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N E W S F ROM T H E WO R L D O F OYST E R

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I N TH IS IS S U E – LAUNCHING THE NEW OYSTE R 625, OYSTE R R E GATTA G R E N A DA AND THE NEW OYSTER 725 U N VE ILE D

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CONTENTS

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WELCOME

2011

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OYSTER LIFE

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THE NEW OYSTER 725

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MISS TIPPY

OYSTER SUPERYACHT UPDATE UHURU’S SOUTHERN ADVENTURE Steve Powell

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OYSTER AT THE BOAT SHOWS

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OYSTER REGATTA GRENADA

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TWIN RUDDERS

OYSTER WORLD RALLY

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OWNER PROFILE – MARIUSZ KOPER

Rob Humphreys

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THE 25TH ARC

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FOUR MEN AND A BOAT

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GONE WITH THE WIND Stephen Hyde

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ON THEIR WAY...

LIVE IN CUBA Gunilla Brewert

Barry Pickthall

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THE TASTE OF AN OYSTER Louay Habib

Tim Barker

LONDON OWNERS’ DINNER

Louay Habib

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Barry Pickthall

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Brian and Sheila Norton

News from the world of Oyster

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David Tydeman

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AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE OYSTER 625

CROSSING THE ARABIAN SEA Liz Cleere and Jamie Furlong

FRONT COVER PICTURE

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

FROM THE EDITOR

Photo: Mike Jones The new Oyster 625 resplendent in the evening light at the Oyster Private View, St Katharine Docks, London

Barry Pickthall Louay Habib

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.

EDITOR Liz Whitman

PRODUCTION EDITOR Rebecca Twiss

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.


W ELCOM E

During the six months since the last issue of Oyster News, so much has happened it’s hard to know where to start. I’m delighted to say we closed 2010 with the largest value of contracts ever signed in one year, which of course gives us a stable platform going forward – but lead times are now stretching out again… so don’t wait to plan your adventures! Several of these orders are for clients planning to take part in our inaugural World Rally starting in January 2013 and it’s exciting to know that we have firm commitments and entry fees from more than 30 participants. This will be a truly memorable event. In late June we cracked the champagne on the first Oyster 100 – Sarafin – named after a high quality Turkish wine – no prizes for guessing how we celebrated signing the contract last year. She’ll complete her sail trials

SYS have had a good year and Sea Lion – a 1950s Abeking and Rasmussen built yacht – was relaunched in late June after a complete re-build. I think there were only a couple of strakes in the keel area left of the original. A fantastic quality job by our team of specialists at SYS and a fitting final project for Piers Wilson who founded SYS over 30 years ago and retired at the end of June. We wish him well. A great regatta in Grenada in April this year will be followed in September by over 30 yachts taking part in our Palma event. We head to the British Virgin Islands in April 2012 as we continue to organise rallies and dinners to help our owners enjoy their yachts. Finally, if I may make a personal appeal. I started offshore sailing on the Sir Winston Churchill with the Sail Training Association (now the charity – Tall Ships Youth Trust Ltd of which I’m Chairman). We’re trying to locate people who sailed the Churchill and Malcolm Miller in the 1980s – if you know anyone, please ask them to contact me. Many thanks for your continued support of Oyster. We’ll do our best to keep building great yachts.

in Turkey over the next few weeks, before setting sail for the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the first Oyster 625 went sailing in early May and the first

Sincere regards to you all,

Oyster 885 starts fit-out at our Southampton Yacht Services yard in August. We’ve just sold 625-08 and the yacht has been nominated for a European Yacht of the Year award. She is attracting owners who prefer to sail with just family and friends, and it’s interesting to see how the perceived maximum size a family can handle has grown, yet she also works well as a crewed yacht. Plentiful on-deck living space and a crisp, modern interior, with her Seascape saloon windows are particular attractions. Capitalising on the success of this new design, we have upgraded the Oyster 72 – now the Oyster 725 – the first of which is under construction and will include some of the features that are so admired on the 625.

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David Tydeman CEO, Oyster Group david.tydeman@oystermarine.com

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Oyster life

HEADLINES FROM T H E WO R L D O F OYST ER

NEW FACES AT OYSTER We are delighted to welcome some new additions to Team Oyster as we strengthen our support network for our customers and owners around the world. Dan Wurzbacher Sales Manager USA Office

Michael Bell Representing Oyster in Australia

Dan has been professionally involved in the marine industry for seven years, culminating with his Captaincy of Argo, a 110 degree Langan Design Schooner. He has completed crossings of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, with over 50,000 miles of blue-water cruising experience, including extensive landfalls. He has overseen several major refit projects and joins Oyster from a career in Brokerage with Berthon USA in Newport. Dan is based at Oyster Marine’s US Headquarters at Newport Shipyard in Newport, RI and handles new yacht sales in the Oyster fleet, from the Oyster 46 to the Oyster 885, throughout the Americas and Caribbean. Contact Dan at: dan.wurzbacher@oystermarine.com

We are very pleased to have secured the services of Michael Bell to act as our representative for new sales enquiries in Australia. Michael is a well-known figure in the local marine industry and yachting community, having previously represented Nautor in Australia, and is conveniently based from his own offices at Pittswater, just north of Sydney Harbour. Visiting Oyster owners will receive a very warm welcome. Contact Michael at: michael.bell@oystermarine.com

NEW DIRECTOR Molly Marston We are delighted to announce that Molly Marston was appointed a Director of Oyster Brokerage Ltd earlier this year. Molly’s contribution to the Oyster business has been significant, particularly through her careful and studious expansion of Oyster Charter over the last few years. Her new title, as Director of Operations – Oyster USA, reflects what we have all known for some time, that Molly really has been running the Oyster USA offi ce ever since it opened 16 years ago! Molly will continue to manage and develop our Oyster Charter business.

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Chris Fairfax Broker USA Office Chris joins Oyster Brokerage with a wealth of experience of the US brokerage market and a long career as a yacht captain, including Atlantic and Pacifi c crossings on board Oyster yachts, so is well placed to advise those looking to purchase a yacht for blue water cruising. Chris and his wife have two young sons – they cruise their S&S designed 34ft cruising yacht and race a Rhodes 19 in the summer, while Chris keeps busy in the winter playing ice hockey. Contact Chris at: chris.fairfax@oystermarine.com

Paul Bennett New Customer Support Manager With Eddie Scougall fully employed in helping Debbie Johnson to plan and run the Oyster World Rally, Paul Bennett has taken over the role of Oyster’s Customer Support Manager. Paul has held a senior role in Oyster’s commissioning team for the last fi ve years, but has in fact been skippering Oysters for various owners, including the Oyster 82 Cygnus of Anglesey, as well as working for Oyster for the last 15 years. So he has a wealth of blue water sailing and technical knowledge and experience.

Claudio Corvino New Yacht Sales Italy With a passion for sailing, Claudio has sailed extensively on his family’s cruising yacht and has a background in new and brokerage yacht sales gained from his previous position in Varazze, Italy. Claudio has joined our European sales team where his native Italian will be put to good use handling new enquiries. He will be based at Oyster’s Ipswich HQ, whilst he is building up his knowledge of Oyster and looks forward to meeting customers at the Genoa Boat Show in October. Contact Claudio at: claudio.corvino@oystermarine.com

FAREWELL TO BOB MARSTON We were sorry to say goodbye to Molly’s husband, Bob Marston, who left Oyster to pursue a new career in the marine industry. Bob played a big role in growing our US brokerage operation in recent years and we are pleased that he will continue to be a part of the Oyster family through Molly.


