NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OYSTER • DOUBLE QUEEN'S AWARD YACHT BUILDERS
OYSTER - WORLD LEADERS IN DECK SALOON CRUISING YACHTS
OYSTER 655 FEATURE • OYSTER 525 UPDATE • ARC 2007 START
ISSUE 64 WINTER 2007
1973 - 2008
Contents Issue 64
FROM THE CHAIRMAN Richard Matthews
EDITOR Liz Whitman
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Roger Vaughan
AN EVENING AT BEAULIEU
OYSTER AT THE 2008 BOAT SHOWS
ARC 2007 START Sue Brook
FROM ALASKA TO MAINE Eric A. Reickert
PRODUCTION EDITOR Rebecca Twiss
SEA TRIALS FOR THE NEW OYSTER 525 Richard Matthews
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, with the HP68 Starry Night, 62 Hold Fast and 655 Blue Destiny in hot pursuit, Valencia Regatta 2007 Photo: Nico Martinez BACK COVER PICTURE: The new g5 Oyster 53, Golden Pearl Photo: Onne van der Whal 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.
OWNER REPORT â€“ 2007 ROLEX FASTNET RACE Ross Applebey
OYSTER SUPERYACHT UPDATE Richard Matthews
Welcome Welcome to the 64th edition of Oyster News.
OYSTER 655 UPDATE Richard Matthews
BOADICEA CK213 Richard Matthews
MICRONESIA – SAILING IN PARADISE Yolanda Danoith
OWNER PROFILE – ERIC VAN’T HOOFT Roger Vaughan
THE ELLEN MACARTHUR TRUST
TEAM OYSTER UPDATE Hannah Stodel
OYSTER REGATTAS 2008
As usual this issue includes several interesting articles from owners who are, almost literally, making the world their Oyster. Many thanks for those and to all our owners – please keep the contributions coming. Looking back, 2007 has been a memorable year the highlights which, from Oysters viewpoint, include the runaway success of the new Oyster 655; the Oyster Valencia Regatta, staged as it was between the Louis Vuitton series and the America’s Cup itself; the commissioning of two superyachts the Oyster 100 and 125; an Oyster beating 72 yachts to win Class 1 in the Fastnet and last, but by no means least, the successful launch and sea trials, in Auckland, of the first Oyster 525, a really handsome yacht that sails as well as she looks. There have also been some negatives in that I’ve lost two close sailing friends this year, both in their early fifties, who deserved a lot more time to enjoy the sport we all love. My message to the sailors amongst us, nervous about the current financial climate and property prices, is stop worrying and get out there and go cruising, preferably in an Oyster but any yacht will do. Life’s too short not to. We hope you enjoy Oyster News and, as usual, we wish all our readers fair winds and good sailing.
Richard Matthews Founder and Chairman Oyster Marine
Newsroundup Around the World via the Cannes Boat Show Oyster Sales Manager, Barry Ashmore, had a surprise visit during the Cannes Boat Show this autumn when not one but two Oyster circumnavigators took time out from their world cruises to visit Oyster at the show. Gerald and Anne-Marie Goetgeluck had just completed their circumnavigation in their Oyster 49 Adesso while Rolf and Yolanda Herligâ€™s Oyster 56, Moana, is currently in Singapore.
NEW YARD FOR LANDAMORES Over eighty years, three generations of Landamores boat builders have been operating from their yard on the edge of the Broads at Wroxham. For almost 35 of those years the Landamore yard has been fitting out Oyster yachts to an exquisite standard and in increasingly larger sizes. Landamores work is a shining example of British craftsmanship and quality at its best but for several years, as the Oyster business has continued to grow. they have been desperately short of space. In October Landamores completed their move into a new custom-built facility, still close to the village of Wroxham, easily accessible for their long serving workforce. With this investment Landamores now have over 35,000 sq ft of modern under cover space with a large yard. A combination of well planned space,
Show Visit For Minister Oyster had the pleasure of welcoming Lord Drayson, the Government Minister with responsibility for the marine industry, on board at the Southampton Boat Show in September. His Lordship is a keen boating and sailing enthusiast and was very interested to see that top quality British design and craftsmanship is still very much in evidence.
Guest Speaker We are very pleased that Dame Ellen MacArthur has kindly agreed to be the guest speaker at our London Boat Show dinner for Oyster Owners, which will take place at The Painted Hall in Greenwich on 12 January. Details from email@example.com
modern machinery and the adoption of efficient LEAN manufacturing techniques will facilitate a planned build up in capacity, which is expected to be fully utilised by Oyster. After eighty years the move was a big leap of faith for MD Anthony Landamore and his team whose quality workmanship is respected throughout the UK marine industry.
Oyster Suppports the Ellen MacArthur Trust Oyster has nominated the Ellen MacArthur Trust as our Charity for 2008. The Trust, which was set up by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2004, takes young people recovering from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illnesses sailing, to help them rebuild their confidence following treatment. Oyster is delighted to be supporting this very worthwhile organisation. Oyster will be supporting the Trust throughout various initiatives in 2008. Buy your London boat show tickets on line via the Oyster website and ÂŁ1.50 of every ticket sold will be sent direct to the Ellen MacArthur Trust. Visit www.oystermarine.com for further information.
Half Way Around and Counting! Congratulations to Peter and Virginia Dimsey who really are making the world their Oyster with their Oyster 62, Saildance II, now in Auckland having reached the half way stage of their circumnavigation. Peter and Virginia have flown home to New York to host a ‘Half Way Around’ party for family and friends. Commenting on the voyage so far Virginia said, "We have been having a wonderful time, swimming with manta rays, diving with literally hundreds of sharks and just this last week swimming with a humpback whale and her three-week old baby only six feet away!"
CAN ANYTHING STOP THIS LADY! Not content with her class win in last year’s Sydney Hobart, Michele Colenso is going again this December with her Oyster 55 Capriccio of Rhu. Our hats are off to Michele, who has had further treatment for cancer this year and will be shaking out that humungous double-barrelled big pink chute, raising awareness for a breast cancer charity, in preparation for a second attempt at this legendary race. We admire your courage and determination and all of us at Oyster send you our very best.
A Royal Visit It’s not every day the average Oyster salesman gets to spend the day with a Princess, but that’s just what happened during the Barcelona boat show, when HRH the Infanta Cristina of Spain, daughter of King Juan Carlos, hopped aboard our boat show Oyster LD43. With the start of the new two-handed, non-stop Barcelona World Race taking place during the show, the Princess was looking for a suitable boat to take her and her family afloat to spectate. They don’t come any more suitable than an Oyster and with some mutual friends and a discreet phone call or two later the assembled party were royally entertained by Oyster’s Barry Ashmore and Paul Harding aboard the Oyster LD43.
Reeling Off The Miles The Royal Dorset Yacht Club has just awarded their ‘John Mills Cruising Trophy’ to James and Alison Blazeby for their double Atlantic circuit in which they sailed 10,017 nautical miles in 11 months, from July 2006 to June 2007 aboard their Oyster 45 Apparition. Following the presentation, James said, "My Oyster 45 just ate up the miles – I never had a moment's doubt about her ability to take me and my crew across the oceans in speed and safety."
With royalty aboard, free of the usual spectator boat restrictions, the LD43 Thunderer, chased by a flotilla of security guards and paparazzi, was able to get up close and personal to the nine Open 60 class yachts, enabling the Princess to give the fleet a royal send-off, and a royal wave to the two Oyster Lightwave 395’s in the spectator fleet. An enjoyable time was had by all and the new celebrity, the LD43, even featured in the Spanish ‘Ola’ magazine!
OYSTER 655 IN THE NEWS
Photo: Tim Wright
The Oyster 655 continues to attract rave reviews in the press following debuts at the London and Southampton Boat Shows. With the first five yachts afloat, and sales now well into double figures, the Oyster 655 has already shown her potential as a supremely comfortable and fast blue water cruiser. Recent reports on the 655 have featured in Boat International, Yachting USA, Asia Pacific Boating and Meer and Yachten. If you would like to see a copy of any of these reports please contact our Sales Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The World Really is their Oyster Four years and 30,000 miles after setting out, the Oyster 485 WhiteWings, owned by Klaus and Marlies Schuback, has completed her circumnavigation. Klaus and Marlies set out with their brand new WhiteWings in summer 2003 from the Baltic Sea and sailed her back to Ipswich, then along the South Coast of England, crossing the Bay of Biscay and down to the Algarve where they stayed for the winter. In 2004 they cruised the Mediterranean from West to East and East to West before crossing the Atlantic with the 2004 ARC. In 2005 they cruised the Caribbean Sea from St. Lucia northwards to Puerto Rico and then south to Trinidad, visiting numerous islands on the way. During the hurricane season they stayed in Venezuela, Bonaire and Curacao. Early in 2006 they joined the Blue Water Rally in Panama and continued the circumnavigation in company with around 25 yachts. Highlights for 2006 were visiting French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. They sailed about 11,000 miles in only 12 months, which with hindsight they felt was a little too much. In early 2007 they left Thailand and sailed to the Maldives with a short stop over in Sri Lanka. In the Maldives they prepared to cross the Arabian Sea heading for Djibouti and on further through the Red Sea to Egypt. They crossed the Arabian Sea without seeing any pirates, but in the Red Sea they had a disaster. In the early morning of March 4th 2007, sailing in strong winds and heavy seas, the yacht was dismasted. It was extremely hard work to cut the remaining rig and throw everything overboard before they were able to motor to the next harbour for a rest. A few days later they motored to Hurghada and then further on through the Suez Canal to Marmaris in Turkey where, with the help of Oyster After Sales, White Wings was restored, enabling Klaus and Marlies to complete their around the world voyage. Speaking of their voyage Klaus said "Our circumnavigation has given us plenty of unforgettable memories. We had a number of little adventures and one big disaster that all turned into very good learning experiences. We learned a lot about ourselves, our yacht, the nature and the culture of about 40 countries that we visited. It was an exciting cruise. We always felt safe on our yacht, even when we lost the mast in the Red Sea, which was a special experience on it's own. We are proud and glad to own an Oyster yacht and we would not have done a circumnavigation on any other yacht."
Uncertainty Over Cup Participants in the Oyster Valencia Regatta this summer and other owners have been asking about another Oyster event to coincide with the next Cup. This is certainly on the planner but with the disputes circulating amongst the cup teams, the 2009 Americaâ€™s Cup is officially on hold and may be postponed to 2010 or even 2011. This uncertainty must be making things difficult for the British TEAMORIGIN challenge led by former Oyster owner Sir Keith Mills. We hope to run another Oyster regatta around the time of the next Cup but until a date is settled this is one Oyster Regatta that will have to remain on hold.
Oyster Events 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 Strictly Sail Miami 14 – 18 February Oyster Regatta – BVI 7 – 12 April St Katharines Private View 21 – 27 April Oyster Regatta – Cowes 21 – 25 July
Pole Position at ARC Start
Amsterdam Seaport Boat Show 4 – 9 September
It’s official, at the start of the ARC Transatlantic Rally from Las Palmas Gran Canaria the Oyster 72 Keahola 8, helmed by proud British owner David Holliday, was credited as the first yacht across the start line. With winds of over 20 knots and a heavy swell, the waters outside Reina Isabella Marina, Las Palmas were a swirling mass, with 235 yachts at the start of their 2,700 mile trip across the Atlantic. Hot on the heels of Keahola 8 and probably second across the line was American Chase Leavitt’s Oyster 72 Holo Kai.
Cannes Boat Show 9 – 14 September
Oyster yachts have been among the most prolific participants since the ARC began and this year 15 Oysters came to the start, from the smallest, Paul McCarthy’s Oyster 35 Jigsaw to Tilly Mint, Bill Mapstone’s Oyster 82.
Owners Dinner Southampton 13 September
Newport Show 11 – 14 September Southampton Boat Show 12 – 21 September
Monaco Boat Show 24 – 27 September Oyster Regatta – Palma 30 September – 4 October Genoa Boat Show 4 – 12 October
ROAD RUNNER Murray Aitken, Oyster’s Joint MD, is known for his resolute determination when it comes to selling Oyster yachts, but the exact opposite could be said when it comes to running. Murray has been known to use his car to travel as little as 150 yards! It was a surprise to many when Murray announced he was going to take part in the BUPA Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon event with some 50,000 runners covering a distance of 13.1 miles. After some serious training, including staying out of the pub, Murray ‘went for it’ and finished mid field in 22,336th place after a creditable 2hrs 19 minutes. We heard someone mid pack was thinking of buying an Oyster and Murray was in hot pursuit, but in practice Murray dedicated his effort to fund raising for Cancer Research and with support from family, friends, colleagues and Oyster owners raised over £12,000. Well done Murray!
Annapolis Sailboat Show 9 – 13 October Annapolis Powerboat Show 16 – 19 October Hamburg Boat Show 25 October – 2 November Ft Lauderdale Boat Show 30 October – 3 November Barcelona Boat Show 8 – 16 November ARC Owners Party 20 November ARC Start – Las Palmas 23 November
An Evening at Beaulieu
OYSTER OWNERS’ DINNER
Owners gather at the National Motor Museum
Oyster owners traditionally meet on the first Saturday of the Southampton Boat Show for a drinks party and dinner. In recent years they have been hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the Hamble. For the 2007 event Oyster’s PR and Marketing Director, Liz Whitman, decided that it was time to ring the changes and arranged to have our dinner party in the middle of the National Motor Museum on Lord Montagu’s Beaulieu estate. Around 150 owners, guests, regatta sponsors and Oyster staff attended, representing about 40 Oyster yachts. The museum turned out to be a stylish and very interesting venue and the opportunity for private access to an amazing collection of vintage cars, all well lit and beautifully presented was enjoyed by all. The museum contains everything from retired F1 race cars to examples from the first days of motoring. One wonders why there was no consensus as to which side of the road to drive at the time with these so-called horseless carriages. Guests included David Glenn and Matt Sheahan of Yachting World, Josh Adams of Sail USA and Peter Ralls QC, recently retired head of the Cowes Combined Clubs, who run Cowes Week. Owners included two times Oyster owner Jim Siepiela from Texas and four times Oyster owners and Oyster circumnavigators David and Linda Hughes. Whilst all owners and their crews are special, the very special guests for the evening were eight of the ten crew of the Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster skippered by the owner’s son Ross Applebey who recently returned from an outstanding IRC Class 1 win in the Fastnet Race. The story of Scarlet Oyster’s Fastnet appears elsewhere in this issue, but with 72 yachts in their class, the achievement of the crew could not be underestimated and Ross Applebey was presented with a photograph of Scarlet Oyster crossing the finishing line in Plymouth and each member of the crew were presented with a commemorative gift. Guests had the opportunity to walk around the vintage cars, glass in hand, before dinner and it was surprising just how many attendees related to so many of the exhibits. We won’t embarrass anybody by revealing the link to some of those 1960 examples that apparently brought back such fond memories, but there were some much older vintage cars too, with family links. Perhaps the most significant of these was for Carolyn Wilson, the wife of Southampton Yacht Services MD Piers, whose grandfather was none other than the legendary Sir Henry Segrave. Segrave was a WWI fighter pilot who went on to break the world speed record in 1927 in Mystery Sunbeam at 203.79mph, later breaking it again at 231.4mph in Golden Arrow. Both cars are on display in the museum. Segrave died after setting the world water speed record in Miss England II at 98.7mph in 1930.
Announce their line-up
Britain’s Challenge for the next America’s Cup will be led on the water by triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie OBE, while doubts still remain as to when the next America’s Cup challenge will actually take place.
This is a fantastic challenge and I am really honoured to be in the position of leading a sailing team which I believe has the ability to go out and win the America’s Cup. We now all need to get on with the huge amount of work that lies ahead of us. Ben Ainslie OBE
At the Southampton International Boat Show, TEAMORIGIN’s Sir Keith Mills and Mike Sanderson, Team Principal and Team Director respectively, announced a roll call of British and international sailing, design, boatbuilding and management talent that will take TEAMORIGIN towards its ultimate goal of winning the America’s Cup, the oldest sporting trophy in the world, sailing’s Holy Grail and the only major sports trophy Britain has yet to win. TEAMORIGIN is a new team, but 70% of the line-up has previous America’s Cup experience at the highest level. Four members of the team are past America’s Cup winners, five are round the world race winners and two are recent Olympic gold medallists. Ten countries are currently represented and more than half of the team is British-born. TEAMORIGIN is a commercially-led team and one that will run on a mixture of private and sponsor funding. As a keen amateur sailor and one of Britain’s leading businessmen, Charles Dunstone has joined Sir Keith as a partner in financing the project, a move that lends enormous credibility to the seriousness of this British campaign. UNCERTAINTY OVER DATES FOR NEXT AMERICA’S CUP Since TEAMORIGIN’S Southampton announcement, the 33rd America’s Cup programme has been plunged into uncertainty with the ongoing legal dispute between Ernetso Bertarelli’s Alinghi and Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing (BOR). As we went to press, it was announced that the Supreme Court of the State of New York has ruled against Alinghi, the Swiss defenders of the Cup, upholding the legal challenge of BOR and making the American team the official challengers for the trophy. A decision on whether the Cup will return to Valencia in 2009 is still to be resolved.
