Verges, which the Missionaries, in their wisdom, changed to Baie des Vierges (Bay of Virgins). Just part of the benefits of civilisation that they brought as they attempted to destroy the local culture. Fatu Hiva does not have an official port of entry into French Polynesia, so we were not strictly legal. It is however the first island that you come to in passaging from the Galapagos and many cruisers bend the rules a little to land there. It would otherwise be a windward slog from Hiva Oa to return and we would have been unlikely to want to do that. We thought we should check in with the local gendarme, despite (or because of) our dubious status, just to show goodwill. The gendarme was easy to find in the small village and was not bothered by the fact we were there. He wondered if we had any spare lifejackets to donate to him, as they were an expensive item for locals to buy, we unfortunately didn’t but he took the response with good grace. He came aboard to have a drink with us and was pleased to instead accept a gift of a couple of bottles of wine. >
Out of the six boats in the remote Rangiroa Lagoon anchorage, three of them were Oysters!
TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: A celebratory tattoo Church in Hiva Oa Anchored in Cook Bat, Moorea Gaugain’s grave, Hiva Oa Anchorage in Nuku Hiva MAIN: Three Oysters, Baccalieu, White Wings and Carpe Diem in Rangiroa Lagoon
Galapagos to French Polynesia continued
We later heard that perhaps Cristinaâ€™s fluent French and our hospitality had been more helpful to us than we supposed, because some yachts arriving in Fatu Hiva without having cleared in formally were refused permission to stay. It is a hard and hot climb up the mountains that surround the little Baie des Vierges, but the spectacular view was worth it. It also made the first cold bottle of Hinano beer (the local Polynesian brew), taste extremely good. After a few days in Fatu Hiva we left for Atuona Bay, Hiva Oa, and a relatively short downwind sail. We anchored in a fairly small corner of the bay. Work was due to start on repairing the wharf and cruising yachts were crowded into a tight area so we put out a stern anchor to minimise our swinging. Clearing in at the Gendarmerie was time consuming but courteous. We found out from some other cruisers that if we employed an agent (by phone since he was in Papeete) we would not need to post a Bond for non EC members of the crew. This was a great convenience as the hassles of recovering the bond and being charged handling and exchange rate fees are significant. Atuona Bay was a kilometre or two from the village so we rented a car and used it to travel around the island. Hiva Oa is a beautiful quiet island with a long history. Paul Gauguin was based here for most of his Polynesian phase and his grave is in a lovely cemetery overlooking the harbour. It has fresh flowers and shell necklaces placed on it regularly, perhaps by descendants. One day while driving around we came upon a little stone church, looking just like a Scottish kirk, but surrounded by hibiscus flowers and banana plants - a unique juxtaposition of cultures.
Two of our crew, Charlie and Marielle left us to fly home in Hiva Oa and we made a very uncomfortable lumpy overnight passage to Nuku Hiva. We anchored in Taiohae Bay in rainy and cloudy weather, a condition that prevailed for most of our stay there. In Nuku Hiva as I had fulfilled the second half of my ambition to sail the Pacific, I got a tattoo to commemorate it. The tattooist, who had a half face tattoo, was very well known in Nuku Hiva, he was the son and grandson of traditional Polynesian tattooists, committed to preserving the local customs. On 22nd April we left the Marquesas for the Tuomotu group, about 470nm. The Tuomotu islands have long been feared by sailors as they are all extremely low atolls with large surrounding reefs and very difficult to see from a distance. Our GPS and charts coincided very well however and we made landfall at Ahe atoll in daylight as planned. The tide through the pass in the reef was not strong and we motored into the lagoon and anchored off the village. Ahe is a major pearl farming lagoon, the market for black pearls is large and there are pearl farms in many of the Polynesian islands. While Rosemary and I were exploring the lagoon in our dinghy we met a very friendly Polynesian couple who took us spear fishing and showed us around their small holding on part of the reef. The next day they invited us to go on a picnic with their three year old daughter and their parents. They took us to an empty part of the reef where they made a small fire and grilled some fresh grouper while we snorkelled for shellfish. We ate the shellfish in a poisson cru of lemon juice and coconut milk and ate the fish with our fingers off plates made out of coconut leaves. Drinks were provided by the coconuts also, it was a really delightful day. We gave them some swim-masks and fins as a present and the next day, just before we left, they gave us a small packet of black pearls!
Our sail to the next atoll, Rangiroa, was about 90nm, this proved to be an comfortable overnighter. We arrived in daylight as planned, but despite the fact that our tables predicted slack water there was 5-6kts coming out of the pass. We motored through with little difficulty and entered the huge lagoon. Later we learned that for the last few weeks the prevailing winds had been driving water into the Lagoon, so that regardless of tide, the flow through the pass was significant. Rangiroa lagoon is so large that one cannot see the other side and unfortunately the interior has many bommies of coral that make sailing around it with our draught of 2.8m a bit problematic. After the pass we motored to a popular anchorage opposite an up-market hotel, whose main clients were Japanese honeymooners. Including us, there were six boats in the anchorage, three of which were Oysters! One belonged to our friends Donna and Mike Hill, an Oyster 56, Baccalieu; the other was the 485 White Wings. We first met Mike and Donna in the Channel Islands in 2004, shortly after launching and have met them on and off on various oceans, since then. We are both on the same flexible itinerary. Rangiroa has several small companies providing boat trips to areas of the reef that we were unable to reach because of our draught. We had a great experience with one of these going to an area called the Blue lagoon where there were hundreds of small (and large) black-tipped reef sharks. They are generally harmless and snorkelling around them was a great experience. Another modest adventure we had was to take the dingy to the pass when the tide was flowing in (which it did eventually) and jump overboard and drift snorkel at 4-5 kts, holding the painter. It was an exhilarating experience! >
Galapagos to French Polynesia continued
Sailing the Pacific is a great experience and the result of planning and much hard work. We had an amazing time.