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WE ARE RECRUITING PROJECT MANAGERS REQUIRED IN IPSWICH AND SOUTHAMPTON With a growing order book, we require additional Project Managers at both our Ipswich and Southampton Yacht Services offices to provide liaison, technical support and coordination between our clients and the yard throughout the construction process of their new Oyster yacht. Candidates will need good people skills, but above all comprehensive knowledge of what goes into a modern yacht, preferably combined with significant blue water sailing or build experience. They will need the ability to inspire confidence in our clients, most of whom are experienced yachtsmen. Foreign language skills would be beneficial, though not essential. Our Project Managers are major contributors to our ongoing quality development programme. To apply, please send your CV to: recruitment@oystermarine.com

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OYSTER REGATTAS

PALMA 27 SEPTEMBER – 1 OCTOBER 2011 This September will see an impressive fleet of around 30 Oysters taking part in Oyster’s annual Mediterranean regatta, hosted as usual by the Real Club Nautico in Palma. Participants can look forward to some great racing in the Bay of Palma and some wonderful parties at some of the island’s best venues, including a wine tasting and Paella party at the mountainside Bodegas Santa Catalina and cocktails on the terrace of the iconic Es Baluard art gallery. A full report will appear in the next issue of Oyster News.

BVI 2 – 7 APRIL 2012 The British Virgin Islands is one of the most stunning cruising areas in the Caribbean and provides a fantastic location for an Oyster regatta. The Oyster fleet will rendezvous at Nanny Cay Marina and will visit a number of islands during the 7-day event, including a planned stopover at the recently opened, prestigious Oil Nut Bay where the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has opened a Caribbean base.

COWES 9 – 14 JULY 2012

OYSTER SPONSORS LORO PIANA SUPERYACHT REGATTA The fourth edition of this annual event, jointly organised by Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and sponsored by Oyster, attracted an impressive fleet of 27 of the world’s most stunning superyachts to the beautiful Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Oyster CEO, David Tydeman, enjoyed the hospitality on board the 57.5m Dubois designed, Royal Huisman Twizzle, a slightly larger version of the Oyster 125 Flybridge, but it was Harry Macklowe’s Unfurled and Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling that triumphed in an event that was dominated by strong winds.

Planned to be held just before the start of the London Olympics, Oyster’s UK Regatta will once again be hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron at their beautiful and historic headquarters, The Castle, overlooking the Solent. Always a popular event, a large fleet of Oysters is expected to take part. With a number of other significant events planned in the Solent in the build up to the Olympics, there will be plenty of other sailing action for participants to enjoy, including what will surely be one of the biggest fleets of J-Class yachts to be seen anywhere in the world. The organisers are hoping to have a fleet of up to seven J’s take part in the Regatta, which starts on 18 July and ends with the Hundred Guinea Cup around the Isle of Wight on 21 July. Following on from the Oyster Regatta, this is sure to be a spectacular sight not to be missed. To ensure you are able to take part in any of these events, owners should register their interest as soon as possible with Jacqui Kotze at: jacqui.kotze@oystermarine.com

HARRODS INTERIOR DESIGN SHOWCASED ON OYSTER 72 We were delighted to offer the Harrods Interior Design team the opportunity to dress the new Oyster 72, Infiniti, with a range of beautiful soft furnishings and decorative objects from the Harrods store, for our Private View event at St Katharine Docks. The yacht looked absolutely stunning and was much admired by visitors to the event. We look forward to working with the team in the future. For more information see: www.thestudioatharrods.co.uk

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OYSTER 625 NOMINATED FOR YACHT OF THE YEAR Launched earlier this year to great acclaim at Oyster’s Private View in London, the new Oyster 625 has been nominated for the European Yacht of the Year, proving what the team at Oyster, and the seven owners who have already placed orders for the 625, have known for some time, that this innovative new yacht, with her modern profile and contemporary styling, really is a winner both above and below decks. The Oyster 625 will be displayed at this year’s Southampton, Cannes and Genoa Boat Shows. To book a boarding pass to view her at these shows please go to the Events section of our website: www.oystermarine.com or call us on +44 (0)1473 695 005. See page 36 for a report on this stunning new yacht.

TRANSATLANTIC MAXI YACHT CUP 2011 The International Maxi Association (IMA) and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are jointly organising a Transatlantic race starting from Tenerife in November 2011 and finishing at Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands, just in time for the opening of the new YCCS Club House at Oil Nut Bay. The event is open to yachts over 60 feet LOA, with a mini maxi fleet 60-80 feet, maxis 80-100 feet and supermaxis of 100 feet and over. The organisers would be delighted to see a fleet of Oysters take part. For more information, a copy of the Notice of Race and to enter, go to: www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

OYSTER 885 TAKES SHAPE

OYSTER 56 FIRST IN WORLD ARC Stephen and Aileen Hyde’s Oyster 56, A Lady, was first in her class in the 2010-2011 World ARC that ended in the Caribbean in April, repeating the success of David Holliday’s Oyster 72, Kealoha 8 that won her class in the previous event. Just days after finishing their 14-month voyage around the world, Stephen and Aileen joined the fleet of Oysters at our regatta in Grenada, where they enjoyed some success on the racecourse. See page 102 for more news on A Lady’s circumnavigation.

PRIVATE VIEW PALMA

Th e first of the fantastic, new Oyster 885s has been released from the mould and will soon be installed in the build bay at our Southampton Yacht Services yard, where she will commence fit-out. Oyster 885-01 is being built for Formula One Racing commentator, Eddie Jordan’s family trust and will be launched in time to go on show at the 2012 Southampton Boat Show before heading for the Caribbean to join Oyster’s World Rally fleet.

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Our first Private View to be held in Palma, Mallorca takes place over the weekend of 24-25 September, providing an opportunity for customers to view a selection of yachts from across the Oyster fleet, conveniently located alongside the terrace at the prestigious Real Club Nautico. For more details, or to make an appointment, please call our sales team on +44 (0)1473 695 005 or email: privateview@oystermarine.com


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ROUND THE ISLAND RACE

OYSTER EVENTS 2011 Orust Open Yard 26 – 28 August HISWA Amsterdam In-Water Boat Show 6 – 11 September Cannes International Boat Show 6 – 11 September Newport Brokerage Show 15 – 18 September

The new Oyster 82, Starry Night, led the fleet of 13 Oysters in this year’s J. P. Morgan Round the Island Race, crossing the line in just over six hours in 19th place, in a recordbreaking fleet of over 1,900 yachts. Organised by the Island Sailing Club, this year was the 80th Anniversary of the event. In a race that was dominated by weather, the 16,000 crew taking part faced wind speeds of up to 28 knots and huge swells off the Needles. Amongst the Oyster fleet

was Steve Powell’s Oyster 62 UHURU, just returned to the UK after her amazing trip to the Antarctic and Falkland Islands – one yacht that certainly wouldn’t have been worried by the conditions! The veteran Oyster Lightwave 48, Scarlet Oyster owned by Ross Appleby was one of six yachts taking part on behalf of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, with a crew of young people on board. Oyster continues to support the Trust, which was the official charity for the 2011 race.

TEAM OYSTER COMPLETE LONDON TO BRIGHTON BIKE RIDE

Southampton International Boat Show 16 – 25 September Oyster Brokerage Autumn Show 16 – 25 September Oyster World Rally Seminar 17 – 18 September Oyster Owners’ Dinner, Beaulieu 17 September Monaco Yacht Show 21 – 24 September Oyster Private View – Palma 24 – 25 September Oyster Regatta – Palma 27 September – 1 October Genoa Boat Show 1 – 9 October Annapolis Sailboat Show 6 – 10 October Hamburg Boat Show 29 October – 6 November Hamburg Owners’ Dinner 29 October

OLD PULTENEY ROW TO THE POLE Announced in the last issue of Oyster News, intrepid Scots explorer, Jock Wishart, is making final preparations for his attempt to ‘Row to the Pole’, an expedition planned to highlight the already dramatic effect of climate change on the ice around the Polar Regions. A seasoned Arctic adventurer and Transatlantic rower, Jock will be leading a small crew in what is a world first attempt to row to the Magnetic North Pole (as certified in 1996). The expedition will set off from Resolute Bay at the beginning of August 2011 and the crew plan to row for 450 miles before finally reaching the Magnetic North Pole at 78 degrees, 35.724 minutes North, 104 degrees, 11.915 minutes West. We wish Jock and his team every success. Follow the expedition at: www.rowtothepole.com

ARC Owners’ Party 17 November ARC Start 20 November Congratulations to Superyacht Project Manager, Julian Weatherill, Broker, Tom Roberts and Marketing Assistant, Rebecca Twiss who joined 27,000 other cyclists taking part in the 56-mile British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride. The intrepid trio completed the ride in five hours, raising just under £1000 for the charity. Anyone who would like to support their achievement with a donation can still do so by going to the Just Giving website at: www.justgiving.com/team-oyster

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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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INTRODUCING THE

NEW OYSTER 725

The new Oyster 725 is a stunning development of the well-proven Oyster 72, with many new features, including triple ‘seascape’ vertical hull windows in the saloon and a clear, flush aft deck, both features recently introduced on the new Oyster 625 to great acclaim.