Oyster at the 2008 Boat Shows Hard to believe, but the 2008 boat show season is almost here and we extend a very warm welcome to you to visit us and see some of the newest Oysters afloat. All visitors to the shows are welcome to view our yachts. However, because we can only accommodate so many people on board at any one time and because we want you to enjoy your visit, we do operate an appointment system at all shows. You can book an appointment to view our yachts by completing the online Boarding Pass request form on our website at www.oystermarine.com or by calling our sales team.
LONDON BOAT SHOW 2008 The London Boat Show is held at ExCel in London's Docklands and you will find the Oyster stand in the North Hall on Stand Nº N023. New for this year, the Oyster LD43 powerboat will be shown on her own stand in the South Hall and for the 2008 show, Oyster is sponsoring the 200-year old oyster fishing smack, Boadicea, which can be found on the Classic Boat stand in the South Hall. Buy tickets for the London Show online and help the Ellen MacArthur Trust: Buying your tickets to the London Boat Show via the Oyster website saves you money on the gate price and ensures you fast access to the show without queuing on your arrival. But even better, Oyster will make a donation to the value of 10% of all tickets purchased via our website to the Ellen MacArthur Trust. Tickets can be posted to you or you can print your own tickets to take to the show with you. Stand Nº N023 (North Hall) Oyster 655 Oyster 56 Oyster 46 Oyster LD43 Oyster Yacht Charter Oyster Brokerage Fox’s Marina Stand S015B (South Hall) Oyster LD43
To contact us during the show please call: Tel: +44 (0) 7788 427829
Classic Boat Stand (South Hall) The oyster fishing smack - Boadicea: Boadicea was built in 1808 by James Williamson of Maldon, Essex as an oyster smack and was worked commercially until 1938. Since then she has been owned and cared for by three generations of the Frost family from West Mersea. During the summer, Boadicea races against other smacks locally and throughout the year is still used for trawling, oyster dredging or drifting for herring, keeping traditional skills alive. For her 200th year Oyster Marine has sponsored Boadicea and we invite you to take a look at what is probably the oldest sailing vessel in Europe still in regular use.
BOOT DÜSSELDORF 2008 Stand Nº C58 (Hall 16) We will be showing a new Oyster 655 at the Düsseldorf show, together with the latest information about the new Oyster Superyachts by Dubois. To contact us during the show please call: Tel: +44 (0) 7808 904727
STRICTLY SAIL MIAMI 2008 Pier A, Slip 53 Oyster 53 Please call our USA office for more information and to make an appointment to view. Tel: +1 401 846 7400 Up to date details about boat shows, how to make appointments, buy tickets and general visitor information about each show can be found on our website at www.oystermarine.com
Pigeon Bay, here we come! ARC 2007 Start By Sue Brook
ARC 2007 continued
Pigeon Bay, here we come! This could well have been the collective cry of owners and crew on board the 235 yachts taking part in the 2007 ARC as they left behind the overcast skies of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands bound for the Caribbean island of St Lucia on Sunday, November 25. First over the line, according to ARC organisers, was Oyster 72, Kealoha 8 helmed by proud owner David Holliday, just inches ahead of sister ship Holo Kai, owned by Chase Leavitt, setting the pace for the other 14 Oyster yachts taking part.
CREWS - TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Oyster 56, Gigi Oyster 55, Fuerte Oyster 72, Holo Kai Oyster 655, Roulette v.2 Oyster 72, Kealoha 8 Oyster 56, Cinderella III Oyster 56, Magrathea
BELOW LEFT TO RIGHT: Bill Mapstone’s Oyster 82, Tilly Mint Tilly Mint’s, banana provisions The Oyster Service Team Oyster’s Ed Stock and Pete Thomas aboard Oyster 655, Roulette v.2
With winds of 20 knots from the North and a heavy swell, the waters outside Reina Isabella Marina resembled a swirling yacht soup when Keahola 8 appeared majestically from the rear of the committee boat, the Spanish Navy warship Atalaya, to take up prime position and lead the fleet onto the start of its 2,700 mile trip across the Atlantic Ocean. For some it was the trip of a lifetime while for others it was the exciting first leg of a round-the-world adventure. Four Oysters will be joining 41 other yachts signed up for the World ARC 2008, which sets sail from St Lucia on January 23 – leaving plenty of time for some serious Christmas and New Year partying. The intrepid four are Oyster 72 Kealoha 8, 82 Tilly Mint, 53 Jigsaw and 56 Into The Blue. The party atmosphere was already to the fore for many yachts with family and friends arriving to wish them bon voyage and wave them off. On Thursday evening Oyster MD Alan Brook hosted a drinks party at the plush Hotel Santa Catalina where owners could get to meet each other and swap handy tips. Alan wished them all a safe and enjoyable crossing and assured them: "Your Oyster is strongly-made and will look after you, if you look after it." ARC organiser and director, Andrew Bishop, spoke of the long-standing relationship between the ARC and
Oyster. Andrew said Oysters had covered many millions of miles and he was glad to see so many owners returning with new boats as well as a number of new owners coming along. Some owners had prised themselves away from demanding jobs – heads of industry, commercial whiz-kids, even a member of the House of Lords – while others had made considerable financial sacrifices to be there, and five lucky children were there because their parents realized it would be an education-enhancing, life-enriching experience for them. It is a great testimony that all the British children taking part in this year’s ARC were on board Oyster yachts. As Jeremy and Diane Menage, crew on board the 55-foot Fuerte, which is home to three children, aged five to 14 years, observed: "We thought, well if Petra and Richard consider the Oyster safe enough to take their children on, it is safe enough for us." Paul McCarthy and Mary Byrne obviously had similar confidence in entrusting their ten-year-old twins Molly and Kate to their 35-ft ketch, Jigsaw of Gosport. At 20 years old, Jigsaw had the distinction of being the senior member of the Oyster fleet – while at the other end of the scale, the stunning 655, Roulette v.2 was the newcomer. Her owner, Trevor Silver, took delivery in August this year. But no matter what age the yachts, all the owners and crew would have devoted months to careful planning and were now about to realise their own particular hopes and dreams. Every effort had been made to ensure everything was in tip-top condition, all reasonable precautions taken to cover emergency situations, finding the ideal crew and of course, food, shopping for at least 17 days at sea. The final test of ingenuity was finding space to stash those precious supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables – Tilly Mint’s huge branch of bananas made a very passable substitute for a Christmas tree, lashed to the transom antennae mast! However, despite the best-laid plans there are always last minute hitches and these included Roulette v.2 suffering a broken electric
headsail furling motor. Once again Oyster’s Service Team came to the rescue, arranging for a representative from Reckmann to fly over from Germany, to deliver and fit a new part – the very next day. "I’m not easily impressed," said Trevor, "but this was really exceptional service." As in previous years, the Oyster’s highly-efficient service team, headed by Eddie Scougall, was heaped in praise by grateful owners. The appearance of ‘the team’, in their distinctive red polo shirts, was enough to bring an immediate sigh of relief from owners experiencing problems and even those without problems appreciated the reassurance they felt following a courtesy visit and the offer of a routine inspection. They were joined at one stage by a team of riggers from Formula Spars, who managed to supply replacement hydraulic headsail furler motors in the 17-year-old Oyster 55, Fuerte. Owners spoke enthusiastically about the team’s willingness to go the extra mile – and the extra hour – to ensure a job well done. One or two have even admitted a slight feeling of smugness over owners of other yachts who feel decidedly second-class by not receiving Oyster’s renowned first-class after-sales service! Take a bow Will White, from Newport, R.I., together with Pete, Stuart and Ed. There was however, one last minute hitch ‘the team’ couldn’t help with. For Dick Morgan, owner of Oyster 655 Blue Destiny, it was touch-and-go whether he would leave Las Palmas with the rest of the fleet as his chef, Stephanie Martin-Shad went down with a stomach infection on the Friday and was still not back to full strength by Sunday. Blue Destiny did leave with the fleet at lunchtime with Dick fully prepared to divert to the Cape Verde Islands if necessary. But as Ian Herman, Marketing Manager of the St Lucia Tourist Board told ARC entrants at their official briefing: "It is not about the speed, it is the experience!" Having extolled the virtues of his exotic homeland he said he looked forward to meeting them all again after they cross the finish line at the entrance to St. Lucia’s famous Pigeon Bay. >
ARC 2007 continued
ARC children While the adults were finalising preparations for the crossing the five children going along were quite busy themselves. Twins Kate and Molly McCarthy who celebrated their tenth birthday on board their parents’ 35 foot ketch Jigsaw on the trip to the Canary Islands and 12-year-old Laura Haig, from Fuerte, soon showed themselves to be budding socialites. Not content with the usual video parties and sleep-overs, the girls decided a pool party for all ARC children would be a good idea and set about organising one. They drew up eye-catching posters with full details of the event, to be staged at the nearby marina pool, and attached one to the entrance of each pontoon. By all accounts a great time was had by all! Kate and Molly have done a great deal of sailing since their parents Paul and Mary bought Jigsaw four years ago – visiting Ireland and France along the way. Mary says the girls are very confident on board and didn’t seem too bothered when they met a violent storm in the Bay of Biscay, which threw them around as if they were in a washing machine. Mary and Paul, who both work for Social Services have taken extended leave for the trip and have been given special permission to take the girls out of school – but Mary has plenty of work planned for them, as well as introducing them to the constellations. The children on board Fuerte will have had even longer off school. Their parents, Richard and Petra, sold their house in the Midlands to buy their Oyster and fund their own 18-month voyage of discovery. Petra, a practice nurse, has told her patients she is taking a gap year and she believes it will be a bonding experience for them all. And, knowing that Fuerte is now their home, they have splashed out on a beautiful silk carpet – which WILL be packed away while at sea!
CREWS - TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Oyster 82, Tilly Mint Oyster 56, Into the Blue Oyster 485, Principessa Oyster 485, Ushuaia Oyster 56, Rock Oyster Oyster 655, Blue Destiny Oyster 41, Avocet
ABOVE TOP: The ARC children enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean MIDDLE: The ARC Pool Party planners RIGHT: John and Sonia Marshall’s Oyster 56, Rock Oyster FAR RIGHT: Rosie Russell up Kealoha 8’s mast
Photos: Ocean Images Alan Brook
Trip of a lifetime
Oyster owners are, by definition, an ingenious bunch, and their resourcefulness even extends to their plans for keeping busy while not on watch. Some were planning to learn another language, brush up on their (Irish) history, dip into psychology, get to grips with video-editing, teach the children some of the constellations and even keep fit. Chris Shea, who is a keen walker, has estimated he needs to do 50 laps of his Oyster 56, Magrathea, to complete one mile – and as he bends down to clip and unclip his safety line he should manage a good few squat thrusts too!
The logistics of putting one’s "real" life on hold to embark on an 18 month trip of a lifetime are explained by 43-year-old Nick O’Donnell and his 35-year-old partner, Rosie Russell. Nick, whose dream job with Microsoft eventually turned into a nightmare, had begun to realize his work/life balance was seriously out of kilter and he was on his way to his first heart attack. He switched to shortterm contracts with the BBC handling multi-billion pound property portfolios as he and Rosie researched how best to fulfil their ambition of travelling the world.
But for Phil Holliday on board his brother David’s good ship Kealoha 8 there is some serious business to sort out. He is planning to set up his mother Joan’s Oyster 68, K7, as a charitable trust to provide Sea Cadets and disadvantaged youngsters with sailing and life-affirming opportunities. Phil, who already has a major company interested in getting involved, thinks the venture would be a fitting tribute to his late father Leslie – a keen Oyster owner and generous fundraiser for children’s charities. "Although I can’t afford a K8 of my own I know that I am nevertheless, very privileged," explained Phil, who runs his own construction company, "and I want to do my bit to help change society for the better. My long-term project is to persuade the government to introduce a compulsory ‘gap year’ for 16 to 18 year olds to take them out of their normal environment where they could learn to show respect and how to earn respect."
Rosie was similarly snowed under, doing a job she loved, as Business Development Manager for The Lonely Planet publications, but gradually realising she had too many pairs of designer shoes and handbags and not enough time to enjoy them! First step was finding the right boat. The couple, who have had considerable experience on Oyster yachts - Nick’s father, Barry, has owned two, and both Nick and Rosie have raced with Richard Matthews – could not afford their own Oyster and pretty soon had to acknowledge that nothing else would do. "We just could not countenance going around the world in anything other than an Oyster so then looked into the possibility of becoming crew for someone else. "To cut a long story short, Alan Brook put us in touch with David Holliday, owner of Kealoha 8 – and here we are." She and Nick are certainly looking forward to visiting their dream destinations and have planned to take two or three extended trips away from the boat to give themselves and the rest of the crew the essential "time-out" from each other. They are particularly keen on visiting Australia and South Africa but are slightly disappointed at not being able to fit in New Zealand and sailing around Cape Horn. "We’ll just have to look forward to doing it at some time in the future – perhaps in our own Oyster," added Nick.
ARC team Of course the event would not happen at all without the hardworking team in the ARC office, headed by Andrew Bishop. Easily spotted in their sunny yellow polo shirts, they were on hand to give advice on just about every subject – from medical matters to sailing instructions, which is not easy when you realise that 28 different countries are represented in the ARC event. Oyster owners might be interested to learn that two of the ARC team are long-standing friends of Richard Matthews and Oyster Marine. Anna Brooke, who was there with her husband Chris, is the sister of Anthony Landamore, in whose yard in Wroxham, many Oysters are fitted out.
From Alaska to Maine By Erick A. Reickert, Oyster 55, Escapade
OWNER REPORT Vancouver Island
Seattle Long Island New York
San Diego Fort Lauderdale
Cabo San Lucas
Our voyage from Alaska to Maine was a wonderful, exciting and delightful adventure, filled with a few challenges and many rewards. In total, we sailed 12,700 miles but were never more than 100 miles offshore. It took nearly 18 months but we went around North and Central America and cruised most of the coast of the United States. This included the Pacific, the Atlantic Oceans and the Caribbean, traveling from icebergs and bergy bits to tropical waters. We visited six foreign countries, but skipped several others. All told, it was a fabulous experience filled with many adventures.
Cuba Puerto Aventuras
Escapade, our Oyster 55, has opened up the world to us over the past ten years. We have previously circumnavigated the world and spent four years cruising the Mediterranean. In 2004 we had Escapade delivered to Vancouver, BC, Canada, which gave us the perfect opportunity to go to Alaska in 2006 (our adventures in Alaska were covered in Oyster News 61) and then continue to Maine. Our overall plan was determined by basic weather considerations, which were: • Be in Alaska during June and July for the best weather. • Leave Seattle southbound before early September, before the fall storms begin. • Don’t leave San Diego southbound before November, so the hurricanes are over. • Be in the Caribbean between January and April for the best weather. • Be as far north as the Chesapeake Bay by mid June, before hurricane season starts. • Be in Maine in August and early September for the best weather. This plan worked well and we were blessed with good weather for the whole trip. The importance of this was underlined by the fact that a hurricane had damaged some of the towns in the Sea of Cortez a few months before we arrived and hurricanes hit Cabo San Lucas and Belize after we were there. So timing is everything. >
FAR LEFT: Escapade at anchor, Desolation Sound ABOVE LEFT: Erick on Escapade’s bow ABOVE RIGHT: Dana Point Marina
From Alaska to Maine continued In general, this was an easy voyage with many opportunities to make stops along the way. The longest passages were about five days, and they were between Seattle and San Francisco at 826 miles and between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at 750 miles. I concluded that we had to go directly to San Francisco as the ports along the west coast all had sand bars in the entrances and in bad weather these bars become nearly impassible. Thus, if bad weather developed, we could not enter any port, so whatever the weather, we had to go non-stop. That focuses ones thinking. For the San Diego to Cabo leg, there are places to stop but we wanted to stay ahead of the Baha Ha Ha, a cruisers rally. There were two passages slightly over 500 miles and one at 453 miles. All other legs were less than 355 miles. There are many very good cruising grounds along the way. The hard part was to keep moving so as to stay on our time line. We could write articles, or even a book, on each of these cruising grounds and each one has it’s own special appeal and character. But I will summarize our feelings.
