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N e w s f rom t h e wo r l d o f Oyst e r

i n t h i s is s u e – OYSTER JUBILEE RE GATTA SA RDIN I A , 201 0 A RC STA RT

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WEL C OME

C O NTENTS

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Welcome

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Oyster Life News from the world of Oyster

08 OYSTER JUBILEE Regatta

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Row to the pole

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Antigua to Rio

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The New Oyster 885

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OysterRegatta – Grenada 2011 OWNER PROFILE – ALBERTO Vignatelli

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RED SEA PARADISE Liz Cleere and Jamie Furlong

Superyacht update

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TO BARTICA AND BACK Steve Powell

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Miss Tippy

Gone with the Wind

Destination Asia Bart Kimman

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Stephen Hyde

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SAILING TO HAVE FUN Alan Brook

Brian and Sheila Norton

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FAMILY DENT’S LEAP OF FAITH Martin Dent

David Tydeman

Jock Wishart

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2010

Cristina Fonzar

Barry Pickthall

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winte r

David Tydeman

Oyster World Rally 2010 ARC Start

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– Sardinia

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David Tydeman

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TURKISH DELIGHT Brian Long

OYSTER AT THE BOAT SHOWS

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On their way…

Paul May

Front cover picture

Contributing EditorS

From the editor

Axel Moorken’s new Oyster 575, Endless One. Photo: Kurt Arrigo

Barry Pickthall Louay Habib Cristina Fonzar

Editor

Production Editor

We publish Oyster News twice 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.

Liz Whitman

Rebecca Twiss

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In these uncertain times, I’m delighted to report that Oyster remains a very solid company. Our order book is developing well; brokerage prices have been improving and your investment in your Oyster remains secure!

Lead times are extending again with the next available Oyster 625, now hull #4, and the next 575, hull #15 – for delivery in Summer 2012. We will launch the first new Oyster 625 in London at our Private View in St Katharine Docks next April. There has been strong interest in the new Oyster 885 and it was an exciting week in mid-November when the deck mock-up arrived. Alongside all of this, plans are developing for the launch of the first Oyster 100, which will take part in the 2011 Dubois Cup and Loro Piana Superyacht Regattas next June. We remain committed to providing an excellent service to all Oyster owners in the form of technical help and spares, as well as running events for owners and their families to enjoy. Our Jubilee Regatta, hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo in September, brought together 30 Oysters from across the decades, across the fleet and across continents, with the Italian-owned, 30-year old Oyster 37, Andrea, on the start line alongside the newly launched, UK-owned and custom-built Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean, which features many of the latest developments and innovations in design and build. We support the start of the ARC each year with a team of technical staff to help owners prepare for their crossing and this year’s Owners’ party on Thursday 18th November had a special significance to it. Alan Brook, after decades of service to Oyster and having retired earlier in the year, fulfils a lifelong dream as he and his wife Sue sail their new Oyster 56, Sulana, across the Atlantic alongside the 18-strong Oyster fleet taking part in this year’s event. It was a treat to raise a glass with them. The 2013-14 Oyster World Rally, conceived as a celebration of Oyster’s 40th anniversary, and announced in the last issue of Oyster News, has been very significant. We now have more than 25 Oysters confirmed and over 60 more serious expressions of interest, including some non-Oyster owners who are now in discussions with either the new sales team or our brokers! With a 30-yacht maximum fleet and over two years to go to the start in January 2013, this is a fantastic achievement for what will be a really unique event.

We are mindful that, exciting though this major event is, not everyone will either want or be able to take part. We are now working up a three-year plan to flow from our Grenada Regatta in April 2011, through Palma in September 2011 to the BVI in April 2012, our Olympic Regatta at the Royal Yacht Squadron in July 2012, to the start of the World Rally and to ensure we can run some events in parallel with it. As usual in Oyster News, it is the cruising stories from our owners that capture the imagination and this issue really does feature some amazing and unusual cruising locations. My thanks to every one of you for sharing your adventures with us at Oyster and readers of Oyster News. Here at Oyster, there is as always much to achieve, and I express my thanks to all the Oyster Group staff for getting out of bed each morning with so much enthusiasm for what they do! I wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing some of you at our London Owners’ Dinner and the January Boat Shows.

Sincere regards to you all,

David Tydeman CEO, Oyster Group

email: liz.whitman@oystermarine.com or rebecca.twiss@oystermarine.com

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.

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Oyster life EDDIE JORDAN JOINS THE OYSTER FLEET WITH A 655 PURCHASED BY HIS FAMILY TRUST As a Formula 1 fan, David Tydeman has enjoyed putting the deal together with Eddie Jordan who is certainly an entertaining character. Eddie and David first met at the Turkish Grand Prix earlier this year and Eddie was given a quick tour around our Superyacht build project, which is only 15 kms from the race circuit. His interest in Oyster developed from there and discussions took place on various types and sizes of Oyster yachts, hoping that we

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could shape a deal in time for him to join us at the Sardinia Regatta. Eddie joined David for a day’s racing in Cowes Week followed by a visit to the Oyster 655 at the Southampton Boat Show – both providing good ‘pontoon gossip’. Eddie has been a long-standing customer of Sunseeker and still owns a 37m Sunseeker – quite a ‘support-boat’ for his Elan 450, which started his sailing interest two years ago. The Elan was designed by Oyster’s lead designer, Rob Humphreys, and his loyalty to Rob has certainly influenced his choice of moving to Oyster. We look forward to seeing Eddie at our London Owners’ Dinner and Grenada Regatta.

NEW ATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE

BRIDGE PARTY ON BOARD HMS DAUNTLESS In September, the new Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dauntless, sailed into Southampton to take part in the Southampton Boat Show. As Oyster is affiliated to the ship, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to host a small private party for some of our customers, who enjoyed drinks on the bridge followed by a tour of the ship and supper – a really unique opportunity, which we were delighted to be able to take advantage of.

DEGREE SUCCESS FOR THANAREE JUPRASERT

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BOOK LAUNCH FOR OWNER DAVID HOLLIDAY OBE Oyster owner, David Holliday, who with his family has owned three Oyster yachts since 1992 and currently owns the Oyster 72, Kealoha 8, has just had a book published about his voyage round the world with the 2008 World ARC. The book, ‘Kealoha 8 – A Seafaring Adventure’, is available online from the publishers Arima Publishing: www.arimapublishing.co.uk

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Front Cover Photo: k8 sails away from Table Mountain by Cody Reed

OYSTER 56 MOST POPULAR YACHT IN THE ARC As the fleet of 18 Oyster yachts began their final preparations in Las Palmas ahead of the start of the ARC and their 2700-mile transatlantic passage to St Lucia, we had official confirmation that the Oyster 56 is the most popular yacht to have been sailed in the ARC. Oysters from across the range have been amongst the most prolific participants in this popular, annual event with over 250 Oysters having taken part since the first ARC 25 years ago. But it’s the Oyster 56 that easily wins the accolade of being the most prolific model of any marque for at least the last ten years (in fact since the organisers

started keeping records) with 44 Oyster 56s having made their Atlantic crossing with the ARC fleet. For owner Richard Smith, who made his first ARC crossing in his Oyster 56 Hawk Wing in 2005, this year’s event in his Oyster 655 Sotto Vento will be his fourth ARC, whilst for Alan and Sue Brook who own the new Oyster 56 Sulana, the 2010 ARC will be their first transatlantic crossing. This year’s event also sees three of the new Oyster 575s, all launched earlier this year, making history in their first ARC, with On Liberty, Endless One and Can Do Too leading the way for the new Oyster 575 to perhaps take that top spot in years to come as the most popular yacht in the ARC fleet.

Two days after the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 that caused such devastation throughout the Indian Ocean, long time friend of Oyster, Barry Cager, sailed into Coco de Mer and immediately set about trying to provide practical help to those in need. Many of those who survived had lost not only their homes but also their only means of earning a living, their fishing boats. Barry contacted Oyster to ask for assistance in helping some of those affected and together with Owners at the London Boat Show we were delighted to raise enough money be able to have a new longtail fishing boat built for the Jupasert family.

A few months later, Barry contacted Oyster again to ask if we would support the fisherman’s daughter, Thanaree, to make it possible for her to attend university in Bangkok. Oyster agreed to fund a four-year scholarship, which enabled Thanaree to undertake and complete her degree in Hotel and Tourism from the Dhurakijpundit University in Bangkok earlier this year. Her final grade was an excellent 85%, a huge achievement considering that all her lectures were conducted in English. We are delighted to have played a very small part in helping Thanaree complete her education and wish her every success for the future.

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Anyone lucky enough to find the new edition of the RCC Pilotage Foundation Atlantic Crossing Guide in their Christmas stocking may notice rather a lot of Oyster pictures throughout the book, in particular Mike and Devala Robinson’s Oyster 46, Sea Rover, which also features on the front cover, taken as she approached St Lucia. Jane Russell, the author of the new edition, is the wife of David Russell, who is Engineering Manager at Landamores. Just as Jane was starting the project, Mike and Devala Robinson were taking delivery of Sea Rover, their new Oyster 46. Hearing of their plans to cross the Atlantic, David encouraged Jane to contact them. The result is a wonderful selection of photographs and many observations and contributions to the text of the book. The new edition is packed with updated information, including references to many useful websites. Part I covers all the many aspects of preparing boat and crew for an Atlantic crossing. The range of routes and ports around the Atlantic circuit (Part II) has been extended to include advice about cruising the coasts of North and West Africa, taking the route to Brazil via the Cape Verdes, heading westwards across the Caribbean towards Panama and cruising the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) up the east coast of the USA. Chapter 18 discusses more northerly routes including the Viking Route via Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. The Atlantic Crossing Guide is available to buy online at www.acblack.com

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OYSTER IN AMERICA

Oyster Events

It was champagne all round in Oyster’s Newport office following the sale of three new Oysters just after the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October – two Oyster 575’s, and a 625. What was one of the sunniest shows for years certainly helped to bring out the visitors who enjoyed looking over two beautiful Oysters, the Oyster 56, Champlain and the Oyster 72, Magrathea. It was the US premiere for the Oyster 72 and renowned yachtsman and broadcaster Gary Jobson found time to take her sailing and will be reporting on the yacht in a future issue of Yachting magazine. During the show, Oyster CEO David Tydeman hosted the annual Annapolis Owners’ party, which was as usual very well attended.

2011 London Boat Show 7 - 16 January London Owners’ Dinner Royal Thames Yacht Club 8 January

NELSON’S PURSUIT RACE – ANTIGUA

ROUND THE WORLD YACHTSMAN ARRIVES IN IPSWICH Widely recognised as one of the world’s most experienced and successful ‘round-theworld’ yachtsmen, Swedish sailing star, Magnus Olsson, arrived at Oyster’s HQ at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich during the summer to join owner, Lars Johansson on board his new Oyster 56, Enjoy Life, for the delivery passage back to their native Sweden. Magnus, who skippered Ericsson 3 to an honourable fourth place in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009, has competed in no less than six Whitbread/Volvo Ocean round the world yacht races. He will certainly have found life on board this new Oyster 56 a little more comfortable and we look forward to him joining us on board Enjoy Life at an Oyster Regatta in the future.

Oyster World Rally Forum – London 9 January

ROYAL SOUTHERN OYSTER WEEK 27 June - 1 July 2011 Following the success of this year’s event, the Royal Southern Yacht Club invites all Owners to join them for another informal and fun rally in 2011, which will again be supported by the Oyster team. Oyster 53 owner, Colin Hall, who masterminded this year’s event, looks forward to receiving entries. For more details or to enter, please contact Colin at: colin.hall43@btinternet.com or the Sailing Secretary at sailing@royal-southern.co.uk

Boot Düsseldorf 22 - 30 January

When one thinks of Caribbean Regattas, it’s Antigua Classics and Antigua Sailing Week that immediately spring to mind, but each New Year in Antigua, there is also the less well known, but well supported, Nelson’s Pursuit Race.

permitted, no spinnakers or other special light wind sails are allowed, so there can be no excuse for not having enough crew, and if entrants have not been measured, it’s no problem, an appropriate start time will be awarded. This is most of all a fun event.

Originally conceived as a fun event to add some sailing interest to the festive season by Stan Pearson of Antigua Rigging and Tommy Patterson, who still act as the Race Committee, the event commemorates Lord Nelson’s famous pursuit of the French fleet, under the command of Admiral Pierre Villeneuve, across the Atlantic in 1805, culminating in the blockade of Cadiz, and the subsequent battle of Trafalgar, Nelson’s greatest victory, during which he was tragically shot and mortally wounded by a French sniper.

In previous years there have been as many as forty yachts taking part, ranging from singlehanded live-aboards, through elegant classics, to some of the latest performance superyachts with some famous names amongst them including Peter Harrison’s 115 foot ketch Sojana, and the 140 foot classic Rebecca, which holds the course record. Last year the brand new 100 foot Performance Yacht Liara went around in 89 minutes, and won, despite starting an hour and a half after Alexander Hamilton, an elderly wooden schooner built on the neighbouring island of Nevis, and the lead yacht carrying the French flag, which was passed by everyone else along the way.

The race takes place on New Year’s Eve, with a timed start below historic Fort Charlotte, sited above the Pillars of Hercules, at the entrance to English Harbour. The lowest rated yacht sails over the start line at 1100 carrying the French flag, with the rest of the fleet pursuing it, at timed intervals. The winner is the first yacht over the finish line. Registration and start time allocation is held during a social evening at Antigua Yacht Club, in Falmouth Harbour, on the 29th December at 1800, and everyone is welcome. The course is approx 18 miles long, comprising a reach out toward Guadeloupe, a run back inshore to Curtain Bluff, and a beat back to the finish line. Only working sails are

This very gentlemanly event really is champagne sailing at its best with Caribbean trade winds and crystal clear turquoise water. If you are anywhere near Antigua this New Year, please come and join us. Richard and Diane Watson who submitted this article have been cruising around the Caribbean on their Oyster 485, Sobriyah, for several years and have made Antigua their winter base. For more details about the Nelson’s Pursuit Race, contact Richard at sobriyah@gmail.com or Stan Pearson at stan@antiguarigging.com

NEW OYSTER REPRESENTATIVE IN RUSSIA Oscar Konyukhov joins the Oyster team as representative for the Oyster range of yachts from the Oyster 46 to the Oyster 885, in the Russian Federation. Oscar can be contacted at oscar.konyukhov@oystermarine.com Tel: +7 495 725 47 03 Mobile: +7 910 477 09 70

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Oyster Regatta – Grenada 11 - 16 April Oyster Private View, London 4 - 7 May Oyster Brokerage Spring Show 13 - 15 May HISWA Amsterdam In-Water Boat Show 30 August - 4 September Cannes International Boat and Yacht Show 7 - 12 September Newport Boat Show 15 - 18 September Southampton International Boat Show 16 - 25 September Monaco Yacht Show 21 - 24 September Oyster Regatta – Palma 27 September - 1 October Genoa Boat Show 1 - 9 October Annapolis Sailboat Show 6 - 10 October Annapolis Owners’ Party Date to be announced Hamburg Boat Show 29 October - 6 November Hamburg Owners’ Dinner 29 October ARC Owners’ Party 17 November ARC Start 20 November

CHRISTMAS IN THE CARIBBEAN Oyster 62, Dorado owner, Terry King-Smith, has a tip for anyone heading for the Caribbean this Christmas on board their yacht – if you have youngsters on the boat there is no better place to be on Christmas Day than Mustique. The island holds a Christmas party at Basil’s Bar for families and those on board visiting yachts are invited to attend. Presents are handed out by Santa Claus much to the children’s delight. There is a fantastic atmosphere in the harbour, and it’s a really great place to be at Christmas time. However you won’t find any sprouts to go with your turkey!

OYSTER REGATTA PALMA

27 SEPTEMBER - 1 OCTOBER 2011 Our 2011 Med Regatta sees the Oyster fleet return to Palma, always a popular destination for our Regattas. As usual the Real Club Nautico will host the event. Entry is open now and an entry form can be downloaded from our website or please contact Jacqui Kotze jacqui.kotze@oystermarine.com

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2012 Oyster Regatta – BVI 2 - 7 April Oyster Olympic Regatta – Cowes 9 - 14 July

2013 Oyster World Rally
 January 2013 - April 2014

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“for our 25th JuBilee reGAttA, we thouGht we should Go somewhere A Bit sPeCiAl ANd were deliGhted to Be ABle to fACilitAte this iN AssoCiAtioN with the yACht CluB CostA smerAldA ANd the yACht CluB Porto rotoNdo, Both of whiCh Are suPerB CluBs, iN fANtAstiC loCAtioNs, thAt hAVe A rePutAtioN for hostiNG hiGh QuAlity eVeNts. oyster owNers liKe to Get toGether, shAre eXPerieNCes ANd eNJoy sAiliNG ANd i Am deliGhted to sAy thAt the feedBACK from the oyster JuBilee reGAttA hAs BeeN eXtremely PositiVe.” dAVid tydemAN, Ceo oyster GrouP

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Left: The Oyster fleet at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Right top: At the helm of Scott Gibson’s Oyster 72, Stravaig

The world famous Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was a fitting venue for the Oyster Jubilee Regatta. The Oyster family is truly international and at this event, 30 stunning examples from the Oyster fleet, from a 30-year-old Oyster 37 to a just-launched Oyster 82, flying the flags of eight different countries, took centre stage in this glamorous location in Porto Cervo.

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In the late 1950s, the young Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Hussayni, was sailing along the Costa Smeralda. He fell in love with the place and created what is now Porto Cervo. Famed Italian architect Michele Busiri Vici, considered the father of Mediterranean architecture, joined Luigi Vietti and Jacque Couelle, to create a luxury resort village for the world’s rich and famous. The Aga Khan’s vision was to create a perfect environment for yachts, and in 1967 founded the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The clubhouse was designed by Peter Marino and overlooks Porto Cervo Marina. It is considered one of the most prestigious and beautifully functional structures of its kind, anywhere in the world. The club is tastefully

complemented by fine materials and displays a vast collection of antiques and artifacts from all over the world. A panoramic poolside terrace was the grand setting for several fantastic parties during the Oyster Jubilee Regatta. Whilst the 24 sumptuous guest suites, each with a private terrace overlooking the harbour, were in high demand throughout the event. Adjoining the club, the Piazza Azzura was the perfect location for competitors to share a coffee before racing and to mingle for a post race drink at the complimentary regatta bar.

Costa Smeralda, welcomed all of the competing yachts, whilst at the poolside cocktail party at YCCS later that evening, the Club’s General Secretary, Jan Pachner, invited owners and their guests to enjoy all the facilities that the prestigious yacht club has to offer. After the cocktail party, a formal dinner was held on the breath-taking poolside terrace. From the elevated view, the Oyster fleet was a magnificent spectacle; 30 stunning yachts gathered together for a memorable rendezvous. Fine wines and sumptuous food was complemented by excellent company; old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships made.

At the skippers’ briefing prior to the start of the event, Edoardo Recchi, Sports Director at the Yacht Club

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lewmAr rACe dAy Champagne start to racing

with azure blue skies and a warm breeze, the Costa smeralda provided sublime conditions for the first day’s racing. A gentle northeasterly breeze built during the day, giving the majestic oyster fleet some spectacular sailing conditions.

The fleet started the first race of the event on schedule, on a stunning 15-mile coastal course, using the granite islands of the la maddalena archipelago as natural buoys. Peter morris on the oyster 72, Cookielicious, had a fantastic day on the water. it is a truly family affair on board. Peter was accompanied by his sons, dan and Ben and daughters-in-law, tracey and sade, whilst Peter’s wife was back at home, looking after their grandchildren.

“we look after Stravaig as well as she looks after us, as sailing her allows us to enjoy the companionship and support of a great team of people and we are always looking forward to our next adventure.” scott Gibson, oyster 72, Stravaig

“we all enjoy these occasions immensely. oyster regattas are a great way to spend time together,” commented Peter. “we don’t just talk about business all day either, it is a great way to get the family together and simply enjoy each other’s company. whilst i have been an oyster owner for many years, my oyster 49 is back in lymington. This is the sixth oyster regatta that we have taken charge of Cookielicious. The arrangement allows us to just enjoy the occasion and relax. skipper michael and crew Charlotte provide an immaculate service and, like ourselves, know that the most important aspect of coming to an oyster regatta is to have a wonderful time on board a stunning yacht. we have had better results at previous events, but it has been a great experience to sail in such an amazing place, on a great yacht with my family.”

Far left: scott Gibson’s oyster 72, Stravig Above top: Alfresco drinks party at hotel romazzino Above bottom: The oyster 72, Cookielicious

in Class 2 and also first in class on corrected time. After racing, the Piazza Azzura was buzzing with excitement, 250 owners and guests had enjoyed a tremendous day on the water. over a few drinks, sailors discussed tactical decisions with a large slice of good humour.

The first day’s racing at the oyster Jubilee regatta was a very special day for Alberto Vignatelli, who was beaming with delight as he crossed the finish line to take first place in Class 1, on his birthday. Alberto was at the helm of his new oyster 72, AlbertOne3 for the entire race, a member of the yacht Club Costa smeralda for over 20 years, Alberto has also recently become a father. “when my son was just eight weeks old, he came sailing on AlbertOne3. she is a beautiful yacht and also a very safe one, i am planning many more adventures for us together, including the Caribbean next year.” from hamburg, Gerd and Annemarie Köhlmoos’ new oyster 54, Sarabande, got off to a winning start. Putting in a polished performance and winning both line honours

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That evening, the festivities continued with a glittering cocktail party and dinner at the hotel romazzino. Nicknamed ‘the white one’, Busiri Vici’s flowing design of whitewashed rounded walls and terraced arches give this stunning hotel its signature style. Considered one of the world’s most beautiful resorts, the décor is dominated by mosaic tiles of blue and green, to mirror the mediterranean sea, and subtle pink and coral coloured marble details imitate the rugged landscape. Cocktails were served on the terrace overlooking the sea and mortorio island, affording dramatic views of the Costa smeralda’s rugged shore, as the moon cast a golden light over the waters. what can only be described as a sumptuous gourmet banquet was served at the beach-side restaurant, after which those with enough energy danced the night away.

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Dolphin Sails Race Day Fun and Frolics

Left: Fun and games aboard the Oyster 56 Temerity Above top: Yacht Club Porto Rotondo’s Commodore, Luigi Carpaneda Above bottom: An overnight stop at Yacht Club Porto Rotondo

A lack of wind caused a delay to racing on Day Two of the Oyster Jubilee Regatta, but the international fleet showed their fun-loving nature during the postponement. None more so than Hailey Lawrence, the Australian crew member’s highly accomplished water-skiing demonstration behind the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean, was a moment to savour.

Three of the Oyster 56s decided to join in the fun, by taking a cooling dip in the ink-blue waters of the Costa Smeralda. After rafting the yachts together, over a dozen sailors from Temerity, Rock Oyster and Spirit of Spring, leapt from their yachts en masse. The fun and games alerted several inquisitive dolphins to the starting area. Quite apt, as the day’s race was sponsored by Dolphin Sails. It was several hours before racing could get underway, a coastal passage race to nearby Porto Rotondo. The Oyster 82, Pandemonium, owned by Stuart Smith and Barry J Cooper Jnr, was the fastest around the course in Class 1. But victory on corrected time went to Trevor Silver’s Oyster 655, Roulette v2. In Class 2, it was the Scottish duo of Bill Munro and Susan Harris that took line honours racing their Oyster 575, Boarding Pass III.