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INT RO D U C I N G

The Oyster 725 was conceived from the outset to blend the live-aboard and seamanlike qualities of a typical Oyster within a design where high performance is also considered a priority. The 725 is built using modern composite engineering, producing a hull and deck that are both light and stiff, without compromising the strength, durability and ease of handling for which Oyster yachts are so well known. The Oyster 725 has one of our sleekest deck and cockpit designs ever, with her rolled edge side decks, flush deck hatches and fittings, transom stairwell and a host of ‘superyacht’

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features. Below decks her interior joinery styling, fixtures and fittings have undergone a subtle yet comprehensive transformation, giving her a modern and contemporary feel. Most owners in this size range will appreciate the advantages of separating the crew and galley from the owner’s and guest accommodation, a proven configuration that works really well on the 725 with no compromises. The well-appointed owner's suite, together with double and twin guest cabins aft, provide luxurious accommodation for family and friends, whilst the living area forward of the galley can be configured with two en suite

cabins or as a VIP guest suite. The Oyster 725’s spacious, light and airy saloon, with its great outboard vista through the vertical hull windows, complements the large cockpit, perfect for alfresco dining. Whilst her vast aft deck is a wonderful area for sun worshippers, entertaining and partying. The standard layout makes best use of space on board the Oyster 725, but as with all the larger Oysters, the in-house design team is expert at configuring a custom layout to best match an owner’s individual needs and priorities.

OYSTER 725. DIMENSIONS Length overall (including pulpit)

22.77m

74' 9"

Standard rig and spar type

Masthead cutter with fully battened main

Length of hull

22.10m

72' 6"

Available rig options

In-mast furling

Length of waterline

19.75m

64' 9"

Ballast keel type

High Performance Bulb (HPB)

Beam

5.85m

19' 2.5"

Displacement (standard keel)

51,500 kgs

Draft HPB keel (standard)

2.95m

9' 8"

Typical engine

Cummins QSB5.9 156kW (212hp)

Draft HPB keel (shoal)

2.34m

7' 8"

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113,538 lbs

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V I S I T. E X P E R I E N C E . S H O P. D I N E . U N W I N D . With the Bay of Kotor as its backdrop, Porto Montenegro is a breathtaking marina that is home to some of world’s finest superyachts. This summer visit our new boutiques, restaurants, bars, spa and beauty salon located in the Adriatic’s most exciting waterfront village.

i n f o @ p o r t o m o n t e n e g ro.c o m w w w. p o r t o m o n t e n e g r o.c o m 1 0


LO N D O N

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The London Owners’ Dinner T H E

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Over 170 owners and guests gathered at the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s elegant Knightsbridge headquarters for Oyster’s annual London Owners’ Dinner in January.

With not one, but two guests of honour, both of whom had sailed around the world, along with a number of owners who had already signed up for Oyster’s World Rally in 2013 in attendance, the evening had a distinctly circumnavigating theme to it. Several owners had flown in from around the world to attend and, as usual, there was great camaraderie as the previous season’s cruising stories were exchanged and future plans discussed. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston CBE had his leg pulled by fellow circumnavigator, David Holliday OBE, owner of the Oyster 72 Kealoha 8, for being the first to sail single-handed non-stop around the

world and later to become the fastest, but never to have done it in the luxury of an Oyster yacht. Quick as a flash, the sailing Knight of the Realm retorted that he was allergic to oysters and all

“It will be a fantastic experience – a once in a lifetime adventure. Paint yourself in bright colours, not pastel shades – enjoy every minute of the voyage.”

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other shellfish, and then regaled his audience with the benefits of sailing singlehanded. “You don’t have the problems of getting recalcitrant crew out of their bunks and up on watch, you don’t have them eating all the stores, and they don’t cost you anything in port.” He joked. Sir Robin did however have encouraging words for the 29 Oyster owners who have already signed up for the 2013-2014 Oyster World Rally to mark Oyster’s 40th Anniversary, “It will be a fantastic experience – a once in a lifetime adventure. Paint yourself in bright colours, not pastel shades – enjoy every minute of the voyage.” He told his enthusiastic audience.

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FRIENDSHIP AND FUN IN GRENADA

OYSTER R EGAT TA GR EN A DA 2011 BY LOUAY HABIB

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“Grenada provided the Oyster family with a fabulous setting. We wanted to have a Caribbean adventure and to explore a spectacular new location for our Oyster Regatta programme, but we got much more than a special venue. The Oyster owners and their guests were made extremely welcome by the people of Grenada, who were genuinely excited that the Oyster family had come to their island. I am sure that we will be going back.” David Tydeman, CEO Oyster Group

The island of Grenada offers some of the most idyllic cruising grounds anywhere in the world. Wonderful hidden coves and beaches with sand like fine sugar typify Grenada. Known as The Spice Island of the Caribbean, the mountainous interior is festooned with spice plantations with the sweet scent of nutmeg and cinnamon carried on the breeze. Grenada’s natural beauty is enhanced by its rich history and vibrant cultural heritage. Local festivals such as the carnival, fairs and markets remain an integral part of daily life on Grenada, which was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498. Most of the population lives near the capital, St George’s, one of the most picturesque cities in the Caribbean. Its horseshoe-shaped harbour, surrounded by its colourful, traditionally built buildings is the hub of the island and was recently complemented by a world-class international marina. In terms of modern marina facilities, Grenada has been somewhat of a late developer – that was until December 2008 – when Camper & Nicholsons Marinas opened Port Louis. Situated opposite the island’s capital, Port Louis has 170 berths and is capable of handling superyachts up to 300 feet. The Oyster Regatta in Grenada was the 26th in the Oyster Regatta series and the first time the event had come to the lush tropical island in the Southern Caribbean. Port Louis was chosen as an ideal base and the 25-strong Oyster fleet were given pride of place at the heart of this impressive location, where they enjoyed VIP treatment from the Port Louis team, including Marketing Manager Danny Donelan, who had been instrumental in helping Oyster plan the event.

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The event organising team, led by Liz Whitman, arrived in Grenada a week before the start to ensure that everything was in place and ready for the Oyster fleet’s arrival. Eddie Scougall, heading up Oyster’s in-house service team, diligently provided owners with technical support, a complimentary service available to all owners at all Oyster events. Following the skippers’ briefing at Port Louis Marina, the Beach Cabana at the exclusive Mount Cinnamon was a fitting venue for the opening cocktail party, which was hosted by the Grenada Tourist Board. Mount Cinnamon is a magnificent boutique resort set amidst tropical flowering gardens, overlooking the crystal-clear waters of Grand Anse Beach, considered one of the most beautiful stretches of pristine, white, powder-soft sand in all the world. Drinks were followed by a sumptuous buffet dinner, whilst entertainment was provided by

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the renowned Tivoli Drummers. The guest of honour was The Hon. Tillman Thomas, the Prime Minister of Grenada, who gave a very warm welcome to the 200 guests attending the opening party of the Oyster Regatta in Grenada. The Oyster family dined under the stars and it was a fun filled evening full of laughter. Many of the Oyster owners and their families and guests are firm friends, but those new to Oyster Regattas were also treated to a great occasion, great company and a spectacular location.