There are many very good cruising grounds along the way. The hard part was to keep moving so as to stay on our time line. We could write articles, or even a book, on each of these cruising grounds and each one has it’s own special appeal and character.
” Alaska, Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Our trip here was covered in Oyster News, Issue No 61. The grandeur, the wilderness, the vastness, the desolation, and the areas devoid of human impact are overwhelming. It is a majestic wilderness that cannot be conquered by man. So if you want remoteness and isolation, Alaska is the place.
Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, the Bay Islands, and the San Juan Islands This was a wonderful area to cruise, with many options in terms of anchorages, marinas, and towns and cities to visit. For sailing, the Strait of Georgia was the best as there is something for everyone and one could explore the area for years. A circumnavigation of Vancouver Island is a nice little exploration and the northwest coast, on the Pacific side, is especially rugged and remote. In the inside passage there are many interesting places like Desolation Sound, with several anchorages and it becomes more remote the farther north you go. The weather is good during the summer and inside of Vancouver Island the microclimate is quite moderate.
The city of Vancouver is a wonderful, modern city with many activities. The city of Victoria is also a unique and special place to visit with a harbour full of activity with floatplanes landing and taking off, small and large ferries, water taxies, and pleasure boats of all descriptions all moving about at the same time. We docked in front of the Empress Hotel as we had heard that the high tea at the hotel was not to be missed. There is so much to see and do in the Pacific Northwest, we spent two summers there and still didnâ€™t get to see everything.
San Francisco Bay This area is relatively small and there are shallows in some corners, but there are consistent winds in the afternoons when the temperature in the valley rises, and that pulls air into the Bay through the Golden Gate. Often there is a layer of marine fog close to the ocean in the morning, which generally burns off by noon. Angel Island has several bays, one of which conveniently has mooring buoys. We especially enjoyed Sausalito, Oakland and San Francisco itself. It happened we were there during Fleet Week and that permitted us to anchor in the Bay near Alcatraz Island along with hundreds of other boats, and watch aeroplane races and the Blue Angels fly overhead. There were more sailboats out sailing there than anywhere else in the US.
Sea of Cortez This is a unique area, which is generally desolate and arid, with scenery consisting of dry rock formations in a multitude of colours. These colours appear to change during the day from sunrise to sunset so it is a never-ending kaleidoscope. The sea life is overwhelming and the fish seethe beneath the surface, especially at night, in fact, they almost jumped onto the boat! There were very few cruisers around at the time we were there in November, but I believe that it is busier in the winter. We particularly liked Puerto Escondido, Bahia Santispac in Bahia Conception, Aqua Verde, and Isla Partida. La Paz is a more typical Mexican town, unlike Cabo San Lucas that is touristy to the extreme. It was interesting to contrast the Sea of Cortez to Alaska as they were so different in physical appearance, but quite similar in the remoteness and isolation from civilisation. >
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Escapade in front of Empress Hotel, Victoria, BC Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Isla San Francisco, in Sea of Cortez
From Alaska to Maine continued West coast of Mexico and Central America This is a long stretch of coast that changes from arid to tropical as you head south. We made stops at Mazatlan, Nuevo Vallarta, Laguna Navidad, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Acapulco and Huatulco in Mexico. We also stopped in Bahia Jiquilisco in El Salvador and Golfito in Costa Rica. We chose to skip the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua primarily because of security concerns and the fact my insurance company would not cover us in those countries. The atmosphere was very much like a multi-stop holiday and we enjoyed the variety of towns and took inland excursions as well. One interesting stop was Isla Isabela, which is a bird sanctuary. It had the feeling of a Galapagos island with the ability to approach nesting birds closely. The entrance to the river at Bahia Jiquilisco was very threatening, as you must enter between a reef and a sand bar in a curved path between breaking waves. But the marina sent a boat out into the Pacific to guide us in which removed much of the worry. All told, an interesting coast.
Panama Canal This was our second time through with Escapade, but this time we were going northbound. Although the transit is fraught with a high possibility of damage to the boat, we got through with no damage. By selecting an aggressive agent, we were able to transit on the day we specified and made it through in one day. Escapade was alone, with no other sailboats instead we up-locked tied alongside a local small cruise ship and down-locked tied alongside a tug. That avoided the issues associated with centre-locking, but we were glad we had rented covered tyres to supplement our fenders. It felt intimidating to be in such a tight space with the bow of a huge ship towering above us. It was dark by the time we reached the Panama Canal Yacht Club, where we returned the lines and tyres to the agent, but we were very pleased with the experience. There is nothing quite like transiting the Panama Canal in your own boat, but if it is your first time be sure to learn and understand all the issues associated with the transit before you attempt it.
San Blas Islands in Panama We travelled 75 miles up wind in the Caribbean to get to the San Blas islands, which are east of the Panama Canal, this took us three days, as we didn’t want to get too badly beaten up. But the reward is great as San Blas is a unique and special cruising area. It is filled with gorgeous, tiny, sandy and palm tree covered islands. They are the classic image of tropical islands with clear, calm water all around. Many are at the edge of the archipelago so while you are anchored in a serene and calm anchorage, you can hear the Caribbean waves crashing on the outer edges of the reef – a bit unnerving, but you get used to it. The whole area is picture perfect and wonderful, but what is especially delightful are the Kuna Indians, who still live in traditional fashion and get around in dugout canoes with sails. While at anchor, they come to you in the dugouts and offer for sale molas, fish, and other goods. We also went ashore and visited Kuna villages on the islands of Carti Sugtupu and Isla Tigre. They live in grass huts with no furniture, and have only small hammocks in which to sit and sleep. The Kunas are not allowed to marry outsiders so the race is pure and they look like they just stepped out of a history book. This was my second visit to the San Blas and I would put it on a ‘must visit’ list for all cruisers, but do not expect to find any provisions there.
Western Caribbean For us, this comprised Panama’s Bocas del Toro region, the Colombian Island of Isla Providencia, Belize, and Mexico’s Yucatan. We skipped the Rio Dulce in Guatamala because I was concerned about security, and the sand bar at the entrance seemed to be just too shallow for Escapade. This is an area less travelled than the eastern Caribbean but is interesting in it’s own right. Bocas del Toro seemed like a modern day version of the Wild West with a lot of growth and potential but still very rough and basic. We stayed well off shore as we rounded the corner of Honduras as the local rumour was the government impounded cruising boats that got too close to shore. Belize, from my viewpoint, was not as good as I expected for cruising and many areas are very shallow. For example, if you wanted to anchor off Belize City you would be over a mile from shore. Other towns were not accessible without a lot of risk. Most of the small islands, or Cays, are covered with mangroves. These often have bugs at dusk and no protected anchorage, and you cannot land on them due to the mangroves. We stopped at Puerto Aventuras in Mexico, which was a good decision as it is a good place from which to explore the region. We also took a ferry to Cozumel as there are no good anchorages along the west coast of the island, and the whole area close to the town is covered with tourists, huge cruise ships, and many local snorkel tour boats. In short, it is bedlam. >
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Chichime in San Blas, Panama Down-locking in Panama Canal Isla Mujeres, Mexico Kuna village, San Blas, Panama
From Alaska to Maine continued Florida Keys, and the Eastern Florida coast It is 350 miles to Key West from Isla Mujeres, going west of Cuba. I believe that it is not wise for an American boat to go to Cuba, so we skipped it. It was nice to get back to the States, but make sure every non-American has a B1/B2 visa, otherwise the Immigration people get very uptight and a person without one will be deported. We were in Key West at the time of the re-enactment of the Conch Republic war. This event remembers the time when customs blocked the only road to Key West so the local business people decided to create the Conch Republic, succeed from the USA, declare war on USA, immediately surrender and then ask for reparations. They did not get any money but Customs removed the roadblock. It is pleasant to sail in the inside passage up to Miami as it is protected, but you must stay inside the channel or it gets shallow. This time, I decided to skip a lot of the ports I stopped at before and selected only the ones I really liked. So we stopped at Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, St. Augustine, Hilton, Head, Charleston, and Beaufort, NC before getting to the Chesapeake Bay. I enjoy Fort Lauderdale because it is one of the three major boating centres on the East Coast. Also, it is a good place to get anything repaired or replaced, as everything for boats is available. Any mast height above 65 feet requires sailing in the Atlantic Ocean as that is the controlling clearance on fixed bridges over the ICW (Inter Costal Waterway). There is one stretch that is passable on the ICW, as all the bridges open,
The main goal was to have an experience of a lifetime, which was fulfilled in wonderful measure. So you don’t have to cross-oceans to have an adventure filled with a wide range of sailing conditions and experiences.
” and that is between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. We did that stretch for a change of pace and because it is impressive to see the homes lining the ICW. St. Augustine is a great little place with a lot of history but as we came into the harbour we found that there was a temporary lift bridge over the route to the marina, which was not on the chart. After several quick radio calls to the bridge operator, we found we could get under it with a little bit of clearance. It was nice to be back in the USA, and we really enjoyed all the ports along this coast.
Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound These are the two biggest and best protected cruising grounds on the East Coast. You could spend a whole season, or lifetime in fact, in each. The distances are small, the marina and anchorages are numerous and Annapolis and Newport are major yachting centres. Each has it’s own advantages but I like Long Island Sound as it has cleaner, deeper water and you don’t have to motor up tributaries to find anchorages or marinas. Connecting these is New York Harbor, with the Statue of Liberty, and the East River. Motoring around Manhattan is breathtaking and not to be missed as it is so dramatic and so different from the norm. One especially enjoyable stop was in Mystic, CT at the Mystic Seaport Museum. You can tie up at the Museum, and be immediately immersed into the recreated whaling seaport of the 19th century.
The Coast of Maine This was new territory for me, and it was an interesting and pleasant area to cruise. We visited eight ports and spent two weeks in Maine. The main detraction is the numerous lobster trap floats. Often they are no more than ten feet apart, requiring constant steering to avoid them. Frequently, there are several routes to choose from, including going outside, but constant attention to navigation is required due to the many rocks and shallows. And of course, when the fog descends, accurate electronic charts are required. But the reward is pretty scenery and protected waters. Our northern most point was Mt. Desert Island and we really liked the ports there, including Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Southwest Harbor, all of which had a rustic feeling. We arrived at our finish point of Bar Harbor on August 27, 2007. During the cruise there were sailing challenges like rapids, reefs, the Panama Canal, fog, tides, and fiords to keep us on our toes. Each of these requires advance preparation and planning to get through safely. The most important things required were accurate electronic charts and tide and current tables along with local weather information. The rough spots were the Gulf of Tehuantepec, at the southern end of Mexico; the Gulf of Papagayo, off Costa Rica; the Gulf of Panama; and crossing the Gulf Stream between Mexico and Key West.
The Gulfs are challenging because of the northerly winds, which funnel between the Gulf of Mexico to the north and the Pacific over the relatively narrow necks of land. The winds can come up suddenly due to air pressure differentials in the two oceans and can reach over 55 knots. We tried to time our passage of the Gulf of Tehuantepec but were off by about four hours. We used the ‘one foot on land’ strategy by sailing close to the shore to minimize the wave heights, but, of course, it does not reduce the wind. The plan was to go north to the head of the Gulf and then turn to southeast following the shore. The wind, which was predicted at 25 knots, rose to over 45 knots. So we struggled into it for four hours before getting relief when we turned to the east and then southeast. In the Gulf of Papagayo, we had to stay off shore due to the configuration of the land, and again the wind exceeded 45 knots on our aft port quarter. It was a rollicking ride for 24 hours, but Escapade handled it well. We kept to our timetable the whole trip and achieved all of our goals. The main goal was to have an experience of a lifetime, which was fulfilled in wonderful measure. So you don’t have to cross-oceans to have an adventure filled with a wide range of sailing conditions and experiences.
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Brooklyn Bridge, New York Escapade in Bar Harbor, Maine New York Skyline
525 5.9 in 5.9 Sea Trials for the New Oyster 525 By Richard Matthews
THE NEW OYSTER 525
The third of December was the date set for the first sea trial of the eagerly awaited Oyster 525, our newest yacht afloat. To the credit of our Kiwi builders, McDell Marine of Auckland, 525/01 was actually ready for sailing on 2nd December and, having arrived in New Zealand the afternoon before, I just couldn’t wait. Murphy’s law was fully in place since it was raining heavily with low cloud, and arriving in mid-summer I had taken a chance and not brought any foul weather gear. The guy in the chandlery at Westpark Marina never had it so good since he sold a set of Gore-Tex foul weather gear in about three minutes, at which point I set off down the dock in my new kit feeling like a kid on the first day of term. The white painted spar on the 525 was easy to spot, and seeing the yacht afloat for the first time I knew immediately that the design team had really hit the spot in achieving what I consider to be a sleek and really handsome outboard profile. More important will be the reaction of the six owners who have already bought 525’s off plan, who I’m sure are going to be absolutely delighted. The truly miserable conditions didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for a quick sail. There is only ever one first time for a new yacht and I’m pleased to have been aboard every new Oyster design ever launched for that all-important first sea trial. Straight out of the box, we knew immediately we had a winner when, with perfect balance and nothing more than a finger on the helm, our GPS showed 7.5 knots to windward in little more than 8 to 10 knots of breeze. So much for sailing in the rain. Monday started bright but with no breeze and having moved the 525 to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron dock we took the opportunity of checking fore and aft floatation and free boards with our designer Rob Humphreys who was in Auckland and, like us, itching to see his latest creation afloat. The yacht still had a fair amount of weight to go aboard, like 60 metres of anchor chain, davits etc, but Rob was very happy with the fore and aft trim and floatation generally.
With this yacht’s superb accommodation, a combination of great performance, comfort and proven seamanlike features the 525 looks set to become a highly successful addition to the Oyster range
We motored out into the Hauraki Gulf, which, last time we were here, would have seen clusters of America’s Cup yachts out training. This time no yachts and no wind. In the afternoon the wind built to 14 knots giving us the perfect opportunity to test the boat on the wind and off wind. The helm is light and responsive and the 525 slips through the water with very little fuss and feels extremely fast. Rob Humphreys was very happy to note that as the wind built up for a time we were doing 5.9 knots to windward in just 5.9 knots of breeze, pretty amazing, especially for a yacht with in-mast furling. Under power, with a Gori prop in motor sail mode, our GPS was showing 8 knots at 2,400 rpm, and although more speed and more revs were possible it looks as if 8 knots will be the most effective fast cruise. Manoeuvrability was excellent. Although this yacht has an optional tunnel bow thruster we were able to execute tight turns both ahead and astern without it. That said of course, the thruster is a useful addition, especially when getting out of tight corners. Our first impression of the 525 is one of a very well balanced, fast yacht that slips through the water with very little fuss. It’s early days, but with this yacht’s superb accommodation, a combination of great performance, comfort and proven seamanlike features the 525 looks set to become a highly successful addition to the Oyster range.
2007 Rolex Fastnet Race by Ross Applebey, Oyster LW48 Scarlet Oyster
Scarlet Oyster has competed in and completed every Fastnet since 1999 (the year of the eclipse). Year on year we have a trend of working our way further up the fleet. The highlight before this year’s edition was a successful 2nd in Class 1b in 2005, where the main drive had been raising money for cancer charities following my fathers three year struggle with cancer. That race was dubbed by the news as ‘the voyage of the no hopers’ as a portion of the crew, including my father, had been diagnosed with a terminal prognosis at some point. I remember prior to the race Dad enthusiastically telling me that ‘no one has done a Fastnet with such a crew before’. The thought crossed my mind that there may well be a good reason for that! Finishing was going to be a huge achievement; collecting 2nd in class was huge for the crew. The biggest result however was the £65,000 raised for the charities. The two-year cycle has a habit of making each edition seem a bit more special than other yearly events, and there was almost a sense of inevitability that we would be on the start line for 2007. However due to our pool of crew largely having ‘proper’ jobs now, and that many are now involved with other successful sailing projects, fielding a full strength crew was looking to be a struggle. In the end we augmented a hard core of longer term crew with a few new faces. Crew names and numbers shuffled around till the day of the start through various other commitments causing a conflict of interests for some of our crew. Whilst competing in Cowes Week with a crew of inspirational children with the Ellen MacArthur Trust, I was monitoring the forecasts for the Fastnet. By mid week it was becoming apparent we could be in for an eventful race, with a deep low pressure expected to track through the Irish Sea during the race. I personally relished the prospect of a good breeze for the race, but by the end of the week it became clear we could be in for a hiding out there!