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But with the Oyster 54, Sarabande, hot on their heels, just three seconds behind, the German yacht claimed their second victory on corrected time. Racing in Class 1 was Jonathan and Jane Mould’s Oyster 72, Koluka. One of the most popular models of Oyster at the Regatta, there were no less than six examples of this impressive yacht racing, but all very individual yachts. Koluka is a prime example of the distinctive features that can be afforded to Oyster Owners. Below deck, the beautifully appointed interior offers superyacht luxury but above deck the accent is on high performance. Koluka has a carbon-fibre mast and ‘Park Avenue’ boom complemented by a deck layout, which is more in keeping with a racing yacht. Koluka has one of the sleekest deck and cockpit designs, which combines

with the performance hull to provide a powerful, sturdy yacht, which can cross oceans at speed and in comfort. “I had previously owned a racing yacht and that is primarily why I was attracted to the Oyster 72.” Explained Jonathan Mould. “Our first big adventure was to cross the Atlantic. On board were both my daughters, who had just finished university, and it was a memorable experience for all of us. Jane joined us in the Caribbean and we spent some time cruising Koluka from Antigua and many other tropical islands, as far south as Grenada. This is the first time we have brought the boat to Sardinia and I must say that coming into Porto Rotondo today was reminiscent of our time in the Caribbean, the stunning landscape is very similar to Falmouth Bay in Antigua.” The Yacht Club Porto Rotondo is undoubtedly one of the pearls of the Costa Smeralda, the club is situated in a magnificent natural bay, and is one of the bestknown places in Sardinia. The ‘New England’ style white and azure clubhouse, built entirely of larch wood, was designed by Venetian architect, Sergio Malgaretto. The club was established by the combined efforts of brothers Nicolò and Luigi Donà dalle Rose, who literally created Porto Rotondo, and Luigi was there to welcome all of the Oyster Owners, as they arrived in Porto Rotondo.

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Participants enjoyed the hospitality of the Yacht Club Porto Rotondo during an exclusive cocktail reception, which was attended by all the Club’s officials, including the Club’s Commodore, Luigi Carpaneda and Club President, Luigi Donà dalle Rose. Afterwards, the Oyster family enjoyed a lavish dinner at the club. The grandeur of the local fayre was punctuated by intricate displays of fruit carving and butter sculptures, in the main square outside the yacht club. Kris Bewert, skipper of the Danish Oyster 62, Golden Gate and his Swedish crew, enjoyed the hedonistic atmosphere in Porto Rotondo. “Golden Gate was named after the famous bridge because it is a symbol of the aspirations of the owner. The Oyster 62 is like a bridge to adventure. We plan to sail the yacht over to the Caribbean and we are looking forward to some great times ahead.” During the dinner, Oyster CFO, Chris Hicks presented Commodore Carpaneda with a half model of an Oyster, as a token of thanks for their hospitality. Oyster Owners could not have wished for a warmer welcome on this first visit to Porto Rotondo. They appreciated the atmosphere Porto Rotondo offers; familiar and culturally lively, combined with a simple and happy-go-lucky cheerfulness.

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Pelagos Yachts Race Day Clash of the Titans the deadlock, taking a slender lead and the gun but Pandemonium beat their rivals on corrected time, to win the clash of the titans. After racing, the crews of the two Oyster 82 yachts exchanged good wishes, gentlemen to the last. Pandemonium was the victor but they had both enjoyed an exhilarating day on the water, at the Oyster Jubilee Regatta. After racing, Stuart Smith, co-owner of Pandemonium, was elated about the exciting day on the water, as he shook the hand of every crewmember aboard. “That was a lot of fun today, fantastic racing. The guys were really up for it and did a great job, we got a real taste of what Pandemonium is capable of.” Barry J Cooper Jnr. explains why the duo decided on an Oyster 82. “We wanted a yacht that we could sail all over the world and after a bad experience with another yacht builder, we decided to go with Oyster as they had a lot of experience and reputation in building the type of yacht we wanted. But also because they have excellent after sales service which is tremendously important.”

Day Three of the Oyster Jubilee Regatta in Porto Cervo showed the sheer power of the Oyster range. The 30 yacht fleet was fully tuned up, enjoying a top wind speed of 20 knots on a spectacular course, through wonderous bays and past stunning rocky out-crops, along the Costa Smeralda. It was an incredibly exciting day for all, but the highlight was the titanic battle between the two Oyster 82s at the front of the fleet, Starry Night of the Caribbean and Pandemonium.

Sailing on board an Oyster 82 is an awe-inspiring experience, especially in good breeze, and two of these outstanding yachts showed immense grace and power, as they dueled in their quest for race victory, in at times, very feisty conditions. Pandemonium owned by Stuart Smith and Barry J Cooper Jnr. had a three-hour close encounter with Starry Night of the Caribbean, skippered by Philip Scully. There was a full-on match race between these two leviathans from the start, right to the finish. It was a powerful display with seldom more than a boat length between these two magnificent Oyster 82s. Starry Night of the Caribbean got away well, but a textbook gennaker hoist by Pandemonium gave them an

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early advantage. As the breeze built, these yachts were an impressive sight, locked in battle, heading for the rugged island of Monaci. On a tight reach, but beautifully balanced, Pandemonium and Starry Night of the Caribbean were inseparable. Huge gusts of wind were emanating from a squall offshore, but the two yachts were in full control, as they gybed in perfect choreography. The next mark was Seca di Tre Monti, a rock marking the entrance to the staggeringly beautiful Gulf of Arzechena. The two giants continued their duel, squeezing through the narrow gap between the mainland and Bisce Island. With time-aged granite rocks barely feet away, the two yachts were grappling for the lead. With some excellent boat handling, Starry Night of the Caribbean managed to break

In Class 1, line honours went to Richard Smith’s Oyster 655 Sotto Vento who had their own close duel with Trevor Silver’s Oyster 655 Roulette v2. Sotto Vento crossed the finish line just six seconds ahead of their rivals, winning the day’s race.

“That was a lot of fun today, fantastic racing. The guys were really up for it and did a great job, we got a real taste of what Pandemonium is capable of.” Stuart Smith, Oyster 82, Pandemonium

In Class 2, Gerd and Annemarie Kohlmoos’ Oyster 54, Sarabande took line honours and their third win in a row on corrected time, to post a perfect scoreline over three races. Following the daily after-race refreshment on the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Piazza Azzurra, owners and guests attended a Cocktail Party on the Club’s pool terrace, which enjoys stunning views over Porto Cervo Marina. With no formal dinner that evening, many of the crews elected to have dinner on board for the penultimate night of the regatta, including Oyster 82, Pandemonium. Many of the sailors on board come from Louisiana, including owners, Stuart Smith and Barry J Cooper Jnr. On the menu was Stuart Smith’s Cajun Gumbo, a spicy thick soup of meat and shellfish, which he proudly announced to be his mother’s secret recipe. With Johnny Cash playing on the deck speakers and a few cold beers, the crew of Pandemonium had a great evening, but they were not alone. The crew of Oyster 655, Sotto Vento celebrated their line honours victory with a rousing rendition of the hymn, and latter-day England Rugby anthem, Jerusalem. Perhaps it was Sotto Vento that evoked the wind Gods for the following day?

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Left: Close racing for the Oyster fleet Above top: Stuart Smith and Barry Cooper Jnr’s Oyster 82, Pandemonium Above bottom: The Oyster fleet locked in close battle

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PANtAeNius rACe dAy The mistral’s arrival

By dawn, it became obvious that there would be no further racing for the last day of the oyster Jubilee regatta. The oyster fleet remained dockside at the yacht Club Costa smeralda. The infamous mistral wind had arrived, gusting up to 60 knots and howling along the rugged coastline.

Prehistoric granite bedrock typifies the Costa smeralda and the mistral wind has a lot to do with creating this spectacular and magical location. outside the marina, mother Nature whipped up a confused and foaming sea state with waves of up to six metres, recorded in the infamous Boniface strait. with no racing, the overall results after the previous three days became final and the winners of the oyster Jubilee regatta were announced at a prize-giving held at the yacht Club Costa smeralda, which was presided over by Club director, enrico molé, sports director, edoardo recchi and oyster Ceo david tydeman. trevor silver’s oyster 655 Roulette v2 was declared winner of Class 1 and Gerd and Annemarie Kohlmoos’ oyster 54 Sarabande, the victor in Class 2. Prizes were also awarded to the winners of each day’s race and for the Concours d’elegance. trevor silver, owner of Roulette v2 hails from london and was modest in victory and quick to praise his crew: “obviously we are delighted to win here in Porto Cervo. we have had a bit of luck but i believe that the secret to our success was that the core of this crew has been together for some time and get on extremely well. Although we still have a few debates on board! i am absolutely delighted with the boat, Roulette has been fast since i got her two years ago and we have sailed her a lot, including the Caribbean, the mediterranean and recently the beautiful sailing grounds around Croatia. i plumped for the oyster 655 because it is one of the sportiest models in the oyster range; a fast hull shape and carbon mast gives Roulette a great turn of speed.” Gerd and Annemarie Köhlmoos’ oyster 54 Sarabande comes from hamburg, as do all of the crew and after sailing their new yacht out from the oyster yard at ipswich they cruised extensively in the Baltic sea before bringing her to the mediterranean. Their win in Class 2 was convincing, winning every race on corrected time in a fleet of 15 oysters.

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The Concours d’elegance winners in Class 1 were scott Gibson’s oyster 72, Stravaig and Al Parrish and Paula mott’s oyster 655, Proteus. in Class 2, John marshall’s oyster 56, Rock Oyster and the new oyster 575, On Liberty. Built in 2008, the oyster 72, Stravaig can accommodate up to eight guests including two double cabins with en suite heads, there is a wealth of wood below decks, including the stunning main saloon and an aft cabin, which is truly magnificent. A carbon mast and boom with high-tech sailing systems have been well laid-out to offer performance but also simplicity in design and operation. Clean lines and exceptional attention to detail makes Stravaig a really head-turning yacht that is stylish but also very practical. Stravaig has also been fitted out with entertainment in mind, a state-of-the-art media system is located in the main saloon and each double cabin, allowing guests to view their own films from the main dVd system or listen to music from their iPod. Children, (or adults that are young at heart), can be fully entertained with the latest gaming station and an extensive range of water sport equipment for water skiing, wake boarding, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking. “Stravaig is designed to be relaxing and enjoyable.” Commented scott Gibson. “But that doesn’t mean that the boat is not used in the way that she was intended, we love sailing her. with Stravaig, we have crossed the Atlantic and raced and cruised extensively in the Caribbean and europe. we look after Stravaig as well as she looks after us, as sailing her allows us to enjoy the companionship and support of a great team of people and we are always looking forward to our next adventure.” At the prize-giving, yacht Club Costa smeralda Commodore, riccardo Bonadeo, was full of praise for the oyster family. “This is the 11th regatta staged by the club this year, with boats ranging from maxis and superyachts to 8-metre one-designs, but i can safely say that this has been one of the most entertaining we have hosted. The relaxed, family-oriented atmosphere, combined with the beauty of the oyster boats made for a wonderful week of sailing and socialising.”

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Above top left: The crew of the oyster 72, Stravaig Above top right: trevor silver’s oyster 655, Roulette v2 Above bottom: mariacristina rapisardi, owner of oyster 72, Billy Budd

At the final prize-giving, italian owner, mariacristina rapisardi, was presented with a special achievement award by oyster Group Ceo, david tydeman. for the past five years, mariacristina and her partner, Giovanni Cristofori have been on an epic adventure with their oyster 72, Billy Budd. The yacht was specially designed for exploration. “ we have been all over the world and visited some marvellous places and met the most wonderful people. But it is the high latitudes that i will never forget. so remote and silent but with amazing wildlife and scenery, it is like visiting another planet. it is the most exhilarating place on earth which gives one the intense emotion of total freedom.” following the final prize-giving, owners, crews and the oyster team closed the event in style at a Gala dinner hosted by the yacht Club Costa smeralda. fantastic food and wine, great company and music from the band flown in especially from milan for the event, had owners and crews partying into the small hours. owners of oyster yachts travel the world, and conversation at the Gala dinner centred on their adventures; past, present and future. oyster owners talk about their yachts as having their own persona, because they are just as individual as themselves. The yachts are, in essence, like them, part of the oyster family, and built to fulfil their own personal adventures.

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COn CO u R s D ’ e L eGA n C e Presented by oyster Brokerage

R ACe 2 – s PO ns O ReD BY D O L P hin sA iLs

CLASS 1

CLASS 1

Stravaig

72

scott Gibson

1st

Roulette v2

655

trevor silver

Proteus

655

Al Parrish & Paula mott

2nd

Luna of London

62

roberta martignon

3rd

Pandemonium

82

stuart smith & Barry Cooper Jnr.

4th

Anabasis

655

heinrich schulte

CLASS 2

Rock Oyster

56

John marshall

On Liberty

575

rovinj llP

R ACe 1 – s P O n s O R e D BY L eWM A R CLASS 1

“i am absolutely delighted with the boat, Roulette AlbertOne3

CLASS 2

1st

Sarabande

54

Gerd & Annemarie Köhlmoos

2nd

Boarding Pass III

575

Bill munro & susan harris

3rd

Spirit of Spring

56

stuart and Carolyn Popham

Temerity

4th

56

72

Alberto Vignatelli

has been fast since i got her two years ago and we have sailed her a lot, including the Caribbean, the mediterranean and recently the beautiful

the OYsteR R eGAttA tROP hY

sailing grounds around Croatia. i plumped for the

CLASS 1

Peter & Barbara rogers

oyster 655 because it is one of the sportiest

1st

AlbertOne3

72

Alberto Vignatelli

1st

Roulette v2

655

trevor silver

2nd

Roulette v2

655

trevor silver

2nd

Sotto Vento

655

richard smith

3rd

Sotto Vento

655

richard smith

3rd

AlbertOne3

72

Alberto Vignatelli

4th

Proteus

655

Al Parrish & Paula mott

4th

Pandemonium

82

stuart smith & Barry Cooper Jnr.

CLASS 2

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YCC S P R I Z E

R ACe 3 – s PO ns O ReD BY PeL AG Os YAC hts CLASS 1

1st

Sotto Vento

655

richard smith

2nd

Roulette v2

655

trevor silver

Sarabande

54

Gerd & Annemarie Köhlmoos

3rd

AlbertOne3

72

Alberto Vignatelli

1st

Sarabande

54

Gerd & Annemarie Köhlmoos

2nd

Amanzi

56

mark howard

4th

Pandemonium

82

stuart smith & Barry Cooper Jnr.

2nd

Boarding Pass III

575

Bill munro & susan harris

3rd

Boarding Pass III

575

Bill munro & susan harris

3rd

Temerity

56

Peter & Barbara rogers

4th

Temerity

56

Peter & Barbara rogers

4th

Spirit of Spring

56

stuart & Carolyn Popham

1st

Sarabande

54

Gerd & Annemarie Köhlmoos

2nd

Rock Oyster

56

John marshall

3rd

Solway Mist of Kippford

46

Allan & shirley Cook

4th

Boarding Pass III

575

Bill munro & susan harris

carbon mast gives Roulette a great turn of speed.” trevor silver, oyster 655, Roulette v2

CLASS 2

1st

CLASS 2

models in the oyster range; a fast hull shape and

Photos: tim wright/photoaction.com and mike Jones/waterlinemedia.com

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oy s t e r w o r l d r A l ly 2 0 1 3 –2 0 1 4 following the announcement in the last issue of oyster News of an oyster world rally to celebrate oyster’s 40th anniversary in 2013, we have received a really positive response from owners and non-owners alike. some of those had already been planning to sail around the world, whilst others have seen this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete a circumnavigation with the reassurance of being part of a large fleet of oysters, with the service and support from oyster’s technical team that ensures. As we go to press with this issue, we have 25 oysters confirmed to be on the start line in

the Caribbean in January 2013 and a further 50+ serious enquiries, a really fantastic result, given that we can only take a fleet of 30 yachts and with just over two years to go to the start! we are now working up some specific plans to make this a really memorable and unique oyster event. we will be running a series of seminars over the two-year build up and will help entrants with boat preparation and servicing in the latter part of 2012, just as we do with the Atlantic rally for Cruisers (ArC) each year. The first full briefing is planned to link to our Private View at st Katharine docks in london in late April 2011.

we are holding an informal forum for those who have entered and any other owners who are interested in this event at the london Boat show on sunday 9 January, following our owners’ dinner the evening before. The forum will run from 1,100 to 1,300 and it is hoped this will be an opportunity to meet owners who have already completed a circumnavigation, run through the routing options and planning requirements and talk to the team at oyster about how we expect to manage the event. if you would like to attend, please contact Jacqui Kotze at jacqui.kotze@oystermarine.com

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THe th 25 ArC 18 oyster s JoiN this trANsAtlANtiC PArty

There was both an air of celebration and excitement in las Palmas in November when a record fleet of 233 yachts set out from Gran Canaria at the start of the 25th Atlantic rally for Cruisers (ArC). This annual migration from european waters to the warmer climes of the Caribbean also attracted 18 oysters.

By BArry PiCKthAll

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“All 18 Oyster owners were to be congratulated on their high standard of readiness. For this, thanks in part goes to Eddie Scougall and his Oyster Service Team who worked tirelessly to ensure that each yacht set out in fine fettle.”

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For some crews, including Richard Smith a veteran of the event, with four ARC’s to his credit, and his friends aboard his Oyster 655 Sotto Vento, this was another bite of the cherry, having enjoying the last event so much, when they finished 5th in class. A little more nervous was Alan Brook and his family who were using the ARC as a first stage in an ambitious round the world cruise aboard their new Oyster 56 Sulana. Alan, who retired as MD of Oyster Marine earlier in the year after over 30 years service with the company, has headed up the Oyster support team at this event for more years than he cares to remember, but this was to be his first time taking part. “We’ve been here too long and we are really keen to get going” he said during the last week, having spent much of his time sewing leather patches on anything likely to chafe, including he said, his underwear! Statistics show he has picked the right boat. During the past ten years, some 44 Oyster 56s have taken part and head the list of the most popular cruising yachts in the ARC – five more than the Beneteau 50, eight more than the First 47.7 and 17 more than the Amel Super Maramu. In 2009, these popular 56ft Rob Humphrey designs took the first four places in class and as David Tydeman said to Brook and Don Smyth, the owner of Shaya Moya, the other Oyster 56 in this 25th event in his welcome speech at the Oyster cocktail party: “So there’s no pressure then!”

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All 18 Oyster owners were to be congratulated on their high standard of readiness. For this, thanks in part goes to Eddie Scougall and his Oyster Service Team who worked tirelessly to ensure that each yacht set out in fine fettle. “They’ve been fantastic,” said John Noble, the American owner of the new Oyster 655 Neki, who was looking to this voyage as a break from trouble shooting man-made and natural disasters like the Haiti earthquake and BP offshore oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico! If there were a Concours d’Elegance prize, then my vote would go to the crew of Axel Moorkens Oyster 575 Endless One. Not only were they ready to sail a full two days before the start, but the crew had fully protected all the yacht’s beautiful furnishings right down to laying lino across all the cabin soles. For John Noble and his family, this was the start to a great adventure. Having taken delivery of Neki – Hindu for nobility – the previous month, he and his family enjoyed a shake-down cruise first to the Channel Islands and then to Cascais, before leaving the yacht to be delivered to Las Palmas for the ARC. Once across the Atlantic, he and his family intend to take a Christmas cruise around the Windward Islands before heading down to the Grenadines to take part in the Oyster Caribbean Regatta in April.

Alan Brook and his wife Sue have similar plans with their new Oyster 56 Sulana. “She’s packed to the gunwales with everything I can think of that we could need on a round the world cruise.” He said. The Brooks certainly weren’t going to go dry, for bottles of wine filled every spare nook and cranny. “When it came to packing up the house, I saw my wine cellar and decided ‘I’m not leaving all that for the house sitters to drink’ and brought it all with us.” Alan laughed.

now retired, were also in Las Palmas to join the 25th anniversary celebrations and reminisce about the past.

marina concept with their shops, restaurants and hotels, but now the facilities in St Lucia are as good as anywhere.”

“25 years ago, Las Palmas was a dirty commercial port, very different to what it is now. Then, there were no shops and restaurants, or even a marina, and cleaners would sweep up the syringes each morning left there by drug addicts the night before. But we still attracted 204 entries including a large number of Oyster owners.

Brook can remember the first ARC, 25 years ago when Oyster encouraged owners to embrace the event concept drawn up by former journalist Jimmy Cornell. Jimmy and his wife Gwenda,

Then, the race went to Barbados because Rodney Bay in St Lucia was just a mosquitoridden undeveloped inlet. It took the Caribbean quite some time to appreciate the European

During these 25 years, Jimmy has seen many changes, not least in the size and comfort levels of Oyster yachts, which remain the most popular class. “The boats are bigger, faster and better equipped, but the nature of the event has not changed because the challenge of crossing an ocean remains just the same. We simply provide the canvas for crews to paint their own adventure.” He says.

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“The boats are bigger, faster and better equipped, but the nature of the event has not changed because the challenge of crossing an ocean remains just the same.” Jimmy Cornell, ARC Founder

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25 years on, the event could not have been better organised. After being entertained to typical Canaries fare and a firework display at the Real Club Nautico, even the early morning rain did not dampen spirits. A team of divers stood by on VHF Channel 11 ready to free anchors, and Eddie Scougall and his crew helped throw off the lines of their Oyster charges as a marching steel band serenaded the crews out of the harbour. The sun finally broke through moments before the start gun fired and this enormous fleet ran away under spinnakers.

winds, overcast skies and occasional rain showers, or go south and hope the forecast of light, fickle downwind conditions turns out to be false?” Alan Brook was asking himself at the start. My own guess is that most will have plumped for the lesser of two evils. Whatever their decision the comradeship within the 18-strong Oyster fleet was set to continue with crews keeping in daily contact with each other on the radio and internet during the 2,700 mile crossing to Rodney Bay.

The unseasonable weather posed a few question marks. “Do we head north and endure steady head

See www.worldcruising.com/arc for daily updates and final results

Oyster entrants Sestina Rainmaker

Michael Wilcznski John Salmon

Oyster Heritage Oyster 395 Lightwave

Sulana

Alan & Sue Brook

Oyster 56

Shaya Moya

Don Smyth

Oyster 56

On Liberty

Rovinj LLP

Oyster 575

James Blazeby

Oyster 45

Endless One Axel Moorkens

Oyster 575

NaughtyNes David Edwards

Oyster 46

Can Do Too

Mike Freeman

Oyster 575

Lady of Avalon

Deborah & Guy Tolson

Oyster 46HP

Golden Gate

Krister Bewwert

Oyster 62

Siri Ros

Elisabeth Rowntree

Oyster 485

Neki

John Noble

Oyster 655

Dragonfly

Andreas Zimmermann

Oyster 53

Sotto Vento

Richard Smith

Oyster 655

Daena

Maciej Slusarek

Oyster 655

Jac Janssen

Oyster 54

Apollonia

Anthony Auger

Oyster 70

Apparition

Surya

At the end of July 2011, Scots born adventurer, Jock Wishart, will lead a crew of six people in an attempt to become the first to ‘Row to the Pole’, which is being sponsored by Old Pulteney, who are helping Jock in his attempt ‘to raise a glass of Malt’ at the North Pole and more seriously to highlight the already dramatic effect of climate change on the ice around the Polar Regions. This is an arduous and gruelling undertaking, which if successful will be one of the last truly global firsts and possibly the greatest ocean row ever. There is a firm commitment from Terrestrial television to attempt to show this feat live (in itself quite a challenge). Jock Wishart has established an international reputation as a leading adventurer and sportsman. Within the space of 18 months alone, he rowed across the Atlantic in his Mount Gay Rum-sponsored rowing boat, led the crew which established 15 new world speed records for powered circumnavigation in the Cable and Wireless Adventurer and captained the team that broke the London-Paris rowing record in the CNA Maritime Challenge. He is the only man ever to have walked unsupported to a Pole and rowed across an ocean.


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Born in Dumfries, Scotland and educated at Dumfries Academy and Durham University, Jock is one of Britain’s leading ‘Corinthians’. He has represented his country at rowing and yachting and is a veteran of the 1980 America’s Cup, as well as being a former European Dragon Boat Racing Champion. A British University championship medal winner in rowing, sprint canoeing and weightlifting, he was Project Leader of the team that broke the Round Britain powerboat record in 1989. His lifetime interest in polar exploration led to him honing his pioneering spirit as a member of the first team to walk unsupported to the Geomagnetic North Pole in 1992.