” One of the other boats in the anchorage was Gypsy Moth, Sir Francis Chichester’s sailboat in which he made his famous solo circumnavigation. It had been refurbished and was on a repeat circumnavigation, with different skippers and crew on different legs. We had chatted to them when we met in Aruba and it was good to see them again, unfortunately the good feeling was not to last. One evening when we were having drinks on board Baccalieu Mike received a satellite phone call from Gypsy Moth which had left through the pass for Tahiti a few hours before. They reported that they were aground on a reef and were unable to make radio contact with anyone. Mike contacted the authorities and a rescue was set in progress. Gypsy Moth was aground on the reef of Rangiroa a mile or two short of the Northwest corner. She was on her side but the surf was modest. No one was injured fortunately and the skipper did a very good job in getting all the crew ashore safely. She remained on board until morning to prevent salvage or looting issues. It was very sad to see the vessel on the reef as we sailed out a couple of days later. Due to very hard work and some luck Gypsy Moth was salvaged from the reef and repaired in Papeete and New Zealand so she was able to continue her trip. Our daughter Sarah and our niece Emma joined us in Rangiroa and enjoyed a few days windsurfing and snorkelling before we sailed with them to Moorea, adjacent to Tahiti. This was a pleasant passage of 200nm which we did in a little under a day. We anchored in Cook’s Bay as so many have done before us, it is a very powerful feeling to anchor in bays knowing that Captain Cook and so many other famous seamen have looked around at the same skyline and checked the same bearings in the anchorage. After a few beautiful days in Moorea we motored over to Papeete and tied up stern-to on the famous wall. Again, to be on the wall in Papeete was very exciting. I think I first read of it in some of
Somerset Maugham’s stories, and to actually to be there was a thrill. The actuality of it was a little bit less fun though, as it was very noisy and had quite a surge, however it was undoubtedly the most convenient place to explore the town and we made the most of this while we were there. We especially enjoyed the municipal market with its bright fruit and flowers and innumerable craft shops, selling a wide variety of articles from kitsch to quality. Black pearls were available everywhere. The so called perfect ones were quite expensive, but the misshapen baroque style was much cheaper and to our eyes (and my wallet’s!) more attractive. After a short while on the wall we moved around to the main Marina, on the other side of the airport from town. This Marina was extremely pleasant and efficient, and quite secure. Rosemary and I took advantage of our time in Tahiti to take a short trip to Easter Island. Due to the mysteries of airline ticket pricing it is relatively cheap to fly from Papeete to Easter Island with Lan Chile. We spent several days there enjoying the strange statues that are everywhere on the island. Easter Island has an aura about it that is hard to explain, despite all the theories, no-one really knows the purpose of the statues and the nature of the culture that produced them. We investigated the anchorage on Easter Island while we were there and decided that we were very glad to have flown there rather than include it in our sailing trip. There were breaking waves right across the bay which locals told us was not at all unusual, it would have been a long way to sail only to find you couldn’t land. After several weeks in Tahiti, alternating between Papeete and Moorea we left for Huahine, 90nm West. Huahine is a delightful little Island with a small main town, Fare, off which we anchored for a day or so to explore. We then moved down the coast inside the reef to Avea Bay which became one of our favourite anchorages in Polynesia. The beautiful
clear turquoise water, full of fish, with the sloping green mountain curving around the bay and the reef flashing white with breakers a few hundred metres seaward seemed to be the quintessential Pacific experience. Strangely it was not crowded at all. We left this spot very reluctantly, but knowing we had an appointment with destiny in Tahaa, 30 miles away. In Tahaa we had signed up for the First Annual Tahaa Tourism Race, this consisted of a relatively short course from Tahaa to Raiatea, sponsored by French Polynesia Tourism to try to get cruisers to visit more in Tahaa and Raiatea. It turned out to be a great Regatta, with canoe races to follow the yacht race. It added greatly to our enjoyment that we won the race, for which we received a prize of a very attractive model outrigger canoe and one night’s stay in a luxury spa on Raiatea. Many thanks to Paul and Cristina for doing all the work while we swiped all the glory! Our last stop in French Polynesia was Bora Bora. We had planned to stay there for a couple of weeks before flying to New York to be there for the birth of our daughter Kathryn’s second baby, our second grandchild. Life being what it is though, about 12 hours after we arrived in Bora Bora my wife was talking to Kathryn on our satellite phone (a domestic essential) and after their discussion announced that we had to leave right away. The next day we were in the air and the day after that we were in town just in time for the birth of our healthy new grandson. Women’s intuition rules!! Sailing the Pacific is a great experience and the result of planning and much hard work. We had an amazing time. Many thanks to Skipper Paul Fenn and his partner, Mate Cristina Bruguera for helping turn our thoughts into reality. As we write this in New Zealand, we are looking forward to continuing the adventures on our home from home, Carpe Diem our Oyster 62.
TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Ahe Atoll, Tuomotu Islands A great day sailing! Statues at Easter Island Gypsy Moth on the reef MAIN: Skipper Paul Fenn aboard Carpe Diem Photo: Charles Scott
Britain’s bid for America’s Cup Success
Sir Keith Mills, the British businessman who ran London’s victorious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, has created a new British America’s Cup sailing team.