Top left: The crew of A Sulana raise the regatta flag Top right: The Oyster Fleet, Port Louis Marina Right top: David and Mary Tydeman with The Hon. Tilman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada Right bottom: Evening entertainment courtesy of the Tivoli Drummers

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DAY ONE Lewmar Race Day

Grenada’s lush, green paradise relies on rain and on the morning of the Lewmar Race Day, the Oyster Fleet certainly got that. Led out of the marina by the Coastguard vessel, the 25 Oyster yachts proceeded in line on a sail past around St George’s harbour, with crews dressed in full wet weather gear – a sight more reminiscent of a wet day in the Solent than the Caribbean. As the cannons were fired from the old fort in honour of the Oyster Regatta, the fleet provided a sightseeing opportunity and welcome diversion from the rain for all those on board a cruise ship berthed inside the port. But the torrential downpour was short lived. As if by magic the fresh easterly wind blew away the rain clouds, providing dry, if somewhat tricky conditions. During the course of the day there were numerous wind shifts and predicting these changes was the secret to success. A light airs start was followed by a building breeze, which piped up to 15 knots by the end of the race. Starts are always important but especially in a fickle breeze and the Polish Oyster 46, SunSuSea, judged the line to perfection to get away well. Owned by Mariusz and Paulina Kierebinski, SunSuSea came to the Caribbean in the 2009 ARC.

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“We have been really delighted with the boat,” smiled Mariusz, “my family love to sail, especially in the Caribbean. This is our second Oyster Regatta and although we have little experience with racing, it is a great way to learn how to improve our sailing technique. We really like Grenada, it is such a friendly place and safe for our children. After the regatta, we will be cruising through The Grenadines to St. Lucia, our last adventure before the boat returns across the Atlantic.” Besides Mariusz and Paulina, SunSuSea is crewed by their daughter Claudia and son Martin, who are fast learners in the cockpit. Whilst friends, Artur and Margaret trim the mainsail, helped by their daughter Adriana, who is just 11 years of age. In Class 1, the Oyster 655, Lush with Formula One racing analyst, Eddie Jordan on board, sailed a smart race to win, but the powerful Oyster 655 was pushed all the way by Chris Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea, a veteran of several Oyster Regattas, who sailed a near perfect beat by using the lifting breeze along Grande Anse Beach. Jonathon and Jane Mould’s Oyster 72, Koluka claimed a well-deserved third in class.


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“Together with our children and friends, we had a great time and a lot of fun at this year’s Grenada Regatta. Thanks to Oyster’s organisation everything was perfect. Great choice of clubs and restaurants... spectacular atmosphere and cuisine.” Mariusz and Paulina Kierebinski, Oyster 46 SunSuSea

Alan Brook, who was taking part in his first Oyster Regatta as a competitor with his wife Sue in their new Oyster 56, Sulana, won the first race in Class 2. The meticulously prepared yacht was extremely well positioned on the racecourse to win by a fair margin. Scott Bickford’s American Oyster 53, Contingency was second and Ian Galbraith and crew, racing his Oyster 53, Jigsaw, kept their concentration to take third. After the fleet had returned to the safe confines of Port Louis Marina, a cocktail party, hosted by the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada, was full of talk about the day’s events. Later that evening, the Oyster family was treated to a lavish, private party at the exclusive LaLuna Estate. Tucked away south of the capital, LaLuna is a secret hideaway on Morne Rouge Bay, which offers one of the finest beaches on the island, just minutes from St George’s. The estate is often frequented by stars of stage and film and provided a truly magical location for the second Oyster party of the regatta. The ultra-chic and secluded venue has a rustic charm extenuated by the use of traditional

Caribbean materials to provide a design-fusion, which is unmistakably Asian in appearance. Opened in 2000 by Bernado Bertucci, a former fashion consultant to Prada and Armani and his wife, Wendy, the resort was designed by Gabriella Giuntoli. Teak furniture and curved couches are enhanced by flowing drapes, echoing the turquoise sea and green foliage that surrounds the estate. The wooden beachfront courtyard blends cane, cotton, silk and thatch and inviting day beds are scattered throughout the resort with sublime views of the perfect beach. The Oyster family was treated to a mouth watering four-course dinner with fine wine and a wonderful ambience. Afterwards, a company

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of dancers electrified the atmosphere and very soon the party was a very lively affair. It may have been a day of mixed fortunes on the water but the Oyster crew-conga, snaking through the LaLuna courtyards was testament to a very successful day at the Oyster Regatta in Grenada.

Far left: Cocktails at the Aquarium Restaurant and Beach Bar Above top left: Scott Bickford’s Oyster 53, Contingency Above top right: Family and friends crew the Oyster 46, SunSuSea Bottom left: Crew of the Oyster 655, Sotto Vento smiling through a downpour Bottom right: The Death family enjoying dinner at LaLuna

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The Race Officers set an adrenalin-packed course, fuelled by strong winds, funneling around the awe-inspiring southern coastline of Grenada

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DAY TWO Pelagos Race Day After two days at Port Louis, the Oyster fleet were all set to race to a new location. Le Phare Bleu would be the venue and it proved to be a fantastic experience. The 19-mile coastal race to Le Phare Bleu was full of excitement.

Th e Race Offi cers set an adrenalin-packed course, fuelled by strong winds, funneling around the awe-inspiring southern coastline of Grenada. The Oyster fleet was fully tuned up, which showcased the grace, power and above all safety of these majestic yachts. Despite the feisty conditions, all of the competing yachts arrived in picturesque Calivigny Bay, with no more damage than a few sails in need of minor repairs. Ole and Lotte Vagner’s Oyster 62, Golden Gate had a great day on the water, executing some excellent mark roundings, including a text book gybe-set at the penultimate mark, to steal an advantage on their competitors. Golden Gate finished the day in fine style. “Although we are Danish, we decided to call our yacht Golden Gate, as we saw it as a gateway to adventure and it certainly has been.” Explained Lotte Vagner. “This is our fifth Oyster Regatta, we have enjoyed Oyster Regattas in the Mediterranean and Caribbean and it is so nice to meet up with our many friends in the Oyster family. After the regatta we will be cruising with Golden Gate to Newport Rhode Island and among other locations, we plan to visit Cuba and Miami.” Part of the reason for going to Cuba and Miami is because Ole is a keen musician and his A-Band will be performing during the tour. By all accounts Ole is an accomplished base guitarist. “Grenada is one of my favourite places in the Caribbean. The people here are so friendly and they have not been too influenced by tourism. We are really enjoying this regatta and much of that enjoyment is due to our excellent crew, Kris the skipper and his wife Gunilla are such an important part of that. Often the hard work that skipper and crew put in goes unnoticed, without

them we would never be able to enjoy sailing Golden Gate, as much as we do.” During the race, Golden Gate had a close call with the Oyster 56, Asante. Although there was no infringement, Ole felt that perhaps they had come close to breaking the spirit of Oyster sailing and as soon as Golden Gate was dockside, he offered his apologies to Andrew Walters, the owner of Asante, offering him a bottle of champagne. It was duly accepted with a smile and a gracious remark from Andrew. “The situation actually stopped us from our plan of going inshore, which would have been the wrong move, so Golden Gate actually did us a favour, it was a lovely gesture by Ole, in true Corinthian spirit.” After racing the fleet made its way into the delightful little marina of Le Phare Bleu, where a cocktail party was held on board the lightship Västra Banken, originally built in Sweden in 1900, it has been exquisitely restored. The Oyster fleet was treated to a rather unusual musical performance, as a steel band played on board a tugboat, which sailed around the bay. It was an intoxicating atmosphere, as the sun dipped down on a perfect day and nearly 200 Oyster guests settled in for dinner at Le Phare Bleu’s beachside restaurant. Dining alfresco at the water’s edge in the cooler night air was a delightful experience. A sumptuous buffet of local fayre including fresh fish and seafood was very well received before the famous Doc Adams Blues Band performed live to rapturous applause. Playing a string of all time favourites, it wasn’t long before the dance floor was throbbing to the music. With a break from racing the following day, the Oyster family partied well into the night.