David Kidwell owner of the Oyster 435, Twice Eleven, is also another old rowing mate with his wife Tamsin being a former President of Durham University Women’s Boat Club. David and I have shared many rowing experiences and we were also founder members of the Kingston Royals Dragon Boat Racing Club competing successfully in many international regattas over the years.

Jock is also passionate about Oyster yachts and the people who sail them and the rowing connection features in a big way. “It all came about some years ago when an old Durham University rowing friend, Robert Gillespie, owner of the Oyster 82 Sarita asked me to come racing with him in Palma and so a long and happy relationship with Oysters began. A couple of years later we competed in Oyster’s BVI Regatta with a crew of younger Durham Alumni who came out on condition they all contributed to the purchase of a fleet of Firefly dinghies for the university sailing club. This was an event, which Sarita subsequently won and a generous contribution followed for the purchase of the six dinghies, which have already enabled the Durham girls team to reach the finals in the last two British University Sailing Championships. The Rowing/Durham/Oyster connection goes even further with another former rowing partner from Durham, Tom Bentley, who owned the Oyster 53, Second Wind. Tom hosted a party of Durham Alumni for Oyster’s 2005 Trafalgar Regatta in Cadiz, surely one of the greatest Oyster regattas we have all been privileged to attend.

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To illustrate that Oyster owners are always up for a challenge, Finn Jari Ovaskainen former owner of the Oyster 56, Ulrika, approached me at Oyster’s 2009 Palma regatta and is now entering a Finnish team ‘Santa Claus’ to compete in the biennial Polar Race I organise in April 2011. For more information about that see: www.polar-race.com It all goes to prove what interesting and successful people Oyster owners are. Great people, great boats, great friends.

Jock Wishart Follow Jock’s Row to the Pole Challenge at: www.rowtothepole.com

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“why do you wANt to leAVe the CAriBBeAN?” wAs the QuestioN my wife ANd dAuGhters AsKed wheN i teNtAtiVely floAted my PlAN to sAil our oyster 45, TABOO, to BrAZil. “so we CAN All Go to the rio CArNiVAl” wAs my rePly.

After two transatlantic crossings and nearly eight years in the ‘windies’, we had enjoyed some great sailing and holidays. The list of our most memorable occasions is extensive, but highlights have to include: over 500 nights at anchor – often by beaches and bays inaccessible from the land; two green flashes and far too many rum punches; some rough weather including 59 knots in tropical storm olga, which Taboo handled comfortably; taking part in all the oyster regattas in Antigua and the BVi, and coming 6th place overall in one of them; winning the Concours d’elegance, and receiving a special ‘spirit of the regatta’ prize in 2009.

By PAul mAy, oyster 45 TABOO

once we had made the decision to head to rio, Taboo, together with my sailing friends martin, Graham, tim, Karen and roger, left Antigua on tuesday 5th January 2010 as the sun was close to setting. we headed south on port tack, and remained on that tack for the next 950 miles. we passed south of st lucia at dawn on the 7th January and watched the Pitons disappear astern – this was to be our last sight of the Caribbean and any land for two weeks.

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long, regal ocean swells of 2 to 3 metres became the norm, interspersed with a mixed bag of smaller waves from various easterly directions. The wind was predominantly 25 to 30 knots from north of east interspersed, on a regular basis, by squalls with gusts of 40 to 50 knots. Taboo performed comfortably, as usual, and kept up speeds of 7 to 11 knots. we treated ourselves to dVd film nights in the cockpit on several dry evenings. The highlight for me was ‘The boat that rocked’! most mornings we breakfasted on fresh baked bread, rolls or pancakes. even in squalls and sailing closehauled through lively seas, the galley was in constant use. on most days throughout the journey, we sent entries and photos via our satellite phone and email to our blog, which was run by my daughter, louise, up until we reached recife when louise joined the Taboo crew. After that, my PA marcella, kindly kept the blog up to date. The responses from our blog visitors were a great source of humour and support. Bill lewis, a sailing friend and fellow oyster owner, emailed us two or three grib weather files each day to assist our understanding of what mother Nature had in store for us. As usual on a long passage, food became the major topic of conversation with an increasingly competitive cooking environment. freshly caught fish gave us the opportunity to try new recipes including sushi. Throughout the journey, we followed the tried and trusted ‘on passage’ alcohol policy of a beer at happy hour and one glass of wine with dinner.

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dolphins visited us on a regular basis, often in groups of up to 30 or more. one pod of insomniacs even frolicked around us in the dark. oil rigs, supply vessels, fishing boats and ‘stick and flag’ markers began to appear in our path as we closed the coast towards fortaleza. on wednesday 20th January, we again tacked on starboard after a mere 500 miles or so on port tack, we were now some 150 miles from our landfall in Brazil. Along the coast, electric storms became a feature of most nights, with sheet and fork lightning illuminating the sea all around us. on Thursday 21st January, we docked stern-to at the fortaleza ‘marina’ and endured a tedious five hours of form filling at three different official offices. once that task had been completed, believe it or not after leaving the Caribbean 3,000 miles to the North, we went to a night-time beach concert... of reggae music. Bob marley’s original wailers were playing and so we danced almost until dawn to the best Caribbean music in Brazil. slightly hungover the next day, we re-fuelled Taboo, in temperatures of nearly 30ºC, via a bowser towed by a 1930’s ford pickup truck to the nearest petrol station. we left fortaleza for recife knowing we were to encounter a stiff head wind and an adverse current of 1 to 2 knots.

“We treated ourselves to DVD film nights in the cockpit on several dry evenings. The highlight for me was ‘The boat that rocked’!”

our watch system worked well, with three watches of two crew doing three hours per watch overnight. This gave everyone the opportunity of a good long night’s sleep even during squalls. At night-time we often found it useful to sail with the storm jib, hoisted on the detachable inner forestay, and a partly reefed genoa. As a major squall approached, we could ‘de-cutter’ by furling away the genoa (and taking a reef in on the main). our speed and direction were kept sure and steady with this routine, and the off-watch more able to sleep undisturbed. on saturday the 16th January, we had a significant wind-shift, which caused us to come off of the port tack we had been on for 1,036 nautical miles! we also changed the ‘ship’s time’ to only three hours behind the uK. At 2am on sunday 17th January we crossed the equator and at breakfast a modest toast was proffered to Neptune. despite a full professional inspection of the rig in Antigua, we lost our baby stay with a ‘ping’ and a temporary solution with a couple of blocks and a spare halyard was rigged swiftly and safely. oyster After sales quickly and helpfully despatched a replacement via one of our crew flying from the uK to join us at recife where it was promptly fitted.

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After three days of determined motor sailing, we arrived at recife at night. we anchored away from the main quayside and waited until dawn before docking at the Cabanga yacht Club marina, which is only accessible at or near to high tide. having said goodbye to our crew, roger, in fortaleza, we now had to bid farewell to martin and Graham. fresh new crew had been waiting for us in recife for a few days (my eldest daughter louise, her friend Jamie, and old Taboo hands mark and Geoffrey). we all set about prepping Taboo, helping with repairs and provisioning. on friday 29th of January, we re-fuelled, direct from a fuel tanker (that usually replenishes petrol stations), and set off on high tide to salvador, our next destination, some 260 miles south.

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Happy Hour arrived as we emerged in the late afternoon sunshine from Recife harbour. And then, succulent steak sandwiches, salad and a glass of Merlot set us up for the night watch. A full moon with steady winds overnight of 18-22 knots capped off a fabulous first day for the new crew. Dawn on the morning of Monday 1st February saw us entering the magnificent bay on which the city of Salvador sits on the northern shore. The bay could provide a full season’s sailing on its own, but we were on a tight deadline and limited our exploration to walking the streets, squares and churches of the city that had once been the capital of Brazil.

“After nearly 5,000 miles, Taboo had brought us safely to Rio, ready to explore the city and see the famous Rio Carnival, which was stunning.”

While we were ashore, the national cocktail, the Caipirinha, was sampled most evenings. Made with a shot or two of Cachaça, lime wedges and some sugar over ice, the drink lived up to its name as ‘fire water’! Interestingly, we learnt that during Brazil’s discovery, the explorers would use the Cachaça spirit as fuel for their lamps when their lamp oil ran out – strong stuff. We departed Salvador for Buzios, a popular cruise ship destination about 100 miles East of Rio de Janeiro. Anchored near the local yacht club, we watched the cruise ships ferrying their guests to and fro, sometimes in short, choppy seas. On one day four ships were at anchor to seaward of us. The town and its beaches, similar to a Greek island in geography and hospitality are delightful places to visit on a non-cruise ship day. On the 8th February, we continued to Rio where we arrived mid-morning the following day and were met by my wife Diane and our younger daughter Lizzy. The Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro anchorage, between the statue of Christ and the Sugar Loaf, became our base. After nearly 5,000 miles, Taboo had brought us safely to Rio, ready to explore the city and see the famous Rio Carnival, which was stunning. Over 25,000 dancers and infectious samba rhythms – a really great experience.

Photos: Taboo Crew

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The New Oyster 885 DESIGNED By ROB HUMPHREYS

The deck mock-up for the fantastic new Oyster 885 arrived in November and it gave us the first opportunity to touch and feel what this exciting yacht will be like. By David Tydeman

We learnt a lot in the development of the Oyster Superyacht tooling with RMK Marine in Turkey – which is world class, and have made a decision to move away from the hand-built plugs we’ve previously used across the rest of the Oyster deck saloon range. The Oyster 885 mould plugs are being CNC-cut on 5-axis machines, and the deck mock-up in the photos is a 5-axis cut polystyrene simple version. This allows us to tweak the design and make some minor changes in full scale.

The clean lines of the deck saloon structure run stylishly into the cockpit surrounds and helm consoles. Placing the winches aft keeps the cockpit free of sheets and provides a great space for relaxing underway. We’ve kept the fore and aft deck areas as free from clutter as we can to maximize sunbathing and leisure space and she’ll certainly turn some heads once on the water. The VPPs emphasize the performance possibilities and she’ll be nearly 10% faster upwind than the Oyster 82

in 15 knots of wind and will eat up the miles on those long passages. We’re excited about the benefits of the twin rudders, noting that the centreboard twin rudder version we’ve already completed on the Oyster 82, points higher and is quicker upwind than the standard 82. We’ve designed the interior around five modules as below to facilitate some personalisation and the whole yacht and engineering is set out to a high specification. Everything is being modelled in our Catia 3D software so we can maximize

the use of every cubic inch below decks. At just over 300 cubic metres interior volume, the 885 will have nearly three times the space of an Oyster 575 and more than twice the volume of the Oyster 655! The first hull moulding is expected at SYS for fit-out starting in early Summer 2011 and Oyster 885-01 will be on show at the Southampton Boat Show in 2012.

Interior features: master suite and two aft guest cabins can • Thbeefitted with additional pullman berths and/or double berths much as the Oyster 82 does now.

area can either have a crew mess • Thor ebecrew reconfigured to provide two heads or a larger galley.

will be two choices of saloon layout though our preferred recessed deck • Thwithereeither • Even a single or split-level configuration. option provides nearly four cubic metres more stowage space than the Oyster 82, we’ll be e space for the third guest cabin, just • Thforward able to offer a full transom door and flush aft of the saloon, can be arranged as a snug or library/office area.

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deck option to create an even larger lazarette or ‘toy store’ if required.

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A holiday that doesn't make you want to read a book. It makes you want to write one.

OYSTER REGATTA – GRENADA 11-16 April 2011

In a change to our usual Caribbean Regatta locations of Antigua and the British Virgin Islands, April 2011 will see the Oyster Regatta fleet heading south for the celebrated ‘spice island’ of the Caribbean, hailed as one of the most scenic and friendly islands in the West Indies. This small nation actually consists of three islands: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. Grenada is by far the largest of the three islands, which are located in the Eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward Islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela. To the north lie St Vincent and the Grenadines; to the south Trinidad and Tobago.

How the story develops is entirely up to you. The thrill of sailing in the world’s most beautiful cruising grounds? Sharing the discovery of a deserted palm-fringed island with your family or friends? Or spending a lazy day at anchor, lost in your own thoughts? However you look at it, an Oyster Charter is truly inspiring. Whether you are an expert yachtsman or complete novice, your dedicated crew will ensure your holiday is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience on board one of the most luxuriously appointed cruising yachts afloat. Which is probably why people say the time spent on their Oyster Charter will go down as one of the most exciting chapters of their lives. Please call +1 401 846 7400, email molly.marston@oystermarine.com or visit us online. SAIL | BROKERAGE | CHARTER | REFIT

Grenada is a rolling, mountainous island, covered with fragrant spice trees and rare tropical flowers. Bordered by stunning beaches, and dotted with picturesque towns, this verdant island has long been a major supplier of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa. The seductive scent drifts through the colourful Saturday markets and Grenada's dense forests. In the interior of this volcanic island are cascading rivers, waterfalls and lush rain forests. The island is ringed with miles of sugar-fine white sand beaches and coral reefs, including the world famous Grand Anse Beach, which stretches for two miles on the edge of the capital, St. George's, widely held to be the loveliest city in the Caribbean. Its horseshoeshaped harbour is surrounded by a rainbow of dockside warehouses and the red-tiled roofs of traditional shops and homes. The Oyster Regatta will be hosted by the new Camper & Nicholson’s, Port Louis Marina, where owners can look forward to a very warm welcome.

General Manager of Port Louis Marina Glynn Thomas commented “I am delighted the Oyster Regatta will be held in Port Louis. It will be a wonderful spectacle to see these beautiful yachts berthed in Port Louis Marina. I am also delighted with the support received from the Government and other areas of the yachting industry for the Oyster Regatta. Grenada is a fantastic venue for this event, and those taking part are sure to enjoy some great sailing on the water and some uniquely Grenadian hospitality ashore.” If you are going to be in the Caribbean next spring, we hope you will come and join us for some fun racing, great parties and beach barbecues. We hope to plan an event, that will showcase the best that Grenada has to offer including an opportunity to try your hand at some local Grenadian workboat sailing, trips into the rain forest and visits to the nutmeg and cocoa processing plants, not to mention the local rum distilleries! Entries are coming in fast so if you want to join in and haven’t entered yet, please do so as soon as possible so we can ensure we have a berth reserved for you. A provisional programme and entry form can be downloaded from our website. For more details or to enter the Grenada Regatta please contact Jacqui Kotze email: jacqui.kotze@oystermarine.com

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A perfect yacht must essentially be perfectly fitted to its owner – like clothes to the wearer. even more so, when the owner happens to come from the world of fashion and design itself. This is the case with the new oyster 72, AlbertOne3, owned by Alberto Vignatelli, patron of Club house italia, producer and distributor of well-known brand names such as fendi Casa, Kenzo maison and others.

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Alberto Vignatelli, italian entrepreneur of great charisma and strong personality, has always had a love of beauty in all its forms – and a passion for the sea and sailing. Born into a family of furniture manufacturers, he founded the company in the early 1970s, and had a head start in acquiring and honing his skills and techniques in furniture making, upholstery and raw materials. his tireless energy and drive, vision, enthusiasm, and flair for new ideas are all very much part of the man himself and his inimitable style. however, with so many talented competitors in a country renowned for quality and design, he needed to find something to set him apart from his peers. his intuition led him to develop what have become distinctive collections of furniture

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bearing well-known fashion hallmarks. Thus with fendi, the ensuing success not only made Club house italia synonymous with impeccable standards, but resulted in invitations from many other important fashion houses. This led Vignatelli to bring a diverse range of brands all under one roof, where each collection could display its own personality through dedicated production processes, characteristic features, surfaces, style and staff, but avoiding at the same time any possible overlapping. to showcase all these brands in key worldwide locations, Vignatelli developed a retail arm, luxury living, which is becoming widely known as synonymous for quality, glamour and skilled craftsmanship.

for Alberto, it was love at first sight with oyster: “As soon as i boarded an oyster the very first time, how she was built and equipped told me immediately that here was the boat for me and my family, ensuring us all the maximum guarantee of safety at sea. i knew the italian shipbuilders were top of the class for beautiful outlines and for speed, but i opted for a more traditional vessel that perfectly matched my requirements.”

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“Considering how my business philosophy and that of oyster happily coincide, we have in fact produced a catalogue”, says Vignatelli. “it gives our complete range of high-class yacht decor for people looking for that touch of elegance, which distinguishes our production, without in any way compromising the features of safety and seaworthiness typical of an oyster”.

luxury living yacht division (the contract division of Club house italia) has worked in close collaboration with the oyster yard to produce this oyster 72. with decor entirely by fendi Casa, it has seen an important partnership between two world leaders in their respective fields; a partnership other oyster owners might well emulate when customizing their own craft.

“As soon as i boarded an oyster the very first time, how she was built and equipped told me immediately that here was the boat for me and my family.”

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“to be at the helm is one of the greatest thrills for me. it takes me back to when i used to go horse riding. in fact, there is a strong similarity between what you feel when you mount a horse and being at the tiller.”

Vignatelli’s undisputed passion for yachting and the pure enjoyment of escaping to sea with his family and friends, has led to the creation of the luxury living yacht division, which, apart from oyster, boasts other important partnerships resulting in fine superyachts such as a Princess 72, a Pershing 115, a CrN 28m and a Benetti 59m. Both above and below decks on AlbertOne3, fendi Casa is the undisputed character wherever you look – showing how materials of the highest quality are handled with expert craftsmanship and care. shades of ivory, mother-of-pearl and beige enrich the yacht with refined detail. from the living quarters right through to the bedrooms and decks – all are stamped with fendi Casa. The fendi outdoor collection, too, with its soft towelling and white and navy-blue water

resistant cashmere, adorns the outside leisure areas to the same degree of luxurious comfort. likewise, the distinctive chinaware bearing the luxury living hallmark, brings to the table that same ubiquitous sense of class. however, refined does not mean slow and heavy as AlbertOne3 showed at her debut, no less. At the first italian oyster regatta held in Porto Cervo in september, for example, she won the yCCs trophy. They all celebrated with such a fantastic party and Vignatelli felt particularly proud to have won on home ground in Porto Cervo at the club where he has been a member for many years. “to be at the helm is one of the greatest thrills for me. it takes me back to when i used to go horse riding. in fact, there is a strong similarity between what you feel when you mount a horse

and being at the tiller. when you feel the wave throbbing beneath you, you just have to follow on – as you do when you break into a gallop”. his many business engagements only allow two weeks’ holiday on board a year, but for Vignatelli sailing is vital. “i get my best ideas on board. At sea i can be at one with myself, with nature, with God. The sea helps us to understand where we have come from and where we are heading. At night when all is pitch black, with no other lights except the stars, it is then that i begin to ponder and understand many things – and that whoever created this marvellous world must be truly great. And out there, i somehow feel i can talk to him. And don’t let’s forget that sailing has terrific value as a character-builder. when sailing you

learn to measure yourself against one of the most implacable elements and, i assure you, the sea is not something to be trifled with. you have to be tenacious, decided, have character and passion. it is for this reason, i think, that yachtsmen are rarely ‘bad apples’, but, in my experience, honest, sincere and above all real.” since the launch of their oyster 72, Vignatelli and his wife olga have already covered 2,500 miles to bring AlbertOne3 from the uK to italy. “during the trip we had to face winds of over 40 knots! it is a fantastic boat – one of the few you could safely go all round the world in. The idea is, who knows, in future to stay in the mediterranean in summer and then winter in the Caribbean”.

“it is a fantastic boat – one of the few you could safely go all round the world in.”

Fair wind AlbertOne 3!

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oyst e r s u P e ryAC h t u P d At e standing on the protective covers over the new teak planking on the aft deck of oyster 100-01, i looked forward to watch the amazing hydraulically operated anchor launching system being tested way up front and tried to imagine being at the helm of this yacht next year. The size and technically advanced nature of these new yachts is awe-inspiring.

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Just outside the fit-out shed doors i could see the huge 45 metre-long wooden case in which the new carbon mast lay ready to fit to this first oyster 100. turning around 180 degrees, i watched the deck being fitted to 100-02 in fit-out line astern of 100-01 and just to the left, the first oyster 125 sits higher on her cradle almost dwarfing 100-02.

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oyster 100-01 will be sailing in the dubois Cup and loro Piana regatta in sardinia in June 2011 and i am really looking forward to showing the sailing press and public just how good these new oyster superyachts are. They will be a great credit to the dubois and oyster design teams and to the careful work by rmK. Nazenin V, the 52-metre sparkman and stephens yacht built for the founder

of the rmK shipyard, rahmi Koç, has received accolades around the world since she was shown at the monaco yacht show in september. she demonstrates the quality we will produce from this joint venture between oyster and rmK marine.

Around the yard intensive effort is visible everywhere, and in the few weeks since my last visit, four 35-45 metre motor yachts have arrived at rmK for winter refits, together with a one-year-old lagoon 62 catamaran having some upgrades to her electronics! in addition, despite the very low levels of activity around the other 60 or so commercial shipyards in the bay, the commercial shipyard side of the rmK yard has four 65m search and rescue vessels under construction for the turkish coastguard – this is an amazing place led by enterprising people and worth a visit by any oyster owner. tucked away in the corner of the yard is an old steel paddle steamer, which rmK intends to restore at some point, adding to rahmi Koç's amazing collection of vessels. he has followed the trend of his father and set up a very eclectic transport museum in downtown istanbul, which, amongst thousands of items, features a london double-decker bus and a dakota, and will soon have the restored railway carriage used by Kaiser willhelm in the early 1900s to visit turkey in the diplomatic arrangements happening at that time. The carriage is being restored by rahmi bey’s special team at his nearby museum workshops and i enjoyed a tour around the

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warehouses and facilities. The manager talked me through how the workshops cover all the different skills needed to do anything required by the patron – and this currently varies from restoring a uK built 50-year old lifeboat, a 30-year old riva powerboat, making replicas of historic lamp posts, precision restoration of oil paintings and valuable artwork, to repairing a 1930s hollywood movie camera! tucked away in one corner is the original eye surgery equipment from the specialist hospital his father philanthropically set up over 50 years ago and much of the workshop's output decorates the lobbies of Koç Group operational offices and the hotels it owns across turkey. having seen all of this we realised it was the perfect home for a 1918 52ft, unique fife motor yacht we have been trying to find a buyer for through sys. Needing probably £750,000 spent on her, Falka is an historic vessel and has sadly been sitting under a plastic cover in southampton for several years. i was delighted to find that rahmi bey was enthusiastic about restoring her and it has been a great pleasure to donate the vessel to his museum. she’ll arrive in the museum workshops in istanbul before Christmas and we’ll watch her two-year restoration with interest.

Choosing to build the oyster superyachts in partnership with the Koç Group has certainly led to some very diverse experiences! we plan to base 100-01 in a marina near the yard during the winter months, before handing over to her new owner in spring 2011. This will allow us a sensible amount of time for sailing trials, thorough commissioning and testing of every item of equipment on the yacht and also time for the international yachting press to spend time on board, many of whom have already visited the yard throughout the build process. i look forward to reporting on her sail trials in the next oyster News. oyster owners who would like to visit rmK and see the oyster superyachts in build are welcome to do so – please contact liz whitman for details or to make an appointment liz.whitman@oystermarine.com

Far left: The hull of the impressive oyster 125 moves into the fit-out facility at rmK Above left: Falka, the 1918 fife motor yacht Above right: rmK restoration projects Bottom: exhibits at the rahmi m Koç museum

the rAhmi m KoÇ museum The museum is located on the shore of the Golden horn and close to the main motorways that run through and around istanbul. Just a few minutes from the old City, it can easily be incorporated into a day's sightseeing programme and is well worth including in your next visit to istanbul. for details about visiting the rahmi m Koç museum please visit: www.rmk-museum.org.tr or email: info@rmk-museum.org.tr

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Miss Tippy The Norton family of five explore the south Pacific as part of their circumnavigation with the Blue water rally on board their oyster 56, Miss Tippy.

we had a wonderful time in the marquesas, starting at the island of Nuku hiva and then visiting ua Poa and the famous Bay of Virgins in fatu hiva. we hiked up to cascading waterfalls, visited old ceremonial sites where cannibalism used to be practised and met many friendly locals. in fatu hiva we bartered clothes and toys in exchange for woodcarvings, tapa (ornately decorated cloth made from bark) and fruit plucked from gardens. The Polynesians have a strict protocol that gifts must be reciprocated and even small gifts for children provoked some gift in return. Things that are readily available for us at home are highly valued in these remote islands. one lady insisted on giving us an expensive wooden carving in exchange for a football for her son and another gave us tapas in exchange for small pieces of rope and half a bottle of perfume.