Some forecasts were predicting in excess of 50 knots of wind to build as the fleet passed Lands End, this was getting slightly beyond my idea of a good fun blast, and into something more serious. The national news jumped on the story and were prophesising a disaster akin to the tragic events of the 1979 race. The RORC did not lightly undertake the decision to postpone the start of the race by 25 hours, the decision was made so that the yachts would be on the south coast of England when the strong southerly winds arrived, thus giving crews the option of retiring relatively safely to the ports on the coast, and not being committed to the Celtic Sea when the worst hit. This is the first time that the race has been postponed in the event’s history, but was proven to be a brave but also prudent decision by the RORC. On the day of the start (now Monday) my weather information suggested we were likely to see sustained winds of 40 knots in the early hours of Tuesday morning, which in my opinion would be rough, but manageable especially in that we had in our mind one of the more robust yachts of the fleet.
Some forecasts were predicting in excess of 50 knots of wind to build as the fleet passed Lands End, this was getting slightly beyond my idea of a good fun blast, and into something more serious.
Following my weather briefing to the crew; my father and another experienced member of our crew decided that such conditions may be beyond their bodies’ tolerance. I was slightly saddened to lose two important crew members, but totally backed their decisions. This left us with ten crew, a balanced mix of five guys and five girls. After our sensibly very conservative approach to Cowes Week start lines, I was ready off a start line on the front row! Sailing in Class 1 as one of the lower (slower) rated yachts with 71 other entries made up of much more racing orientated machinery was always going to make it a bit of a challenge however… Observing the earlier starts it became clear that the Squadron (southern) end of the line was favoured. With a shallow 6’ draft we couldn’t hope to mix much with the race boats so I decided to leave a bit of ‘runway’ between us and the next yacht to leeward. My bow-woman extraordinaire, Emma, called us up to the line perfectly and we launched off the line at full speed and with room to sail unimpeded. As the other yachts at the front of the fleet closer to the Squadron tacked back to port, they were all unable to cross our bow, the sense of satisfaction as we crossed the entire fleet first on starboard, then back across on port was hard to hide! We maintained clear wind and good speed for our trip out of the Solent, as the wind built to nearly 25 knots we peeled headsails from the #2 to #3, with a tack change. By Hurst, a few of the faster Class 1 boats had overhauled us on the water, but considering we don’t really rate ourselves upwind in restricted waters, and our rating, I was delighted with our position. A very excited phone call from our sponsor (Dad) observing from Hurst Spit confirmed he felt the same! >
2007 Rolex Fastnet Race Report continued With the WSW wind forecast to back through to SSW we elected to sail on a SSW direction on starboard tack quite a way further than a lot of the fleet. The wind started to back slightly and lighten, a tack change back to the #2 followed, from that position we did not need to tack again before Lands End. A pleasant evenings sail past Portland Bill and on to Lyme Bay followed, with the sense that we were in for a challenging nights sailing… As we approached Start Point before midnight, the wind was building quickly and seasickness was now taking its toll on most of the crew. The bow team sprung into action with me making a guest appearance at the sharp end for a rather wet bareheaded headsail change back to the #3. By 0200 the wind had built to a steady 35 knots, we were now down to two reefs and the #3 but overpowered still. Boisterous conditions like these on the first night of a race will enviably result in issues with ‘mal de mer’ this was to be no exception… John fortunately appeared for his watch in time to assist with the next headsail change, cunningly he nominated himself to control the halyard by emptying the remainder of the contents of his stomach on it as soon as he was on deck! Changing down to the #4 was really hard work with fatigue beginning to slow me down a bit, Emma, DK and Rosie were also sharing the ‘fun’ on the foredeck as we wrestled a very heavy waterlogged #3 aft. Settled down on the #4 Scarlet continued powering though the now quite sizable seas at a respectable 8 knots plus, I think a submarine would have been no wetter! Down below was no better as our 20-year-old hatches rained water into the interior, a leaking mast boot was also evident, however despite the hammering she was receiving Scarlet felt very solid and secure taking it all well within her stride, a slight concern in my mind was how our 20-year-old spar would hold up. I noticed the analogue apparent wind speed now making frequent trips just off the end of the 50 knot scale, with low damping and big waves this was indicating a true of about 40 knots. All seemed well and the boat balanced so I thought it was about time for a power nap on the weather rail. All the time more water was finding its way past our foul weather gear, making staying warm harder all the time. Alison and John were now doing a great deal of the driving. I guess I must have been half asleep when we were hit by the biggest wave thus far, it swept me and Kim, immediately behind me, back over the coaming into the cockpit, painfully I used my shin as a break against the primary winch, Rich further back on the rail
got swept hard against a stanchion, sustaining a suspected cracked rib. Everyone on deck by now had a lot of water inside their foulies from the immersion. We only had the bottom washboard in, so water was cascading from the now full cockpit into the saloon or more precisely on to the nav station; not a good look… I felt from this point that sleeping the crew off the rail may be appropriate! A report from down below suggested the oven was broken, ‘who could possibly be trying to cook in this?!’ I thought to myself, upon investigation I realised that the glass door had broken, so we now had a saloon full of broken glass to contend with. I felt as the owner’s representative, and possibly the least affected by seasickness, I would try to sort it out. Sweeping up a mixture of glass, vomit and water whilst slamming hard at a 30 degree angle of heel, nearly had me adding my dinner to the mix! A quick look at the electronic chart plotter confirmed all was still well, I must admit to not keeping as thorough log as normal as the log book was totally sodden, noting a position and time every few hours was all I felt up to.
First light was quite welcome, as we could finally see the waves we were bashing over and through, one of my crew commented that it was almost less scary when you did not see them!
First light was quite welcome, as we could finally see the waves we were bashing over and through, one of my crew commented that it was almost less scary when you did not see them! However I felt satisfied that the weather info as received was very accurate and what we had experienced was pretty much what I had expected. As forecast, the wind speed steadily dropped, my weary crew now having to remove reefs and change back up on the headsail to the #3, just before the Lizard the wind shut right off, though we decided to live with the #2 rather than make yet another change to the #1. As promised at the start I took a majority vote on whether or not to continue past the Lizard, no one uttered the word retire. Unknown to us at the time, by then 75% of the fleet had taken the opposite option. The wind was soon back to a useful 20 knots for our trip into the Celtic Sea from a SW direction, a pleasant though drizzly day was spent reaching under #2 set on the toe-rail and full main. In anticipation of the forecast shift to a N wind, we chose to sail low and fast to the north of the rhumb line. Before dark, mindful of the forecast of strong N winds later in the night we changed down to the #3 with barely a loss of speed. Jess’s return to strength was very welcome as she also proved herself to be a very handy driver. As forecast the wind quickly veered through to N around 0230, soon the pressure was building too, by 0400 we were back to our now familiar 2nd reef, by 0500 we were due a change down to the #4, but I elected to hang on to the #3 and hope for the best, with the apparent wind nudging 45 knots on the gusts. The gamble paid off and by 0700 we were comfortable on the #3, I celebrated with a sleep on the wet sails, I did not make it past the foot of the steps before falling asleep. >
2007 Rolex Fastnet Race Report continued I woke an hour or so later suffering cramps in both legs through being wet and cold, but feeling better for some shut eye. Frustratingly the wind had now backed west of NW, my forecast had it not going that far round, this gave those to the S a slight chance to comeback a bit, but in hindsight the advantage we had taken to the N was very substantial. Prior to this shift forcing us to tack our way to the rock, we had apparently got into the top six in the overall positions, according to the real time tracking system; on the boat we were unaware of that fact however. Checking the nav I noticed the message from a fortune cookie that Kim had opened, it read â€˜persistent work triumphsâ€™, this seemed like a sign to keep pushing! As we closed in on the rock we got our first sight of another competitor in our class since the first evening of the race, the well sailed Jaguar Logic crossed close behind us on port tack. I tried to get a weather update through my phone but it had clearly drowned in the chart table, borrowing another handset, I finally got a connection. Immediately several text messages from friends watching the race online came through, apparently we were leading our class! As we worked our way the last few miles in to the turning mark, a combination of an awkward sea and getting out of phase with a couple of shifts under a squall cloud, allowed Jaguar to slip ahead of us, we rounded two minutes behind them, but we maintained a useful lead on corrected time. There followed a seven mile leg to the south to the separation mark, (fittingly sponsored by the insurance company Pantaenius) that generally keeps those on their way home from coming into conflict with the boats on their way out. We took this opportunity to do some house keeping, and by means of pumps, buckets and sponges removed probably a tonne of water from the front of the boat (must get that fore hatch replaced!). Just to add to the list of things to sort out, the vang chose this moment for its casting to sheer off, this was quickly jury rigged with some spectra rope. A gybe at the mark was followed by a change to our big asymmetric spinnaker, in the 30 knots of wind we had the boat accelerated quickly as the spinnaker filled. As we were dropping the #2 the jacket on the spin halyard parted with a loud bang, smoke poured off the rope as the core slipped through the jacket for 20 feet. We now had a bit on as the spinnaker surged around in front of the yacht with its foot under Scarletâ€™s bow as she charged on forward at up to 16 knots surfing, only the wind in the sail preventing us from running it over! Simultaneously the lazy spinnaker sheet went under the boat and hooked up on the rudder, I could feel it binding the steering up slightly as it got wedged between the hull and the top of the spade rudder, all was not well! The remains of the spinnaker halyard were led back to a secondary winch and was ground back up, it took four crew to pull the sheet clear of the rudder.
All that remained was to change the damaged starboard spinnaker halyard over for the port one, as we would not be able to drop the spinnaker as it was without cutting the halyard, not the most controlled manner! The boat was hard to drive in such conditions, and the other drivers were not totally in tune with the boat as they had never steered her in such seas before, with the boat surfing at speeds approaching 20 knots! I was therefore pleased when Kim offered her services to go up! Of course she insisted on taking a camera up with her to grab a couple of action photos. A very fast afternoons sailing in 30 knots of wind followed, with the crew grinding hard down the waves to maximise each surf, I was slightly concerned as to how the nights sailing would be in these conditions, with drivers that did not know the boat. I need not have worried as in the evening, we lost the top off the spinnaker. It was decided to preserve the other heavy spinnaker and sail with a poled out jib top (reaching headsail) for the rest of the night. This gave me the perfect opportunity for yet another sleep. It seems that we were still quite quick under this configuration as the race tracker polled us doing 13.89 knots at 2230. After coming back up on deck around 0200 the breeze dropped a bit, so we decided to get the heavy spin up. Immediately the wind increased slightly, but the boat remained manageable. The crew managed a perfect gybe in a really awkward swell off Bishop Rock, which was a huge relief for all of us, so much so that for the first time since the start the stereo was turned on at full volume.
Crew: Ross Applebey Emma Beagley Alison Dickie Rosie Danby John Heasman Derek Kilpatrick Ian Moss Kim Peritz Jess Sweeney Richie Walder
A very enjoyable days sailing followed working the shifts round the Lizard then on to Plymouth, text messages forwarded to us informed us we had a comfortable lead in Class 1 on handicap, the sun was out, the breeze perfect, we had great tunes playing on the stereo, and even treated ourselves to a beer each, life was good! Richie and I had our now traditional grinding competition seeing who could promote the biggest surf, a good way to ensure that we were working the waves as much as possible! As we approached the finish line fully powered up on a shy spinnaker reach, Tim Wright was on hand taking photos with a stunning early evening light, we finished at 1941 to the canon as we had taken line honours in IRC1 overall, which I had not realised till then we had achieved, jubilation amongst the crew was spontaneous, it took a moment to remember we needed to take down the spinnaker before we could proceed to the marina! On the dock, my father was waiting with ten bottles of champagne and dry bedding, what a champion! After spraying each other with champagne and drinking the rest, we got stuck into a proper evening of celebration, reflecting on a fantastic race.
100 125 Oyster Superyacht Update By Richard Matthews
Earlier this year, in collaboration with Dubois Naval Architects, Oyster announced two new models to be added to the Oyster range, the Oyster 100 and 125 by Dubois. The significant feature of this announcement was that in conjunction with its build partner RMK Marine in Turkey, Oyster was investing in female tooling to enable both yachts to be built cost effectively in modern composite materials. The choice of Dubois Naval Architects was no accident since Ed Dubois and his team have emerged as the world’s leading designers of cruising yachts over 100 feet. By the end of 2007 there will be over 40 Dubois superyachts in commission, with many more under construction and in the course of design. Dubois progress over 30+ years has in many ways mirrored that of Oyster and we are confident that these new Oyster superyachts will look fantastic and sail really well. Looks are only part of the story, since another benefit of working with Dubois is the enormous cumulative pool of experience that the Dubois office has built up that will clearly make it so much easier for Oyster to enter the superyacht arena. The builder, RMK Marine of Tusla, near Istanbul, Turkey, is a well-established builder of small to medium sized ships and large motor yachts. RMK’s desire to enter the sailing yacht market coincided with Oyster’s objective to launch two larger models and RMK and Oyster are now working closely together to ensure the success of the project.
ABOVE: Oyster 100 RIGHT: Oyster 100, owner’s State Room
The Oyster 100 will be moulded using a resin infusion system to ensure the best possible quality. Each boat will be post cured in an oven to ensure that the composite structure reaches optimum structural integrity and to reduce the risk of any shrinkage or post cure movement during the vessels early life. Quality will be carefully audited by Lloyds, who will issue each vessel with appropriate classification and the intention is to put each yacht into MCA Class as standard so the first or subsequent owners have the option to charter if they wish.
OYSTER 100 and OYSTER 125 by Dubois
Oyster has appointed Hamish Burgess-Simpson as a full time Project Co-ordinator for the superyachts. Hamish is a highly experienced marine industry manager who, once production gets underway, will be based at the yard to ensure good communication all around and build quality always meets expectations. Tooling is now underway for the first Oyster 100 and delivery of this yacht is scheduled for Spring 2010. Meanwhile Oyster’s own design team are working on the interior configuration and styling for 100/01 and a number of 3D models are being developed and joinery samples produced, which are sure to be of interest to potential clients. Whilst the hull and deck mouldings are pretty much standard the rest of the yacht is flexible to the extent that each vessel may have it’s own interior configuration, detailing and appointments to make sure it closely matches owners’ expectations. We anticipate that the Oyster 100 and 125 will offer almost all the benefits of a commissioned one off but with predictable quality and sailing performance, less risk and expense. The Oyster design team has been working very carefully with Dubois Naval Architects to optimise the styling of the Oyster 100 and to create a detailed specification and interior layout most likely to have all round appeal. Whilst we are planning the configuration of 100/01 the vessel is still being offered for sale with all options open so dependent on timing it would be possible for an owner to commission his own interior designer and configure his own general arrangement plan. A high standard specification will be offered, including carbon spars, hydraulic winches, bow thrusters, twin generators, and a fully appointed interior. Standard equipment will include air conditioning, water maker and even underwater lighting, while options will include a waterjet tender stowed within a specially recessed pit in the vessel’s foredeck. Oyster are confident that the Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 will set new standards for yachts in their class and look forward to discussions with owners or their representatives considering a yacht in this class.
OYSTER 655 UPDATE
The worldâ€™s your Oyster 655 Richard Matthews on the 655â€™s first season The Oyster 655 is the newest Oyster model afloat. Although sales are well into double figures the 655 is so new that there are still only five examples on the water, but enough to show this yacht is a fast, stylish, blue water cruiser.