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Left top: Strong winds off the coastline of Grenada Left bottom: Andrew & Anne Walters, Oyster 56 Asante leading the Oyster fleet Above top: The stunning Oyster 82, Starry Night Above middle: Close racing for the Oyster fleet Above bottom: The crew of Ole Vagner’s Oyster 62, Golden Gate

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DAY THREE Lay Day Following two fantastic days of racing, the Oyster yachts remained at Le Phare Bleu Marina for a well-earned rest, however many of the Oyster family took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful island of Grenada. Excursions were organised by Oyster Marine, with over 35 people taking the opportunity to spend the day touring the island’s historic sites and rain forest with a lunch stop at the Belmont Estate, famous for its cocoa bean production, and a tour of Peter de Savary’s private Mount Edgcombe Estate. Several crews spent the day exploring the underwater world. Sea temperatures are usually in excess of 26ºC with excellent visibility. Nurse sharks, hawksbill turtles and stingrays are a common sight and dive sites vary from reef walls and coral gardens to wreck dives, often just a short journey away from shore. Grenada is famous for its Workboats, with over 80 of these colourful craft racing every February at the Grenada Sailing Festival. For Lay Day, the Oyster crews were given the rare opportunity of sailing with the local Woburn based skippers of these clinker built wooden dinghies. There was some light-hearted bragging between the local skippers and spectators were treated to some exciting racing in Calavigny Bay. There was even talk amongst Oyster owners and regatta sponsors about building a workboat, to take part in future events, watch this space! Meanwhile ashore, there was a cook off, which involved a competition between Grenadians for the best tasting ‘Oil-Down’, the national dish of Grenada, which is a stew containing a huge variety of ingredients. Recipes differ from pork off-cuts with coconut milk, bananas, saffron and breadfruit to a salt fish offering with okra and saffron. Oyster owners and guests judged the competition before rounding off the day with a cocktail party, at which the ‘Oil Down’ and Workboat prizes were presented.

Right: Lay Day fun on the Grenada Workboats

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DAY FOUR Dolphin Sails Race Day After a truly delightful stay at Le Phare Bleu, the Oyster fleet returned to action. Clear blue skies and an easterly breeze of 15 knots provided champagne sailing conditions for the third race of the Oyster Regatta in Grenada. The Race Officers opted for a 20-mile course, starting with windward leeward, followed by a tactical beat along the southern side of the island. The wind abated during the course of the race but the forecast light airs never really materialised. Ray and Birgitte Charmak’s Oyster 53, Out of India had a great start, judging the line well and setting off at pace. “I was determined to get a good start today,” explained Ray, “we have been shy of the line on the last two occasions and as one of the smallest boats in the fleet, we always have most of the fleet in front of us. Before we decided to set off on our adventures with Out of India, Birgitte and

I had hardly done any sailing at all, we really jumped in at the deep-end. Now we have sailed the yacht across the Atlantic and completed thousands of miles together, it has been a wonderful experience. After considering several options, we decided to go for an Oyster, for blue-water cruising, it was a very good choice. We prefer a smaller yacht because it allows us to get away from it all and sail the boat by ourselves. But Out of India is not set up for racing, our main aim at Oyster Regattas is to have fun and we are certainly doing that in Grenada.” “When we heard that Oyster were organising the regatta in Grenada, we were delighted,” commented Birgitte “it is a wonderful island with really fascinating and breathtaking scenery. It is somewhere that we have enjoyed coming to before, and to have all of our friends from the other Oysters here makes it even more special.” Dolphin Race Day provided the fleet with a tricky passage race back to Port Louis with special attention needing to be paid to negotiating the Porpoise Rocks on the southwest tip of Grenada. In Class 2, Alan and Sue Brook’s, Oyster 56 Sulana was once again victorious, with John McTigue’s Oyster 56, Blue Dreams second and Harvey and Sue Death’s Oyster 56, Sarabi third. Ian Galbraith’s Oyster 53, Jigsaw had a great race and was well placed, but unfortunately touched the finishing mark. In a great act of sportsmanship, they alerted their error to the race committee. In Class 1 Jonathan and Jane Mould’s sporty Oyster 72, Koluka took line honours and won on handicap by a significant margin. Koluka is a stylish Oyster 72, with a performance rig in carbon and a luxurious interior, with a state of the art entertainment system, Koluka is certainly a great combination of performance and comfort. Chris and Susan Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea was second and Eddie Jordan, racing the Oyster 655, Lush was third.

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The evening festivities took place at The Aquarium restaurant and beach bar. The staff at The Aquarium were full of smiles as the Oyster guests arrived. Many of the party took the opportunity of wandering onto the beautiful beach to watch the sun go down. It was a stunning location for the Oyster family to enjoy the cool sea breeze and twilight views of Grenada’s picture-perfect historical capital. Guests settled into the open-air restaurant amidst tropical gardens with Koi carp ponds and waterfalls. The Aquarium prides itself on its international wine cellar, which was very well received by the guests who enjoyed a barbeque of local fayre. The cobalt night sky and the sound of waves breaking on the pristine beach created a totally relaxing atmosphere.

Top left: Chris & Susan Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea Bottom left: Ray and Birgitte Charmak, owners of Oyster 53, Out of India Above: Alan Brook and crew aboard Oyster 56, Sulana

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DAY FIVE Pantaenius Race Day The happy smiling faces dockside at Port Louis were testament to a truly memorable Oyster Regatta on the magical island of Grenada. However, there was an element of tension in the air on the last day of racing and a dramatic conclusion was to follow.

The race area south west of Grenada was sublime, sunshine and crystal clear water with a warm breeze, which developed during the day, to a steady 12 knots. Jonathan and Jane Mould’s Oyster 72, Koluka continued their domination of Class 1 with their fourth victory, a clean sweep. An impressive performance but the couple did not come to Grenada just to compete, Jonathan and Jane were accompanied by their extended family, both daughters, husbands and grandchildren. “To be honest with you, the racing has been the most relaxing part. With three grandchildren all two or younger, it is a busy time ashore. My wife Jane has done most of the baby-sitting, while the rest of us have gone sailing. It has been a lovely experience, it is always nice to do well but

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to be in such a wonderful place with my family, is something to savour for years to come.” Chris and Susan Shea’s Oyster 72, Magrathea was a gallant second, that scored consistently through the regatta. Eddie Jordan on board the Oyster 655, Lush, finished the regatta in style, coming a close second to the overall winners Koluka. Alan and Sue Brook’s Oyster 56, Sulana was a clear leader prior to the last race but a dramatic event on the racecourse nearly cost them victory. A coming together with John McTigue’s Blue Dreams meant a 20% penalty, resulting in a 10th place for Sulana for the final race. However their string of wins, prior to the last race, meant that Sulana held on to win Class 2 overall. Alan Brook commented: “We have been in Grenada for six weeks now and I can safely say it is an excellent place for many reasons and a very fitting venue for Oyster yachts and their owners. I have an excellent crew on Sulana, who all worked well together to contribute to our success but I think that we can all leave Grenada as winners, it has been an excellent event.” Second in Class 2 was Scott Bickford’s Oyster 53, Contingency. David Fass’s Oyster 56, Sulana was third by just a single point. Meaning that Ian Galbraith’s Scottish Oyster 53, Jigsaw and Stephen and Aileen Hyde’s Irish Oyster 56, A Lady, just missed out on a podium finish. Stephen and Aileen Hyde left Crosshaven, in Southern Ireland, in the summer of 2009 and haven’t been back since. After cruising their