ABOVE: The newly liveried TEAMORIGIN boat, ‘GBR75’ will be on show at the Southampton Boat Show. Photo: Carlo Borlenghi
RIGHT: Sir Keith Mills and Team Director, Mike Sanderson. Photo: Action Images
With the announcement that the 33rd America’s Cup will be held in Valencia in 2009, the race is on for TEAMORIGIN to put together a winning package and bring the world’s longest running sailing event back to British shores for the first time since its inception over 150 years ago. Oyster will be supporting the team all the way and will follow their progress and bring news from the team in future editions of Oyster News. The America’s Cup is not only the most famous and prestigious regatta in sailing, but also the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the FA Cup by two decades and the Modern Olympics by 45 years. The origin of the America’s Cup dates back to 1851 when the schooner, America from the New York Yacht Club won the race around the Isle of Wight against 15 yachts representing the Royal Yacht Squadron. America won by 20 minutes, and the cup takes its name from America’s historic victory. The New York Yacht Club remained unbeaten for 25 challenges over 132 years until 1983 when the Cup was won by the challenger, Australia II of Australia, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport. TEAMORIGIN was launched in January 2007 by Sir Keith Mills, one of Britain’s most successful businessmen and sports administrators. Sir Keith, whose Oyster 485 was called Frequent Flyer, is the founder of Air Miles International Group BV (AMIG) and Chairman of Loyalty Management Group Ltd (LMG), the company, which owns and manages the Nectar programme in the UK and licenses Air Miles programmes internationally. In September 2003, Sir Keith was appointed International President and CEO of London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. TEAMORIGIN has committed to participate in at least two America’s Cup campaigns, the 33rd and 34th editions of the event, with the next Cup scheduled to take place in Valencia in 2009. They have made a formal agreement with the Royal Thames Yacht Club to be their official Challenging Yacht Club, a mandatory requirement for all Challengers prior to entering the America’s Cup. The Royal Thames offers not only the benefits of a modern and flexible organisation but also boasts strong historical ties to the America’s Cup. Established in 1775, the Royal Thames is the oldest Royal yacht club in Britain and was the first Challenging Yacht Club for the America’s Cup in 1870, backing the British bid with Cambria following the inaugural victory of Schooner America in 1851.
TEAMORIGIN AT THE SOUTHAMPTON BOAT SHOW TEAMORIGIN will bring their newly liveried ‘GBR 75’ race training America’s Cup boat to the Southampton Show for the first three days, where it will be moored on the Hydropool marina, with visitors to the show able to meet the crew both on the boat and at the feature stage at various times during the show. TEAMORIGIN will also formally present their key team members at the show on Friday 14th September.
The America’s Cup is not only the most famous and prestigious regatta in sailing, but also the oldest active trophy in international sport, predating the FA Cup by two decades and the Modern Olympics by 45 years.
Oyster owners will have an opportunity to meet TEAMORIGIN Team Director, Mike Sanderson, the record-breaking ISAF World Sailor of the Year 2006 and winning skipper of the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race at our annual Southampton owner’s dinner, which this year is being hosted at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. To follow TEAMORIGIN’s progress see: www.teamorigin.com
Building on his mind An innovator of energy efficient homes, builder David Holliday is now out to control acoustics and sail around the world by Roger Vaughan
Peter David Holliday, OBE, tells the following story about himself. He was in a pub with a mate grumbling about the family cat, going on about how, because of his sailing schedule and other distractions, the cat was having to be at the cattery for a long period, and it was 15 quid a night, and on he went, raging about the cat. Finally his mate interrupted him, saying in a quiet but stern tone that it really didn’t seem to him like that big a problem, and as for the 15 quid, come on, David, you do own an Oyster 72 after all. Holliday laughs at the punch line, but you can tell that the cat situation is still annoying as a loose end in an otherwise well-organized life. Details are important to David Holliday. One troublesome detail arose not long before his Oyster 72, Kealoha 8 was to be commissioned. Everything up to that point had gone well. He gives Murray Aitken, who sold Holliday his boat, high marks. "Someone should do a book of Murray’s one-liners," Holliday says. "He’s the best salesman I’ve ever come across selling products in excess of a million pounds. That’s not an easy job
because you have to sell to people who are used to making big money deals. Both Richard and Murray were superb. After I placed the order I had lunch with Richard. I needed to clarify in my mind what to do with the boat. He was great. He had lots of suggestions. Then the whole process was fantastic. It took three years. The project management, the choices, being involved with the craftsmen at Landamore’s, and the way Oyster managed me was all wonderful. Normally I deal with clients on building projects. Now I was the client, and I’d step back and think how well they were handling me. Oyster deals with people in a nice way, and the cultural approach goes all the way through the company. In some businesses, the top guy is switched on, but his business is doing something other than what he thinks it is doing. Not at Oyster." But then, shortly before commissioning, a big issue arose. "Only one issue," David says, "not a major issue to the builder, but major to me. I had a big bust up with Oyster over it. Let’s say it was big in small letters." He smiles. Comfortable on the settee in the bright, spacious saloon of his Oyster 72, surrounded by lots of handsomely crafted American white oak
trim that is like satin to the touch, Holliday pauses, his heavily-browed dark eyes steady behind wire-rim glasses, the glimmer of a rueful grin on his face, making sure he has properly primed the visitor across the table for how serious this one small detail was for him. Approaching 60, Holliday is a quietly spoken man. He’s around five foot ten, and almost as fit as he was in 1999 when he completed the London Marathon. He moves and speaks purposefully, without wasted effort. "The one big issue was the cockpit speakers," he said, measuring the impact of this revelation on the visitor. The visitor, with only a small amount of effort, remained impassive, though he had to admit he was expecting something more critical, like possibly the position of the primary winches. The cockpit speakers. Okay. David Holliday wasn’t smiling.