Photo: Peter Mumford/Beken of Cowes www.oystermarine.com 39
The world’s your Oyster 655 continued
I fell in love with this yacht when I stepped aboard and nothing that happened in five hours at sea changed my view. Simply superb. Dag Pike Asia Pacific Boating
The 655, designed by Rob Humphreys, is a completely new package. Whilst it retains the core values of the Oyster range, it stretches the boundaries on both design and construction. These days, like all the latest Oysters, it would be fairer to say that the design is effectively a collaboration of the naval architect, in this case Humphreys, and Oyster’s own design studio, working as a team. Rob Humphreys designed the hull lines, appendages and sail plan, while the Oyster team were responsible for everything else. The everything else in this case starts with composite engineering where we had some help from Hi Modulus, deck design and styling, interior layout, engineering and electrical systems, equipment specification and last, but by no means least, interior and joinery detailing. To achieve this we have a team of talented designers who collectively bring a wealth of experience to the project. A fully integrated, state-of-the-art CAD system enables different aspects of the yacht’s design to be worked on
simultaneously whilst integrating with the whole. Because Oyster has its roots in small yachts, where we started, we still have a fixation about wasted space, trying really hard to make best use of every inch through the boat, and CAD helps to achieve this. Returning to the 655 design in overview, there is a significant difference between the 655 and earlier Oyster designs, which were primarily designed for serious blue water cruising. With the new 655 we wanted the emphasis to be slanted more towards sailing performance to suit a new generation of experienced sailors wanting a yacht with really comfortable accommodation whilst being a delight to sail and having enough performance to do the occasional regatta or passage race with some expectation of a result. Oyster do not claim race winning performance - all we have ever said is that because of our own passion for sailing we would like to think that every Oyster in it’s class has better than average sailing
OYSTER 655 UPDATE
Attention to styling has given the g5 range a modern, sleek appearance and a seductive on-the-water profile. Duncan Kent Boat International
Photo: Peter Mumford/Beken of Cowes
performance. This may sound a little tongue in cheek since, in recent years, Oysters have picked up an overall cruising win in the ARC, several Antigua sailing week class wins, an overall win in the RYS Around the Isle of Wight race, and more recently class wins in the 2006 Sydney Hobart and the 2007 Fastnet race, the result of which is reported elsewhere in this edition. With the 655, performance was an established criterion from the outset. As a result Rob Humphreys has created a set of hull lines with a relatively fine entry forward and a clean run aft. With this he has carried the beam further aft to create a more powerful hull, which has the added benefit of more form stability than her older ‘canoe body’ type predecessors. Add to this the advantage of a low centre of gravity keel and a modern, high aspect rudder and the underwater set up is complete. It should be noted that where compromise has been accepted it is in the yacht’s moderate draft of 9’ 8" (2.95m) since if the 655 were a serious racer she
would probably have a draft of 12-14 feet. Another area where established Oyster standards prevail is the skeg-hung rudder. It’s perfectly true to say that the boat would have marginally more performance with a balanced spade rudder, and might even be slightly lighter to steer in certain conditions, but despite these benefits Oyster prefer the belt and braces approach that only a full depth rudder skeg can achieve. In this respect the skeg is massively reinforced with steel and has a heavy bronze casting for its shoe at the bottom end, so the rudder blade really is protected in the, we hope, unlikely event of grounding damage or even hitting a submerged object mid-ocean. It also allows the blade to be hinged top and bottom, both as it enters the vessel and at the shoe heel end, which takes a lot of weight off the rudder stock and helps to make the whole assembly effectively bullet proof. The composite construction of the 655 makes best use of modern materials such as Kevlar and carbon fibre and high
performance laminating resin, which has allowed the creation of a really strong, stiff hull, but with a fair amount of weight saving over earlier models. This is not to say the Oyster 655 is a light boat, quite the opposite in fact, but her modern construction has enabled us to keep weight to a minimum whilst retaining the substantial margins for safety, which have been an Oyster hallmark for almost 35 years. The low centre of gravity keel and powerful hull have allowed Rob Humphreys to put a relatively high aspect sail plan on the 655, which gives this yacht plenty of horse power, whether configured as a sloop or cutter. One owner has opted for a slightly taller carbon spar with non-overlapping headsails and has saved weight wherever possible to create a kind of GTi version of the 655, and whilst the outcome is indeed a beautiful yacht, sailing performance of the standard vessel is sure to delight the most performance conscious sailors. >
Photo: Peter Mumford/Beken of Cowes
The world’s your Oyster 655 continued
Oyster already has a reputation of building some of the best cruising yachts in the world and this new design can only enhance that reputation. Dag Pike Asia Pacific Boating
The debate between sloop and cutter continues and whilst we still prefer traditional cutter configuration with an over-lapping yankee for serious blue water sailing, a more simple sloop sail plan is finding favour with owners. When Oyster first brought the Deck Saloon concept to the market, almost 30 years ago, there were some who did not really see the point. Whilst imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery it is interesting to note how many other constructors are now offering Oyster look-a-likes in various sizes and beginning to get the picture that the Deck Saloon concept really works. Apart from unbeatable light and fair weather ventilation, the Deck Saloon creates a feeling of space simply not possible with a conventional coach roof. It also gives a closer connection to the cockpit and increased volume below the sole, providing an ideal space for machinery, batteries, tankage and so forth.
With our accumulated experience in making the Deck Saloon work, we believe Oyster continue to show leadership with the styling and detailing but, most importantly, practical features designed into our latest fifth generation ‘g5’ deck configuration. When seated at the helm the helmsman can see the stem head, which may sound obvious but it is surprising how seldom this Oyster standard is achieved elsewhere. The 655 has an ergonomically designed cockpit to provide comfort both in harbour and at sea. Ergonomic has become something of a buzz word these days, but in Oyster’s case our cockpits are the end result of a formal study undertaken with the ergonomics department at Loughborough University that created a cockpit first found on the Oyster 56, which has been refined and improved on every new Oyster design since. A significant feature of the 655 is the twin helm configuration, which puts the helmsman in exactly the right place
OYSTER 655 UPDATE
Yachting World will publish an article about the Oyster 655 in their January 2008 edition - copies available on request from Oyster.
whether sitting to leeward and coaxing the yacht upwind or coming alongside. A spin off from this arrangement is the placement of the helm station a little further aft, meaning that the whole of the spacious forward cockpit area is uncluttered and ideal for dining al fresco or for non-sailing guests to enjoy. The cockpit on the 655 is easily big enough for 6-8 table settings and one can imagine quality time spent under the protection of a bimini awning. Last but by no means least the twin wheel set up makes it so much easier to get on and off the working deck since there is a virtually flat deck access from the stern area into the cockpit, between the wheels, thus avoiding the hurdle of having to get over the cockpit coaming, always awkward, particularly so when to leeward in a seaway. Below deck, the interior layout and joinery style can be matched as closely as possible to each owner’s requirements, although we are confident that the standard layout probably offers the best all round combination of comfort and
practical seagoing features. The spacious Deck Saloon has its seating areas taken as far outboard as possible to make best use of the yachts 18’ 5" (5.62m) beam making best use of available space and comparable to many much larger yachts. The U-shaped galley in the port corner and linked to the saloon creates a separate environment for cooking with plentiful counter surfaces, freezer space and amenities. The 655 has an exceptionally spacious owners suite aft, with an option of its own private access to deck which also provides a useful source of ventilation in suitable conditions. Going forward, to starboard there is an upper/lower twin cabin more or less in line with the cockpit, whilst forward of the saloon there is a very comfortable double guest cabin and a good-sized upper/lower twin on the port side opposite. Typically this means that the 655 can cater comfortably for an owner, four guests and one or two professional crew as required.
As for performance, time will tell just how well the design team have achieved the goal of creating a comfortable cruising yacht with sparkling performance. A few Oyster regattas and open events down the line we will be able to measure her performance against her peers. What we already know is that if looks are anything to go by the yacht is a winner since, by any stretch of the imagination, the Oyster 655 is a handsome yacht with a stunning outboard profile. Sleek is a word that seems to come up again and again when people talk about this yacht. As for sailing performance, we think the 655 is a winner in that department too, but let’s be honest, we would say that wouldn’t we! We look forward to the exploits of the first dozen or so 655 owners who will no doubt report news of great sailing days, fast passages and perhaps a race result or two making the world their Oyster 655.
Boadicea CK213 1808 – 2008 By Richard Matthews
Readers may ask what an Essex oyster smack is doing in Oyster News. However, the name of Oyster Marine is enshrined in the oyster trade around West Mersea and Colchester on the UK’s east coast, and it was here that a fisherman named John Frost taught me to row a boat when I was barely five years old. As a small boy, then as now, there were many traditional gaff-rigged, straight-stemmed sailing craft around called smacks, that in years past had been serious working boats, inshore fishing and working oyster layings. These craft evolved over hundreds of years and Boadicea came to be owned by John Frost’s father Michael in 1938, prior to which she was more or less in constant work, since she was built in 1808.
The name of Oyster Marine is enshrined in the oyster trade around West Mersea and Colchester on the UK’s east coast.
Michael Frost gave Boadicea to his son John who passed away several years ago, but not before giving Boadicea to his son Reuben who works as a fireman. 2008 will be Boadicea’s 200th Anniversary and she is believed to be the oldest sailing vessel in Europe still in regular use. Because of our connection with Boadicea and the name of our company we thought it appropriate that in our 35th anniversary year we should support Boadicea in her 200th. Part of our support was a new engine installation and some painting in 2007 and new spars and sails in 2008. We are also enabling Boadicea to go to the London Boat Show at Excel in January where she will be presented on the Classic Boat Stand and where Reuben Frost and others who know the boat will be on hand to talk about her. We thoroughly recommend visitors to the London Show take a look at Boadicea and say hello to Reuben since they are sure to get a warm welcome. We have produced a time line of events in history during the 200 years since Boadicea was built, which we think is simply amazing. It’s hard to believe that so many major events in world history have taken place during the life of one small Essex sailing smack. Boadicea can be found at the London Boat Show in the North Hall on the Classic Boat Stand.
1808-2008 In the 200 Years Since Boadicea Was Launched 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862
Boadicea built and launched by James Williamson of Maldon Ist run of 2,000 guineas horse race at Newmarket, England US population 7.2 million Venezuela, first American country to gain independence from Spain Waltz introduced into English ballrooms, considered disgusting and immoral! Rubber patented George Stephenson introduces first steam locomotive Battle of Waterloo - Wellington defeats Napoleon Argentina declares independence from Spain Mississippi River steamboat service begins First known Christmas carol, Silent Night, composed by Franz Joseph Gruber Sir Thomas Raffles founds Freeport Harbour in Singapore Royal Astronomical Society founded in England Greece gains independence from Turkey First edition of the Sunday Times, October 20 Charles Macintosh of Scotland begins selling raincoats Washing machine patented by Noah Cushing of Quebec. UK's first railway track opened, between Stockton-Darlington London University founded English chemist John Walker invents wooden matches 20,000 attend Beethovens funeral in Vienna Sir Robert Peel founds London Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard Edwin Budding of Stroud, Glos designs and patents first lawn mower London Bridge opens to traffic Ecuador annexes Galapagos Islands Britain abolishes slavery in colonies, 700,000 slaves freed Joseph Hansom of London patents the Hansom Cab Charles Darwin visits Galapagos Islands and Bay of Islands, NZ on HMS Beagle British parliament adopts register of birth/marriage/death Queen Victoria ascends the British throne Steamship ‘Great Western’ crosses Atlantic First photographs taken, by Daguerre in France and Fox-Talbot in Britain Britain launches the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black Thomas Cook opens first travel agency First Cadbury's chocolate bars on sale Introduction of the Christmas card The Factory Act limits working day for children under 13 to 6.5 hours 8,000km of railway track built across Britain First operaton performed using ether as anaesthetic Robert Thompson patents rubber tyre Mexico ratifies treaty giving US: New Mexico, California and parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado in return for US $15 million Silver coin, the florin, minted Levi Strauss made his first blue jeans First America's Cup, won by yacht America First public lending library opens, in Manchester Smallpox vaccination made compulsory in UK Quinine used to treat malaria Horse drawn combine harvesters used in California Every county has to have a police force First Victoria Cross awarded Tower of Big Ben completed Ground broken for Suez Canal First British Open Golf, Willie Park shot a 164 at Prestwick Admiral Robert Fitzroy issues first storm warning for ships James Glaisher reaches 32,400ft in a hydrogen balloon
1863 Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground, opens in London 1864 Charing Cross station, London, opens 1865 Penny farthing bicycle invented 1866 Alfred Nobel invents dynamite 1867 First ship passes through Panama Canal 1868 Golfs first recorded hole in one - Tom Morris at Prestwick's 8th 1869 First plastic, Celluloid, patented 1870 Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary and first Premier of the Soviet Union born 1871 Albert Hall opened by Queen Victoria in London 1872 The Marie Celeste sets sail from New York 1873 Opening of the Albert Bridge across the Thames 1874 Fiji becomes a British possession 1875 Alexander Graham Bell makes first voice transmission on the telephone 1876 Direct telegraph link established between Britain and New Zealand 1877 Wimbledon lawn tennis championships begin 1878 Electric light bulb first demonstrated in UK 1879 London telephone exchange in operation 1880 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland and Italy is completed 1881 London's National History Museum opens 1882 First cargo of frozen meat leaves New Zealand for Britain 1883 Electricity available on a commercial scale 1884 International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. fixes the Greenwich meridian as the world's prime meridian (line of longitude) 1885 Fall of Khartoum, General Gordon 1886 Karl Benz patents !st auto with burning motor 1887 Emile Berliner patents the Gramophone 1888 Jack the Ripper loose on the streets of London 1889 300m Eiffel Tower officially opens 1890 The longest bridge in Britain, the Forth Bridge (1,710 ft) in Scotland, is opened 1891 London-Paris telephone connection opens 1892 First escalator patented in New York city 1893 First electric car (built in Toronto) can go 15 miles between charges 1894 Beatrix Potter tells the story of Peter Rabbit 1895 German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen discovers a type of radiation later known as X-rays 1896 The Locomotive Act of 1896 increases the UK speed limit from 2mph to 14 mph. 1897 Tate Gallery and the RAC founded 1898 Will Kellogg invents corn flakes 1899 The paperclip was first patented by Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor 1900 3 different blood groups identified 1901 Queen Victoria dies, aged 82, having ruled for 64 years 1902 Scott, Shackleton and Wilson reach the furthest southern point thus far by man at 82°17'S 1903 Orville Wright flies an aircraft with a petrol engine in the first documented, successful, controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight 1904 Mr Rolls and Mr Royce first meet and agree to make a range of motor cars 1905 Automobile Association founded 1906 Aspirin goes on sale for the first time 1907 Baden-Powell leads the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, England 1908 Model T Ford produced in Detroit, cost $900 1909 Louis Bleriot is the first man to fly across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air craft 1910 First flight of Zeppelin airship 1911 Amundsen beats Scott to the South Pole
1912 The Titanic, pride of the White Star fleet, sinks with terrible loss of life 1913 Foundation stone laid for Australian capital, Canberra 1914 World War I begins on 28 July: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia 1915 Lusigtania sunk only 8 miles off Old Head of Kinsale with loss of 1,198 lives 1916 Daylight saving time introduced to save use of coal 1917 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia abdicates the throne, Lenin returns to start Bolshevik Revolution 1918 Armistice signed in November – 10 million dead 1919 Alcock and Brown complete first non-stop trans Atlantic flight 1920 Prohibition declared in USA 1921 Insulin discovery gives hope to diabetics 1922 Treasures of Tutankhamun unearthed 1923 First Le Mans Grand Prix d'Endurance 1924 First Winter Olympics, held in Chamonix, France 1925 The colour bar becomes legal in South Africa 1926 General Strike called as class war splits Britain 1927 Lindbergh is the first to fly the Atlantic solo, 33hrs 39mins 1928 Flying doctor service starts in Australia 1929 German airship Graf Zeppelin makes round the world flight 1930 Amy Johnson becomes first woman to fly from England to Australia solo 1931 Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge opens 1933 Hitler quits League of Nations, Jews start to flee 1934 Cunard-White Star liner Queen Mary launched 1935 Malcolm Campbell in Bluebird smashes 300mph barrier 1936 BBC transmits first public television service from Alexandra Palace 1937 Frank Whittle invents the jet engine 1938 Steam locomotive ‘Mallard’ set new world record at 126 mph 1939 Germany invades Poland, beginning the Second World War in Europe 1940 Allied forces evacuated from Dunkirk, Luffwaffe starts Blitz on London 1941 Pearl Harbour bombed, US joins the war 1942 Maiden flight of Sikorsky XR4, the first production helicopter 1943 Germans surrender in Stalingrad 1944 D Day landings 1945 End of the Second World War 1946 Project Diana bounces Radar waves off the Moon, measuring the exact distance between the earth and the moon and proving that communication was possible between the earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age. 1947 Charles Yeuger breaks the sound barrier 1948 Birth of the National Health Service 1949 The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II under Captain James Gallagher lands in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight 1950 President Harry S. Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb in response to the detonation of the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb in 1949 1951 Burgess and McLean vanish from their posts in Washington embassy 1952 King George VI dies, Elizabeth becomes Queen 1953 Edmund Hillary, and Tensing, conquer Everest 1954 Roger Bannister breaks the 4 minute mile barrier 1955 Ruth Ellis is hanged for murder in London - the last woman ever to be executed in the United Kingdom 1956 Black civil rights activists uprising in US 1957 Treaty of Rome creates the Common Market - 6 members
1958 The nuclear powered submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571) became the first vessel to cross the North Pole under water 1959 Launch of the Mini, which cost around £500 1960 Francis Chichester sets record of 40 days for solo Atlantic crossing 1961 150 mph Jaguar E-type launched, hard top model cost £2,196. 1962 John Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned orbit of the earth. 1963 President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas 1964 Mary Quant knocks the Paris fashion show as "out of date" 1965 US troops pour into Vietnam while US astronaut takes a walk in space 1966 First fin & skeg race yacht Tina wins One Ton Cup 1967 First human heart transplant carried out by Christiaan Barnard in S. Africa 1968 Apollo 8 orbits the moon and Concorde roars into the air 1969 First man, Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon 1970 The Range Rover arrives, 4 wheel drive, V8 engine, £2,000 1971 The United Kingdom and Ireland both switch to decimal currency 1972 Britain joins EEC along with Ireland, Denmark and Norway 1973 Founding of Oyster Marine 1974 IRA bombing campaign in London 1975 Saigon falls, end of America's 15 year involvement in Vietnam 1976 National Theatre opens on London's South Bank 1977 Freddy Laker's Skytrain promises cheap flights for all 1978 First test tube baby is born 1979 Shah of Iran driven into exile by Ayatollah Khomeini 1980 John Lennon shot dead 1981 First NASA space shuttle, Columbia, maiden flight 1982 Falklands War 1983 Australia wins America's Cup after 132 years 1984 Thames Barrier opened 1985 The Titanic is located and photographed, 12,000 feet under 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster 1987 Herald of Free Enterprise ferry disaster, and hurricane force winds in October 1988 Pan-Am flight 747 brought down over Lockerbie 1989 Berlin Wall comes down after 28 years 1990 Oyster Marine wins their first Queen's Award for Export 1991 Exxon pays $1-billion dollars in fines and cleanup of Valdez oil spill 1992 Presidents Bush and Yeltsin proclaim formal end of Cold War 1993 Dyson sells the first bagless cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner 1994 Channel Tunnel opened between England and France 1995 Volcanic eruption in the island of Montserrat 1996 Britain alarmed by an outbreak of ‘mad cow’ disease 1997 Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule 1998 Good Friday Accord reached – Irish Parliament backs peace agreement 1999 Internet search engine Google founded 2000 Concorde crashes near Paris and is later withdrawn from service 2001 9/11 World Trade Centre destroyed by two hijacked aircraft 2002 The ‘Party in the Palace’ for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee 2003 Sony announces it has shipped over 50 million PlayStation 2 systems worldwide 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake causes Boxing Day Tsunami 2005 MG Rover goes into receivership 2006 The ban on smoking in public places comes into effect in Scotland 2007 World Leaders at the G8 Conference agree to consider ways to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 2008 Boadicea is 200 years old and presented at the London Boat Show by Oyster
Micronesia - sailing in paradise By Yolanda Danioth, Oyster 56, MOANA
Micronesia means 'small islands' and this is a perfect way to describe these 2,100 tropical islands scattered over a great distance across the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines. Our first destination in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was to be Kolonia the capital of Pohnpei State. We set sail for the 1,000 mile trip across the magical line of the Equator from the Solomon Islands where we had enjoyed 20 months of wonderful cruising in the South Pacific. Kolonia was directly north from our departure position and instead of going on the rhumb line, our waypoint was north of the equator and southeast of Kolonia. This tactic allowed us to take advantage of the prevailing northeasterly trade winds north of the equator for a downwind sail to Pohnpei. We started with a lovely sail between the northern islands of the Solomon’s, but unfortunately the wind died within the first few days and we had to motor in the vicinity of the Equator. We did not want to give up our easterly position and powered for maybe 12 hours in a strengthening but veering northerly wind, to our waypoint. In latitude between 3° and 4° north we brought the bow off the wind, eased the sheets and set a direct course to Pohnpei, and best of all, switched off the engine. We left the windless transition season of the South Pacific as well as the windless Equator and found ourselves in the NE trades of the North Pacific, which allowed for great sailing in 20 knots of wind! In summary it took us eight days from Gizo in the Solomon Islands to Kolonia, Pohnpei State. The engine clocked 96 hours and the trip was the slowest with the most engine hours we had experienced so far.