Oyster 56 down to Las Palmas, they crossed the Atlantic and continued west with the World ARC fleet. Stephen has written a fascinating account of their 30,000-mile circumnavigation, with the final instalment featured in this issue of Oyster News. “Without doubt, the most amazing place we have visited was the San Blas Islands.” Commented Stephen. “The archipelago is composed of approximately 200 islands off the coast of Panama. Beautiful beaches free from crocodiles and mosquitoes and brilliant diving in the reefs and blessed with crystal clear waters with an amazing variety of wildlife. Even black tipped reef sharks, which would often swim with us. When I suggested to my wife that we should sail around the world, she said absolutely nothing – no comment. However with just a few days to go until the start, she told me she was coming and was going to sail every mile. It has been a fantastic adventure.” On the final night of the Oyster Regatta Grenada, the prize-giving party was held at Port Louis Marina. The new facility has been a splendid setting for the Oyster fleet and a fitting venue for the closing ceremony and party. Over 230 guests attended the evening with Grenadian Minister of Tourism, Hon. Peter David, as Guest of Honour. “Sailing is very important to Grenada, it is deeply rooted in our culture and I speak for

Top left: Mark Howard’s Oyster 56, Amanzi Top right: Jonathan & Jane Mould’s Oyster 72, Koluka


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It was a very happy occasion with crews toasting each other and recalling memorable moments during a fantastic week. the Prime Minister and all Grenadians, that we were delighted to welcome all of the Oyster yachts to our island and hope that you all return soon.” Commented Peter David. After the prize-giving, a gourmet four-course meal was served, it was a very happy occasion with crews toasting each other and recalling memorable moments during a fantastic week. Eddie Jordan was competing at his first Oyster Regatta, his long career with Formula One has taken him to some of the world’s finest locations. “To be honest, contrary to popular opinion, I have never been much of a party-goer. I have often found that social events often never live up to the billing. But I have to say this regatta has

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surpassed my expectations. I arrived in Grenada extremely jet-lagged after travelling with the Formula One circuit through the Far East and it was a pleasure for myself and Marie to enjoy such a well managed event with great people in a lovely part of the world.” A brilliant firework display over the marina, capped off a truly wonderful event. The Oyster Regatta in Grenada had been a roaring success. Probably one of the main reasons for that was the warmth and friendship of the people of Grenada, something that the Oyster family appreciates a great deal. Later in the year the Oyster family will return to Palma, Mallorca for the annual Mediterranean Regatta. Hosted once again by the prestigious Real Club Nautico, the event will run from 27 September to 1 October 2011. For more information about Oyster Regattas see: www.oystermarine.com/events

Above: The crew of Oyster 82, Oceana celebrate crossing the line.

Photos: Ingrid Abery

Below: The Oyster 655, Lush

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CON CO U R S D ’ E L EGA N C E

CLASS 1

Presented by Oyster Brokerage Golden Gate

62

Ole & Lotte Vagner

CLASS 2

A Sulana

56

David Fass

Sarabi

56

Harvey & Susan Death

Sulana

56

Alan & Sue Brook

R ACE 1 – S P O N S O R E D BY L EWM A R

R ACE 3 – S PO NS O RED BY D O LP HIN SA ILS

CLASS 1

CLASS 1

1st

Lush

655 Fastnet Ltd

1st

Koluka

Jonathon & Jane Mould

72

Chris & Susan Shea

2nd

Magrathea

72

Chris & Susan Shea

2nd

Magrathea

3rd

Koluka

72

Jonathon & Jane Mould

3rd

Lush

655 Fastnet Ltd

4th

Starry Night

82

Starry Yachts

4th

Dorado

62

CLASS 2

1st

Sulana

56

Alan & Sue Brook

Terry & Mollie King-Smith

CLASS 2

1st

Sulana

56

Alan & Sue Brook

2nd

Contingency

53

Scott Bickford

2nd

Blue Dreams

56

John McTigue

3rd

Jigsaw

53

Ian Galbraith

3rd

Sarabi

56

Harvey & Susan Death

4th

Queen Emma

45

Laurence Batten & Susie Bowman

4th

A Lady

56

Stephen & Aileen Hyde

R ACE 2 – SPO N S O R E D BY P EL AG O S YACH TS

R ACE 4 – S PO NS O RED BY PA NTA ENIUS

CLASS 1

CLASS 1

1st

Koluka

2nd 3rd 4th

72

Jonathon & Jane Mould

1st

Koluka

Magrathea

72

Chris & Susan Shea

2nd

Lush

Starry Night

82

Starry Yachts

3rd

Starry Night

82

Starry Yachts

Pandemonium

82

Stuart Smith & Barry Cooper Jr

4th

Magrathea

72

Chris & Susan Shea

CLASS 2

24

72

72

Jonathon & Jane Mould

655 Fastnet Ltd

CLASS 2

1st

Sulana

56

Alan & Sue Brook

1st

Stardust of Burnham 56

Paul Bateman

2nd

A Sulana

56

David Fass

2nd

Sarabi

56

Harvey & Susan Death

3rd

Contingency

53

Scott Bickford

3rd

Asante

56

Andrew & Ann Walters

4th

A Lady

56

Stephen & Aileen Hyde

4th

Contingency

53

Scott Bickford


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THE YACHT I N G WO R L D P ERP E T UA L T RO PH Y Presented by Hon Peter David, Minister of Tourism Magrathea

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“Thanks for such an enjoyable event, really well organised down to the last detail. This was our first Oyster Regatta and it exceeded all our expectations.

Chris & Susan Shea

You not only build nice boats but you also help us to make the best of them in delightful ways and places.”

THE WIN D BOATS A N N I V E R SA RY T RO PH Y Presented by Hon Peter David, Minister of Tourism Lush

Andrew and Ann Walters Oyster 56, Asante

655 Fastnet Ltd

THE OYST E R REGAT TA T RO P H Y Presented by Hon Peter David, Minister of Tourism

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many individuals and businesses in Grenada who supported the Oyster Regatta, for which we are extremely grateful. More information can be found on the Events section of our website.

CLASS 1

1st

Koluka

72

Jonathon & Jane Mould

2nd

Magrathea

72

Chris & Susan Shea

3rd

Lush

4th

Starry Night

655 Fastnet Ltd 82

Starry Yachts

Honourable Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister

Rodney George, Loan of the committee boat

Honourable Peter David, Minister of Tourism

James Pascall, Horizon Yacht Charters Loan of marks and mark laying www.horizonyachtcharters.com

Simon Stiel, Grenada Board of Tourism www.grenadagrenadines.com

CLASS 2

1st

Sulana

56

Alan & Sue Brook

Marine & Yachting Association of Grenada www.mayag.net

2nd

Contingency

53

Scott Bickford

Grenada Port Authority

3rd

A Sulana

56

David Fass

Grenada Coastguard

4th

Jigsaw

53

Ian Galbraith

Anita and Mark Sutton, Island Dreams www.islandreamsgrenada.com Danny Donelan and Glynn Thomas Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina www.cnmarinas.com/plm Dieter Burkhalter, Jana Caniga & Lynn Fletcher Le Phare Bleu Marina and Boutique Hotel www.lepharebleu.com Mark Scott, Mount Cinnamon www.mountcinnamongrenadahotel.com Uli Kuhn, The Aquarium & Victory Bar www.aquarium-grenada.com Bernardi & Wendy Bertucci, LaLuna www.laluna.com

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Mike and Pete, Palm Tree Marine Mark laying www.palmtreemarine.com Russ Fielden, Race course advice Jimmy Bristol, Grenada Sailing Festival Loan of race equipment www.grenadasailingfestival.com DABS Car Rentals, Loan of team car www.dabscarrentals.com Digicel, Loan of team phones www.digicelgroup.com Grenada Marina Taxi Association Westerhall Rum, Complimentary rum www.westerhallrums.com North South Wines, Complimentary wines www.northsouthwines.com Sarah Baker, Woburn Workboats