TOP: David crosses the ARC 2006 finish line aboard Kealoha 8 Photo: Tim Wright LEFT: Kealoha 8 during the Montpelier Oyster Valencia Regatta 2007 Photo: Nico Martinez RIGHT: The Holliday family at the London Owners Dinner 2007
"They wanted to put them up here," he said with a pained expression, making a hand gesture that perfectly described the area in the forward end of the cockpit to the right and left of the main hatch leading below, just inboard of where one’s back would be placed when relaxing with feet up and a glass of wine. "I said, this curve is stunning, we can’t interrupt it. And they said, the position is standard. I said no, I’m not having it. They said they couldn’t change it. The holes were drilled, the speakers were fitted, the wiring was in place. They said if we fill it with fibreglass it will be a different shade of white, and we can’t do that. And I said you’ve got a problem because I’m not taking the boat with the speakers there. And that was absolutely it. You think about all the other stuff on the boat, and these speakers were the only issue." Eventually, the speakers got moved. The colour matching of the patch is perfect. Even close observation fails to detect a blemish in the stunning curve.
During commissioning, the throttle stuck and Kealoha 8 reversed into the dock. A small ding in the transom resulted. Later that day workmen were fairing the ding with fibreglass when David Holliday walked by. "The ding was so small I wouldn’t have noticed it," David says. "But I told them I wasn’t accepting it. They said why?, and I said well you can’t guarantee the color match. I want a new hull. All the time I’m trying to keep a straight face. It was hilarious." Holliday ordered the boat in July 2003, anticipating the sale of the second home building business he had run. "If the sale hadn’t gone through, I would have had an interesting discussion with Oyster," he says with a chuckle. "But the sale process was good. Another director and I wanted to go watch the rugby World Cup in Australia. We didn’t tell anyone, but we had four round trips booked. As our completion days for the sale arrived, we kept having to cancel trips. As the date of the third trip drew close, we closed the sale at 5pm in London. We had the compulsory glass of champagne, gave a short speech, and left. We met our wives at Heathrow, had a bit more champagne, and flew to Australia." Kealoha 8 is, as the name indicates, the eighth Kealoha in the Holliday family. But it is only David’s second new boat. The first was a Mirror Dinghy he built in his garage in the 1980s for his children. The rest belonged to his late father, Leslie, from whom he inherited both a love for boats, and his career direction. His father was in the construction business, so it followed that David’s summer jobs were involved with hammers and nails. As he got older, he became qualified as a builder. When he entered college, he went to work for John Laing, one of the UK’s largest builders of homes. Laing had an apprentice programme for students. Laing paid their tuition in exchange for the students working for the company summers. Holliday started in site management and worked his way up. >
“ Building on his mind continued
As a full-time employee, his rise was meteoric. He started in 1965 as an articled student with Laing. Just twelve years later he was Director of John Laing Construction and Director of Productivity Services. His principle responsibility was nation-wide labour relations, planning and work study. In 1983 he was named a director of the corporation. Holliday says he doesn’t recall being overly ambitious. "I was probably a workaholic," he says, "but it didn’t seem that way at the time. I enjoyed work so much I just got on with what I was doing. Someone says, by the way, do you want to do this? And I’d jump in. You take it a step at a time. As a company, Laing was great at training. They identified people they wanted to move on and set five year programmes where you would experience different aspects of the company and monitor your own personal development. Those were still the days when if you went to work for a company, you figured you were there for life." For Holliday it turned out to be 23 years. In the late 1970s, Laing invited Holliday to set up a new housing business. The idea was to take the majority of what one needed to build a house, sort it at a warehouse, put everything but the heavy stuff (bricks and blocks) in a container, and deliver it to the site. At the same time, Laing developed multi-disciplined gangs of four people to assemble the kits – electricians, for instance, who could also do plumbing and carpentry. The house as a kit in a box was a major step forward, reducing construction time from 26 weeks to as little as five, slab to completion. Size didn’t matter. Construction time was about the same up to 2000 square feet. The rooms were just bigger. Longer runs of wiring and plumbing were all pre-cut. Laing called the business ‘Super Homes’ and made Holliday its first managing director.
"We ended up with a huge variety of houses to choose from," Holliday says, "and of course every customer wanted something different. But in the 1980s computer systems weren’t really adequate to do what we wanted. So that business flattened out." In the course of working to stimulate an upward arc in the Super Homes curve, Holliday began to think environmentally. "We would take days away for corporate seminars and brain storming," Holliday says. "The question was how to get an edge. There was a heap of stuff going on at the time. There was an oil crisis, with the cost of fuel rising. We decided to tackle the so-called carbon footprint of a house, with the object being zero carbon emissions." Setting up Super Homes, Holliday had travelled extensively to observe how various countries were building homes. He found the UK approach inefficient. Sweden, Norway, and the Baltic countries were miles ahead in the way they built their homes, insulated them, and got power to them. When he returned, he put the house-in-a-box concept together with a new emphasis on environmental issues and began to make headway. He soon discovered he had a tiger by the tail. The carbon footprint is a complex issue, the sum of a thousand details. Consider the energy efficiency of a bathtub. Which is more green-friendly – iron or plastic? Holliday says it’s a toss-up until you get to shipping. The iron tub is heavier, doesn’t stack as well, and therefore puts more demand (fuel consumption) on the lorry delivering it. The winner: the plastic tub. "It’s amazing how many things you discover that will make a difference in the carbon footprint. In the 80s, not many were thinking about it. The term hadn’t even been coined.
Normally I deal with clients on building projects. Now I was the client, and I’d step back and think how well Oyster were handling me.