Kolonia, Pohnpei State Our western North Pacific adventure started with our arrival in Kolonia which is also known as ‘the Garden islands’. We entered the port in perfect conditions, good daylight and with enough time to go through officialdom before moving on to the anchorage nearby. Entering FSM requires a cruising permit which has to be issued in advance. Our application by fax and email, including a reminder and another email that we were on the way to Pohnpei had remained unanswered. Of course the first question from the formally dressed officials who boarded Moana, was about our cruising permit. We showed them our filled out application, copies and emails and told them about the several unanswered attempts to get a permit. Without any hesitation or further questions we got a permit issued, valid for the rest of the year… and all the other official papers were done efficiently, with no charge. Welcome to Micronesia! Soon we were allowed to leave the commercial dock but faced the difficult task of navigating our way through missing markers, reefs, murky waters, wrecks and shallows to find the anchorage. An open fishing boat passing by piloted us straight into the large bay and showed us where to drop anchor. We were the only sailing yacht in Kolonia. The distinct profile of the landmark of Sokehs Rock made this anchorage one of our most exciting in the Pacific. The anchorage also offered all-around protection in any wind and sea conditions. If you think Kolonia is far away from modern technology or behind, then you are definitely wrong. For the first time in our cruising life we had internet access on Moana whilst at anchorage. We were delighted to see the vast offering of fresh produce in American style supermarkets in Kolonia. Shelves were packed with products we did not expect to find here. Next to local fruits like papaya, banana and lemons were melons, red and green apples, red and white grapes, kiwis, lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes and much more. We were overwhelmed by the range of goods available but only bought what we needed for the next few days. With such an offering we didn’t think there was much point in buying a large amount. Big mistake! When we returned the next day we were disappointed to find that all groceries were gone! What had happened? When we arrived in Kolonia we had noticed a big freighter clearing containers. >
FAR LEFT: Moana anchored off Olimara Atoll ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sokehs Rock Rolf carrying our free bag of rice! Moana anchored in paradise
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The anchorage was like something from a picture book... This was definitely our idea of paradise!
” Apparently this was the supply ship bringing fresh produce all the way from the USA. The ship visited the islands every two weeks and the next one was due just before Christmas! We had used up all our fresh produce on passage and had only bought limited supplies the day before, therefore we remained without our beloved fruit and vegetables until the next boat arrived. Our mission was to find a supply of fresh fruit and veggies. We were shocked to find that there was no agriculture on the island but we did manage to find some gardens with bananas, papayas and snake beans growing wild, so we didn’t starve. When the next supply boat arrived just before Christmas, we took two supermarket trolleys in order to stock up with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Our extensive Christmas shopping ended with a big surprise - the shop had a special offer for buyers spending 50 dollars or more, a free 22kg sack of rice! When we returned to Moana we were reminded that it pays to have two fridges. The most spectacular site on Pohnpei is the ruins of Nan Madol. It consists of 82 artificial islands of large octagonal shaped basalt logs and must at one time have been similar to Venice. Nan Madol means ‘the land in between’ and is associated with many myths and legends. One legend tells the story of Nan Madol being the gate to Atlantis, the lost continent and the buildings in the entrance to the bay do give the impression of entering a different world. It feels like a border, a halfway point between our world and the unknown.
FAR RGHT: A white sandy beach on Olimara ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Rolf as Robinson Crusoe Moana on passage to Yap Christmas with our cruising friends Rolf and Yolanda in Yap An ocean canoe
Around the island of Pohnpei the change in colour of the water is dramatic, changing rapidly from blue to green or in other words from clear ocean water to the murky muddy river. One day we cruised in our inflatable dinghy up the river between the mangroves, this is definitely not a trip for people of a nervous disposition. We imagined the existence of crocodiles, snakes, spiders and mosquitoes amongst the shallow water and you could easily lose your sense of direction but it was great fun and bizarre.
Within 24 hours of our arrival in Kolonia another five yachts had arrived and we soon got to know each other, going on excursions, spending Christmas and New Year together and meeting at ‘Rumour’s Bar and Grill’ where we formed an informal radio net for cruisers called ‘Micronet’. Moana was net operator on Sundays and Mondays. We estimated a total of about 20 yachts in the area, most of them in the Marshals and maybe a dozen yachts spread over Micronesia and Guam. We spent six weeks in Kolonia and it is one of the wettest places on earth. It rained even when we left only to see blue sky and sun after some miles out at sea. On a nearby uninhabited Atoll we spent some wonderful days in a tropical paradise with clear waters and sandy beaches. Here we swam with dolphins and enjoyed the everyday delight of the amazing, romantic sunsets. Strong winds around 25 knots and up to 1.5 knots of current made for a fast passage to Puluwat - 550nm from Ant Atoll. We had the sails wing on wing and almost flew over the water. Finally we had to heave-to over night because our time calculation was too conservative and we arrived at the entrance to the lagoon after sunset. In FSM, water is over 28°C all year round. The weather is humid and squally and the ocean swell is huge due to thousands of miles of ocean without any islands in between, however it was a real pleasure to sail Moana over the wide oceans.
Puluwat, Chuuk State The highlight of the Micronesian islands was Puluwat, a small atoll which belongs to the Chuuk State, the largest state in Micronesia. The anchorage was like something from a picture book – a lagoon formed by tree covered islands, surrounded by turquoise clear water with a sandy bottom. This was definitely our idea of paradise! Approximate 400 people live in the two villages on the island. One is on the north shore and is catholic and the one close to our anchorage on the south, is protestant. The influence from western civilisation is not obvious yet but can slowly be seen >
We emailed the Oyster After Sales team and they told us how to make a temporary repair, the replacement part was waiting for us when we got to Yap. What a great service!
ABOVE: A tranquil anchorage ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: A traditionally dressed villager, Puluwat Local children join us for lunch, Puluwat Signpost in Yap Moana anchored off Rumours Marina Theo, Master Navigator
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encroaching on the island culture and it is apparent that in time the traditional culture will be lost. A few years ago cruisers reported that men here were still wearing their traditional loin-clothes and women were bare breasted. Nowadays the villagers adapt to a more modern way of clothing with colourful shorts and printed t-shirts and the women are no longer topless. Only some men are still proud of wearing their long (approximately half a metre wide) cotton cloth wrapped around their hips and legs. On Puluwat they build two kinds of canoes. One is a big, heavy ocean going vessel with sails and the other is a smaller, simple one for use in the lagoon. Both are made with love, care, pride and knowledge which is passed on from generation to generation. On Moana we have modern technology, electronic, navigation, mechanical and hydraulic aids, charts, pilot books, weather forecasts, refrigeration, provisions and shelter. But these canoes are going to sea with nothing but green coconuts. The navigators are skilled in their practice to cross oceans without navigation instruments. We were keen to learn more about those ancient seafaring traditions so the local priest helped us arrange a meeting with the headmaster of the navigation school. We listened respectfully to Theo a master navigator and teacher whose role is to pass on his experiences and knowledge of navigating, using the solar system and currents of the ocean to the younger men. Navigators like Theo explored the sea for many years learning their skills. Of course Columbus and others used stars to navigate too, but bear in mind, they used a sextant, a compass, tables and a log to calculate their position. The knowledge of these remarkable people is taboo to outsiders and remains a mystery to modern civilisation. We were lucky that Theo explained to us how they track the stars and constellations during the night or take on the track of sun and/or moon during daytime. In addition to stars they watch birds or use ocean swell for their orientation and direction, the splash of waves when they hit the hull of their canoe tells them if they are on the right course. Theo explained to us, how they can forecast typhoons, which apparently becomes logical
if you know a little about weather patterns. In low pressure systems visibility is much clearer and as a consequence stars appear, these stars do not appear in prevailing high pressure systems and some stars are only visible to the human eye in the event of an approaching storm. Together with their experience and studies they can forecast storms with a great precision. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?! Of course we asked how they navigated in overcast conditions - they simply drift and wait for the skies to clear. Theo added that he always arrived at his specified destination using only the stars, sun and moon. We needed satellites and radio waves for our oceans passages. What an incredible knowledge and sense of nature they have! During our stay in Puluwat we had a problem with the top swivel on Moana’s mainsail furling system. The result of our inspection of the mast top was a lost pin. We emailed the Oyster After Sales team this information and they told us how to make a temporary repair using a bolt and the replacement part was waiting for us when we got to Yap. What a great service! Most days some of the local teenagers would come out in their canoes and visit us aboard Moana. They were curious to know about our home and the lives of teenagers where we came from, what the neighbouring islands were like and did they have cars and shops? The older ones could speak a little English the younger ones just sat and watched whilst we chatted. They were interested to know what we ate and were surprised to hear that we did not eat turtles! We explained that where we came from turtles were a protected species. They said that turtle meat was delicious and there were lots of them but they needed permission from the chief to hunt them. We got to know these children quite well and we learned from each other. On one of their visits they came with an invitation to attend church the following Sunday. After the service we arranged to meet up on the neighbouring island where we provided lunch for them consisting of pasta salad, pork spare ribs, french fries and soft drinks. They arrived in their canoe ready to add their contribution to lunch – armed with a
machete, the youngsters captured coconut crabs which they BBQ’d for us along with coconut meat. A delicious feast for everyone! It was hard to leave our friends on Puluwat behind. Before we left we gave the islanders spare ropes, Alluna another cruising boat that arrived while we were there gave them a sail - defunct equipment for us but essential to them.
Olimara Atoll and Passage to Yap From Puluwat we sailed in the company of Alluna to Olimara a passage of 200nm. We planned a stopover on the tiny uninhabited atoll of Olimara and enjoyed an excellent few days together. Now we know how Robinson Crusoe must have felt when he had a whole island to himself – there was nothing on Olimara apart from white sandy beaches and green bulky palm trees. We anchored in the turquoise waters of the lagoon surrounded by colourful fish, corals and turtles. We left Olimara having downloaded a good weather forecast, but outside the lagoon it was still blowing 25kts with three metre waves. It helped that by now we had sea legs. Again we made a fast passage arriving at the entrance to Colonia 12 hours ahead of our ETA, but too late to get safely into the anchorage. We had to heave-to once again and let Moana drift. We felt like little children in a swinging cradle and believe me it sounds more comfortable than it really was… early the next morning we eagerly made our way into the anchorage.
Colonia, Yap State Colonia in the Micronesian State of Yap is the main tourist island of Micronesia and is a surprisingly lovely, clean town with a friendly, welcoming community. Checking in was easy and well organised, the officials were friendly and helpful. Although Colonia is a small town there are a number of >
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Our encounters with the celestial navigators and the islanders that touched our hearts made our visit a truly memorable experience.
” good local restaurants and there is a well stocked supermarket, cyber cafe, dive shops and various tour organisers. Nobody actually lives in Colonia. The people travel in every day from their villages approximately 10km away, they commute on bicycles, motorbikes and in old cars into the very small western style town. I met Augustin a local teacher while I was shopping in town. He offered to act as our guide and show us his village and the local countryside. We met him on the following Saturday with his old rusty car with bald tyres, but no worse than any others on the island and it was his pride and joy. The village houses were just one room built on a stone base with wooden walls used only for sleeping in. The kitchens are outside in the shade of a large tree and surrounded by vegetable gardens. Village life is very traditional, during the day when the men aren’t working they congregate in the ‘men’s house’ to sing, dance, relax or discuss matters of the village. The women of the village are forbidden to enter this house; they have a similar building and likewise the men are not allowed to cross their threshold. To take photographs in the village, Augustin had to seek permission for us from one of the men.