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O V E R 3 0 OY S T E R S TO S E T S A I L I N W O R L D R A L LY

Held during the weekend of Oyster’s Private View event in London in May, the first of this year’s complimentary two-day seminars was hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club and attended by 26 of the owners on the entry list. With an international fleet ranging from an Oyster 46 to the first Oyster 885, delegates flew in from as far afield as Singapore, South Africa and the USA to take part.

owners’ expectations and requirements may be different to other world rally fleets – Oysters are large yachts and this is a much bigger fleet than recent world rallies, which will provide a challenge in some of the smaller islands visited en route. We want this to be an experience that our owners will remember for the rest of their lives and we intend to ensure that we put the proper planning in place to achieve that. There isn’t anyone better qualified than Debbie and Eddie to support our owners on this adventure. (Although I think when they volunteered to do this, they dreamed of sailing around with the fleet – reality has set in, that being in each location ahead of the first yacht, and leaving after the last, will mean two years of hotels and airlines. I am grateful that their experience and enthusiasm will make this work and I’m sure the fleet will help them enjoy it too!)”

Leading the London seminar was the Oyster in-house team who will escort the rally fleet throughout the entire circumnavigation. Oyster Project Manager, Debbie Johnson, and Customer Care Manager, Eddie Scougall, who are already familiar to many owners, have both completed circumnavigations in Oyster yachts and between them have a wealth of technical expertise and experience of blue water sailing. Both Debbie and Eddie have already been released from their usual duties and are now working full-time on preparation and planning for the rally, which has already seen them visit the Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas and Tahiti. As David Tydeman commented, “We recognise that our

Speakers at the May seminar included Nigel Calder who provided an entertaining and informative insight into long distance cruising and professional meteorologist, Chris Tibbs who has 250,000nm to his credit, including three circumnavigations, one as skipper for the BT Global Challenge. Representatives from Pantaenius, MailASail, Icom, Raymarine, Dolphin Sails, Vortec Marine and “Tomo” from Medical Services Offshore (MSOS) all highlighted just some of the things owners need to consider when contemplating a world voyage. Both MSOS and Chris have been retained by Oyster to help provide some of the ‘special services’ that

Plans for Oyster’s World Rally are gathering pace, with 32 enthusiastic owners now signed up to take part in the inaugural event, which will see the Oyster fleet set sail from the historic Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua on Sunday 6 January 2013. We are delighted that so many owners have taken up the challenge and we are so proud, and frankly slightly humbled, by the fact that this event has taken off at an astonishing pace.

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Oyster plans to bring to the Rally to reflect the standards of service expected by our owners. We are delighted that Yellowbrick, one of the world’s largest satellite-based tracking providers will be supporting the Oyster Rally and will fit trackers to each yacht in the fleet, whilst Musto has been selected to provide a range of rally merchandise. The second seminar for participants will be held over the weekend of 17-18 September in the beautiful setting of Beaulieu, in the New Forest, just outside Southampton. The programme will include a presentation about the Galapagos Islands by Ricardo Arenas and Yvonne Mortola, of Servi Galapagos, who have been retained by Oyster to provide all the services required for the Oyster fleet’s visit to the islands. A dinner on the Saturday evening will be held amongst the exhibits in the National Motor Museum, a unique event to which all owners are warmly invited, and is not to be missed. For more information see our World Rally website at: www.oysterworldrally.com or contact Debbie Johnson at: debbie.johnson@oystermarine.com Owners not taking part in the world rally seminar, who would like to book for the dinner only should contact Jacqui Kotze: jacqui.kotze@oystermarine.com Oyster World Rally Trade Partners confirmed to date: Dolphin Sails, Formula BV, Lewmar, Musto, Pantaenius, Pelagos Yachts, Raymarine, Reckmann, Yellowbrick


FOUR DOORS. FOUR SEATS. FOR TEST DRIVING NOW. THE NEW FOUR DOOR ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE For a priority test drive please visit www.astonmartin.com/oyster

Official government fuel consumption figures in MPG (Litres per 100km) for the Aston Martin Rapide: Urban 12.5 (22.6), Extra Urban 27.1 (10.4), Combined 19.0 (14.9). CO2 emissions: 355 g/km S UM M ER

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KOPER FROM PUBLISHER

TO ADVENTURER Mariusz Koper, one of Poland’s most successful publishers, has a lot to thank Lech Wałęsa for. Mariusz was just 19 when the Wałęsa led Solidarity strike at the Lenin shipyard in Gdańsk broke the yoke of Communist power that had stunted growth in Poland since the Russian take-over at the end of World War II.

BY BARRY PICKTHALL

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“My first job was as a programmer and systems designer and within four years I was head of research and development. At the time, Poland was still under martial law and subjected to a worldwide embargo, but I managed to smuggle in electronic parts from the Far East and set up Titan SA, with three friends. It was one of the first software companies in Poland.”

The son of an agricultural co-operative manager, Mariusz Koper was brought up in the central town of Inowroclaw, 200km from the Baltic Sea. Pocket money was earned working in a co-operative orchard, and he might well have followed his father handling apples, rather than Apple Macs had the Solidarity uprising not changed the course of Polish history in 1989. He was lucky in other ways too, in that his mother was a teacher specialising in history and literature, which gave the young Mariusz a far broader view of life. “My first trip outside the Iron Curtain was when I was 11. I went to Denmark and it really opened my eyes to the world.” Mariusz recalls. “I had been fascinated by geography and travel ever since primary school, but like most children in those days, travel was limited to a finger on a map and reading about heroes in adventure novels.“ At high school, the 6ft 4in Koper joined the MKS Kasprowicz basketball team and got a first taste of watersports, paddling kayaks and sailing the local Omega class keelboats on a nearby lake. At college, he was fascinated by science fiction and new technology and decided to major in Computer Science. “My first job was as a programmer and systems designer and within four years I was head of research and development. At the time, Poland was still under martial law and subjected to a worldwide embargo, but I managed to smuggle in electronic parts from the Far East and set up Titan SA, with three friends. It was one of the first software companies in Poland.” In 1988, at the height of the Communist collapse, Mariusz, then 27, took the opportunity to emigrate to Canada where, with his girlfriend, he set up the jewellery house Maya Ghall and developed an international business designing costume jewellery and selling to the best boutiques in Toronto, Montreal, New York, London and Paris. Four years later, when Poland was mid-way through a transformation from Communist to free-market economy, Mariusz returned home to help his parents establish themselves as educational publishers. At the time, the home market was dominated by the state-owned publisher WSIP which was reacting slowly to the changing world and broadening expectations of teachers.

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Mariusz brought with him the latest Apple Mac desktop publishing technology and quickly surpassed the staid products from their monopolistic opposition with attractive layouts and modern teaching methods. Starting with a series of science exercise books, the aptly named Nowa Era (New Era) publishing house sold more than one million books in its first year. In 1994, the company launched a series of biology textbooks, which further undermined the state monopoly, and five years later, was ranked the fifth largest educational publisher in Poland. In 1999, educational reform in Poland brought fresh opportunities and led to Nowa Era becoming a national leader in science publishing. It was a remarkable achievement and to celebrate Mariusz Koper took his entire 32-man team to Egypt to broaden their minds. “I believe in people. A good team that respects and grows together can do more than one made up from the best recruits that are focused on themselves.” He says. Three years later, the Nowa Era founder began a series of acquisitions, starting with his sister’s publishing house Arka. This was followed by the oldest Polish cartographer PPWK, one of the major private competitors Rozak and Vulcan, which specialised in management systems for schools and local authorities. He was just as interested in publishing co-editions and began a partnership with Cambridge University Press and the Boston based American publisher Heinle to introduce westernised management manuals and teaching resources. By 2007, the group had grown to 500 employees, and to celebrate their 15th anniversary, Koper took them back to Egypt once more, having already held integrating meetings in Tenerife, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. “Competitors couldn’t believe that the whole company would be rewarded instead of simply the top management.” Says Mariusz who realised at an early stage that success is dependant on all your staff and not just the few. By then, Nowa Era’s products and services were as diverse as its travel, taking in books, CD-ROMs, and other electronic teaching and learning resources, maps, atlases, charts, audio tapes and educational films.