But the environmentalists we hired questioned every single material we were using. We bought timber from renewable sources. We stopped using hard woods. We had to make choices in so many things. It established a unique position in the house building industry." In 1982, David’s division at Laing built a futuristic, energy efficient house for a BBC television programme called ‘Money’. They used solar panels, a machine that turned manure into heat, and dozens of electronic gadgets. The conservatories were designed as passive solar generators that funneled heat throughout the house. "Most of what we put into that house is still relevant today." Holliday says. "The solar panels are still working 25 years later." No doubt someone at Laing mentioned to Holliday that the company was thinking of starting companies in California and the Washington, D.C. area of the United States, and casually asked if he was interested. David jumped in, of course. Soon he was in the midst of a colossal research project to find out what was needed in those markets. "Our market entry was good," he says. "We had a ton of capital behind us and a clear vision of what we wanted to do. We analysed everyone else’s developments and came up with a set of common features. Then we told the architects the facilities we wanted – fireplaces, the size of rooms, site orientation, dozens of other details. When we opened our first development in Orange County, California, much to our amazement we sold 90 houses in the first 36 hours."
TOP LEFT: Kealoha 8 during the Montpelier Oyster Palma Regatta 2006 Photo: Nico Martinez TOP RIGHT: David, President of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers BOTTOM: Kealoha 8, during Antigua Sailing Week 2007 Photo: Richard Matthews
Those early developments Holliday spearheaded in the United States established Laing as an important US builder to this day. Since then, Laing has also established a strong foothold as a builder of luxury homes in Denver, Colorado. During the eight years Holliday
was Managing Director/Chairman of Laing Homes Division (1981-1988), sales revenue grew from £25,000,000 to £250,000,000 annually. Profits increased from £2,700,000 to £63,000,000. During his 40th birthday party David found himself in the kitchen of his home having a beer with a good friend. The friend asked what he was going to be doing when he was 60. The friend told him he’d probably be dead at the rate he was working. "I thought about it," David says. "I had a great corporate life, a fantastic corporate life. But I ended up leaving Laing and setting up my own business. It was nice and simple, house construction in the south of England." Admiral Homes might have been simple, but it was big. It was the largest venture capital start-up in the UK at the time of its founding (1989). In six years Admiral was building 700 homes a year with a sales of £70,000,000. Admiral focused on green issues and energy consumption. "We won many awards for our focus on energy conservation," David says. "We led the industry even as a small company. It was very exciting. We were ten years ahead of our time." Along the way, Holliday served a year as president of the House Builders Federation in 1992. He combated financial and political threats to the industry in those days by helping establish an effective lobbying group. He says he enjoyed his work in the political arena, and found himself treated as somewhat of a guru in energy conservation by government ministers who sought his expertise. "It was a bit of a two-edged sword," Holliday says, "because in this area we were industry leaders. The government wanted the whole industry to become more energy conscious. While we wanted to help the government, we didn’t exactly want the whole industry to do it. >
Building on his mind continued
We liked our leadership position. And the more you raise standards, the harder the business becomes.’ Terry Roydon, Principal and Director of Hansom Property Ltd. in London, who was also a president of the House Builders Federation, says one of David’s great skills is his ability to communicate. "He was president at a challenging time for the industry," Roydon says. "An immense amount of work was required with the government and the general public. He is able to get his ideas across to people. He’s very good at spotting trends, and he has enormous enthusiasm." Holliday’s efforts in the green sector of home building was recognized by HRH Queen Elizabeth in 1997, when she bestowed upon him the coveted Order of the British Empire (OBE) for "services to the energy efficiency of new homes." When he talks about it, Holliday’s face becomes flushed with the excitement of the event as though it had just happened. "The hardest time is when you get the letter from the Prime Minister’s office," he says. "You open it, and it says you’ve been awarded this OBE, no need to reply – unless you don’t want it – and by the way, you’re not allowed to tell anyone until one minute after midnight on the day of the official announcement. You have to go two and a half weeks keeping your mouth shut. I told my wife, but not the kids. Then you take your family to Buckingham Palace, you’re allowed three guests. I was in morning dress, and it begins at the gate when the policeman offers congratulations. The Queen is there. She asks each inductee a question. She asked me how I would improve the energy efficiency of Buckingham Palace. I thought oh boy, splutter, splutter, and muttered something about how that would be a lovely opportunity. It knocked me sideways."
Holliday began dreaming of large yachts during the early 1990s, when he was running Admiral Homes. Sailing had been a large part of his early life. David cut his teeth in dinghies and ID14s, then sailed a Flying Dutchman with his father and brother. He went on to race on all the Kealohas his father campaigned. Now, with business success assured, David wanted to get his feet wet again, this time in blue water. He took a fancy to the Oyster 55, and mentioned it to his father over a pint one afternoon. Leslie Holliday was then 75, retired, and not doing much sailing. "I told him the 55 looked like a great boat," David recalls. "I told him I wasn’t quite ready, I was still working too hard. But I showed him stuff about the boat I’d printed off the internet. He said it looked interesting, and asked if he could do some research. I told him by all means." A week later Leslie dropped by to see his son at work. David overhead him asking the secretary what sort of mood his son was in. That put David on his guard. But he wasn’t prepared for what his father told him over tea: he’d bought a used Oyster 55 through brokerage. He said he planned to get a skipper, and that he and his wife would start sailing again. David skippered the 55 in one of the ARC races, then Leslie decided he needed two crew, so he upgraded to an Oyster 68, Kealoha number 7. David helped manage the boat, and took it over after his father died. Two years after the sale of Admiral Homes in 1996, Holliday accepted the chief executive post with another homebuilder in the south of England. He led the company into a private buyout two years later, and a trade sale in 2003. Retiring would have been too drastic a step, so he answered the plaintive call of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers,
TOP LEFT: David Holliday at the Oyster Valencia Regatta 2007 MIDDLE: David aboard his fathers Oyster 55, Kealoha of Whitby Photo: Tim Wright BOTTOM: David with Fiona Pankhurst of Raymarine, Valencia Regatta 2007 Prizegiving
The project management, the choices, being involved with the craftsmen at Landamore’s, and the way Oyster managed me was all wonderful.