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Rolf with the local currency! Our guide, Augustin The village houses A young Yap dancer Sailing with dolphins
Yap is probably best known for its stone money, huge disks of crystalline stones measuring up to two metres in diameter. They can weigh up to four tonnes, making them the world’s largest currency. The value of each ‘coin’ depends on the presentation, explanation and how good a talker you are. The stories tell of hardships and lives that were lost in transporting the money over long distances and over the open sea. This helps to increase the coins value. This currency is used to trade between the villages, not spend at the supermarket! Dance is an art in Yap through which legends are passed on. The dance is colourful, powerful and well orchestrated
with all the dancers beautifully decorated with painted faces and ornaments made from shells, stones and seedpods. Around the hips they wear a red fabric loin cloth and on top a smaller black and white one, then they tie palm fronds around their neck, upper arms and head. The dancers form a large group of over 70 men sorted by their height with the smallest both ends and the large mature men in the middle. The men danced in one long line, just a couple of metres in front of us, lifting their arms and legs, stomping and clapping their hands on their torso creating a rhythm. They transformed their bodies into a musical instrument, the beat going from loud to quiet giving a soft, bright or aggressive sound. Watching this long line of dancers perform was breathtaking.
Towards new horizons Micronesia is a truly authentic place. Only a few yachts cruise in this area each year and very few tourists visit these remote islands. Our encounters with the celestial navigators and the islanders that touched our hearts made our visit a truly memorable experience. A footnote on entering atolls – it can be a nerve racking experience and should only be attempted in daylight. Before entering we always take the sails down, start the engine and check our electronic charts (we use C-Map NT plus and MaxSea). We also overlay the radar as sometimes there can be an error of half a mile or more on the chart. This way we can work out the best way to go in. While Rolf is on the helm I stand on the boom so I can see the changes of colour in the water ahead of us which gives me an indication of the depth, if we are lucky and the water is clear I can see if there are any coral heads or large rocks in our path. This is teamwork! At the time of writing this, our next destination is the Philippines, some 740nm due West of Micronesia. In a little more than four days we will arrive in Surigao Strait, entering South East Asia where a whole new adventure begins.
MICRONESIA ISLANDS FACTS: Weather resources: Moana is equipped with an Inmarsat Fleet33 system and receives weather charts and GRIB files with MPDS as well as EGC SafetyNet reports with SatC. NOAA provide 9 useful North Pacific Ocean charts; Surface Analysis and 24h/48h/72h Forecast, Wind/Wave Analysis and 24h/48h Forecast, a 72h Sea State Forecast and a Streamline Analysis. These charts are all available as ftp downloads or from Radio-Facsimile Station Honolulu. Micronesia lies in a typhoon prone area all year and we checked the following additional weather information regularly: • The Satellite Interpretation Message provided by the US Navy Base in Guam provides the best information about troughs and areas of convections and can be found under http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/textReader.php?pil=SIMGUM. Readout is transmitted on 6015kHz @ 0100 UTC. • The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre issues warnings and forecasts on http://metocph.nmci.navy.mil/jtwc.php. Travel guide books: The Pacific Crossing Guide Michael Pocock, Adlard Coles Nautical General overview about the Pacific with brief information about Micronesia Landfalls of Paradise Earl Hinz, Marine Enterprises, Marina del Rey, California Comprehensive information about the main ports and islands of Micronesia Micronesia Cruising Notes Phil Cregeen, Migrant Outdated but still useful due to information about remote and less visited islands and uninhabited atolls. Lonely Planet South Pacific Islands & Micronesia An excellent addition to the above guides with places to see, background information and listings of facilities Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkeling Chuuk Lagoon, Pohnpei & Kosrae An excellent addition to the above guide with places to see, background information and listings of dive spots Money: The local currency is the US Dollar (USD). Take US Dollars with you as exchange is difficult. Credit cards are usually only accepted in resorts, dive-shops and other tourist related places. ATMs are only on Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap. Clearance: There are no schemes for yachts clearances, they are treated as merchant vessels. Clearance is a necessity in each State. Officials are professional and straight forward. Quarantine charges $25, Port $30, Immigration $65 (including issuing of Cruising Permit) and Port clearance on departure $20. Moana’s journey can be followed on: www.symoana.ch
Killing Cancer Eric van`t Hooft is finding a way by Roger Vaughan
When he was fourteen years old, Eric van`t Hooft travelled from his native Holland to Austria on vacation with his family. A German family was staying at the same hotel situated on a picturesque lake. The Germans had a large bag with them, Eric recalls. In it was a folding sail boat with all its many parts. For most of a day, Eric watched three men try unsuccessfully to assemble the boat. Frustrated, they began packing the parts back into the bag. It was at that point Eric asked them if he might try putting it together. "They looked at me," Eric says today with a laugh as he recalls the derisive glares that greeted his offer. "I told them I had experience. I had built a model boat when I was younger." Amused, the men told the boy to give it a try. Before they knew it, the boat was afloat. As a reward, the men took Eric sailing. "That was my first time in a real boat," Eric says. "But from a model you learn some of the basic ideas." Today, Eric and his wife Marianne sail an Oyster 61 called Emrar, a compilation of family first names – their three children are Roxanne (36); Arjen (34); and Raymond (32). The van‘t Hoofts keep the boat in Altea, Spain, a hundred miles south of
Valencia, a short flight from their home in Brasschaat, Belgium. They sail in the Mediterranean summers, and have been to all the Oyster regattas in Palma. Most recently they attended Oyster’s America’s Cup regatta in Valencia. But they avoid long passages. "My wife loves the boat," Eric says, "but two weeks would be quite enough for her." Eric takes a fun approach to the racing. He rowed while in college in Rotterdam, racing everything from singles to eights. But he never applied himself to racing sail boats. He has been too involved, since he was in his twenties, with another "sport," as he sometimes whimsically refers to radiotherapy. Radiotherapy began with the discovery of radium by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre, in 1898. Their research was inspired by scientists William Roentgen and Henri Bequerel who discovered what they termed ‘x-rays’ emanating from uranium. The Curies purified a small amount of radium in 1902, and discovered the ‘radiation’ that would eventually take Madam Curie’s life. For many years it was not known that continuous exposure to radiation is very dangerous. In the early days of low dosage radiation treatment, doctors would
TOP: Eric speaking at the 3rd Annual Brachytherapy Review BOTTOM: Emrar, during the Oyster Valencia Regatta 2007
test the strength of the beam on their own skin by observing the hue of the resulting reddish ‘burn’. Eric van`t Hooft was introduced to the concept of radiation as a child by the work of his father, Gerardus, who was director of an optical company during World War II. The company developed one of the early image intensifiers for x-ray machines used to get tuberculosis under control around the world. The elder van`t Hooft’s company later became the global market leader in chest x-ray systems from the 1950s through to the 1970s. After getting degrees in mechanical, and instrumentation (fine mechanical) engineering at HTS Hogere Polytechnische School in Holland, and after two years of military service, in1970 Eric trained in software systems analysis at IBM’s Amsterdam facility. He was at IBM three years, then worked two years for Deltronix Nuclear, a European trading firm for medical equipment, where he rose to Sales Marketing Manager for Radiotherapy treatment systems. Not quite 30, Eric had ideas of his own. A photograph from 1974 shows a fit, lanky Eric on the business end of a shovel digging the foundation of the small office he built behind his house in Leersum, Holland. That is where he started Nucletron, a company that would grow to 500 employees and capture 80% of the world market for equipment used in brachytherapy cancer treatment. Brachys is a Greek word meaning ‘short’. Brachytherapy is therefore ‘short distance’ therapy. Brachytherapy brings the radioactive source as close as possible to the cancer tissue, isolating the treatment and doing minimal damage to healthy cells.
The latest Brachy technology offers two options. One is a specific technique for prostate cancer in which 150 radioactive seeds – tiny metal pods, are placed inside the prostate with long, hollow needles. The pods emit a low dose of radiation, and stay in the body permanently. The other option, of which van`t Hooft is a proponent, introduces a tiny, high-density radiation source, again using thin, hollow needles. The source is removed after a carefully calculated treatment time. When Brachytherapy was first introduced, radioactive sources were being introduced internally for 72 hours. During that time, the treatment room was ‘hot’. Visitors were prohibited, and nurses were understandably nervous about attending the patient. At Nucletron, van`t Hooft designed a Remote Afterloading system to solve that problem. The radiation source was completely shielded inside the Afterloader, which was connected to the patient by tubes. From outside the room, a doctor could send the radiation source (smaller than a grain of rice) by thin wire through the tubes into the patient. It was still a low dose radiation treatment requiring 72 hours. But the source could be retracted into the Afterloader for nurses’ visits. The big advance came 20 years ago when Nucletron introduced a high dose rate (HDR) treatment using the same basic method. The treatment time was reduced from 72 hours to as little as ten minutes. This allowed treatments to be spaced over several days, enabling healthy cells more recovery time. I caught up with Eric van`t Hooft at the 3rd Annual Brachytherapy Review hosted by Harvard Medical School. >
Killing Cancer continued
Similar reviews are held throughout the world, and frequent attendance by medical practitioners is required. Van`t Hooft and half a dozen other manufacturers of Brachytherapy equipment were displaying their wares in an anteroom where the 75 doctors present gathered to look and learn between lectures and workshops. Eric was busy answering technical questions from several doctors. The array of stainless steel, titanium, and high-tech plastic instruments displayed on his table were captivating for anyone with an appreciation for the fine art of precision tool making. These were gorgeous, lightweight, strong, and easily-handled instruments, the purposes of which sent a little chill up the spine. Eric is slightly taller than six feet, and in marathon trim at age 62. His face is at once reassuringly confident and friendly. and he has a certain resemblance to the American comedian, Steve Martin. The quiet warmth Eric projects, and his irrepressible good humor, make him accessible. His knowledge of cancer and its treatment is encyclopedic. He’s not a medical doctor, but he could fool you. He points out that 50 years ago the diagnosis of cancer was a death sentence. Great progress in combating the disease has taken place since then. Yet cancer seems evermore rampant. One out of every three people suffer from it. "What we see today is related to our life style," van`t Hooft believes. "Too much rich food for one thing. Breast cancer has benefited from that. And smoke of course. Smoke is poison for the entire body, it is one of the worst things ever invented. Lung cancer is almost exclusively caused by smoking, but it also effects the liver, the brain….nicotine goes everywhere."
One can relate cancer to regional excesses. Eric says the hard liqueur producing villages of France (Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados) have a high incidence of esophagal cancer, and that the Chinese suffer inordinately from nasopharynx cancer because of the constant consumption of very hot food. "But cancer can have genetic origins, and usually it’s caused by multiple reasons. It’s an extremely complex disease." The ways in which it is treated are also complex, and vary according to the degree of severity. Surgical removal of tumours has long been the standard. Radiation is growing rapidly, and chemo (drugs) is used for non-local tumours. Brachytherapy is most effective when the cancer is local (breast, prostate, esophagus, lungs, uterus, head and neck, etc.). Techniques are increasingly combined in the endless search for best results. "Brachytherapy," Eric says, "effects both cancer and healthy cells, but the cancer cells get damaged so they can not multiply. The good news is that the healthy cells have a repair mechanism and the cancer cells do not. When a surgeon removes a tumour, he has to remove a large margin around the tumour to make sure no bad cells are left. This can cause a lot of damage. Brachytherapy’s advantage is that it also hits the surrounding healthy cells, and if there are cancer cells among them, they die off. The healthy cells recover in the same way a cut on your hand will heal. This is the cheapest and friendliest way to kill cancer tumours. "It’s not a disease I recommend," van`t Hooft says with the trace of a smile, having observed a visitor’s wary glance at the elegant instruments spread out on the table behind him, "but if you have it,
TOP: Eric and Marianne with their crew, Oyster Palma Regatta 2002 MIDDLE: Eric and Marianne on board Emrar, Oyster Palma Regatta 2006 BOTTOM: Emrar, during the Oyster Palma Regatta 2006
Eric van`t Hooft is somewhat of a legend in his business. The fact he started a company that captured 80% of the world market because of its commitment to advancing the technology is part of it.
” this treatment is best." A patient who independently came to the same conclusion eleven years ago is Andrew S. Grove, CEO of Intel Corporation at the time. Grove, in his mid-50s, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stunned, but not one to immediately accept the fear-driven, knee-jerk surgical solution, Grove researched the subject with the same thoroughness he used to develop semiconductor devices. His choice was Brachytherapy. He wrote about his "parachute drop into one of the raging controversies of contemporary medicine" in Fortune magazine in 1996: "In Brachytherapy, a highly radioactive pod is attached to a wire that is momentarily inserted into the patient’s prostate through a number of hollow tubes (needles), one after the other….the doctor described the high-dose rate radiation as `smart bombs,’ while external radiation or even the implanted seed method is more like carpet bombing." Mr. Grove is currently an advisor to Intel’s senior management. He has been in remission from his cancer since his Brachytherapy treatment. "Andy Grove is very unusual of course," van`t Hooft says. "Most patients diagnosed with cancer are frantic and have no idea what to do. Last night a doctor said he could tell his patients anything – what do they know? Patients often put themselves totally in the hands of doctors. Urologists. You don’t want to know about most of those guys. They will remove the prostate. Good. The tumour is gone. For a high percentage of patients, so is their quality of life. The doctor shouldn’t think what he can do for you, he should say I could operate and that’s good for my wallet, but perhaps not for your health.
"One of our problems with health care is physicians’ behaviour. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, Nancy Reagan went to an old fashioned clinic. The surgeon said to her, I will remove the breast and the cancer is gone. He did that at exactly the time the radiotherapy world had proved that Brachytherapy affords the same survival rate, and you don’t lose your breast. Who wants to lose part of the body? However "Some doctors don’t like Brachytherapy because they have to go sterile. That’s too much effort. They’d rather work by computer in their offices in shirtsleeves. "Once during a conference like this one, a doctor put his arms around the Afterloader machine, and said to me, `This machine has made me rich.’ That’s what it’s all about to many physicians. But fortunately, we have plenty of doctors who care a lot. It’s the main problem of every cancer patient to find such a doctor. The technology is available to cure most cancers if you get diagnosed properly, and on time." Eric van`t Hooft is somewhat of a legend in his business. The fact he started a company that captured 80% of the world market because of its commitment to advancing the technology is part of it. Eric is openly admired by his competitors. While describing him as smart, technically competent, an innovative and passionate visionary, they asked to remain nameless. They are competitors. "What makes him unique," says Peter Dove, who is Eric’s Managing Director in the United States, "is his focus on the front end of the business, not the back end. He talks tirelessly with doctors to find out what they need. He has a passion for the clinical – what’s safer, smarter, better and he can beat you up with the best of them about spending money foolishly. >
I really liked the extremely nice line of the Oyster, they were way ahead of the competition with the smart deck house.
Killing Cancer continued
That’s the back end, but his passion is for delivering optimal therapy, cost effectively and fast." Eric’s willingness to speak his mind is also well-known, but he is not vindictive. When running Nucletron, Eric took over the annual meetings of the European Brachytherapy Society that were initiated by the French, who were drawing 50 to 75 doctors to their meetings. The meetings Nucletron sponsored had the participation of over 400 practitioners after the first few years and they were held all over the world. The French quickly, and gratefully, yielded to Nucletron. "Every doctor had to pay a fee that of course didn’t begin to cover our cost," Eric says. "But we wanted to increase awareness, exchange knowledge, educate people. In the Communist days, the Russians wouldn’t let their doctors come so I called a party member and asked him why. He said their doctors already knew everything. I asked him if he had a family. He said he did. I told him he should be worried. I asked him if he knew how often cancer occurs. When it happens, you want the best treatment. I finally said if his doctors knew everything they should come and teach us. He finally relented if he could send a guard with them so they wouldn’t run off. I told him he had to pay for the guard. I paid for the doctors, who were thrilled." What really puts the capital L in Legend for van`t Hooft is that he is in the Brachytherapy medical equipment business because he wants to be. In 1994, he merged Nucletron with Delft Instruments, a Dutch-based European trading company for medical capital equipment. He stayed on the management team four years. In 1998, he turned over the reins and began
practicing, as he says, "the skill of managing free time." But that study was cut short when his doctor friends in the business began calling him saying that things with his old company were not good, and urging him to buy it back. Eric went to the board and offered to help them several days a week without compensation and they said they’d consider it. Two weeks later he received a curt email informing him they weren’t interested in his help. At that moment, Eric knew what he wanted to do. With several people from his old company, he started Isodose Control, Inc. "It’s from the heart," Eric says. "But then so was the old company. I can do anything I want, and this is what I decided to do. We won’t build the same thing. It will be the next generation, an exciting next step. It’s not just a new brick. It’s a whole new building. "Is Marianne behind it? Yes and no. She has always worked with me on the PR side. She knows the business, and she’s good at it. But it does mean more travel for me. We aren’t working to earn money at the end of the week, we’re working to achieve something and we’re reasonably fanatical about it. Many in the new company are like that – achievers. That’s how you build a healthy company. Our first machines are just starting to treat patients." At the Harvard conference, Eric alluded to exciting projects that involve several companies working together. "There are so many different treatments needed for patients," he said. "One company can’t make them all. But working together you can package the smart stuff." He wouldn’t elaborate, but as Peter Dove said, "he’s cagey."