By Brian and sheila Norton, oyster 56, Miss Tippy

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After the marquesas we continued with the Blue water rally to visit various island groups stretched across the south Pacific to Australia. These included the tuamotos and society islands in french Polynesia and the Cook islands, Niue, tonga, fiji and Vanuatu. each group, and indeed each island, has distinct characteristics and it feels that we have really only scratched the surface by visiting a sample of islands in each archipelago.

“The family we had met in huahine had told us there were two types of boat in fiji. first: those that had hit a reef, and second: those that were about to!” The tuamotos, were the first group. Known also as the ‘dangerous’ isles the archipelago comprises atolls, which are only as high as the tallest palm tree. Coral reefs wrap around large lagoons. infrequent passages through the fringing reefs can be hazardous since they generally have an outgoing current due to the continuous inflow of water from the Pacific over the reefs. we were advised to approach the islands by day and have lookouts in the rigging to spot uncharted reefs! The population of each island varies enormously, although all of the islands were remote and unsophisticated by western standards. Crystal clear, turquoise seas in the lagoons and outside the passes provided fantastic diving and an ideal environment for many black pearl farms.

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we visited one farm and were fascinated to be shown the various steps in the process from seeding to harvesting of these glossy jewels. we swam and dived with many species of fish including a multitude of sharks with which the children have become quite comfortable now. on one memorable occasion Annie and i even managed to snorkel with a pod of dolphins outside the lagoon. After the simplicity of the ‘dangerous isles’ it was a relatively short hop of a couple of hundred miles to the sophistication of tahiti and the beginning of the society islands. we took a break from the rally here and went to easter island. while it is possible to sail to the island, the few anchorages can be uncomfortable and hazardous so we opted to fly. easter island is a truly mystical place. we toured the island extensively, visiting volcanoes and the sites of many statues during our stay. having been almost wiped out by disease and internal fighting, the rapa Nui people are fiercely proud of their heritage and are happy to share their island with visitors. After rejoining the rally we had a leisurely cruise around the beautiful society islands including moorea, huahine, raiatea, tahaa and the famous Bora Bora. These are lush islands set amidst azure lagoons and deep blue seas. The backdrops to anchorages were often dramatic, within deep bays such as Cooks Bay in moorea or set against majestic volcanic peaks that characterize islands such as Bora Bora. The relaxation was very welcome after the major passages of the previous six months. we enjoyed some spectacular diving and swam with stingrays

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in moorea. in tahaa we visited a turtle sanctuary with some friends and were able to take a rescued turtle away with us to release back into the lagoon. finally we found a perfect little hideaway on a beach at the south of huahine and spent a week there, frolicking in the sea with another cruising family from Australia. As Bora Bora faded over the horizon we said ‘Au revoir’ to french Polynesia and set off in variable winds to suwarrow some 500 miles to the North west. suwarrow is one of the Cook islands and is a large unspoilt atoll. it is uninhabited apart from two caretakers who spend six months a year there. These two guys quickly became our friends and they took us diving, fishing and hunting for coconut crabs as well as hosting several barbeques. when we left they gave us sapling trees to plant so that we would always have a connection with the island. from the Cook islands we headed to the small island of Niue. The coastline is rugged and exposed. to overcome this, Niue has a dock with a crane to hoist tenders onto dry land. Niue yacht Club welcomed us warmly and many of us became members. This must be the only yacht club in the world where its membership outnumbers the population of the island! This small independent island suffered from a catastrophic

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hurricane a few years ago and its population has plummeted from over five thousand to less than two thousand in a few years. Numerous abandoned houses are scattered around the island and give it a faintly ghostly feel. Nonetheless, Niue has some spectacular coastal scenery with deep caverns and crashing waves. we enjoyed diving in the crystal clear water and went into a cave infested with sea snakes before surfacing to see our first whale swimming past about forty metres away from us. our short stop in Niue made a welcome break en route to tonga. tonga comprises three groups of islands and we headed for the Vavau group in the north. The Kingdom of tonga is the only remaining Polynesian monarchy and it has never been brought under foreign rule. As a result the culture is quite different to other islands that had been more influenced by europeans. officials still wear traditional skirts made from woven pandanus leaf mat and mingle with others dressed in a more westernised style. we cleared customs and immigration in the main town of Neiafu and then enjoyed various organized events around the islands including a tongan feast, dinghy racing and beach barbeques. The Vavau group is hard to match as a cruising ground. within the island group it offers protection and calm seas much like the British Virgin islands.

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however, yachts are still relatively uncommon here and there is no crowding in the anchorages. The topography is beautiful with the islands bordered by cliffs and white sand beaches. it would be fun to cruise here for many months but our itinerary meant that we had to move on within a couple of weeks towards the treacherous waters of fiji. The family we had met in huahine had told us there were two types of boat in fiji. first: those that had hit a reef, and second: those that were about to! The route through to our first destination in savu savu took us through a maze of reefs and islands. we were shocked to see a ship on top of one of the reefs we steered past. These perilous seas have seen many ships and boats of all sizes founder but luckily none on the rally succumbed to the dangers. fiji is large, with almost one million people dispersed over some 100 islands across 1.3m square kilometres of sea. The majority of the population lives on the main islands of Viti levu and Vanua levu. we made landfall in the latter and were duly entertained by the local yacht club in the main town, savu savu. They organized barbeques and held a traditional kava ceremony in our honour. we saw no sign of the racial tensions between indigenous fijians and indo-fijians, which have led to a number of recent coups. on the contrary we found the fijians to be one of the most hospitable and friendly people we have met on our trip. once away from the main town it was fun to visit villages where custom demands that you must present Kava to the Chief and get his permission to enter. These small villages are often only connected by a daily bus but we found that they held vibrant strong communities. At one village we were invited in for lemon tea by a lady and sat in her humble rickety hut learning about their life before joining a group of ladies who were practicing traditional songs and dancing for an upcoming festival. meanwhile the men played rugby on a makeshift pitch, which straddled the main road in the village and children ran happily around as the late afternoon sun started to set.

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time and time again on this trip we have met people who are poor by western standards but who are rich in quality of life afforded by living in strong communities within bountiful environments where food can be harvested from the sea or from the fruit trees in their gardens.

“time and time again on this trip we have met people who are poor by western standards but who are rich in quality of life.” After savu savu we visited several anchorages around Vanua levu and then crossed Bligh Channel to the magnificent yasawa islands. many of the soundings in Bligh Channel originate from those provided by Captain Bligh after he was cast adrift from the Bounty and was being chased by fijian cannibals… you certainly get a new sense of respect for the man! in the yasawa islands we visited the Blue lagoon made famous by the movie of that title. we swam with manta rays and had dinner with villagers in one of their houses. After a few unforgettable days we enjoyed a beautiful sail to the musket Cove resort on one of the smaller fijian islands. After months of anchoring it was nice to be moored stern to at this resort and enjoy some of the comforts of resort life for a while. Throughout fiji we enjoyed diving among some of the best soft corals in the world. from fiji we sailed to Vanuatu. we cleared customs in the main city of Port Vila, arriving at night in strong winds. while we were there they celebrated a milestone of 30 years of independence and held a big festival, which gave us a wonderful opportunity to see the local community. however, we were keen to explore the more remote islands. we set sail for Ambryn and felt as if we had stepped back in time when we visited local

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villages with palm-clad huts and no electricity. one of the village chiefs took us on a seven-hour trek through the jungle, across ash plains and then along narrow ridges up to the lip of the crater of a volcano so that we could peer nervously down at the fiery bubbling cauldron below. we camped that night in a palm frond lean-to at the base of the volcano and shared accommodation with a variety of large spiders! from Ambryn we set off north to espiritu santo and went diving on the President Coolridge, which is cited as one of the best wreck dives in the world. This vast ship had been converted by the Americans from a cruise liner to a troop carrier during wwii. on reaching the us Pacific base in espiritu santu it hit one of their own mines and sank only a short distance from the shore. After another 800 miles we reached mackay in Australia and booked into the marina for some repairs and maintenance. The day after we arrived we were met by robert Vrind, who was our oyster Project manager while Miss Tippy was being built. it was great to meet him again and tell him how well our boat has served us across the oceans. he now runs a charter business in Airlie beach and we enjoyed some great times with him and his family. After settling into mackay we flew

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down to sydney to visit some friends and see the sights. A particular highlight was undertaking the sydney Bridge Climb on Annie’s 10th birthday. The organization of the climb is second to none and you feel safe, but nervous, as you clamber up and over the steel girders overlooking the opera house and the harbour. The abundance of material goods and commercialism of the city were such a contrast to the tranquility of the Pacific islands that our first few days were quite overwhelming. however, we soon got into the swing of things again and it wasn’t long before the girls remembered the joys of retail therapy! we returned to mackay and then spent a month cruising up the eastern Coast of Australia within the protected waters of the Great Barrier reef. we explored the

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whitsunday islands where we saw many whales on their annual migration. when we had a calm period we anchored out on the barrier reef for a couple of nights. we were out of sight of land with only the submerged reef for protection and it felt very eerie to be out there alone at night. The diving and snorkelling were superb of course. The Australians seem to be managing their marine environment well. There are many protected marine parks and the abundance and size of the fish you encounter are a testament to their success. Between the marine parks we managed to do some fishing. we lost a few lures before getting used to the large and agile Australian fish and managed to catch a variety of tuna, large mackerel and wahoo, as well as a tasty trevelli. After the whitsundays we spent some time in Airlie Beach before heading up to Port douglas near Cairns and then onward north to lizard island. we traced Captain Cook’s footsteps to the top of the island, which he visited to find a path through the maze of the Great Barrier reef just after he had grounded. from there we also took a day trip aboard Miss Tippy to the outer reef to dive the famous Cod hole. large friendly potato cods inhabit this area and they are happy to be stroked by visiting divers! from lizard island it was a bit of a dash

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up around Cape york and across the Gulf of Carpentia edging the Northern territory and into darwin. we only stopped a couple of times to wait for fair tides, since they can run at up to 6 knots at times. one such stopover was aptly named escape river. we entered at night in 30-knot winds and duly found ourselves tangled up in some pearl farm lines that were unlit in the middle of the river. luckily we managed to free ourselves while being cautious not to get too near the water, which is infested with many vicious crocodiles in this part of Australia. Just as we were finally entering darwin, a large rolling black cloud of biblical proportions gathered and we were soon hit by a squall with 40-knot winds and torrential rain. Miss Tippy shrugged it off as ever and we were soon safely anchored outside darwin. having reached darwin it feels that we have now turned the corner for home. however we still have numerous exotic locations to visit in Asia, the middle east and the mediterranean on our way home and we are looking forward to the new adventures ahead! Photos: The Norton family Follow Miss Tippy’s progress with films and regular updates on the family’s blog at www.rock2rock.co.uk

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gONE with the wind... . . . o N e oyst e r’s t r i P A ro u N d t h e wo r l d.

By stePheN hyde, oyster 56 A LADy

deCisioN time

By the eNd of 2008, we hAd deCided thAt we would sAil ArouNd the world with the world ArC fleet iN our New toy – our loVely oyster 56, Built iN 2002 ANd PurChAsed By my wife AileeN ANd i iN lAte 2006.

we renamed our pride and joy A Lady. Along with changing the name, we also changed the hull colour to navy... a royal colour! in 2007, we installed a brand new e120 raymarine chartplotter, the most up-to-date marine navigational technology available, plus an Ais; both of these are amazing bits of equipment and meant that we were ready to take on the world!

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The Start of World ARC – St Lucia to La s Perla s Islands 24th June 2009

6th January 2010 (1,100 miles)

A Lady sailed out of her homeport of Crosshaven, bound for La Coruña, Spain, the crew consisted of my brother Rom, Aileen, Denis O’Sullivan and Vera. The passage was 510 nautical miles and from the very start we had lots of wind, a spanking reach, (as my father would describe these conditions) and we arrived at our destination in a cool 2.5 days. From there, we sailed to the Azores, Portugal, Madeira, Lanzarote and eventually onto Gran Canaria for the start of the ARC on Sunday 22nd of November 2009.

We arrived at the beautiful San Blas Islands on the east coast of Panama a few days later and spent a week there enjoying the sheer beauty of these tiny atolls, before sailing, via Portsmouth, to Shelter Bay Marina at the eastern end of the Panama Canal and spent a few days there waiting our turn to transit the Canal.

The first leg of the World ARC departed St Lucia for Panama and was the start of a trip that would take us around the world and back to St Lucia by April 2011. The Crew for this leg was Stephen and Aileen Hyde, Donal Mc Clement and Kevin Dwyer. This leg (as with all legs on the ARC and World ARC) was basically a race from Rodney Bay, St Lucia, to the San Blas Islands (distance of 1,100 miles).

We were joined there by Grattan Roberts and his son Richard, from Cork. Grattan’s great grandfather was the Captain of the SS Sirius, a side-wheel, wooden-hulled steamship, built in 1837 for the London-Cork route operated by the St George Steam Packet Company. The following year she opened a transatlantic steam passenger service when she was chartered for two voyages by the British and American Steam Navigation Company and became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, from Cork to New York.

However, we decided that as we were in this neck of the woods, we would also take in the ABC Islands (Dutch West Indies) on route. They were beautiful islands and well worth the diversion and extra mileage, we really enjoyed the whole scene there and again we travelled in excess of 20 knots of wind all the way there.

In Las Palmas we were delighted to meet Oyster’s Customer Care Manager, Eddie Scougall and the Oyster Service Team, who did a head-to-toe examination of A Lady, and in fact all the Oysters taking part in the event. We are lucky to still have a mast on our boat today, thanks to their detection of a crack at the gooseneck and the Oyster team’s heroic efforts to apply some splints before the start of the ARC. This saved our carbon fibre stick from destruction in the 2770 miles of strong winds, which followed from the start.

We spent five days in the ABC Islands and on leaving we had a nice reach with 20+ knots, however when we were north of Columbia, the wind reached up to 56 knots for a short period, again we were well reefed and on a broad reach, giving us some exciting sailing.

The Panama Canal For us, the Panama Canal promised to be the ultimate experience, and it was. The sheer scale and size of the operation was breathtaking and the locks themselves were awesome. It was dark when we passed through from the east side of the Canal up into the world’s biggest man-made lake. The lighting and the diesel tow trains moving along the side of the canal were electric. The feeling of a milestone having been achieved was truly fantastic. We anchored in the lake for the night. The following morning the wind was very light so we motored across the lake and down the far side into the Pacific where we spent a few days in Flamingo Bay.

The ARC Our crew for the ARC was John O’Connor, Mark Newenham, Dermot O’Meara, Jeanne Briarly and myself. This trip was 2,770 miles and we expected it to take 16 to 18 days. In typical fashion we had lots of wind from the very start. We flew our new parasail spinnaker on the very first night when the wind reached 32 knots. Frightful... this was not what we ordered! But then this boat seems to bring its own wind, and we had 3,600 sq ft of sail up there, so we were screaming along at 11-12 knots, but she carried it all very comfortably. The ARC proved to be a great trip in a great boat, we never seemed to be under pressure, except once, when the wind reached 36 knots with the Parasail still flying – the situation scared us all! We were just carrying too much sail in too much wind and it was too wild to safely take it down. According to Murphy’s law, of course this all happened in the middle of the night, and we all breathed a sigh of relief when the wind abated at dawn and we could take it down. The crew were great, we flew the kite for 75% of the trip, and every day it had to be dropped on deck and a couple of feet cut off the halyard and the guy as the chafing was enormous. Our own three guys and one girl worked like trojans, but were also well fed, everyone

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was keen to take a turn in the galley to show off their culinary skills. The galley on an Oyster is just so user friendly even in big seas. Dinners ranged from roast belly of pork, leg of lamb, cottage pies, fresh fish of the day from the sea, pasta dishes and so on, of course these were accompanied by roast potatoes, creamed spuds, veg, and sometimes dessert. Mostly consumed in the cockpit, or as we called it ‘The Starlight Restaurant’.

Panama to Ecuador 31st January 2010 (725 miles ) From Flamingo Bay we sailed to the Perlas Islands, west of Panama; again these were beautiful islands, but totally different to the San Blas Islands, high and green with little in the way of sandy beaches. Grattan and Richard left us in the Perlas Islands to return to Ireland.

We seemed to have our own breeze almost all the way, very rarely going below 22 knots, and we were the first boat in our class to cross the finish line just 14.5 days later (putting us well ahead of schedule). Actually, the first four boats in our Class to finish in St Lucia were all Oyster 56s.

The wind from Panama to our next destination, Ecuador, was little or nothing and we spent most of the trip under engine, something we were not used to! What’s more, we had our jackets on crossing the equator, could you believe that… it’s supposed to be really hot on the equator. At least that’s what we were told in school! We spent two weeks in Ecuador, which we did not enjoy very much, mostly because the port of La Libertad was dirty and exposed. A number of boats, including ourselves suffered damage.

Christma s 2009 Following the ARC, we spent Christmas cruising the Grenadines with some of our children and had a great time. The weather, the sun, the beautiful Prussian blue water, the wonderful beaches, the swimming, and of course the elegant A Lady, our lovely Oyster 56, taking care of the whole family.

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Ecuador to the Galapagos 18th FebRUARY 2010 (530 miles) Again, this leg had very light winds and whilst we spent some time under engine, we covered the distance in the allotted time of 3.5 days and were still one of the first boats to arrive in St Christobal. However, on the way, something happened to our E120 Raymarine unit and we lost detail as a result, but we could still set courses and the radar, AIS and all other functions worked perfectly. We spent a couple of weeks in the Galapagos Islands. The wild life and bird life were truly amazing. It really lived up to all expectations in that respect, but we felt it was overrated, over priced and over regulated. Just for good measure, while we were there, a mini tsunami hit the island as a result of an earthquake in Chile, so we had to take the boat to sea in the middle of the night to avoid any damage. As we were anchored bow and stern, we tied one of our big fenders to the stern anchor before we left the harbour, which was stolen while we were at sea. We also had a fill of dirty diesel that gave us grief for many months after.

Oyster 46

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O N YOUR V OYAG E OF DIS C O V ERY P UT OYSTER O N THE M A P.

Oyster 575

You don’t have to explore the four corners of the earth to find the world’s most beautifully made yachts. The London and Düsseldorf Boat Shows are the perfect destination.

The Galapagos to The Marquesa s 7th March 2010 (3000 miles) After a few hours of little or no wind, a steady breeze filled from our port side and we had a fantastic sail all the way to the Marquesas. This was one of the best sails of the trip so far, never too much wind or too little wind. My lasting memories of this trip (apart from the great sailing) were the stars at night, billions of them, dancing up there every night, the milky way, the southern cross, Saturn, and so on.

Oyster 625

Oyster 655

Here, we can introduce you to the exciting and fulfilling experience of ordering a new Oyster, the peace of mind when choosing an Oyster Brokerage yacht, and the ultimate holiday experience of an Oyster Charter. However you decide to enjoy an Oyster, we look forward to helping you on your way to a journey of a lifetime.

Then there were the flying fish and squid, yes squid, all over the deck every morning. One morning, we had 59 flying fish and 22 squid on the deck, we were like a sailing fish factory! We had our own personal race with Crazy Horse, an American owned Sundeer 60. We eventually took all the honours and were like a bunch of happy bunnies at the ball, or should we say at the prize giving. Each leg of the trip is a race in itself, and it’s dog eat dog from the start. We arrived in Hiva Oa after sailing 3,000 miles in just 16 days, an average of 7.8 knots. We spent three weeks cruising these beautiful Islands. We visited Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Pou, and Nuku Hiva, before sailing on to the Tuamotu Islands, all part of the French Polynesian Islands. The scenery and beauty of these Islands, coupled with the hospitality and food really necessitates a whole article of its own.

At London you will find Oyster in a new position at the east end of the Boat Hall. Please visit the Events section of our website where you can find more details about each show and where Oyster 72

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you can also make an appointment to view our yachts by completing the online Boarding Pass request form. If you prefer, you can of course book a boarding time by contacting our sales team direct.

Oyster 885

Oyster 100

That’s an interesting thought – are we sailing around the world, or eating our way around the world? So far, since we left Cork, we have sailed 13,780 nautical miles and have visited 53 destinations in eight different countries with lots more still to experience…

London Boat Show

Boot Düsseldorf

7-16 January

22-30 January

Stand Nº H79 Oyster 54 Oyster 655 Oyster 82

Stand Nº 16C58 Oyster 46 Oyster 575

Call +44 (0)1473 695005 or email us at: yachts@oystermarine.com

Follow A Lady’s progress at http://blog.mailasail.com/alady

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Sea Lion H e tai r o s arrives for W inter R efit at S Y S

S O U T H A M P T O N YA C H T S E RV I C E S OYSTER YACHTS BUILDERS  |  Classic Yacht Refits and Repairs  | Superyacht Refit and Repairs Small Works Division  | 

Motoryacht Refit and repairs  |  Custom New Builds

Sea Lion is a 67 ft Yawl built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1953. She is currently undergoing an almost complete rebuild at SYS. A large number of frames have been replaced and new ring frames at the mast have been constructed to improve strength in this area. The hull has been completely re-planked using the West system epoxy resin and mahogany.

The doghouse has been completely renewed and is due to be fitted onboard in December. New joinery has been built in a traditional style and is being prepared ready for installation once tanks and undersole piping is complete. Now that the hull has been refitted on the keel it is clear what a very pretty yacht she will become.

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A L I N D A V R E F I T C O M P L E T E D AT S Y S . The 78ft Mylne Classic, Alinda V, has slipped quietly back into the water following an extensive 12 month refit at Oyster’s Southampton Yacht Services yard, part of the Oyster Group. This beautiful, classic ketch was first launched in 1934 by Alexander Stevens and Sons in Glasgow and has since spent long periods in the eastern Mediterranean. The interior was stripped out to the iron frames and the teak planking, engine and tank spaces were scanned and fully engineered in CATIA/CAD software. New systems were drawn and fitted in 3D prior to installation, enabling the engineering team to work concurrently with painters, joiners and shipwrights. The engine room was extensively detailed to accommodate a new main engine, two generator sets, hydraulic system, watermaker and air-conditioning, with new fuel and water tanks, batteries, water 6 0

pumps and a water treatment plant in the original tank spaces. The accommodation was slightly modified to incorporate en suite heads for all three guest cabins; the saloon updated to include a chart table and improved stowage, while the galley and crew cabins benefitted from the remodelling of the galley and crew heads. The joinery faithfully copied the style of the original, with new oak paneling reflecting the original patterns. Lightweight granite and marble surfaces were fitted to the heads and galley, with fixtures and fittings styled to suit the period. On deck, the rig had previously been modified in the 1960s to a Bermudan format. By fitting in-mast furling masts and furlers, the team at SYS was able to extend the spars allowing Alinda V to be fitted with her original 3,000 sq ft sail plan. Combined with a full suite of hydraulic winches

and power pack, this will allow Alinda V to be easily sailed shorthanded. The original windlass and steering systems were refurbished, new anchor systems installed in the hull and mooring systems improved with additional fairleads. All deck equipment was returned to cast bronze fittings. Deck hatches and the doghouse were all discreetly modified to create more space, light and ventilation. The cockpit coamings were extended to incorporate navigation repeaters from the doghouse instruments. The result of this extensive refit is that Alinda V is instantly recognisable, both above and below deck, as the pedigree classic she was designed and built to be. However, her classic lines hide a multitude of modern and practical engineering solutions that, together with her new fixtures and fittings, ensure she is perfectly equipped for life in the 21st century.