” a City of London Livery Company that is a trade association for the plastering trade. It’s not one of London’s oldest Livery Companies, having been founded only six Centuries ago (1501), but it boasts 200 members, and plasterer’s craft is still important in London. A sudden death in the ranks left them without a president, or Master Plaisterer in this case. So David, a member since 1987, stepped up. The job required a combination of marketing and public relations skills to keep the Plaisterers Livery current in people’s hearts and minds. "He has a keen eye for detail," according to Hillary Machtus, clerk at the Worship Company of Plaisterers. "Everything has to be ship-shape and organized. His good humour and courtesy never deserted him, even when things were not going according to plan. Everyone who passed through here, from Prince Philip to a large number of Liverymen from other companies, left with a lasting impression of the Plaisterer’s Company and all that it stands for in this modern age." When last sighted, David Holliday was on the dock in Valencia, exchanging good natured competitive banter with David Yelloly, owner of the Oyster 72, Spirit of Montpelier, about the upcoming World ARC that both have entered. It begins in St. Lucia in January, 2008, and after approximately 20 ports of call (including Ecuador, the Galapagos, the Marquesas, Tahiti, Vanuatu, Cairns, Cape Town, and Brazil) finishes in the Caribbean in March, 2009. At that point, David Holliday’s long held ambition of sailing around the world will be fulfilled. He’ll keep track of business along the way. As a member of the Building Regulation Advisory Committee, he continues to advise government ministers on proposed changes. And he is chairman of three companies, one of which is called Robust Details Ltd, that addresses the
problem of sound transmission in housing. "It’s all about acoustics," says Terry Roydon, "your neighbour’s stereo blasting away after hours, acoustics inside and outside new homes. The idea is that if the materials and the details are robust enough, the acoustics will be confined to the proper spaces. David tackled the carbon footprint, now he’s going after sound pollution." From Valencia, Holliday sailed to Croatia, where he and Roydon are building resort homes (they also have a project underway in a ski resort in Bulgaria). Kealoha 8 is set up to handle communication anywhere in the world. "I can do board meetings by phone," David says. "As long as the folks on the other end don’t hear the water lapping on the hull, I’m okay. For the big meetings I’ll have to fly back. It takes a bit of planning." He’ll also keep track of his children while he’s sailing round the world. His youngest daughter, age 24, just became an accountant. His son, 28, is in construction, monitoring eight residential developments. His older daughter is a chartered surveyor, buying and selling investment properties. "If I could put them all together they’d make a great business," David says. But like a good executive, he has an eye for missions impossible. "It’s not for me to try," he says. In his spare moments, David keeps up with Oyster’s progress into larger yachts. The hundred-footer, in planning stages at this point, has captured his attention. The only problem would be the name. "Somehow I can’t see calling it Kealoha 9," David says. "K9?" I don’t think so."
We never gave a thought to selling the boat and building a new one. Decision is still the perfect boat for us, so we decided to make her as new as possible by giving her a total refit.
Lightwave 48 Reboot (Born Again!) By Paul Berger As the year 2006-07 came rushing upon us, I had several revelations. First, Decision, our Oyster Lightwave 48 (the prototype hull #1 of the 20 Lightwave 48’s built by Oyster in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s to a design by Carl Schumacher) was about to enter into her 20th year. After 50,000 miles of sailing, including two Atlantic crossings, three years cruising in the Med, a season in the Caribbean and several trips to Mexico and San Francisco, Decision needed to find the fountain of youth. The second revelation - which wasn’t so much a revelation as a realization - was that I was entering my 70th year and would also like to find the fountain of youth. Would helping Decision become ‘young’ again also help me?! We never gave a thought to selling the boat and building a new one. Decision is still the perfect boat for us, so we decided to make her as new as possible by giving her a total refit. In 1986 when we had to give the design a name, our son David, who is good with words, coined the name: ‘Lightwave 48’ - lightweight, proposed light wood interior (oak), and ‘light years’ ahead in design concept. Richard Matthews liked the name and so it was born. Moving ahead to 2006, we knew Decision was still as contemporary in design concept as any 48 footer. The decision to refit was basically a no-brainer. The process started with making a list of all the things that we felt needed attention. We divided the list into groupings: Hull and Deck, Rigging and Deck Gear, Interior Cosmetics, Plumbing and Electrical, Sails, Engine and Mechanical. We submitted the list to several boat yards/builders in Southern California, and had each come and
inspect the boat. We chose Knight & Carver of San Diego to do most of the work (certain work such as re-upholstering, varnishing etc. would be completed in our home port of Marina Del Rey). K&C’s proposal was not the lowest-priced proposal, but the yard has the needed combination of an excellent facility and good craftsmen in all the important trades (paint, carpentry, fiberglass fabrication, mechanical, plumbing, electrical etc.). Indeed, K&C is the preferred US West Coast repair facility for Benetti yachts, which tells you something about the quality of their work. In October 2006 we delivered the boat to K&C. Before lifting the boat out of the water, the Sparcraft mast, boom and spinnaker pole were removed and trucked 75 miles to Sea Tek in San Pedro for stripping, re-bedding all fittings, LP paint and new standing rod rigging and running rigging. Within two days, we removed everything from her interior and stored the contents in a 20ft rented container located right next to the boat in the area of the yard designated for the work. The boat was fully contained and the process of performing the following work began. 1. HULL AND DECK: The teak decks (excluding the cockpit seats and floor) were removed and replaced with Griptex fine texture non skid embedded in Awlgrip. Unfortunately, the original teak decks were worn through to the epoxy in places, and while pretty when they were new, were now unacceptable. The decision to remove them and replace with Griptex was driven by two thoughts: (1) replacing with teak would be very
LIGHTWAVE 48 REBOOT
expensive; and, (2) the desire to cut down on long term maintenance! We weren’t sure how the boat would look without the teak decks, but as the accompanying pictures show, the non-skid gives the boat a modern contemporary feel and look and, of course, is practical. There’s also the added bonus that the boat is lighter in weight. The process was not easy since after removing all overhead interior panels and deck hardware (tracks, winches, fairleads, turning blocks, stanchions, shroud bases etc.) and chiseling and grinding off the teak, we found it necessary to install a layer of fibreglass over the entire deck area to assure a fair surface for application of Awlgrip paint (some gelcoat came up with the teak!). In addition to the LP work, the teak toe and grab rails were stripped to be ready for new finish (to be applied in Marina Del Rey), and we removed the plexiglass windows and installed new frameless and screwless windows. The new windows are set in a special mastic that not only seals, but also holds the windows firmly in place a clean installation to be sure.