TOP: Eric and Marianne, Oyster Valencia Regatta 2007 prizegiving BOTTOM: Emrar, during the Oyster Palma Regatta 2006 Sailing Photos: Nico Martinez
Eric bought his Oyster just before he sold Nucletron. He’s never had any formal training as a sailor, which occasioned one friend to ask him why, if he could have any toy he wanted, he didn’t buy an airplane. But it’s hard to be a stranger to boats growing up in Holland. His family often rented boats for the day, and he sailed his father’s 8-metre. He owned a catamaran and a 15-metre before he purchased the Oyster 61. "I really liked the extremely nice line of the Oyster," Eric says. "They were way ahead of the competition with the smart deck house" he pauses "as for the airplane, I think it would have been cheaper." His laugh is hearty. An engineer’s occupational hazard is to go through life with a critical eye for how everything is designed and built, and Eric van`t Hooft is on the high end of that curve. He says he had fun wrestling with Alan Brook about many details of the boat he wanted to change. But Oyster is used to their buyers reinventing yacht design concepts. There was plenty of give and take, and Eric got the boat he wanted – almost. "You have a fridge in the boat," he says, "but the compressor sits under the bench instead of in a compartment or box where the noise could be muffled. You hear it in the night, and you could switch it off. But why not build it smarter so I don’t have the problem to begin with, or put it on a timer?" He shrugs. "As an engineer, that’s just how I think."
much help sailing upwind on the race course in the Med. Eric said he wished Alan, the primary race officer, would give him a bit more rating allowance for it. Eric had the good grace to chuckle when he said that. It’s safe to say that sentiment is perhaps the only one wholeheartedly shared by every Oyster owner in the fleet (all of them are chuckling). Eric is the first to admit he’s not much of a racer. He’s a competent seaman who handles his boat well, and who loves short cruising with his family. He enters Oyster regattas for the fun of sailing in a fleet, and the socializing. Learning proper trim, starting manoeuvres, and tactics take practice and dedication. Eric has an understanding of the race course, and a good feel for his boat and one senses he could be a formidable skipper, but it’s doubtful that will happen. Eric van`t Hooft is devoted to this other ‘sport’ that fully involves him, and that he’s very good at. It’s one of those sports where every man, woman, and child in the stadium is hoping he’ll win. One of his more illustrious fans is HRH, Queen Beatrix of Holland. In 1999 she bestowed upon him the highest Dutch order (Order of the Dutch Lion) for his technological and scientific contributions while fighting cancer in more than 100 countries. His official title: Commander and Knight, Eric van`t Hooft.
I joined Eric and Marianne on board Emrar at the Oyster regatta in Valencia. The short keel Eric requested because of the shallow waters in Holland wasn’t
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It has been one of the busiest years to date for The Ellen MacArthur Trust, a charity established in 2003 by the round the world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur. The charity takes children and young people who are suffering, or in remission, from cancer and leukaemia out sailing on trips along the south coast and to residential weeks in Ellen’s home county of Derbyshire. Through the generous support of many people and events such as Skandia Cowes Week, The Trust has been able to expand rapidly. Of the 23 children’s oncology centres in the UK, The Trust now works with 16 of these. The four-day sailing trips run throughout the summer months, and see children take charge of boats in and around the Solent waters. Whilst most of the boats are chartered short-term, one boat is used all year round by the charity. The Oyster Lightwave 48, Scarlet Oyster, which was kindly donated for use by her owner Gordon Applebey is utilised throughout the year by the charity. Gordon has been a huge supporter of The Trust, donating his boat for use at multiple events such as the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and Skandia Cowes Week. “We are incredibly grateful to Gordon for his support over the last few years. Scarlet Oyster is the perfect boat for these children, it provides a safe learning environment for them and it has made sailing accessible to so many children all over the UK”. Frank Fletcher, Manager, The Ellen MacArthur Trust. After over four years of use with the charity, Scarlet Oyster is undergoing a re-fit for it’s 2008 events. Oysters' own service yard, Fox's Marina is overseeing the re-fit, which has been generously sponsored by Oyster. “It is fantastic that Oyster is sponsoring the re-fit on Scarlet Oyster, it means a huge amount to The Trust and we cannot thank them enough,” said Frank Fletcher.
Along with the sailing trips, the children who enjoy sailing and would like to learn more can join The Trust at a residential sailing course in Derbyshire during August. Many of the children also return to join The Trust for some of the main regattas in the year including the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (which the charity took on by boat, sail and bike in 2007). The Ellen MacArthur Trust is also the main charity of Skandia Cowes Week, where it sees children from the charity race competitively in the regatta whilst the charity undertakes various fundraising events through the week. One of the latest initiates the charity has launched is aimed focuses on Share Giving. A gift of shares to charity allows individuals to obtain income tax relief at the highest rate they pay tax. There is also no Capital Gains Tax on the gift of shares to charity. The arrangement takes advantage of this so that both the donor and the Ellen MacArthur Trust can benefit. Ellen MacArthur, Trust Patron said, “We have been overwhelmed not only by the amount of money raised in 2007, but also by the interest and support from people at events and hearing about us for the first time. I can promise everyone that all the money donated is well spent and really does make a huge difference to the children who join us. I can't even begin to thank everyone for their support over the last few years, we really couldn’t do this without you!”
To learn more about the charity log onto: www.ellenmacarthurtrust.org For further information: tel: 0870 0636774 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The four-day sailing trips are designed to provide a unique experience for the children that join them. Each child is encouraged to work as part of a team and become involved on every level of the trip, from helping to sail the yachts, through to the cooking and cleaning for their fellow crew on board. Each voyage is lead by experienced, professional sailors who are used to working with children.
Team Oyster Update Cowes Camp The British summer in terms of Sonar racing is pretty empty with no events scheduled in the run up to the World Championships, so Team Oyster hosted a training camp on the Isle of Wight. Teams were invited from all around the country, including the RYA Youth squads, University sailing teams and our Irish tuning partners. With six boats in total and a breeze of no less than 20 knots all week, an interesting week was had by all with a lot of lessons learned. Earlier in the year we had agreed on the goals we wanted to achieve from the training camp. One of them was heavy weather sailing technique in larger waves as well as looking further into our rig set up. Our training week proved the perfect testing ground, giving us the chance to put our new rig through its paces in some big breeze. Special thanks must go to Stephen Norbury and Seldén Masts for supplying us with a new mast and rig completely free of charge. RS 400 Nationals It may seem unusual to many readers that the RS 400 is being mentioned in my report but there is a perfectly good explanation! Steve Thomas had mentioned that he would like to focus more on tactics and trying to understand the decisions that I make on the boat. It was decided that Steve and I should sail in the Nationals and after a phone call to RS they kindly agreed to lend us an RS 400 for their National Championships, hosted by Parkstone Yacht Club. We arrived at Parkstone raring to go. It was going to be a tough one for us as Steve has never sailed anything other than a Sonar. Sailing a high performance dinghy with two false legs was never going to be easy! Our tuning crew of Dan Parsons and Jon Waite were also at the event, so with 25 knots of wind forecast we quickly decided that Steve and I would do best if we crewed for more experienced helms. IFDS World Championships The IFDS World Championships hosted by Rochester Yacht Club was the target goal for the year. We had to finish in a podium position to definitely secure a place for Beijing. Writing this article is hard as it wasn’t our best event by a long way and we certainly didn’t achieve the result we were expecting. There are many things that went wrong and I could make a number of excuses but that’s just what they’d be - excuses. As a team we don’t work like that. We step back and channel all the anger about the things that went wrong into making them right again.
All in all we sailed reasonably well in the regatta but at this stage in the run up to the Paralympics it’s the little things that make really big differences – like getting the first shift right on every beat, ensuring you grab those inches to stay in front. We led for the first two days and on the second day we were 12 points clear. I think we got too comfortable. The first two days were our favourite conditions; light and shifty, and we can always pull something out in those situations. After that the breeze just kept on increasing and by the last day we were facing 20 knots plus, our weakest conditions. We finished the regatta in 6th overall, not ideal and certainly not enough to see us selected automatically for China. On returning from New York, we were asked to attend a meeting with the Paralympic Selection committee and asked to give our reasons for the disappointing result. I gave them the same reasons that I am giving you now. We have been full time at this game since Athens with not one of us taking any time off, so I feel perhaps in the run up to the Worlds we over worked it and as a team became stale. We had lost our mental edge on the others. We know we are better than them and that we put more hours in than any of the other teams. We have the best support team in the world along with one of the best coaches in the country. We know that we have the best equipment in the world but somehow we forgot all of this and lost our confidence. Finally I think that after one bad day we gave up when in the past we would have fought with everything we had left to claw it back. I can tell you now that we have taken everything on board and we are fully back up and running. Time off has been scheduled for each member of the team. We are now working full time with the RYA Psychologist to work out the kinks and start to regain the confidence that saw us as two time World Champions which will help us be successful in Beijing. The other members of the British Paralympic team have yet to be selected and the Miami OCR in January is the final show-down for all of us and we need to be back on the top of that podium. We want this so much and nothing and no-one will stand in our way. Next season will be our most intense yet with over 200 days of guaranteed training with our coach, a new boat on order and some technical developments planned with our equipment. I look forward to bringing you some good news in the New Year and the continued support from Richard and the Oyster owners is helping to make our dreams grow ever closer. Happy Sailing
OYSTER R E G A T T A S Planning is well underway for another year of regattas, which will find Oyster in the BVI in April, Cowes in July and Palma in September. Owners and their crews can look forward to some great racing and of course it wouldn’t be an Oyster regatta without plenty of parties! We look forward to seeing you.
OYSTER REGATTA – BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 7-12 APRIL 2008 Scattered in aquamarine seas, with white-sand beaches fringed by coconut palms, the British Virgin Islands enjoy consistent winds, clear blue water, sunshine every day, and islands close enough to navigate by sight. The BVI are a sailor’s paradise, and not only are they one of the most beautiful areas in the Caribbean but they make for a really great location for an Oyster regatta.
BVI PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME MONDAY 7 APRIL - Registration, Skippers Briefing and Welcome Party • • • •
Yachts arrive at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola. (reserved berthing). Registration and Concours d'Elegance judging. Skippers Briefing. Complimentary Poolside Drinks Party followed by a Buffet Supper at Peg Legs Restaurant.
TUESDAY 8 APRIL - Race 1 to Cane Garden Bay, Tortola • Yachts depart Nanny Cay Marina for the start of Race 1 finishing at anchor off Cane Garden Bay. • Complimentary Drinks Party – Myett’s Garden Inn. • Beach Barbecue and Pig Roast. WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL - Race 2 to Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda • • • •
Yachts depart Cane Garden Bay for start of Race 2 to Virgin Gorda. Reserved berthing at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Complimentary Poolside Drinks Party. West Indian Barbecue, Jump-up and Limbo.
THURSDAY 10 APRIL - Lay Day at Bitter End Yacht Club • Oyster Regatta Dinghy/Keelboat Racing Competition. • Dinghy Regatta Prize-giving party. FRIDAY 11 APRIL - Race 3 to Marina Cay • Yachts depart Bitter End for the start of Race 3 finishing at anchor off Pusser’s Marina Cay. • Pirate Party and Buffet Supper at Marina Cay. SATURDAY 12 APRIL - Race 4 to Nanny Cay • Yachts depart for the start of Race 4 finishing at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola. • End of Regatta Prize-giving Party followed by Dinner and Dancing at Peg Legs Restaurant, Nanny Cay.
OYSTER REGATTA – BVI
7-12 APRIL 2008
OYSTER REGATTA – COWES
21-25 JULY 2008
OYSTER REGATTA – PALMA
30 SEPTEMBER - 4 OCTOBER 2008
For more details about Oyster regattas and events see our website at www.oystermartine.com or contact Liz Whitman at email@example.com
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 82 Zig Zag
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Just Launched A selection of recent Oyster launchings
OYSTER 82 RAVENOUS II
OYSTER 655 ROULETTE V.2
OYSTER 56 ZENA
The new 82, Ravenous II, was always going to have a lot to live up to for owners Bill and Sonnie Dockser’s second Oyster, following their Oyster 70 Ravenous, which today is still a beautiful and much photographed yacht. The fit out of Ravenous II represents the owners’ extensive cruising experience and the result is an absolutely stunning yacht, full of carefully thought out details encompassed in a modern and beautifully fitted out maple interior.
Owned by Trevor and Anne Silver, Roulette v.2 is their second Oyster following their Oyster 56. Roulette v.2 was shown at this year’s Southampton Boat Show where she received rave reviews for her striking, contemporary interior (shown in this issue of Oyster News on pages 38-43). Jo Humphreys (wife of Oyster designer Rob Humphreys) was responsible for realising much of the interior detailing, working closely with the owners’ to their specification. With her custom, tall carbon rig and boom, Roulette v.2 is one of the sleekest Oysters afloat and is sure to attract admiring glances wherever she goes. Roulette v.2 is one of 15 Oysters in this year’s ARC and will be sure to provide some serious competition at Oyster’s 2008 BVI regatta.
The Oyster 56 Zena, owned by Andrés and Paz Zancani, was shown at this year’s Newport and Annapolis boat shows in the US. Following handover in Newport Bay, Andrés and Paz plan to sail the boat to Puerto Rico for the winter before heading across the Atlantic to Europe next spring. For Andrés, Zena is the culmination of a 30-year goal following a successful career in the software industry.
Some things haven’t changed however, and we look forward to seeing Bill’s 60-foot lobster appear when he hoists his spinnaker at the Oyster BVI Regatta next year. Ravenous II was launched in style when Bill and Sonnie flew in friends from around the world to join them at her launch party, which included a pre-lunch cruise along the River Orwell.
OYSTER 56 BUSCAVIDAS Owner, Antonio Almazan from Spain, sent son Daniel to take delivery of his new Oyster 56, Buscavidas. Hand over day included a blustery beat down the River Orwell, with Matthew Vincent of Dolphin Sails on board to see his new D4 sails in action. The Webasto heating was used to the full over lunch at anchor before a quick cruising chute reach back to Fox’s Marina. Buscavidas will be shipped from Southampton to Palma, and from there sailed to her permanent berth in Barcelona where we’re told Antonio is hoping to do some gentle cruising, and Daniel is planning to do some racing!
OYSTER 655 FLYING DUCKMAN Just launched as we went to press, the Oyster 655, Flying Duckman, owned by Chris and Corinne Ducker was lowered into the water at Southampton Yacht Services. “What a day, it brought tears to my eyes. Many thanks for forcing me to buy my beautiful baby, which was launched yesterday. All the team at SYS has not only been efficient, but friendly and have taken a genuine interest in the project. Special thanks must go my Project Manager Julian Weatherill, who has put up will all my foibles and guided me in the right direction in his fantastic manner, he is a star!” Chris Ducker, Oyster 655, Flying Duckman
The perfection and beauty of my Oyster 82, Ravenous II, exceeds all my expectations. I look forward to many great sailing years in this outstanding yacht. Bill Dockser, Oyster 82, Ravenous II
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Bill and Sonnie Dockser, Oyster 82, Ravenous II Trevor and Anne Silver, Oyster 655, Roulette v.2 Chris Ducker, Oyster 655, Flying Duckman Andrés Zancani, Oyster 56, Zena
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Oyster Marine Ltd: Fox’s Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA England T: +44 (0)1473 688888 F: +44 (0)1473 686861 E: email@example.com Oyster Marine USA: Newport Shipyard One Washington Street Newport RI 02840 USA T: +401 846 7400 F: +401 846 7483 E: firstname.lastname@example.org