At the other end of the size scale SYS has just completed the refinishing of a 28’ 1970 Riva Aquarama. The varnish was removed from this iconic motor yacht hull and almost invisible repairs made to minor damage sustained over a 40-year life. The hull was stained and then 22 coats of varnish applied to achieve the exceptionally high quality finish demanded for a Riva yacht. Fittings and trim were renewed and replaced as required. The result is a gleaming craft that will continue to give great pleasure for many more years.

N E W O Y S T E R 8 8 5 T O B E B U I LT AT S Y S Renowned worldwide for their refit and repair work on Classic yachts, Southampton Yacht Services is also responsible for building some of the larger models in the Oyster range and currently has five new Oysters in build including the first of the new Oyster 625s. SYS will start work on Oyster’s newest model in the fleet, the Oyster 885 in the next few months, with the first yacht expected to be on the water in summer 2012.

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The beautiful 140ft Abeking and Rasmussen ketch Hetairos has recently arrived at Southampton Yacht Services for substantial refit work this winter. Hetairos, designed by Bruce King, was built using the wood epoxy system in 1992 at the same time that Southampton Yacht Services were also building 80ft yachts in the wood epoxy system and has always been a striking yacht wherever she has sailed. The refit that Southampton Yacht Services will be carrying out will include work on the hydraulic centreboard system, the rudder, winch plinths, propeller and shafting. Her hull will be completely repainted and her rig is being fully overhauled and repainted. The skilled workforce at Southampton Yacht Services are delighted to be working on such an iconic vessel and returning her to her full glory, ready for next season.

S Y S S U P P O RT S O Y S T E R W O R L D R A L LY O W N E R S With just over two years to go to the start of the Oyster World Rally in January 2013, SYS has received their first enquiry for a pre-rally ‘health’ check. The US-owned Oyster 53 Golden Pearl will arrive in the UK next summer, and will undergo some refit work to ensure she is in A1 condition and ready to take part in Oyster’s Olympic Regatta in Cowes in July 2012, before heading back across the Atlantic with the 2012 ARC and on to the start of the Oyster World Rally. Of course you don’t need to be planning a circumnavigation to enjoy the benefits of having the team at SYS check over your Oyster! Contact Andy Willett to discuss your own requirements. Email: andyw@southamptonyachtservices.co.uk

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Family Dent take A leap of faith On the 1st of March 2009, the Financial Times ran a front page story breaking the news that Martin Dent had resigned from Deutsche Bank after two decades in the City and on Wall Street. The article noted that despite the credit crisis creating a boom for Martin’s business (he had built and run Deutsche’s Distressed Debt/Junk bond trading business) Martin was preferring to sail the Pacific with his family…

It was when my wife intercepted the email confirming an order for Pacific charts and flags that she first knew something was up. Oh that, and when I quit my job and asked the headmaster if we could take our three children out of school. Up until then ‘doing the Pacific’ had been the usual pipe-dreaming chat reserved for my sailing mates in the office.

However, you have to be careful dreaming as an Oyster owner – these yachts will take you anywhere and the next thing you know the pipe has been replaced by a serious Class A habit! I’d really been hooked since 2005, when Oyster Brokerage had dealt me the 66 as something soft to be getting started on.

By Martin Dent Oyster 66, Elvis the Gecko

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“You have to be careful dreaming as an Oyster owner – these yachts will take you anywhere and the next thing you know the pipe has been replaced by a serious Class A habit!”

hulls provided an excellent port side fender! From previous experience with catamarans we were relieved that this cat crew were not sporting their usual tight speedos. When the inevitable waterfight did break out, as the photo shows, the cat owner had to resort to opening up with a hose in his vain attempt to counteract the element of surprise as his crew were bombarded by the young Oyster brigands. Excitement levels all round were ‘off the charts’ and champagne was flowing as we went through the final locks and entered the Pacific. A 72 hour blast in Panama City – restaurants, retail therapy, and a couple of nights in a hotel in this buzzing metropolis provided the complete contrast to the previous six weeks and to the coming four months. It wasn’t all roses, and Panama at the same time provided the low point in the trip being the only place we experienced dishonesty. This was magnified by the intense heat and humidity and I could not wait to leave.

For a six-month stint on your boat with a young family, I don’t think that there can be many better routes than starting in the Caribbean and ending in French Polynesia. You start in a great place and then it just gets better and better all the way. It has real variety in terms of lands, people and passages. It gets harder to stay in touch with home, a definite bonus; the people you meet get nicer along the way, the water gets clearer, and the fish and coral become more colourful and plentiful. Finally it is all down wind, down current, trade wind sailing with plenty of wind – we sailed approximately 8,000nm and our total passage engine hours were just ten.

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Involving the family in the final preparations and adjusting the boat to longer-term accommodation was great fun, whether it was upgrading the stereo, provisioning favourite brands of chocolate or wine and rum in bulk. Whilst this was going on, in what turned out to be the most valuable afterthought, we got our PADI certificates. As for the more serious marine preparation we got a lot of help and advice from Oyster; besides After Sales we were able to draw on the Oyster presence that invades Antigua at the time of their annual Caribbean Regatta and most spectacularly for us in the great Scottish form of Eddie Scougall. I hired Eddie for five days to run me through each

system onboard, which he did in spades, besides sorting a load of problems, and the jokes were thrown in for free! We settled on Bonaire as our first port of call, which gave us a fast 3-day broad reach. On arrival we were immediately confronted with its strong Dutch organisation and regulations. The island’s marine environment is strictly protected, anchoring prohibited anywhere, and we were not even allowed to take a mooring, as 58 feet was the limit. However there was space in the one excellent marina (Harbour Village) and the benefits of these regulations became immediately apparent on our first snorkel trip.

Soon we were putting our newly scored PADIs to good use. The amazing underwater environment gave us a small taste for what was to come – and it tasted good. At the time everybody was talking about pirates so, as we continued west, it seemed the done thing to give the coastline of Columbia a wide berth – probably unnecessary but it added some spice every time we spotted some wandering fishing boat on the radar. I found it hard to imagine pirates wanting to venture out in open boats in the 35-40 knot easterly but our Oyster blasted along nicely, surfing in comfort on the two-metre seas.

A daytime arrival at the San Blas is definitely to be recommended, and this was the only place where we found the charts not to be mapped accurately to the GPS position. The Kuna Indians were, however, exactly as advertised in the guidebook and we were all moved by their simple tribal existence. You could spend months exploring this archipelago, but the prospect of breaking into the Pacific was sucking us towards Panama and a few days later we were heading up to Colon. Transiting the Panama turned out to be very straightforward, the pilot that we had on board was fantastic and the whole thing was a great education for children and adults. In the locks we were rafted up with a catamaran whose two

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A ripping passage to the Galapagos soon brought us all back on form. Once we’d zig-zagged out past all the ships who were waiting to transit the Canal we were soon on our own except for the abundance of wildlife. The first pod of dolphins we sighted was in the hundreds, if not thousands. We sailed south for three days before our progress was slowed by the north running Humbolt current and the wind shifted to the east. After nearly two months of down wind sailing it was actually refreshing to beat against wind and current. And most importantly the sea temperature dropped ten degrees; some good honest cold weather swept away all the Panamanian funk. All crewmembers revelled in their British-ness as out came the duvets that had been stowed away and on came the fleecy jackets during the night watches. The children by now were thriving in the onboard life, especially on passage. Routine was key: the daily washdown and removal of flying fish and squid, the weekly art competition, Friday film night, daily bread making, cake baking contests and best of all, the weekly quiz on all the places visited. The quiz took a few days to prepare and there was big excitement on the day.

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during this Galapagos tour so we had 11 on board. unfortunately for the inlaws, it was a bit of a baptism of fire as we were faced with upwind passages for their first two nights. Not thinking, i had allocated them the forward starboard cabin. with 35 knots across the decks in upwind conditions, bashing into a heavy sea, this cabin becomes the worst place to be on the boat. it was so bouncy that they spent a lot of the time airborne. The bucket they had in their bed for the whole night was airborne too. it was not deliberate abuse of my in-laws as some have suggested!

when i look back it formed the basis for all our education. By now the kids were doing their own watch in the afternoon, and were joining the night watches. At first i thought this was because of the shooting stars, or the phosphorescent dolphins torpedoing towards the hull, but then i realized that it was the chocolate. As our latitude approached zero, the boat took on a spooky feeling, the deck was deserted save for ray – the autopilot. All the human inhabitants of Elvis had disappeared to their cabins and were busy constructing their outfits. dressing up is de-rigueur when crossing the equator, but on Elvis, costume design is serious business. our six year old raided the galley and completely wrapped herself up in aluminium foil and was the first to make her appearance at the party dressed as a sardine. Then a jellyfish arrived, Josh appeared as a hammerhead shark and Claire a pink lobster, and so on. Things went from bad to worse as an afternoon of games began under the humiliating supervision of Neptune (tash). As we got closer to the Galapagos a few different seabirds joined us. A brown booby took up residence on the boom, for three days. from his vantage point, ‘Bobbington’ as he became known, was able to overlook all proceedings down in the cockpit. it was as if he was watching over us and whenever you climbed on deck there he was looking down, night and day. every once in a while, Bob would glide up to about the mast-head height, swoop around, then dive down spectacularly and grab a fish, and then he’d be back to snooze and crap it off on our boom. it was one of the lessons that we would learn about seabirds from our Galapagos guide that the first thing a seabird does when it catches a fish is to unload. The birds’ digestive system works so fast that it can do this almost immediately, enabling the bird to get airborne again quickly. The other bird that joined us at night was the swallow tailed Gull – a night feeder. it made a strange cackling sound, which was funny to hear out there in the dark as we sailed along.

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“The welcoming committee included a pilot whale and dolphins breaching on the bow, sea turtles, and the famous blue-footed boobies were crashing into the sea”

The bursting of our ‘life at sea bubble’ was more than made up for by making landfall at the Galapagos. we had timed our arrival to be in daylight for all the usual reasons, but you would not want to miss the dramatic multicoloured and multi-shaped rock formations. The welcoming committee included a pilot whale and dolphins breaching on the bow, sea turtles, and the famous blue-footed boobies were crashing into the sea. it happened to be my son’s ninth birthday so we had chocolate cake and party music on as we sailed along the north side of san Cristobal and it was an extremely excited and happy boat that dropped anchor in wreck Bay.

wreck Bay is not the main port of the Galapagos, which is Puerto Ayora on santa Cruz. however it is the first island you come to and although a smaller town, it proved to be a special place, a much more sheltered anchorage than Puerto Ayora, and we could have stayed for a month. it is hard to describe – an ecuadorian outpost, faded officialdom, a fair amount of men wearing tight uniforms, but they might be riding on the back of someone’s scooter or just walking along, everybody looks you honestly in the eye and smiles. There is absolutely no sense of crime or any bad vibe. our children could just run around the streets, make friends, whilst we hung out at the café. Another good spot was the little town beach, which humans shared with sea lions,

which were friendly and seemed to love swimming and playing with us.

according to which island they were on and which darwin had observed and used in his research.

There is too much to describe about the wildlife that we saw, but the close interaction left the biggest impressions: the blue footed boobies, the sea-lions that we swam and played with and which slept on our transom often leaving sizeable presents, and of course the penguins and the marine iguanas.

to tour the islands in our own boat required a further permit, our cruising plan had to be filed, approved by both the ministry that governs the land and by the ecuadorian Navy, and then followed to the letter. i was somewhat apprehensive about the requirement of having to have an official live onboard. i needn’t have worried. The guide, santi, was absolutely fantastic. he didn’t stop explaining everything from the geology to the birds, the sealife and plants, and when his day job was done he got stuck into boat jobs. he showed us examples of the birds and animals that were slightly different

The week trip is quite intensive with a predetermined programme that takes you from island to island where you see amazing wildlife and stunning landscapes and geology, both on foot and with snorkel. to keep to the programme, generally we had night passages to get us to the next island. The equatorial Current and the humbolt collide amongst the volcanic islands and besides bringing the nutrients that support the amazing marine life they also create strong currents, which seem to have no pattern and constantly change direction. my father-in-law and his wife joined us for a very brief four days

After the tour we anchored in Puerto Ayora for a further fortnight – another place you could stay for months – immersing ourselves in local goings on. The wildlife experience continues as it is all around you – iguanas lying on the sidewalk; many an afternoon was spent sitting around the fish market where the pelicans and sea lions put on a show as they wait for the scraps, and of course the darwin institute, home of lonesome George. i had to visit the local doctor and he was superb, by necessity a jack of all trades, and his gorgeous french wife and yoga guru, came onboard to design a yacht yoga programme for us.

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we did the local dives, the most exciting of which was coming across a huge ball of fish about the size of a three storey house. Not being experienced divers we were all a little apprehensive about swimming into what we thought might be the sharks’ ‘doggy bowl’ but soon enough we plucked up our courage, held hands and swam into the middle. my 12-year-old, ruby, said it was like the automatic doors in star trek as an opening appeared as you swam up and then closed behind you. once inside it was dark until you breathed out enough bubbles, which created a small chimney up to the surface about 25m above. we played in amongst the fish until our tanks were empty.

“how does a lad from england communicate with a lad from fatu iva – football of course.” we had heard that provisioning in the Galapagos for the onward passage would be a challenge but it was in fact the best provisioning of our entire trip at the lowest cost, by far. There is a giant market of locally grown produce in santa Cruz and our superb agent delivered half a cow to the boat: we would still be eating ‘Galapagos steak’ 4,000nm down the trail. The passage to the marquesas produced the sailing that we’d come this way for: 3,000nm, 25 knots se winds, great waves to surf on, hauls of fresh tuna, dorado and not one single soul did we see or hear on the entire trip. we only had one problem, when a tear appeared in the leech of the mainsail, with about 800 miles to go. with the main now substantially furled leaving only poled-out yankee and staysail, our boat speed dropped to 4 knots – giving us an extra 4 days at sea. we were contemplating whether to get the mainsail down to repair, not that easy handling 90 sq metres of sail, when

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literally mid debate the wind picked up to more than 35 knots and we were back at full speed with just the two smaller sails. Problem solved, provided the stronger winds held. They didn’t hold, they strengthened, so for the last 4 days we had a roller coaster ride and by the time the island of fatu hiva loomed out of the clouds we were being swept along in 50+ knots. The kids loved it, the adults could have done with more sleep. it was a spooky arrival: the island’s lush highsided peaks are constantly in the clouds and no sooner had the island appeared mysteriously out of the clouds than it promptly disappeared. fatu iva isn’t a port of entry but i couldn’t see us beating back even only the 50nm from hiva oa, especially in this weather, and anyway the local policeman seemed delighted to see us, or perhaps he was drunk. in any event you could not pass by the stunning anchorage. surrounded by sheer volcanic cliffs and huge bulbous volcanic pinnacles one could understand how the original name Baie des Verges (‘Penis Bay’) came about. But as one book said, it didn’t take long for the Catholic priests to insert an ‘i’ to ‘Baie des Vierges’ (Bay of Virgins). There are 600 inhabitants and no airport; after feeling pretty remote on the passage we now felt more remote. we revelled in the amazing walks – one up to a magnificent waterfall, full of unlimited amounts of luxurious fresh water. There was an abundance of fruit growing all around, and the locals were keen to barter for items that did not come on the supply ship… for example rum and footballs. how does a lad from england communicate with a lad from fatu iva – football of course. on hiva oa and Nuku hiva the people were better organised and benefitted from a more diverse gene pool than fatu. our time in the marquesas flew by: visiting tikis, Gaugin’s house, horse riding, climbing to the amazing waterfall from taiao Bay in Nuku, all the while debating whether or not we deserved a marquesan tattoo.

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The atolls of the tuamotus provided yet another massive contrast – another brand of paradise. Navigating the entrance to our first pass, the North Pass of fakarava, was much easier than had been built up. The oyster’s big Perkins made mincemeat of the outgoing 5 knot current and channel markers and spot on GPs made it all straightforward. There is a great little community at the North Pass with a beautiful church and all sorts of goings on – outrigger canoe racing, volleyball, weaving, dancing etc besides the great dives at the pass. oyster farming takes advantage of the conditions inside the reef, and we were given an interesting tour of one of the farms. The lagoon also gave Elvis her first flat water in 12,000nm and in recognition of this Josh and my nine year old son Bruce wakeboarded behind the oyster as we close-reached the 30nm to the south Pass. The south Pass presented amazing dives – the pass was like a shark highway and the white and black tips were literally in the hundreds. or you could just watch them from the shore – at your feet. we were having such a great time in fakarava that we used up all our tuamotu time here, only managing one other stop at toua. on toua there is just one family that lives here. Gaston and Valentine live off the reef fish they catch in nets, which they sell once a week to a supply ship that comes to the neighbouring atoll, but they also welcome cruisers for a barbecue of their own lobster and varo. After our night with Gaston and his wife Valentine we set sail for tahiti. whilst tahiti is a fairly exotic location itself, it was the prospect of the big Carrefour supermarket that really excited us. fresh milk for the first time in four months, a good wine selection and eight wide aisles of european branded goods beckoned. Thinking of our stomachs, we pushed Elvis along over the 225 miles arriving at 3am, only to be denied entrance by harbour Control who made us wait offshore until daybreak to enter inside the reef.

of course this didn’t matter as the supermarket wasn’t open at that time anyway. we only had ten hours in tahiti but the whole ten hours was spent in desperate retail therapy. even Elvis’s tanks were given some diesel for the first time since Galapagos, 4,500 miles ago – although only a modest top up was needed. Now we were into the final leg of our Pacific trip – the society islands of moorea, huahini, tahaa, raiatea and finally Bora Bora. Geologically they are halfway between the marquesas and the tuamotus; they have the big volcanic peaks of the marquesas but have started to sink leaving a reef about a mile offshore creating the calm

turquoise water inside – so a combination of two different brands of paradise. tash guided us to a place in shallow water inside the lagoon in moorea where stingrays had got used to being fed by humans. we found the spot and with the help of some tuna from Elvis’s freezer soon we were all swimming with, touching and feeding the wild rays. i could go on and on, but at this point of the trip it was all turquoise water and pure selfindulgence, but in Bora Bora we did find matetiki, the marquesian tattoo artist we’d been looking for in Nuku hiva. he’d just moved to

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Bora Bora. so the wife and i were able to resume our debate about whether we deserved marquesan tattoos to mark what was the culmination of a dream come true. finally Bora Bora has an airport so it was a good place to interrupt the dream and head back to london, but for what? school? re-doing the house? Going back to work? or to spend more time pouring over charts and planning the next sailing installment?

Photographs: by martin dent

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When the annual oyster owners’ Dinner takes place at the royal thames Yacht Club on Saturday 8th January 2011, guests should allow themselves time to look at one of the Club’s hidden treasures. Adjacent to the Britannia Bar, the Model room houses an outstanding array of half models. the collection is said to be second only in the world to that in the New York Yacht Club’s model room.

The model room

By the mid 1950s the Club had around 50 half-models which were displayed in the billiard room. many were models of club member’s yachts, often donated to the club by the owners or the builder. The art of model making pre-dates samuel Pepys, and models were usually made by the yacht designer to show the lines to the prospective owner, or more recently were made by apprentices or specialist model makers as keep-sakes.

The royal Thames yacht Club, dating back to 1775, has nearly 400 half models, illustrating the history of yacht design development. with the earliest model in the room from 1834, some of the newest include richard matthews’ 2006 Oystercatcher XXVI, alongside the oyster 62 and mike slade’s Leopard 3 from 2007. The models have been carefully selected to represent the majority of Britain’s most famous and significant cruising, racing and one-design yachts from the last 180 years.

By 1982 the prolific but haphazard collection was taken in hand by Charles Chapman, who along with Peter Nicholson, great-nephew of the first curator, took over the task of organising, recording and formulating the rules for the half-model collection. rules were set which required that any half models in the collection must be in some way significant, either in design advancement, racing success, or in broadening and popularising the pastime of recreational boating.

“to guarantee a complete and historic collection, the club had to commission model makers working to the original yacht design lines to build new half models as necessary.”

with significant input from Peter Nicholson who provided invaluable advice about some of the key yachts to be featured, Charles Chapman and his committee set about creating a valid and meaningful collection. This ranges from Jack holt’s yachting world keelboat – the 1961 Zest – through to 1995’s Mustang Sally, which can claim to be one of the finest race boats of modern times; and from the yachting monthly inspired and maurice Griffiths designed Eventide to Julinar, which dates from 1875 and is the first racing yacht to depart from the traditional classic pilot boat form with a cutaway bow to reduce the underwater hull shape. while some may claim today’s ‘modern’ designs – such as the 1992 Melges 24 with its slim hull, vestigial fin keel with torpedo-shape ballast bulb and canoe body – were ground-breaking; the models on the wall show that this overall design was already in evidence 100 years earlier in the form of Corolla, which dates from 1895.

The collection was started in 1935, with the royal Thames yacht Club’s AGm minutes recording that the Vice Commodore, lord Queenborough, proposed a committee build up a half-model collection. he stated that, “The collection will not only be historic, but practically interesting and although it will not in any sense compete with the wonderful collection in the New york yacht Club, it will be of the most amazing interest to yachtsmen.” it is believed that the yacht designer Charles Nicholson started the collection pre the second world war, and he is certainly recorded as running the collection in the post war years. The royal Thames still has a Curators of models Committee, headed by Charles Chapman, the honorary Curator of models. he is assisted by committee members Peter Nicholson, ed dubois, stewart Quarrie and royal Thames yacht Club’s Chief sailing officer malcolm mcKeag, with Charles’ wife Cleone performing the duty of honorary secretary.

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Ca’Sagredo Hotel, Venice, Italy

city sanctuaries

Clarionet (Peter mumford – Beken of Cowes)

by Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ to guarantee a complete and historic collection, the club had to commission model makers working to the original yacht design lines to build new half models as necessary. in order to ensure a factually accurate record of the development of yacht design, half models were scaled to a consistent size, all showing the starboard side up to deck level or foot rail height. The models were painted and decorated as the original owner had it.

“Amongst the models is My Lady Dainty, the yacht racing Association’s 18 footer, which was a championship winner for many years.” with a now extensive collection of half models, the royal Thames yacht Club needed one location in which to create a permanent display. while some – most notably the America’s Cup challengers and defenders are mounted in the Quarterdeck Bar, and the metre boats and memorial board to stewart morris and his dinghies are located in the edinburgh room and the library respectively – the collection was re-housed in the model room. Chapman personally mounted all the models, arranging them in date order around the walls. There is also a collection of one-design dinghy models from the 1886 19ft one-design red – the first of a trio named appropriately red, white and Blue – through to a 1986 international squib. Amongst the models is My Lady Dainty, the yacht racing Association’s 18-footer, which was a championship winner for many years. A close look at her shape reveals her full fin and skeg design, a design which was years ahead of her competitors. The model room not only creates an impressive visual impact – but is also the source of a quantity of useful information. it houses the Club’s unique collection of

yachting monthly and yachting world magazines, which are bound in annual volumes from the original first copy through to the most up-to-date issue. in addition, there is a collection of notated historic photos of the yachts featured on the walls, which is kept up to date by Beken of Cowes. The collection and supporting historic documents have proved useful reference for many yacht designers, naval architects and even potential owners. A typical example is how the principle of what is now considered modern design – such as fin and skeg – was produced in cruisers, racers and one-designs in the early part of the last century. This is illustrated by the 1966 Clarionet, said to be the first of the modern-era design with a fin keel and separate skeg-hung rudder. looking around the room, it is easy to spot famous yachts, but Charles Chapman cannot be pushed to reveal his favourite. however, malcolm mcKeag is more than happy to state his – which is Sphinx, a yacht that dates back to 1866. it is claimed she gave the world the term spinnaker from having set, for the first time, a large lightweight downwind sail. dubbed by her rivals a ‘sphinxer’ – or ‘sphinx’s acre’ on account of its size – it is said this created the word spinnaker. if you are interested in finding out more about the history of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, please visit their website at: www.royalthames.com

Oystercatcher XXVI (tim wright/photoaction.com)

W

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The Dylan, Amsterdam, Netherlands

S31 Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand

Full of personality and stylish sophistication, The Dylan Amsterdam is arguably, the most elegant hotel in town. From its superb setting on Keizersgracht, one of Amsterdam’s main canals, to its immaculately decorated rooms, charming courtyard garden and Michelinstarred restaurant, this is the place to check-in to for serious comfort and city escapism. www.slh.com/dylan

At the cutting edge of contemporary design, S31 Sukhumvit Bangkok combines a prime location with supreme comfort and style. The rooftop restaurant has great views, the spa is soothing, the pool amazing and for busy executives, there is a fully equipped business centre and masses of meeting space.