2. RIGGING AND DECK GEAR While the winches were removed for preparation and paint work on the hull and deck, K&C thoroughly serviced them by cleaning, re-greasing and replacing any bearings, pawls etc. that appeared worn. While off the boat, all cleats, hasps, hinges, deck plates etc. were re-chromed or electro-polished as needed. We replaced all of the Lewmar hatches, Nicro solar vents, fuel and water fills etc. as well. 3. INTERIOR COSMETICS While we knew we could not make heavily-used 20 year old floors and surfaces totally ding free no matter how hard we tried, we set about doing the best we could to make the quality Oyster build look as new as possible. We re-finished all the floors (this had been done before) and certain surfaces in need of re-finishing. New upholstery throughout the boat was installed giving her a modern contemporary look and feel. 4. PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL The original toilets on the boat were Blake Lavacs. After 20 years of pumping, my wife Jamie decided “that’s it - if we’re going to refit, no more pumping!” We researched the various electric toilets that could fit in our WC’s (many, such as Vacuflush etc. could not) and concluded that the best head for the job would be the Jabsco 37 Series compact with macerator pump. Additional plumbing work consisted of replacing the faucet in the galley, installation of a new Jabsco Sensor Max variable speed fresh water system pump to replace the old Paragon pump/accumulator tank system. The variable speed pump is a new pump by Jabsco that eliminates the need for an accumulator tank and runs much quieter than the Paragon, with enough oomph to drive several outlets at the same time. The cockpit LCD’s on our B&G Hecta/Hornet system sailing instruments were fading and not readable. This system has been bulletproof and I decided that we really didn’t need the latest toy and the cost of rewiring, installing new nav station panels etc. The instruments were sent to Florida and updated with new circuit boards and LCD’s, and are in like-new condition.
We upgraded the electrical system just prior to sailing to Europe in 1994. The system consists of eight 90 amp 6 volt Prevailer gel cell batteries installed on their sides under the floorboards in the main cabin, and wired in series and parallel giving us 720 amps at 12 volts. A high output alternator on the main engine with a smart charger has been our sole charging system, supplemented by a battery charger when shore power is available. We have always been careful about power use and one of the great miracles is that these batteries were still functioning in 2006 after 12 years of heavy use, including several lengthy ocean passages. Nevertheless, with the likelihood of an offshore trip to the Sea of Cortez next year, we decided it was prudent not to push our luck further and we replaced the batteries with new Prevailers. This system is bulletproof, and obviously, incredibly long lasting. We also installed a new 3000 watt Prowatt inverter for our 110 volt needs, replacing our old 1500 watt inverter. With all the overhead panels removed, the original Hella lighting fixtures with the turning plastic bezel and amber light color were
replaced throughout the boat with new Cantalupi surface mount halogen fixtures with individual switches. We opted not to use LED cluster lighting as we felt we have always managed power well and didn’t need the incremental cost. After 20 years of the dim Hella lights, the lighting on board is now fabulous and we recommend these Cantalupi lights highly. 5. SAILS Nothing too complicated here. Since the sails on the boat were 13 years old, we had North build a new Nordac full batten mainsail with new inboard spring loaded batten boxes and swivel slides for our Tides Marine mast track, and a new 135% Norlam furling genoa. The sails came fast-looking right out of the bag. 6. ENGINE The engine installed on the boat is an 85 hp Perkins. The fridge compressor, alternator and water maker are all belted off the engine so I suspect we’ve been getting along with 70-75 hp or so over the years. Considering that the engine has about 5,000 hours on it, I asked my mechanic what he thought of its condition. His response sealed the deal: “keep taking care of it and it will outlast you!” That was good enough for me. Five months after we had sailed the boat down to K&C, the boat was launched. Sea Tek trucked the ‘like new’ mast, boom and rigging back to K&C on the day of launch, and stepped the mast just after launching. Two days later we were sailing on San Diego Bay. We did some pick up cleaning work while at San Diego Yacht Club and then returned to Marina Del Rey. When we presented the ‘Lightwave’ concept to Richard Matthews in 1985, he liked the idea and proposed that we enter into a partnership for the production of the prototype and subsequent sale of additional boats. We will be ever grateful for the continuing friendship that we have with Richard growing out of that professional relationship that gave birth to Decision. Decision found the fountain of youth, and many years of excellent cruising now lie ahead. I’m still searching for the fountain, but the re-birth of the boat has given me hope.
Countdown to Beijing Hannah Stodel and the Sonar team are on the final straight to team selection for the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.
On returning from our US tour, I was faced with the challenge of deciding our next event and arranging a training programme for the team. Racing in Sonar’s, especially within the UK, is sadly in decline and, until recently, the Sonar class has not been included within the Olympic racing circuit. That is changing and we now have the opportunity to join our Olympic classes on the circuit starting with Hyeres, France. We decided we would drive the hundreds of miles with both boats to Hyeres, which sounds simple enough, but we were running on a very tight schedule as our boats were still on route from St Petes in Florida and, by the time they were unloaded, we would only have two days to complete the trip. With such a short time to prepare for the event, we decided that our goal would be to score a top three place and keep a sharp eye on what the European’s were up to. All in all, we sailed a very consistent regatta, never scoring less than a top three position. The results all rested on the last day’s race. In order to win, we had to beat the Greek team by two places and win the race. It all started well in the stiff 25 knots that had blown into Hyeres. The Greeks started right at the back of the fleet and we set off in second place over the line in some of our favourite sailing conditions. All was going well but luck wasn’t on our side and the Greek team managed to slip through at a messy mark rounding to get the result they needed to win the regatta, with us finishing just one point behind in second place. All in all it was a very successful regatta. We achieved our goal and sailed very consistently, a very promising achievement in our quest for a third World title. After Hyeres, we were off again, both boats in tow towards Germany. An invitation from the German team for some training and racing couldn’t be turned down. We had another epic drive through some interesting routes. Some advice to you all: never follow Satellite Navigation systems when towing a boat!
On arrival in Berlin, we were surprised to discover how the German team were training. Unlike most of the other teams on the circuit, we are able to train and sail full time. This is only made possible because of the support we receive from Oyster and funding from UK Sport. Steve and I have both put our University degrees and careers on hold until after the selection for a place in Beijing. For us, sailing is everything and we are very lucky. The German team are less fortunate and have to work full time and can only train at weekends or, in this case, when they get the time off. The event went very well for us. Bearing in mind that we never get the chance to train on a lake within the UK, and that the World Championships are being held on Lake Ontario, we got a good insight into the technical and tactical changes that we would have to make in order to be successful in September. The German team, it has to be said, are sailing very fast and the lead changed hands several times. In the end though the Germans won on their home turf and, yet again, we finished just one point behind them. During both events we learnt some valuable lessons, none more important than our ability to match race to win. We also learnt that we need to do more work on the technical side to sailing on lakes. Rest assured that as soon as we get home we will be moving on to this, with the addition to our calendar of two invitational training camps at Cowes, a speed tuning camp at Weymouth in addition to some technical sailing in the Yngling and RS400 classes. So for now it’s a short break from training before we head off again to the US for our trials, during this time we will be focussing, as always, on improving our physical fitness and stamina. The boat is currently getting a refit and we have been developing a new mast with Seldén in preparation for the event. Thank you Richard as always, especially for the new North sails, and all your support in our preparation for Beijing. The count down begins…
Photos: Michael Austen Photography, www.michaelausten.co.uk
THE CHOICE OF OYSTER MARINE
OYSTER REGATTA VALENCIA 2007 Class 1 1st ‘Great Bear IV’ 3rd ‘Blue Destiny’ 56 Class 2nd ‘Hawk Wing’ 3rd ‘Rock Oyster’ Class 3 3rd ‘Silver Want’
Oyster 655 Blue Destiny
Proud to have built the sails for the new Oyster 655
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Just Launched A selection of recent Oyster launchings
OYSTER 56 QUESTER
OYSTER 53 MACADO III
Owned by Michael Yokell and Debra Rahm, Quester is their second Oyster, having owned an Oyster 485 of the same name for the last seven years. With a beautiful cherry interior, Quester’s choice of layout, fixtures and fittings is very much the outcome of Michael and Debra’s years of cruising experience. Quester will be cruising to Norway this year before heading further afield and we look forward to seeing her at one of our regattas in the 2008 season.
Macado III is the 50th Oyster 53 to be completed and the 24th to be built by McDell Marine in New Zealand. She has a stunning dark blue hull and American White Oak interior. Macado III was recently handed over to owner Dominique Nauwelaers, accompanied by his son, Rudi and skipper, Nicholas. Nicholas and a delivery crew will be taking Macado III to her permanent berth at Port Le Lavandou near St Tropez from where the Nauwelaers family, who live in France, plan to spend their first summer with their new Oyster 53 cruising the Cote D’Azur, Corsica and Sardinia.
OYSTER 53 GOLDEN PEARL Golden Pearl was handed over to her new owners, Vinnie and Patti Di Pano in New Jersey, where Oyster’s Will White and Project Manager Paul Griffiths, joined them for a great sail in temperatures of 85 degrees and 20 knots of wind, with the beautiful New York skyline as a back drop. Vinnie and Patti will base their lovely new yacht in Newport for the summer, before taking her south to their home in Sarasota on Florida's Gulf Coast this winter.
OYSTER 46 BLUE PEARL By contrast, the new Oyster 46, Blue Pearl, was handed over to her owners, Kenny and Megan Macleod, in light drizzle to heavy rain on the UK’s east coast, with the odd thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. Good training for her owners who plan to spend the summer on the beautiful but often wet, west coast of Scotland! Blue Pearl has a busy schedule for her first few months, as she will be taking part in ‘Sail Hebrides’, followed by a trip to St Kilda, before returning to her berth in Dunstaffnage in time for West Highland Week. Next year Kenny and Megan’s plans include a trip to Norway.
I'm really happy about my purchase, grateful to her builders for making such a good job of her and I would happily and confidently sail her through anything.
Kenny Macleod, Oyster 46, Blue Pearl
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Michael Yokell, Oyster 56 Quester Di Pano Family, Oyster 53, Golden Pearl Dominique and Rudi Nauwelaers, Oyster 53, Macado III Kenny and Megan Macleod, Oyster 46, Blue Pearl
t h e w o r l d ’s y o u r o y s t e r
QU E E N ’ S AWA R D YAC H T
Oyster Marine Ltd: Fox’s Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA England T: +44 (0)1473 688888 F: +44 (0)1473 686861 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Oyster Marine USA: Newport Shipyard One Washington Street Newport RI 02840 USA T: +401 846 7400 F: +401 846 7483 E: email@example.com