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THe CONCePT OF SAiLiNG iS TO HAVe

By A l A N B ro o K , r eCeN tly r e ti r ed m d o f oyster ANd owNer of the New oyster 56, SULANA

retiring and sailing off into the sunset is what so many of us dream of. But the reality is quite a strange, bittersweet moment when it actually happens. Now here we are in las Palmas, with three weeks to go until our first transatlantic trip! however did this happen to us?

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“early retirement suddenly meant we could look to fulfil our own dreams in the best possible way, with the design and construction of our own customized and personalised, new oyster.”

five years ago, after a week of helping oyster owners prepare for their own ArC adventure, my wife, sue, and i were standing on the deck of las Armas, the Canarian ferry acting as the ArC committee vessel, anchored off las Palmas. we were there as guests of Andrew Bishop and Jeremy wyatt, of world Cruising Club fame and organisers of the Atlantic rally for Cruisers (ArC). They had invited us on board to watch the start of the ArC, and given us the perfect opportunity to wave goodbye to the oyster fleet. The fleet of over 225 yachts struggled with their spinnakers, each trying to find enough space to cross the line safely before setting off on their own grand adventure. having observed the stresses and strains of many of our owners, their families and crews, and seen the emotion of the moment etched on their faces as they worked hard to get themselves ready, the enormity of what they were about to do had a sudden impact. sue turned to me and spoke those fateful words “do you know, it’s such an exciting and emotional experience i almost want to do it myself on our own yacht.” of course, at that time it did not seem likely to become a reality, but nevertheless i was stunned by this comment, from the lips of that self-confessed non-sailor, my own dear wife, and began to harbour dreams of finding a suitable, older oyster that would do the trick for us; perhaps an old holman & Pye 435 or a 46, if we were lucky. And what a fine yacht either one would have been too! it had to be an oyster, of course, as i had been far too spoilt in my 33-plus years of helping design, sell, build and commission this range of yachts, but the concept of taking off and sailing away still seemed a far off, distant prospect then. little did either of us ever expect to be in the position in which we subsequently found ourselves, but, early retirement suddenly meant we could look to fulfil our own dreams in the best possible way, with the design and construction of our own customized and personalised, new oyster 56.

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That meant so much to us both. it was now open to me to get the latest and best of everything technical and electronic, according to my own opinions (not somebody else’s). sue was happy to indulge me and my dreams, but could also be equally involved, by discussing joinery detailing, and taking charge of interior and exterior décor and finishing touches. involving sue in every small detail and decision along the way ensured she felt this was going to be her new home, too, just as much as mine. A fairly essential requirement for any successful cruising family! The meetings with my personal, appointed oyster Project manager (one Alan Brook, ably supported and assisted by debbie Johnson, it must be said!) and yard visits were great fun. The key to this process being so successful though, was that we made the majority of the specification decisions early, prior to the start of moulding, to get the basics resolved. That meant all involved were well prepared for our special wishes and could give due time and attention to planning and designing their installation and fitting. i was insistent on optimizing every last cubic inch of storage space as this, i knew, is always a major consideration on board any cruising yacht. it would take great care and considerable effort by all those involved to maximize this and get it right. early decisions really were the key to a good build programme and a carefully designed installation plan, that avoided loss of stowage, would follow. having first chosen our base colour scheme for the yacht, we asked for some sample panels to fine-tune the exact shade for the hull. for those interested: something that is a mix of turquoise/aquamarine/blue/jade – chosen to be as close as possible to the colour of the shallow seas off Antigua, as seen over white sand. with a slightly unusual gelcoat colour for our boot top and cove lines, we watched as martin Bridgland and his loyal GrP moulding team took great care to get our hull and deck structures strong and exact. The hull reinforcements alone that go into an oyster make such a difference to your on-board comfort, when cruising in far-off places, where rocks and coral abound.

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“i discovered it really does make such a difference to build your own yacht to your own specification! Nothing can compare with that pride of ownership when it comes to sailing off.”

it was also very special for me to watch old friends, like tony, wearing his trusty west ham woolly hat, work his magic with the delicate job of gelcoat finishing. i am so glad he didn’t retire before me! This is one strong boat and she is going to last. Then, in July last year, the hull and deck were delivered to landamores’ ‘new’ yard in wroxham, to await entry into the fitting-out bay that was to be Sulana’s home for the following seven to eight months. yes, it is equally important to choose a yacht’s name early, too! After many weeks of pondering, Sulana it was to be. each one of the work force at landamores took delight in gently ribbing me on all i had forgotten about yacht building since taking up my directorial desk job! however, they also took justifiable pride in their varied personal skills, ensuring our oyster met our every requirement. i discovered it really does make such a difference to build your own yacht to your own specification! Nothing can compare with that pride of ownership when it comes to sailing off. it was a real joy to work with ronnie, Kevin, terry, david, Gavin and his team on board, to name just a few. several of them reminded my father, david, while he was visiting Sulana, of how they had built his own oyster, 28 years earlier! Personally, i recall my first-ever visit to the yard as a young upstart salesman, new to the industry, and meeting leslie landamore, while leslie’s father, Anthony’s grandfather, called in, just to check on how ‘his boys’ were doing! There is nothing quite like family continuity for generating the best of traditions and loyalties. There were so many enjoyable moments of shared delight in their true craftsmanship. it is also too easy to take for granted what goes into the build of every

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oyster yacht, but far less so when it is you they are working for. we shared our concerns and thoughts and they would suck their teeth and then come back with suggestions and helpful, constructive modifications or ideas. each of these, once kicked around, discussed, quoted and agreed, added that certain little ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the growing list of specifications on our personal master worklist. The final design of our specially veneered saloon tabletop grew out of one of ronnie yaxley’s many highly valued sketches, such as i had always enjoyed working with in my earlier days. The final solution, beautifully produced by brothers, robert and James seymour, of wycombe Panels, stands as a permanent testament of the enjoyment we gained through working with the yard. The launch of our beautiful oyster 56, Sulana was special too, with friends from near and far joining the celebrations. it was certainly memorable in that the heavens opened up early in the morning and threatened to dampen the whole day, but God shut off the taps with just an hour to go, leaving our pride and joy sparkling in the glory of her freshly-washed teak decks. motoring out of fox’s marina two weeks later, waving goodbye to family and friends standing on the shingle of ostrich Creek spit was one thing – but heading for the orwell Bridge, with the oyster staff lining the balconies and windows of their offices was something else. The oyster team that i had grown up in business with; all those people i had helped pull together and worked alongside over all the years; they were almost as much as family to me and i was very unsure as to how much i would miss them, or they me. Notwithstanding the excitement of the moment, it was a very emotional morning. were they cheering to see the back of me? was this really the end of life as i used to know it? would i even enjoy retirement and a cruising life? only one way to find out – go and try it! The weather forecast for the next three days was still forward in my mind, as was debbie Johnson’s gloomy prediction of rain and wind from the southwest. we left fox’s on the ebb, at half tide, to take the new flood and pick up the east coast’s ‘gravy train’ down to the south

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downs. The weather was better than it might have been, the yacht and crew held up well, and the Goodwin sands were passed at the turn of the tide, as planned, so it was “carry on regardless, me hearties!” we decided to continue, take the whole of the ebb along the south coast and see how things panned out for the Channel islands when closer. some of the crew were a touch less than enthusiastic, as it was still bumpy and wet on deck for a first serious passage, but they didn’t mutiny and continued to trust in my claims that this would be the last time that, as a gentleman cruising yachtsman, i would take them to windward in such conditions. As it happened, a tiny, but quite important printed circuit board stopped functioning as we passed Brighton, then a troublesome hydraulic seal that had already been changed once before, during commissioning, let go again. so that changed my view. New boat, i reminded myself, with things settling down under the stresses and strains of continuous sailing that cannot be replicated under commissioning test conditions. so it was an easy decision to put into saxon wharf for a short stop, to allow Andy willett, of the oyster Group’s, southampton yacht services, to get us quickly back to 100%. we suddenly remembered we were retired now, so there was no longer any need to hurry and push on! what a relief and blessing. time was on our side. it made such a difference to our first three months on board, knowing we did not have to hurry anywhere, as long as we made las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in time for the start of the ArC, that is! earlier this year, i happened to read in scuttlebutt, the following poignant note from somebody called Ginny Jones (who i don’t know). i thought at the time she really captured the essence of what this cruising life is all about, so i copied it down and hope she does not mind my quoting her: “How about the concept of sailing to have fun? Watching the changing colours of a peaceful sunset far offshore, as the cook and assistant (pot washer) clean up after a delicious supper and the watches change. Meanwhile some pleasant music comes out through deck speakers. It is The Eagles singing Hotel California. The watch going off is contemplating a good sleep and the watch on deck is sailing along with, perhaps, dolphins under the bow, and a full moon on the rise. That is what REAL sailing is all about – good seamanship, a good boat and good sailing, with a new island or venue in the offing and new friends.” re-reading this quote now, i cannot help but smile and nod at the truth of what Ginny was getting at when she wrote this. since our departure we have been enjoying our sailing in a completely new way, a way that has put a totally different complexion on our previous life ashore. my wife and daughter crew now know they can trust me and i them. i have not taken them to windward again

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since the maiden trip to southampton. we benefited from an accurate windGuru forecast whilst in southampton and headed south, out of the Needles Channel under a brisk northerly! once in Jersey we took a breather, enjoyed a sunday visit to the town Church, to make our grateful thanks known, followed by a very enjoyable day out at Gerald durrell’s fabulous zoo. Another weather update made it clear, however, that to avoid getting bottled up in the western Approaches for quite a long time, we needed to think about moving on. we were not in a hurry, but we were still keen to sail the seas in a sensible fashion and avoid gales and headwinds. Another spell of brisk northeasterly winds were due to start and last just long enough to blow us down the french and spanish coasts, if we left on the morrow. if we waited, however, there were two very deep, violent-looking depressions hiding out in the Atlantic that would soon sweep in and block off Biscay to prevent any properly comfortable and enjoyable, let alone safe yachting. we decided to head out and get round ushant as quickly as we could. what a joy that first 1,400 mile passage to madeira was! All downwind and in fantastic wind and sunny weather, while the predicted gales swept in from the west – well behind us to the north. The weeks of sailing since Sulana’s launch have been full of planets, galaxies, shooting stars and satellites in the night skies, with the odd small squid on deck in the morning, while we have had the pleasant company of whales, dolphins and rare seabirds in the daytime, plus the joy of uninhabited islands and some amazing anchorages. we are still learning our seamanship and getting to grips with weather – and i guess we always will. i am constantly amazed at how much i still have left to learn after 33 years in the industry and over 50 years of serious sailing experience! i have many, many fond memories of times at sea when i was racing offshore and could still enjoy my sailing, but more recently this fine sport has developed into a professional arms race. The design and construction of yachts still bear little relationship to the demands thrown up by the real dangers and challenges of the sea.

“The weeks sailing since Sulana’s launch have been full of planets, galaxies, shooting stars and satellites in the night skies.”

sadly, many of the lessons learnt from fastnet ’79 appear to have been ignored or lost in the mists of time. hence the direction taken by oyster towards producing and developing proper cruising yachts. Nowadays, on board Sulana, i really relish the evening watch and noting the first stars and planets to rise. i recall in my sailing past, the delivery trips home after racing were always just as much a part of the racing and just as much fun as the actual event itself. That was where our seamanship skills were honed. The return passages, often short-handed, were when a young foredeck hand got to steer and learn to navigate. he also got to do all the other jobs on board that were otherwise forbidden him. That is much the way i learnt. Now many areas remain guarded as the sole province of the professional crew. All that remains available for the young, enthusiastic beginner, still wet behind the ears, is to be told to fold himself double and lean out over an uncomfortable guard wire, to act as ‘rail meat’. little chance to develop real sailing skills there! Ginny’s quote on the joys of ‘real sailing’ ended: “Obviously there are some folks who won’t get the concept, but there are many real sailors out there who have fond memories of some time at sea when they weren’t racing and could actually enjoy sailing.” well, the time is now! we are ready to go and dip our toes in the water and cast off. see you there...

Photos: Alan Brook, Peter evans, ian roman and Barry Pickthall

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NEW LISTING

OYSTER

B RO K ER A G E

THE

S P E C I A LISTS

IN

P RE - OW N ED

OYSTER

Y A C HTS

NEW LISTING

AVAILABLE TO VIEW AT THE LONDON BOAT SHOW

2007 Oyster 72 Cookielicious

2007 Oyster 655 Proteus

2009 Oyster 62 Stuff n Stuff

Winner of the Oyster Palma Regatta in 2008, this Oyster 72 has built up a successful charter record. Fitted with all the optional extras that you would expect and presented in a truly first class turn-key condition. Quarter shares also available at £675,000 ex VAT.

Proteus has been built to MCA Charter specifications with an exhaustive list of extras. Interior joinery is honey teak and equipment below decks are of superyacht standard. Fully-battened mainsail and carbon cutter-rig make sailing exhilarating.

Built in 2009 and very lightly used, this boat presents ‘as new.’ Beautiful oak interior and very high spec, push button sailing. Skipper maintained from new and never chartered. Only around 200 hours on the engine. Viewing highly recommended.

£2,600,000 ex VAT Lying: Caribbean

US $3,500,000 ex VAT Lying: West Med

£1,395,000 ex VAT Lying: West Med PRICE REDUCED

2007 Oyster 56 Amanzi

1997 Oyster 55 Shearwater of Rye

2005 Oyster 53 Boysterous

Amanzi is particularly appealing to the enthusiastic yachtsman thanks to her cutter rig and full battened mainsail, offering great sailing performance. She is highly specified and has been in continuous care of a skipper to keep her in the best condition possible.

Very nice late model 55. A versatile and simple cutter rig with an in-mast furling mainsail make her easy to sail. Below decks she has beautiful teak interior joinery, and a layout that sleeps eight in four cabins, without using the saloon.

This Oyster 53 is a sloop with cutter rig and fully battened mainsail. Finished in American white oak, she offers spacious accommodation with a light and airy feel. Many home comfort extras to original build including microwave, generator and watermaker.

£920,000 inc VAT Lying: Caribbean

£399,000 inc VAT Lying: Oyster UK

£450,000 ex VAT Lying: Oyster UK

2006 Oyster 82 Tillymint 2004 Oyster 49 Galloper

2002 Oyster 47 Escapade of London

2009 Oyster 46 Leonella

The Oyster 49 was designed to modernise hull profiles and boost performance. This example is a fantastic family yacht with three good sized cabins and sumptuous accommodation. She has been maintained and upgraded to an exceptional standard.

Late model, one owner Oyster 47 designed by Holman & Pye with very light use and careful maintenance schedule. Presented in first class condition with full level of equipment. Accommodation for eight in three cabins plus the saloon.

This g5 Oyster 46 is very well equipped, with generator, watermaker and electric in-mast furling. Leonella has sailed her crew across to the Caribbean and back in perfect comfort and safety. A very rare opportunity to purchase a 2009 Oyster 46.

£450,000 inc VAT Lying: Oyster UK

£360,000 inc VAT Lying: Oyster UK

£550,000 inc VAT Lying: Oyster UK

Oyster Brokerage Ltd: Fox’s Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA UK T: +44 (0)1473 695100 F: +44 (0)1473 695120 E: brokerage@oystermarine.com Oyster Brokerage USA: Newport Shipyard One Washington Street Newport RI 02840 USA T: +401 846 7400 F: +401 846 7483 E: info@oystermarine.com

A stunning Oyster 82, beautifully built by our Southampton yard, TillyMint has recently had a major price reduction from €3,750,000 to £2,750,000 ex VAT. She is presently undergoing a pre-season maintenance refit and will be available to view, on the water, at the London Boat Show. TillyMint features a

stunning interior; superbly hand crafted in mahogany, with up to 13 berths, 5 heads and panoramic saloon views. She is fitted with hydraulic in-mast furling cutter rig, with full push-button control. This is a serious opportunity to purchase a luxuriously appointed Oyster 82 at an extremely competitive price.

We invite you to view TillyMint at the London Boat Show on Berth Nº P68. Please contact us to reserve a boarding time or for more information.

£2,750,000

ex VAT

Please visit our website, which is updated daily with all the latest listings and information on each yacht or better still, come and talk to our team at the London International Boat Show, where we can show you detailed specifications for all the yachts currently available through Oyster Brokerage. We look forward to seeing you.

SAIL | BROKERAGE | CHARTER | REFIT

www.oysterbrokerage.com 82

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Hand in Glove.

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Red    Sea Paradise ? 

Discover the difference with Pantaenius

Y E M E N A N D O M A N V I A P I R AT E A L L E Y

Jamie Furlong became a full time sailor and traveller in 2002, crewing yachts throughout Europe, culminating in a yacht delivery across the Atlantic, where he met Liz Cleere in Antigua. She was bitten by the bug and, after extricating herself from a demanding job and crippling mortgage, sold her house and joined Jamie in 2005. They bought their Oyster 435 Esper in Turkey, where they spent the next three years preparing her for world cruising.

by li z cleere and j amie furlon g , oyster 4 3 5 e s p e r Germany · United Kingdom · Monaco · Denmark · Austria · Spain · Sweden · USA

*

Marine Building · Victoria Wharf · Plymouth · Devon PL4 0RF · Phone +44-1752 22 36 56 · Fax +44-1752 22 36 37 · info@pantaenius.co.uk Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

www.pantaenius.co.uk

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Pantaenius America Ltd. is a licensed insurance agent licensed in all 50 states. It is an independent corporation incorporated under the laws of New York and is a separate and distinct entity from any entity of the Pantaenius Group.

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fig.1

lly. We ca n’t fin d ua an m t ou g in mp pu re e’ “W in ... so mu ch wa ter’s wh ere th e wa ter’s comin g en gin e’s comp le tely he T . t en om m e th t a in g comin fu ll...” co vered, th e sa loon is ha lf

Adding to the general tension Cobble developed engine trouble during this early stage and was heroically towed by the swiss boat, Anthea. when headwinds reduced Anthea’s speed to less than 3 knots lo called a halt to our progress. we took shelter in the shallows, close to the border with djibouti and managed a few hours sleep while morris and Cillian, on Cobble, managed to make temporary repairs to the engine. unfortunately our presence proved too much for the local military who, within a matter of hours, moved us on. By now we were used to

our departure time from sadla island had been based on careful consideration of weather conditions. By taking information from several sources over a sustained period (twice daily reports on every day of the rally) we timed the crossing well, making our move just as the change in wind direction and speed was at its gentlest. we crossed a flat red sea and quickly passed through the strait. 3 knots of current popped Esper out into the Gulf of Aden like a champagne cork. The current soon dissolved, but spirits were high and we were all on full alert as we began our journey through the most pirate-ridden stretch of water on earth.

sailing under normal conditions

A

sailing at night or when threatened

B

B

in con vo y “If you ha ve n ever sa iled of ad vice: we ha ve on e simp le piece don’t, un less you ha ve to.”

Along with piracy, the Bab el mandeb (“Gate of tears” in Arabic) had been one of our biggest concerns. This notorious stretch of water connecting the red sea with the Gulf of Aden is divided by the island of Perim, with dact-el-mayun to the west and the smaller Alexander’s strait, only two miles wide and our chosen route, to the east. ferocious winds often blow through these narrow channels, accompanied by strong currents and turbulent seas, making the Bab el mandeb impassable for small boats, often causing them to shelter in a protected anchorage for weeks until a suitable window appears.

in late february we reluctantly left idyllic sadla island in eritrea, with the intention of getting as far south as possible before crossing the red sea to yemen. This was our first taste of sailing in convoy. if you have never sailed in convoy we have one simple piece of advice: don’t, unless you have to. The stress and mental torture of trying to get 14 yachts of varying degrees of perverseness to sail at the same speed, in the same direction and in formation is like trying to herd cats with attitude that all think they are top Cat. how many skippers do you know who like taking orders?

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A

being woken up at dawn by machine guns. it was a truly beautiful morning but, more importantly, the headwinds had died. Now was the perfect opportunity to make a dash across the shipping lanes of the red sea.

Things can get tense in the Gulf of Aden (aka Pirate Alley) especially in the middle of the night when you are maintaining radio silence, scanning the water for fast-moving shadows, and trying to sail in formation. The last thing you want to hear is your friend coming through loud and clear to let you know that he is taking in water.

The first 100 miles from sadla island put the convoy theory to the test. depending on the individual skipper some found the convoy too slow, some found it too fast, there were boats who, having been given a waypoint refused to deviate from it even though the leader had altered course, and there were yachts who simply strayed from their group and sailed where they liked. everyone had an opinion and they all expressed it. lo grimly pressed on, knowing from experience that we would settle into a rhythm... eventually.

the ‘Kite’ formAtioN

How the con woy worked After many years of taking boats through the Gulf of Aden, lo Brust has devised a simple kite-shaped sailing pattern for a successful convoy. he is positioned at the front and centre point of the kite. Group 1 follows him a quarter of a mile on the starboard quarter, Group 3 mirrors Group 1 on the port quarter and Group 2

stays a mile directly behind lo. At night the groups close in. each of the groups contains four or five boats, including a ‘leader’. each leader is given a different coloured flashing light, which is mounted on the stern. These three group leaders and lo maintain the kite shape by watching their Ais

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transponder readings. The other boats in each group simply follow their lead boat. The only prerequisite for becoming leader is the possession of an Ais transponder. As Esper was one of the three boats in the rally with this piece of equipment we were given the task of leading Group 3.

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rsh ip bega n “On Chan n el 16 a na va l wa th a a on e-sid ed con vers ta ion wi ra tes com m ercia l vess el about pi

“Rally boats, rally boats, close in NOW!” Lo was talking to us on Channel 72, while at the same time, on Channel 16, a naval warship began a one-sided conversation with a commercial vessel about pirates just spotted in the vicinity. With Lo steaming ahead of us, and Group 1 on our beam, the rest of our group and Group 2 behind, Esper was left on her own and vulnerable. It was a heart-stopping moment.

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The ‘attack’ turned out to be a false alarm. Lo informed us we were passing a fishing village, but he had got the message across: the plan of closing in fast together, should we find ourselves under attack, had not worked because boats were not adhering to his carefully planned ‘kite’ formation. From that moment most of the Rally tried harder to stay where they had been placed by Lo. Strangely enough, it was not the ever-present threat of piracy that kept us on full alert through this most dangerous of waters. The constant menace from haphazardly laid, and poorly marked, fishing nets quickly became our biggest

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Anthea’s engine whilst being towed; by the time we reached Al Mukallah he was able to steer into the anchorage under his yacht’s own power. There were several unscheduled night-time diving adventures when yachts were caught in nets. Anthony, of Divanty, had the most accessible dinghy, and time and again lowered it into choppy water, fixed the outboard to it and motored from boat to boat with people, equipment and underwater torches to help disentangle props from nets. “It all adds to the excitement,” was his comment.

sp ot ted in th e vicin it y”

After the exhilaration of making it through the Bab safely the convoy began to lose formation. Our group was particularly bad at staying together throughout the rally, with two boats often tending to lag behind, ending up at the back of the ‘kite’ formation with Group 2. This left Esper in the correct position as leader, but often on her own or with the company of only one or two other boats. Inevitably, whilst Esper was stranded, there suddenly appeared several fast moving skiffs heading straight towards us from all directions.

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dread and took up all our waking thoughts. The coasts of Yemen and Oman are alive with fishing vessels of all sizes and shapes, with nets strung out behind and in front of them. Sometimes they are lit at night, but quite often they are only marked with a float. Most of the fishing boats leave their lights off until a boat gets close to them, so navigating through this assault course really keeps you on your toes. As our group was on the landward side of the ‘kite’ we were closer to shore and more vulnerable to the nets. On several occasions one or other of our boats was snagged by them. Despite the niggling and whining induced by sailing in formation, when it came to our fellow rally boats being in any kind of danger everyone stepped up to the mark. Having towed Cobble over 200 miles Anthea was struck down with a broken head gasket just after leaving Aden. This time it was Lo, on Mistral, who undertook the towing of another yacht. In an enviable feat of engineering Jean Claude was able to repair

For 750 miles we crept along at 5 knots in the heat of an Asian spring, but when Ian, of Rhumb Do, broke radio silence to tell us he was taking in water a cold chill ran through the rally. Props caught in nets, failing alternators and broken autopilots were one thing, but this was different. As we listened in silence to Ian’s VHF bulletins, every boat willed him to locate the problem and fix it. The Yemeni coastguard has a good reputation, but we all knew there would be no chance of rescuing Rhumb Do if she really was going down. All around the blackness was lit by the flame from a nearby oil platform, giving off a malevolent orange light, under-laid with the roar of machinery. We strained our eyes for Ian’s yacht, scanning an eerie horizon that looked like a scene from Mordor, with Sauron’s burning eye watching us. In the darkness, Jamie hastily prepared towlines as it seemed likely Ian’s engine had seized. Agonising minutes passed. Finally Ian located the problem: the end cap of his heat exchanger had split and broken off. He hastily jury-rigged a solution, while his crew, Robbie from Canada, baled like crazy. Once again we were on our way.

Tactics for sailing in the Gulf of Aden We knew when we made the decision to sail through the Gulf of Aden we were taking a risk. By joining a rally we minimised that risk, a view shared by the crew of HMS Chatham.

It was during the leg from Al Mukallah to Salalah that we marked a special day and took a few moments to forget the pressure – Jamie’s 40th birthday. Since we were maintaining radio silence some of the yachts came alongside to wave and Liz managed to produce over 40 birthday cards she had somehow kept hidden since Turkey. Breaking all their rules, Jamie had a can of beer and Liz had a small nip of scotch to mark the occasion.

The tactics are simple for small yachts:

• Sail in company • Have on board as many methods of communication as possible • Sail close to land nform the MSCHOA of your intentions long before you begin • Ithe journey - we reported to the UKMTO every six hours • Maintain radio silence se minimal lights - we used only deck-mounted navigation • Ulights, no mast or steaming lights

Among the stress and strain of sailing in convoy, avoiding fishing nets and watching for pirates, there were priceless moments on land which we will remember for ever. We did not see much of Yemen, in fact we only saw Aden, but we fell in love with the people and the place. Since ancient times Aden has been a key port on the east west trading route, but after the withdrawal of the British in the late 1960s decades of civil strife have left the town pock-marked, dishevelled, and abandoned.

an AIS transponder. We were tracked by the • Install taskforce all the way from Suez

• Arm yourself with knowledge and do your homework long distance yachtsmen and women are • Ultimately, adventurers and risk takers. Our lives are fraught with danger on a daily basis. Each individual has to assess whether the risk outweighs the adventure and to ensure every measure is taken to minimise that risk

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We found our delightful taxi driver and good ‘all-round bloke’, Selim, at the Victorian Prince of Wales pier in Tawila. It is here you land your dinghy on slippery steps and discuss, at great length, your paperwork with the local bureaucrats. The elegant columned building adjacent to the pier serves as the gateway to Aden for passing yachtsmen and women. It also serves as a gathering point for taxi drivers and guides. For a few dollars you get the standard tour, incorporating such highlights as the Cisterns, Old Aden and the Sirah Fortress. Selim prefers the grittier side of Aden and peppered our drives with potted histories, anecdotes and inappropriate jokes. He brought us to a shop in Crater’s market owned by his friend, where we drank iced fresh lime juice of such lip smacking thirst quenching flavour it puts Pepsi and its rivals to shame. As we sat round a narrow plastic table, Selim explained how his country prospered under communist rule: women discarded the jilbāb, children went to school and work was plentiful. “We were happier then. The Russians sent me to Moscow to study engineering. Now we are back to the old ways. I drive a taxi and my wife wears black.” He demanded we eat at the ‘Reem Tourist Restaurant’, which turned out to be nothing of the sort. It was full of locals (all men!) who stared and smiled at us. The kebabs were spicy, fresh and tender. He embarrassingly accepted a few dollars in payment at the end of our rides with him, hastily tucking the money in a pocket without checking it. Despite his country’s shortcomings Selim tries his best to be upbeat about life and remains one of the dearest and friendliest people we met throughout the rally. Of course, Yemen, like most Middle Eastern countries, is dry. But, like most Middle Eastern countries, if you look hard enough you will find alcohol. Overlooking the anchorage is a dubious

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establishment called ‘Sailors Bar’ where you buy beer or ‘whisky’ and other spirits by the bottle. In a side room shady locals play cards and furiously smoke, occasionally glancing, poker faced, at the overseas patrons. Sitting on the water’s edge you sip your drink, while wisecracking girls, in the tiniest of hot pants and tightest of bustiers, serve your every whim. We were fascinated to see that even these sirens cover themselves from head to foot in black when they set foot outside the bar. Life was a little less interesting in Oman, but certainly more beautiful. In Port Salalah, where we were stuck for over three weeks awaiting our

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Indian visas – the system is rigged so that you have to use an agent. This has led to arbitrary and spurious fees being levied, with no recourse for the hapless yachtsman. On the positive side there was a good bar within walking distance and the beaches were untouched and spectacular. We were pleased to learn that Oman has a huge Indian workforce, resulting in some great restaurants delivering delicious no-frills curries to the workers. On the whole, though, Oman was dull and characterless compared to the other countries we had visited. There was one memorable highpoint in Salalah, meeting the crew of HMS Chatham. We were lucky enough to be in port at the same time as this Royal Navy type 22 frigate was making minor repairs. The rally went on board for a talk on piracy and a tour of the ship, where we gawped at the weapons and coveted the Gatling-style gun; it would have fitted nicely onto any of our boats. Several happy days and hours were spent putting the world to rights with the crew. As we prepared to leave for the longest part of the rally, across the Arabian Sea to India, bad news arrived. The coalition’s grip of the Gulf of Aden was working so well that overnight the pirates switched their area of operation. Two piracy attacks had occurred off the coast of Oman, one of them less than 30 miles away. The UKMTO immediately requested that we remain in Salalah until they had investigated and ascertained the danger. Once again, the sickening fear of piracy had reared its head.

s an d co veted “We ga wped at the weapon uld ha ve fitted the Ga tlin g-st yle gun; it wo s.” nicely on to an y of ou r boat

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Cruising log for Vasco da Gama Rally Date

From

To

Distance

5/11/09

Marmaris, Turkey

Port Said, Egypt

391

11/11/09

Port Said

Ismailia

40

18/11/09

Ismailia

Port Suez

46

22/11/09

Port Suez

Wadi Dome Marina

30

23/11/09

Wadi Dome Marina

Mersa Thelemet

30

25/11/09

Mersa Thelemet

Ras Sheratib

40

26/11/09

Ras Sheratib

Sheik Riyah Harbour

38

27/11/09

Sheik Riyah Harbour

Endeavour Bay

40

29/11/09

Endeavour Bay

Hurghada Marina

20

06/01/10

Hurghada Marina

Marsa Abu Makhadiq

13

07/01/10

Marsa Abu Makhadiq

Abu Soma

29

08/01/10

Abu Soma

Port Ghalib

100

12/01/10

Port Ghalib

Sharm Luli, Sudan

68

Leg total

                          885

19/01/10

Sharm Luli,Egypt

Marob, Sudan

202

USEFUL INFORMATION

22/01/10

Marob

Marsa Inkeifel

91

25/01/10

Marsa Inkeifel

Suakin

114

30/11/10

Suakin

Trinkitat

44

02/02/10

Trinkitat

Khor Narawat

47

03/02/10

Khor Narawat

Massawa, Eritrea

175

15/02/10

Massawa

Ras Corali

27

All official bodies will advise yachts not to transit the Gulf of Aden and inform you that if you decide to sail in this area you do so at your own risk. Although there is no organisation set up to help small boats like yachts, the following bodies offer extensive information. Since we finished the rally MSCHOA has added a section devoted to yachting, including guidelines.

17/02/10

Ras Corali

Howakil Bay

45

19/02/10

Howakil Bay

Mersa Dudo

129

22/02/10

Mersa Dudo

Sadla Island

3

Leg total

                          877

27/02/10

Sadla Island, Eritrea

Eritrean/Djibouti Border

MSCHOA Maritime Security Centre - Horn of Africa Set up by the European task force to tackle piracy in this area. Established the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) Esper joined MSCHOA organisation to gain full access to the website. www.mschoa.org ICC-CCS International Chamber of Commerce: Commercial Crimes Service Go to their IMB Reporting centre for information on piracy and a map of piracy activity. www.icc-ccs.org

100

Lat: 12 43.40N Lon: 043 07.83E

28/02/10

Eritrean/Djibouti

Aden, Yemen

110

Lat: 12 43.40N Lon: 043 07.83E

09/03/10

Aden

Al Mukala

290

14/03/10

Al Mukalla

Salalah, Oman

350

Leg total

                          850

05/04/10

Salalah

Ras al Hallaniyah

125

07/04/10

Ras al Hallaniyah

Mumbai, India

990

26/04/10

Mumbai

Jaigarh

110

28/04/10

Jaigarh

Goa

127

04/05/10

Goa

Kochi

390

Leg total

                          1742

ISAF International Sailing Federation. Working with the taskforce to offer advice to yachts. www.sailing.org The Vasco Da Gama Rally The next Rally departs India for Turkey in January 2011. Lo Brust, the organiser, charges a nominal sum for each yacht. He took away the headache of the mountains of paperwork and bureaucracy required in every port. The rally is really a guiding service, and Lo makes it clear that if you participate you must be capable of getting there on your own. Each skipper is reminded that he is 100% responsible for his own vessel and the safety of his crew. www.vascodagamarally.nl

Rally total:             4354

You can follow Liz and Jamie’s worldwide adventure on their website www.followtheboat.com where you will also find more of Jamie’s photographs. Their popular weekly podcast is available through the website or iTunes.

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Photographs: Jamie Furlong

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TO BArTiCA AND BACK UHURU takes on the essequibo river, Guyana. we left Grenada on the 1st of october having spent the summer ashore at spice island marine, where we took full advantage of their excellent facilities to prepare UHURU for our next challenging nine-month leg – down the east Coast of south America, British Guyana, french Guiana, Brazil, Argentina, then over to the falklands for Christmas. Before heading over to the Antarctic Peninsula for January and back up to ushuaia, the Chilean Archipelagos, Peru, Galapagos, mexico and finally los Angeles, by early July.

By steve Powell, oyster 62 UHURU

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in Grenada we were joined by david ‘Botty’ Botterill, olly Pettifer (my 1st mate) and david and tamsin Kidwell from Twice Eleven, a renowned and popular oyster 435. we set off just as Grenada went on to storm watch status. tropical storm ‘otto’ was developing several hundred miles east of us and heading directly towards the eastern Caribbean. one of the useful side effects of this was that it was sucking all the wind out of the Caribbean and what are normally steady easterlies dropped to almost no wind at all and flat calm seas. so our strategy was to use this lack of wind and sea on the nose to motor as hard and fast as we could directly towards ‘otto’, making as much east as we could in the process, until the wind picked up and we could bear away (bounce off ‘otto’) and hopefully sail as close to south as possible. it became known onboard as the ‘Billiard Ball strategy’. well, it was a strategy that worked really well for the first couple of days, and when the wind picked up we were able to get a pretty good angle on Guyana. it wasn’t until late on the third day that we really experienced wind and sea on the nose. i had hoped to reach the mouth of the essequibo river at low water on the morning of the 4th october, but a combination of south southeasterly winds and a little engine trouble kept us tacking offshore until the morning of the 5th.

“All the time we were slipping along beside beautiful, lush rain forest jungle and palm trees, often no more than 30 feet away. Small fast, colourful high-bowed boats charged up and down the river, all intrigued with our slow and often meandering progress.”

one of our early goals on this trip was to go up the essequibo river, in Guyana, to Bartica, a small mining town and the Guyanian gateway to the Amazon rain forest. in Chris doyle’s latest cruising guide to trinidad and tobago he included a section on Guyana, and simon ward, who had spent a few months on the river in his 50ft sloop, contributed a useful report with waypoints all the way up to Bartica. on further inspection i realised that although the waypoints formed a very useful start, we would draw too much for a number of the sections and would have to find our own route. we draw 2.7m (9ft) and i always want to keep a minimum of 0.5m under the keel as a safety margin. i think his sloop drew no more than 7ft, which can make a very big difference in these waters. we crossed the bar (2.7m) off the mouth of the river about two hours after low water and motored through a relatively easy section of about 25nm to a small riverside boatyard at roeden rust, owned by Captain de silva, a very affable and knowledgeable river skipper. he had arranged 150 gallons of diesel to be waiting for us when we arrived and the next morning spent a good hour talking us through what to expect as we went up river. After refuelling and spending a comfortable night in roeden rust we prepared to set out as the tide started to flood. Then we encountered the first challenge of the day, our stern anchor had set hard in very sticky mud, and it is a big heavy danforth. try as we might we

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struggled to get it out, we tried several of the methods recommended in those ‘yachty mags’ where it’s all done in text book fashion, in a marina, and nothing goes wrong. well, i can tell you with a 3-4 knot tide running up a fast river, nothing goes ‘text book’! we eventually managed to shift it but by this time we were a little behind schedule and i had a very muddy and slightly bruised crew (ego as well as physically). our trip upriver was tense, i was on the helm for about seven hours straight, what with shifting mud banks, narrow channels, brutal tidal flow and inaccurate charts, it all made for exciting times. But we were egged on by the certain knowledge that we are the biggest, (deepest draft) modern sailboat to come up here, and the enthusiastic waves we got from local fishermen tended to confirm it. All the time we were slipping along beside beautiful lush rain forest jungle and palm trees, often no more than 30 feet away. every now and then we’d come across a clearing with a small farm or, on one occasion, a school. small fast, colourful high-bowed boats charged up and down the river, all intrigued with our slow and often meandering progress. Although we had prepared everything right on this leg, and we had it all going for us – spring tides, going up on a rising tide, etc. when our depth dropped to just 0.4m while

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THE CHOICE OF OYSTER MARINE we had a number of other ‘tight squeezes’, but all in areas that we expected shallow water. i managed to realign our chart plotter fairly accurately using local landmarks and paper charts as the reference. so as we progressed we became more and more confident.

“Had we run aground hard we would have probably had to wait for the next Spring tides. i suspect the crew would have all had a little sense of humour failure at that moment.”

crossing a bar that wasn’t supposed to be there, all hearts stopped for a moment. i did some rapid reversing and manoeuvering, eventually managing to find a path through, but i don’t think i took a breath for a good five minutes! i’ve run aground many times in my little race boat, E’Tu and even, i confess, a couple of times in UHURU, sand/mud banks etc. and as long as you’re not going too fast and are prepared for it, it’s not normally a major problem. But half way up a rain forest river in Guyana, at the top of spring tides with a 3-4 knot tide running, that’s a different ball game. had we run aground hard we would have probably had to wait for the next spring tides. i suspect the crew would have all had a little sense of humour failure at that moment. if i did it again i wouldn’t do it at spring tides, although it does give you a little extra water at high tide, the downside of increased tidal flow and a potentially very long wait if you do go aground outweigh the benefits. The biggest challenge was the mental one of constantly trying to divine what was really happening under this fast flowing muddy water just from our depth sounder. i used the tried and tested method of sailing into a shallow then bearing away into deeper water until you again hit shallow water, this helps define the channel. But when shallows suddenly loom at you where they have no right to be, it makes it very difficult. in the end i spent the whole time trying to extrapolate from inaccurate charts, depth sounder info, and mark one eyeball where we were and what was ‘likely’ to happen next. i was exhausted by the time we arrived.

we arrived in Bartica at sunset, the last section a nasty tight little run through rocks known as ‘rattlesnake rocks’, which might give you an idea of the course we had to take. finding the only piece of ‘deepish’ water we could safely anchor in was just off the commercial dock where the riverboats take gold, diamonds and people up and down the river, we settled down for a G&t. Job done!

HIGH TECH PERFORMANCE CRUISING SAILS

i am not going to bore you with the detail of our return down river, as it was a repeat of the same without too much drama. And i am not going to bore you with tales of Bartica because to be honest we didn’t have enough time to really go exploring, but it is a very vibrant, busy, mining town and the gateway to the interior. you wouldn’t necessarily want to spend your summer holidays here, but it had a lot of charm, and they take a lot of pride in the ‘melting pot’ nature of the racial mix here. we spoke with a number of locals about ‘life, the universe and everything’ and they were nothing but charming and helpful. in fact i spent a charming hour or two on UHURU with the head of Cid, The head of immigration, the Chief Customs officer, The Chief of Police, and two other various ‘officers’, all onboard to check that i didn’t have any drugs or contraband. But it soon became very obvious all they wanted to do was sit on the boat and drink my precious tonic water. They took pictures of themselves at the chart table, wandered around and asked questions about all the toys, and generally had a lot of fun. They all confirmed that we were the biggest boat they’d seen in Bartica, and loved the fact that we were on our way to Antarctica, via Bartica.

SAIL INVENTORY PLANNING SAIL SETTING ADVICE COMPLETE COVER SERVICE INCLUDING: All Season Deck Covers Floor Coverings

to be absolutely honest, the adventure for us was the journey and it was very special. Photos: steve Powell

Oyster 655 Anabasis Credit: Oyster Marine

Proud to build sails for Oyster Coming soon the new Oyster 625 with Dolphin DYS laminate sails 400 Main Road • Harwich • Essex • CO12 4DN • Tel: +44 (0)1255 243366 • Fax: +44 (0)1255 240920 sails@dolphin-sails.com • www.dolphinsails.com

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K O N g Above: mark talbot's, oyster 46 Tigress anchored off Crooked island, hong Kong

when you think of hong Kong, what pops into your mind? An iconic harbour, high-rise skyline, can-do attitude, busy Blade runner streetscapes, dim sum and sailing junks, perhaps. you’d be right. one of the most exciting cities in Asia, with world-class shopping, dining and entertainment, hong Kong does 'urban' extraordinarily well.

There’s another side to hong Kong. surprising to visitors and cherished by residents are the beautiful seascapes. looking like a cross between the west coast of scotland and Australia’s whitsunday islands, it remains unmistakably Chinese as the morning mist lifts across layer upon layer of rugged green mountains. with 236 islands studded with golden beaches and set in jade seas, these are stunning cruising grounds, and a watery release valve for hong Kong’s seven million residents. The territory is divided into four main areas: hong Kong island, Kowloon, the New territories and the outlying islands. At its heart lies dramatic Victoria harbour, splitting the city in two, with hong Kong island to the south and urban Kowloon to the north. Beyond Kowloon, between the Nine dragons mountains and China, is the New territories. And surrounding the whole lot are the outlying islands.

with a subtropical climate, calm waters and little tidal drop, the sailing is easy. hazards are few and all those islands protect the cruising grounds from big swells. outside the harbour, you can anchor almost anywhere you like for as long as you want, hassle-free. Alternatively dock at one of the yacht clubs, most of which have pools, restaurants, boatyard facilities and visitors’ moorings or berths. And, of course, friendly bars for spinning a yarn with fellow yachties.

Asia yacht services can organize immigration and marine department formalities for visiting yachts, including registration and entry/exit permits. formalities are fairly relaxed, but you do need to make sure your papers are in order. for most nationalities, visas can be granted on arrival. And there are no corruption issues – hong Kong has the reputation for being one of the 'cleanest' cities in Asia thanks to the independent Commission Against Corruption (iCAC).

The yacht clubs are spread throughout the territory, close to the best cruising grounds. the Gold Coast yacht and Country Club, in the western New territories, is conveniently located for access to hong Kong international Airport and the long beaches of lantau island. it’s the only yacht club with typhoon-proof berths for superyachts, several of which are reserved for visitors. The Gold Coast is also home to oyster marine representative, Asia yacht services, who offer a full range of services for boat owners, including top-quality repairs and maintenance and yacht management services.

After weeks or months cruising around Asia, many visiting boats need some maintenance. hong Kong has an excellent reputation for the quality of its marine servicing, with plenty of experienced boatyards and ready access to spares for repairs or even refits. Asia yacht services has a well-equipped yard that can lift boats of up to 50 tons, or 70ft loA, with associated shipyards for larger yachts. it’s no surprise that one of the world’s busiest ports has an active sailing community. As well as a packed racing-series calendar, there are

BY BART KIMMAN

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Above left: Hong Kong Ting Kau Bridge Above right: Sai Kung – the garden of Hong Kong

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When To Go

The Peak. The iconic view across the city from the highest point on Hong Kong Island is a must-see. Pick a clear day and catch the Peak Tram from Central for a 10-minute trip on the world’s steepest funicular railway.

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Big Buddha. The tallest, seated, outdoor bronze Buddha statue on the planet gazes serenely across Lantau Island.

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Victoria Harbour. The glittering heart of Hong Kong, best viewed from the deck of your Oyster. Go at 8pm, when lasers dance across the skyline nightly for the world’s biggest son et lumière display, the Symphony of Lights.

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Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons, and can be affected by typhoons from May-November. Autumn (October-December) is the best time to visit, with pleasantly warm temperatures, low humidity and plenty of sunshine. Winter (January-March) is cool, dry and cloudy. Spring (April-June) is humid and often wet. Summer (July-September) is hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms and temperatures hovering around 30ºC. For up-to-date forecasts and marine meteorological services, visit the Hong Kong Observatory website: www.hko.gov.hk.

Ngong Ping 360. A fascinating 20-minute cable car trip that offers amazing views of Hong Kong International Airport before passing over the spine of Lantau Island to the

Above: Big Buddha – the tallest outdoor, bronze Buddha on the planet.

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feet of the Big Buddha.

Yacht Clubs

Wong Tai Sin Temple. Have your fortune told in this 18,000-square-foot

Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club

temple complex that serves Hong Kong’s three major religions: Taoism, Buddhism several offshore events where you may be able to put your Oyster to the test. One of the biggest is the 480nm San Fernando Race from Hong Kong to the Philippines in April, organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC; the only institution in the city that voted to retain its 'Royal' moniker after the 1997 handover to China). The RHKYC also organizes races to Macau and back in February and May, and the China Coast Regatta in October. Staying within local waters is the club’s famous Around the Island Race, the biggest and most inclusive on the calendar, held in November. But the most challenging local event is the Aberdeen Boat Club’s Four Peaks Race, a gruelling overnight sailing and mountain-running combo held in January. For most visiting sailors, the big attraction is easy cruising in accurately charted waters. The most popular areas are around Lantau, Lamma Island and the southside of Hong Kong Island, and Sai Kung, on the eastern side of the New Territories. The long beaches in the country park on the southside of Lantau Island are a magnet for

weekend leisure junks. Call in at the Chinese fishing villages on the islands of Cheung Chau and Peng Chau – no cars allowed – and amble down the backstreets, or stop for seafood. At night, anchor off Hong Kong Disneyland for the nightly fireworks display – a wonderful backdrop to a meal onboard. And keep an eye out for Hong Kong’s famous pink dolphins, the “national” animal and a truly astonishing sight. A string of lovely beaches on the south side of Hong Kong Island are popular anchorages, with moorings and yacht club facilities at Middle Island between Repulse and Deep Water bays. Cross the busy Lamma Channel to the beaches of Lamma Island, where green turtles are known to nest, then feast on the freshest Cantonese seafood at a string of restaurants in the village of Sok Kwu Wan. Pick a fish from a tank, and have it served up steaming hot and laden with ginger and spring onion minutes later. Alternatively, head to quiet Po Toi, an island off Stanley, with a small beach and an excellent seafood restaurant (make sure you try the black-pepper prawns).

Sai Kung is known locally as 'the garden of Hong Kong', thanks to its large country park and spectacular coastline. The calm waters of Port Shelter feature several little beaches popular with local sailors, and further afield lie the long and often deserted sweeps of beach at Tai Long Wan. The area has recently been anointed a Geopark in an effort to conserve its magnificent rock formations, including caves and arches that are navigable by kayak, and one of the world’s largest collections of hexagonal columns (very similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland). The Marine Park at Hoi Ha features a surprising array of coral and marine life for divers – Hong Kong has more than 100 species of coral and 300 species of fish. To truly get away from it all, head north to the serene and usually empty waters of Double Haven, which can be reached only by foot – or by your Oyster!

and Confucianism.

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Stanley Market. Packed with fashion, paintings, antiques and trinkets, with a seafront strip of bars and restaurants ready to perk you up after you’ve shopped till you’re ready to drop.

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Dim sum. Literally translated as 'little pieces of the heart', this morning institution is the best meal of the day. Traditionally served by ladies pushing trolleys through packed restaurants, order as many of the dumplings and other little dishes as you want. Always eaten with tea.

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Hollywood Road. 'Antique Street' is like a museum with price tags. Browse

Full-service yacht club, with typhoon-proof berths for superyachts and smaller boats (including visitor's berths). Facilities include pool, restaurants, spa, on-site hotel, boatyard. 1 Castle Peak Road Castle Peak Bay New Territories Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2404 3257 Fax : (852) 2457 8940 Email: info@goldcoastclub.com.hk Web: www.goldcoastclub.com.hk

the Ming furniture, Mandarin robes, ancient Chinese ceramics and junk-store finds. Then meander up the hill to the restaurants of SoHo to take a break.

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Racing at Happy Valley. It’s not every day you see a racecourse surrounded by skyscrapers. Join the throng trackside to cheer your horse down the home

Bart Kimman

straight, or book into a box for a taste of the high life.

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Oyster's Representative in Asia

The Dragon’s Back. Voted Asia’s best urban hike by TIME Magazine, the Dragon’s Back is an 8.5km trail through bamboo forests and past gurgling streams along the spine of Hong Kong Island. Just 20 minutes and a world away from the city.

Asia Yacht Services Limited Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club 1 Castle Peak Road New Territories Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2815 0404 Email: bart.kimman@oystermarine.hk

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whilst meandering along the turkish coast from Antalya in the eastern mediterranean to istanbul (with incursions into the Black sea) my wife doreen and i agreed, without a second’s hesitation, that we have loved every minute of the three years we have spent sailing these warm waters.

By BriAN loNG, oyster 56, Chinook

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to avoid the heat and crowds of summer, our sailing adventures have been enjoyed during the spring and autumn seasons as we eased our way, without a schedule, along one of the most benign coastlines in the world. stopping in places like Kusedasi, fethiye, Kemer, izmir, Cesme plus the popular sailing meccas of marmaris and Bodrum. turkey is a beautiful country with lovely people and a fabulous southern coastline studded with historic remnants of ancient civilizations. monuments like ephesus, hadrian’s Gate and the wonderful outdoor concert hall, built in the 5th Century called Aspendos and a great many more, too numerous to mention. our latest sojourn in spring 2010 started by dropping Chinook back into the water in Ayvalik and hoisting the sails, before pointing towards istanbul and the Black sea, passing through the dardanelles to the sea of marmaris and the Bosphorus. The island of Bozcaada has stood guard over the entrance to the dardanelles for centuries, but is now noted more as a tourist destination than a military outpost and people arrive in droves from ferries to inhabit the many fish restaurants in the town of the same name.

manoeuvring very carefully to avoid the swimmers in the pristine waters of the bay, doreen dropped the anchor as i backed up to the dock and tied up. Zipping out the hydraulic passerelle i stepped ashore to connect the power and take a look around. Bozcaada is a great place to explore, a pretty old town surrounding the bay, charming old hotels and a restored Venetian fortress rising up high over the sea, providing wonderful panoramic views. it’s an easy, pleasant place to relax in and enjoy the local wine. we were reminded of the strategic military value of the area when, just outside the entrance to the dardanelles, what appeared at first sight to be a small rock standing just above the water materialised ominously into a turkish Navy submarine! At the time we had no inkling that another interesting encounter with a naval vessel would occur sometime later. our pilot book contained stern warnings about the shallows in the south entrance area to the dardanelles advising of considerable silting, so we followed the sub into the channel but it soon pulled away from us at a good pace as we passed the ancient cities of troy on our starboard side.

once inside the sea of marmara we decided to visit Karagbiga on the south coast before threading our way through the astonishing beauty of the Adasis of trumeili and Pasalilmani with the tricky shallow entrance between a tiny island and the picturesque mini Pasha harbour. Then on to marmara Adasi, the largest island in the sea, famous for its white marble quarried from the north side of the island. many of the best views of the most famous landmarks in istanbul are from the water and motoring up the Bosphorus, where all forms of sailing are prohibited, provides photogenic angles of the topkapi Palace, the Blue mosque and dolmabache Palace. There are scores of vessels large and small crossing east and west, as well as container ships transiting the Bosphorus north and south, so the entrance is not a place for the faint hearted in holiday season. innumerable ferries crisscross the entrance from the Golden horn to the tourist areas on the Asian side and are too fast and too many to attempt picking a way through them, so gambling that no ferry skipper wanted the sinking of a Canadian flagged oyster 56 on his resumé and

possessed the skills to avoid us, i held my course and 3-knot speed!

until it died and our faithful yanmar kicked in to help our progress.

we stopped at a port just inside the Black sea on the european side called rumeli feneri, which was jammed tightly with fishing boats: we were a bit apprehensive about fishy smells surrounding us all night and almost left again, until beckoned by a worker to tie alongside him, where we nestled, rafted four deep. But there were no odours at all as the fishing boats there were being refitted and repaired and none were actively involved in fishing. This is a point of entry into turkey and it wasn’t long before a casually dressed official dropped by asking for our papers and collecting 20 lire from our kitty.

As we were motoring i decided to ease further north until the wind strengthened, as this would give us a better angle to make the entrance to the marina, and just before tacking we passed close to a fleet of four or five smaller fishing boats; although no dive flag was visible, several of the crew wore wet suits and one jumped into the water. As we exchanged friendly waves we wondered what they were doing, speculating net-tangling problems were being attended to.

early next morning saw us heading east along the rarely sailed north coast of turkey towards sile, about 45 miles distant, motoring smartly across the North and south traffic separation lines at the Bosphorus entrance, which were busy in both directions. A light wind came from the north east and the ever present swell we’d heard of was evident and uncomfortable, but we managed about 5 knots, sailing just off the wind for a few hours

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our south east tack was much smoother and with fresher winds we made good time approaching the breakwater and entrance to the marina, which was located on the east Pictures (from left to right):

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View from the Castle on Bozcaada Beach scene in the Black sea tourist tram on istikalal Ave istanbul The oyster 56, Chinook in full sail Canakalle fortress at Bozcaada rumeli feneri at the entrance to the Bosphorus from the Black sea

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side of a large bay, with a sandy beach covered with red and yellow umbrellas shading the bathers as we negotiated the sheltered entrance with extreme caution. our pilot book is several years old and had warned of silting at the entrance three to five metres inside so we inched our way in, testing my nerve with the depth finder showing less than a metre under the keel at one point and i held my breath for several seconds. once inside there seemed to be lots of room in the deeper water alongside the town dock in front of a pretty fish restaurant and a sailor stepped off a nearby fishing boat, welcoming us with a smile and taking our lines. for the umpteenth time i thanked Chinook’s shoal keel for keeping us off the bottom. That afternoon we strolled along the waterfront to the sandy bay, which was covered with hundreds of bathers enjoying 29ºC water temperatures, where we relaxed in a café with shade umbrellas, cold effes and free wifi. That evening the fishing fleet returned and we realized we had taken their spot on the dock, which didn’t seem to bother them as they rafted up to unload their catch. Bright orange net sacks containing what looked like small conch shells were tossed on the dock, and we realized this was the fleet we had seen earlier and the men were divers rather than fishermen. Their boats equipped with compressors and generators. A large refrigerated truck arrived with a set of scales, they weighed dozens of sacks of shells, loaded them and drove off. one of the divers spoke english and responding to our curiosity explained they were a popular snail delicacy Pictures (from left to right): • raising the anchor at dawn on marmara Adasi • loading the catapult • doreen and Brian, Canakalle • The lovely Chinook in yavlova’s marina

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of helix lucorum found only in the Black sea and exported mainly to france. They’d be out diving again the next day. Around the wide north entrance to the Bosphorus on the Asian side, are numerous vacation towns and villages with lots of beaches and crowds of people enjoying the sun in all forms: campers in tents, motor homes and vacation apartments and we dropped into Poraz on the east bank on our return to istanbul. our chart showed a mole and finger-piers well sheltered from the fast-running currents. when we arrived it was full of trippers from istanbul and dozens of small craft were anchored in the bay adjacent to the marina. The main dock was full of fishing vessels of all sizes and again, it seemed to be a major refit/repair facility, but with a nice beach. As we crept into the bay, swimmers appeared oblivious to us, we dropped anchor behind a large gulet and fell back near a cardinal type marker warning of rocks near the shore. local lads full of testosterone were using the buoy as a catapult, launching themselves in the air in a really novel way. it was great entertainment for participants and spectators alike and when they saw my camera they really hammed it up. early next morning doreen raised the anchor and we slipped out of the bay heading south with the current towards istanbul and a date with the carpet salesmen at the world famous Grand Bazaar. About a dozen miles from the Golden horn at the south end of the Bosphorus lay the charming Princes islands, well inhabited, with tourists and gorgeous holiday homes nestled in the hills, there’s a distinctly european feel to them. we’d heard of a shortness of marina space around istanbul but after spending a few days among the four main islands and two smaller ones, we learned what tight anchoring is all about, from people whose daily lives are spent in close proximity to the rest of the 13 million inhabitants of istanbul.

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At the south end of the island of heybaliada is a large bay and apparently there’s no translation for the phrase ‘swing room’. The mixture of large and small power and sail craft are separated pretty much by hope and a prayer. surprisingly this seemed to work well enough as we witnessed no problems that a hefty push didn’t solve quickly and amicably. But by nightfall only a handful of boats remained to enjoy the relative quiet and solitude of well-sheltered anchorage.

“Chinook, do you see the Warship off your stern quarter?” looking back i could see the vessel a mile or so off and acknowledged.

There were rumours of a new marina opening in a town called yalova, so we decided to sail in that direction. Almost fully operational but not yet officially open, the setur-operated marina offered Chinook a complimentary slip and we walked ashore to yalova which was jumping. we experienced great food and atmosphere here with crowded pedestrian seaside boulevards surfaced in decorative paving stones, lots of cafés and fish restaurants, which we visited, where the food was tasty and very inexpensive. we liked yavlova very much!

“That’s a Roger. Steering 270 over”.

There was no wind as we made our way to Pendik just a few miles from the entrance to the Bosphorus where a new marina had opened just last year. we were motoring slowly the 12 miles or so hoping for a breeze and a nice push but typically the winds here are light in the mornings, freshening in the afternoon, probably whipping up 15 knots as we were docking just to make it interesting. it was then that we were intercepted by the turkish Coast Guard! i saw them approaching at high speed at an intercept angle as we listened to the radio... The Commitments – mustang sally – not the Vhf! They swooped across our bow, turning sharply in front of us with some skill, almost colliding and leaving us wallowing in their wash, in neutral. Grabbing the handheld Vhf i hailed them on 16 and they responded immediately in perfect english with instructions to switch to channel zero eight.

“Yes I see it”. “Chinook you are not to pass in front of the warship”. “OK. I am on passage to Pendik does that conflict with the warship?” “Chinook, you must steer 270 degrees” (we were steering 354 at the time of intercept). shortly after: “Chinook you must follow us”. “Roger that, following your vessel”. we followed them on a zigzag course at about six knots for some time as the warship closed and it became clear she was patrolling in front of the major port of tuzla, which is part of istanbul and only a mile or so across the bay from Pendik marina. “Chinook turn left and maintain at least one mile from the warship”. “Roger, turning left, what course? “Chinook”. (something unintelligible) “Say again”. “Do you understand?” “No! Say again”. muttering then silence. The warship was cruising in a grid pattern back and forth sometimes approaching us then turning away in the opposite direction and we continued to follow the coast guard, skirting the fringes of the warship’s manoeuvres in a wide circle. “Chinook”, “Captain, you may resume your course to Pendik now”. “That’s a Roger, resuming course”. “Coastguard Coastguard – Chinook Chinook” “steering 27 degrees” “Standing by on zero eight and on one six”. “Chinook” “OK have a good day”.

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And the drama was over! The turkish military’s charming shyness to photography is well known and because we were being watched very carefully, i resisted the temptation of pointing my camera or anything else in their direction. later we enjoyed a chilled glass of white wine and a cheese plate at a beautiful, italian-style café with large shade umbrellas and comfortable couches; it was 29ºC, clear and sunny with turkish jazz playing softly in the background, overlooking the marina and the lofty minaret towers of downtown istanbul. we casually pondered the reason for such high security in the tuzla bay area, obviously there was something very special about the shipyards next to the marina, but it was some time later that we learned the oyster superyachts are being built right there! we now know these two super oysters and the two more in design stage are very special vessels with new high tech hull fabrication processes, which are a very good reason for secrecy. we are aware of the exceptional powers of persuasion and influence of oyster but quite how the apparent enlistment of the turkish Navy and Coastguard for oyster superyacht security purposes is a mystery! Chinook is hibernating in Ataturk marina in istanbul this winter so we’ll return next spring to awaken her and are looking forward to a special tour of the oyster superyacht facility in tuzla, arranged by liz whitman, where 100/01 will be in the water and 100/2, 100/3 and 125/01 will be in-build. istanbul Park is the site of the turkish Grand Prix, which is located just a few kilometres from the shipyard and as avid fi fans we are excited to be able to take in the race whilst in the area. it’s not without a tinge of regret that we realize our time in turkey is coming to an end, as next spring we’ll begin making our way out of the mediterranean, catching a few of the Greek

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islands we’d missed earlier and heading south west, stopping at a couple of ports in tunisia. we then plan to sail down the coast of west Africa to the Cape Verde islands, before the long crossing of the Atlantic to the Caribbean to join the oyster world rally fleet by January 2013, for the first leg through the Panama Canal and on to Papieti in tahiti.

useful iNformAtioN for sAiliNG iN turKey CruisiNG iNformAtioN: for all details relating to cruising in turkey, including entry requirements, clearance and immigration, go to the excellent Noonsite website at: www.noonsite.com CruisiNG Guides: turkish waters and Cyprus Pilot By rod heikell Publisher: imray turkey Cruising Companion: A yachtsman’s Pilot and Cruising Guide to the Ports and harbours from the Cesme Peninsula to Antalya: izmir to Anatalya By emma watson Publisher: John wiley & sons weAther: weather forecasts from Antalya every 3 hours available in summer time on Vhf Chanel 67 www.meteor.gov.tr tourist iNformAtioN: www.tourismturkey.org

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ON

On their way...

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Recently launched Oysters

Oyster 56 Sulana

Oyster 56 Enjoy Life

An Oyster 56 built for newly retired Managing Director, Alan Brook and his wife Sue, was never going to be anything other than a very special yacht.

Lars Johansson took delivery of his new Oyster 56, Enjoy Life, in August and she is, by far, the most highly specified example of an Oyster 56 to date. She mixes the traditional with the contemporary both on deck and below and has an increasingly rare, classic teak interior along with sumptuous leather upholstery combined with an array of state of the art audio-visual equipment.

With Alan’s 33 years of Oyster yacht building experience, it is no surprise that Sulana, built at Landamores, features many clever ideas and extra touches that maximise stowage space and will make the boat as comfortable as possible to live aboard and confirms what many of us already guessed, that Alan has in fact been day-dreaming about this boat for decades! The crown-cut teak joinery, complete with custom teak saloon table and teak mast cover complete Sulana’s stunning interior.

On deck she looks resplendent with her Awlgrip Blue hull and full hydraulically-controlled sail plan. She is fully equipped for Scandinavian cruising with a custom stern anchor installation and teak bow platform with boarding ladder.

Oyster 575 Can Do Too

Alan’s previous ‘keep it simple’ approach to electronics is demonstrated in the remote control autopilot, four Raymarine Graphic displays, Lifetag system, two VHF radios, two GPS systems, Navtex, bank of E series displays, Active Radar Reflector, SSB radio, two TVs (one with mirrored finish), touch-screen DVDs, iPod docks, laptop and fixed computer installation, and dimmable LED lights throughout. Oh... and the two satellite phone systems that will ensure he’s always able to stay in touch with Oyster After Sales!

Can Do Too was handed over to CAN Holdings and Mike Freeman in August and is named after Mike’s business and personal ethos of having a ‘Can Do’ attitude to life. Can Do Too is the first Oyster 575 fitted with a performance carbon rig complete with an Oceanfurl inboom system, and with her dark blue hull and gold lines she has a really striking appearance on the water. CAN Holdings also own an Oyster 46 called Can Do, which is currently based in the Med. Mike’s plan for the future is for the 46 to be based on the West Coast of Scotland and his new 575 to be based in the Med after she has completed her first year’s season in the Caribbean. We look forward to seeing Mike and Can Do Too take part in the Grenada regatta.

Sulana joined the fleet of 18 Oysters taking part in the 2010 ARC. After cruising the Caribbean she is expected to lead the fleet at the Oyster Grenada Regatta in April.

Oyster 575 Boarding Pass III Boarding Pass III was handed over to owner Bill Munro in the summer. Bill and his partner Susan were joined by their Project Manager, Nigel Leamon, for the passage down the coast from Oyster’s Ipswich headquarters, before they departed UK waters to join Oyster’s Jubilee Regatta in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. An overall result of 2nd in Class 2 was a fantastic result in their first regatta. Bill commented ”We are keeping Boarding Pass III in Malta for the winter, partly because we can fly direct from Scotland on Wednesday and Saturday making a long weekend on board a realistic possibility. We intend to cruise/charter our 575 in the Eastern Med next summer season then take in next year’s

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Oyster Regatta in Palma on route to Las Palmas for the 2011 ARC. We will most likely bring Boarding Pass back to the Med for the 2012 summer season and then return to the Caribbean with the 2012 ARC. We are still interested in joining Oyster’s 2013 Round the World Rally. We are enjoying the yacht very much and, although not fully retired yet, we’re planning to spend a lot of time on board going forward. We are finding that a yacht of this size certainly eats up the miles in comfort and is exceptionally easy to handle by only Susan and myself. We are hoping to discover lots of out-of-the-way places as our new 575 will open up many new horizons for us to explore.”

Enjoy Life will begin her adventure in Scandinavia before heading south to the Mediterranean next year. She was certainly in good hands on her maiden voyage to Sweden, being skippered by renowned yachtsman Magnus Olsson, who has six Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races under his belt – he will certainly have found the luxurious comfort on board this Oyster 56 a little different!

Owner Lars Johansson commented ”Enjoy Life is now well tucked in for the winter here in Stockholm. Next May or June, we will sail her via Southampton down to Cannes and the Med. A colleague of mine, John McMonigall just mentioned he has ordered a new Oyster 575, which he will keep in Southampton, so I may race him once or twice before I continue further south. We will then keep her in the Med for three or four years. If work permits, we may take a break from the Med after a year or two to sail to Spitsbergen and the Norwegian fjords. Once we have explored the Med, we will take her to the Caribbean for three or four years, and when I am properly retired, and everything else permitting, we plan to do the Pacific, and maybe Antarctica. So we keep the post-delivery dreams alive. We are very pleased with her and we really look forward to spending more time onboard.”

Oyster 54 Pearl of Persia The new Oyster 54, Pearl of Persia was on show at the Southampton Boat Show earlier this year. Finished in Maple with tan upholstery she looks really stunning below deck. New owners Andrew and Sussanne Lock are delighted with their new yacht and the experience of building her has far exceeded their expectations. Andrew commented “After launch we made for Jersey and spent an enjoyable month getting to know the boat and the tides around the Channel Islands. She is now in Lymington for the winter where we hope to do a little winter sailing, weather permitting, and

then explore northern waters for much of next summer, possibly heading for Ireland, before sailing her into the Med next autumn, and spending much of 2012 around Greece and Turkey. The likely plans are to join the ARC 2012 to take her over to the Caribbean and then most likely, and very tempting, join the Oyster Round the World Rally, leaving January 2013. As Sussanne is not keen to do the long transits, but more than happy to join at the destinations, I expect friends (old ones and those I haven’t met yet) will make up the crew.”

Oyster 655 Neki

Oyster 46 Juno

The new Oyster 655 Neki, which means ‘nobility’ in Hindu, was shown at this year’s Southampton Boat Show before handover to her American owner John Noble. She has joined the fleet of 18 Oysters in this year’s ARC. Neki will have an official launch party in the Caribbean on Boxing Day during a family cruise with John’s wife Anji and young family on board.

Oyster 46/25 Juno was recently handed over to her new owner. Following a few weeks of sea trials around the UK, Juno set sail for her new homeport of Malta. She is fitted out in teak with cream upholstery giving her a luxurious yet traditional feel below deck.

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One Brand. One Solution. From stem to stern, Lewmar has you covered. At Lewmar, it all starts with innovation. We continually explore new ways to increase strength, save weight and more than anything — make boaters’ and boat builders’ lives easier. That’s why everyday sailors, powerboat owners, fishermen and elite racers alike have been turning to us since 1946. Visit www.lewmar.com for details.

UK +44 (0)23 9247 1841 USA +1 203 458 6200 France +33 5 46 50 50 46 Netherlands +31 (0)38 427 34 90 Taiwan +886 2 2618 5041 Italy +39 02 2699 111 info@lewmar.com

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Anchor | Hatch & Portlight | NAVTEC® Rigging | Sail Control | Steering | Thruster | Winch | Windlass

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g n i n r a W

LD U O C ES G N A H C CHT

A US Y T A R T U S O Y TAX T C & E T F A V SLY AF U SERIO

Wealth Warning Is your yacht operating under: • The French Commercial Yacht Exemption? • An Italian Lease? • An Isle of Man Charter Structure? If so then you may have serious issues with regards to its VAT and tax status. Do you want to wait until the potential problem becomes a very real issue, or would you prefer to implement an effective solution now?

Oyster Marine Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1473 688888 Sales Team: Tel: +44 (0)1473 695005 Aftersales: Tel: +44 (0)1473 690198 Email: yachts@oystermarine.com www.oystermarine.com Oyster Marine USA Oyster Brokerage USA Tel: +1 401 846 7400 Email: info@oystermarine.com www.oystermarine.com Oyster Marine Germany Tel: +49 40 644 008 80 Email: yachten@oystermarine.com www.oystermarine.de Oyster Representatives Oyster Marine in Asia Bart Kimman Tel: +852 2815 0404 Email: bart.kimman@oystermarine.hk Oyster Marine in Italy Tommy Moscatelli Tel: +39 0564 830234 Email: tommy.moscatelli@oystermarine.it Oyster Marine in Russia Oscar Konyukhov Tel: +7 495 725 47 03 Email: oscar.konyukhov@oystermarine.com Oyster Marine in Ukraine Alex Krykanyuk Tel: +380 512 580 540 Email: alex.krykanyuk@oystermarine.ru

Oyster Charter Tel: +1 401 846 7400 Email: molly.marston@oystermarine.com www.oystercharter.com

Oyster Brokerage Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1473 695100 Email: brokerage@oystermarine.com www.oysterbrokerage.com

Contact us to discuss the potential problems and solutions: Declan O’Sullivan • dos@pelagosyachts.com • +441624 819867 (office) • +447624 461317 (mobile) Chris Stewart • crs@pelagosyachts.com • +441624 819867 (office) • +447624461050 (mobile)

www.pelagosyachts.com

Southampton Yacht Services Ltd Saxon Wharf Lower Street Northam Southampton SO14 5QF England Tel: +44 (0)23 8033 5266 Fax: +44 (0)23 8063 4275 Email: sales@southamptonyachtservices.co.uk www.southamptonyachtservices.co.uk


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Oyster Winter 2010 // Issue71  
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