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“I believe in people. A good team that respects and grows together can do more than one made up from the best recruits that are focused on themselves.”

The business had grown from a one-man operation to become the market-leader with sales of almost 15 million books a year. In 2007, Koper agreed to sell out his controlling interest in Nowa Era to the Finnish publishing house Sanoma WSOY, but continued to act as CEO until the end of 2010. “One factor that contributed to the rapid development of Nowa Era was living between Toronto and Warsaw and commuting between the two. My time in Canada gave me a fresh perspective and opened my eyes to new publishing ideas at a time of huge changes within the industry. It also gave me the opportunity to develop a second passion – sailing.”

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“The whole circumnavigation could be done only because of my friends who helped me to run the company and my family who supported my dream.�

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Mariusz re-kindled his boyhood interest in 1995, setting sail on Lake Ontario aboard school boats from Humber College in Toronto. A year later, he took the family for their first cruise aboard a charter yacht when his fourth daughter Thea was just 14 months old. A year later he expanded his horizons by joining a charter crew on an adventure sail from Auckland across the Pacific to Tahiti. The voyage ended in a 60 knot storm, but far from putting him off, he then embarked on a race above the 66th parallel to Spitzbergen. It was time to buy a yacht. Mariusz first came across an Oyster 485 at the Annapolis Boat Show, but then finalised on the design after several visits to the Hamburg Show. Katharsis was handed over in September 2001 and Mariusz immediately set sail for the Mediterranean, reaching Gibraltar in November that year. His dream was to cruise round the world, and after a series of voyages around the Aegean, Koper and his crew finally set out across the Atlantic bound for Brazil in January 2003. “The whole circumnavigation could be done only because of my friends who helped me to run the company and my family who supported my dream. My sister Roma, who was co-owner of Nowa Era became my voyage partner. Rotating crew included some of Nowa Era staff

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who could have a chance to taste what blue water sailing is all about.” The following year Mariusz spent his spare time cruising the Caribbean, taking part in Oyster’s British Virgin Islands Regatta with his Canadian wife Peggy and their young family. The yacht and her crew then sat out Hurricane Ivan in Grenada before heading south to Panama and a three-month cruise through the Pacific to New Zealand. In 2005, the Kopers sailed on to Brisbane, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. They returned to Australia the following year to visit the Great Barrier Reef, then headed north to Bali, Singapore and Phuket. Katharsis remained in Thailand for two years, hosting the family for short cruises while Mariusz focused on Nowa Era and the education reforms being carried out in Poland. It was not until 2009 that he finally found time to complete the circumnavigation, returning via the Maldives, and Suez to tie the knot back in Athens that September. “The last part of the odyssey was very stressful. The Gulf of Aden was awash with pirates and once, when visibility was limited by a sand storm, they approached Katharsis only to be scared away by the approach of a navy ship.

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“One skipper said that you will return as a different person from Antarctica and I have to agree with that. This vast and ice-bound land is full of life and reminds us how vulnerable we are.”

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For most people it is difficult to follow their dreams because of ties they have on land. I fulfilled my dreams because of my determination and the support of my family and friends. I managed to make a circumnavigation and reach the top business level at the same time. It was the most intensive and exciting time in my life so far.” Mariusz recalls. By then Katharsis II, a new Oyster 72, was already launched with a fresh focus to visit the icy wastes of Antarctica. “For me, sailing has always been a mixture of challenge and pleasure. One of the biggest challenges has been to cross the stormy and poorly charted waters of the Antarctic. By contrast, one of the biggest pleasures has been to have my six children all on board at the same time, which was why I purchased a bigger Oyster!” They set out on the 2009 ARC, and competed in the Oyster BVI Regatta in 2010 before heading through the Panama Canal for a three-week stay in Galapagos. Mariusz and two crew then took on the Pacific in one 14-day voyage to Fatu Hiva to spend a month cruising the Marquesas Islands. September and October last year were spent diving with sharks in Rangiroa and Bora Bora before returning eastwards via Tahiti and Easter Island to round Cape Horn on January 7th this year. After meeting with his sister and parents in Ushuaia, Mariusz set sail for a 3-week voyage down to Antarctica, crossing a stormy Drake’s Passage to visit Henryk Arctowski, the Polish Antarctic Base in Academy Bay on King George Island. After three days at the Polish Station, Katharsis II continued south stopping at Greenwich, Livingstone and Deception islands. The Antarctic Peninsula was reached near Cape Murray but they continued on to Paradise Bay. After visits to the Gonzales Chilean Base, British Port Lockroy Base and the Ukrainian Vernadsky Base furthest south, they made the decision to attempt to sail into the Antarctic Circle. “Yachts rarely pass Vernadsky Station. We were discouraged to sail further south by an experienced polar skipper because of the amount of ice that season. The weather was very unstable and the ice flow could change its direction without any warning, blocking you in shallow waters. But being just 120 miles from the Antarctic Circle, I couldn’t resist the temptation of going further. Halfway, the ice really stopped us. It looked like the end of the trip south but after backing off I managed to find a clear path along the south side of Dodman Island. We survived a storm in Mutton Cove, one of very few shelters there and the next day on February 10th we sailed through the Antarctic Circle. It was a great feeling of achievement.” “It was the most difficult trip so far. It was a huge challenge for me as skipper but also for the boat and its entire crew. One skipper said that you will return as a different person from Antarctica and I have to agree with that. This vast and ice-bound land is full of life and reminds us how vulnerable we are.” Katharsis II returned to cruise around Southern Patagonia and up the Brazilian coast to finish in Rio de Janeiro at the end of May.

Photos: Mariusz Koper, Wojtek Urbanek/PPL, Nowa Era

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AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE OYSTER 625

LAUNCHED EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE FIRST OF THE INNOVATIVE, NEW OYSTER 625s IS A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF CONTEMPORARY STYLING, BOTH ABOVE AND BELOW DECKS.

Oyster 625-01, Blue Jeannie, was shown at Oyster’s Private View in St Katharine Docks in London in May, and although the yacht is yet to be shown at a boat show, she has already attracted much acclaim and has recently been nominated for a European Yacht of the Year award. Despite her generous size, the Oyster 625 is set up for easy, short-handed sailing for those owners who prefer to sail without crew. However, with an interior option that allows for a forepeak layout for a full-time crew member, giving the potential of five cabins onboard, combined with her spacious, flush aft deck – the perfect spot for sun lounging or entertaining – the 625 is as well suited to occasional charter as she is for comfortable family sailing. A fresh look at interior design and detailing has given the accommodation a clean,

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contemporary feel with new joinery, upholstery design, shower rooms and hardware. Together with Oyster's choice of interior timbers and finishes, the Oyster 625 allows owners to create a really stunning onboard living environment. The spacious saloon is fitted with triple 'seascape' vertical windows, which fill the saloon with light and give a fantastic view over the water while seated below deck, a real superyacht feature. The accommodation features two generous guest cabins, each with its own head and shower, a sumptuous aft owner's suite, which is full beam and has private access to the aft deck and a fourth cabin that can be configured as a workshop, guest cabin or a children's cabin with access from the master cabin. The linear galley on the 625 offers significantly more storage than

on previous models with space for a full size washer/dryer and dishwasher as well as the standard front-opening fridge and freezer. Available with a Standard, Shoal or SuperShoal keel, the 625 can be configured to meet every owners’ cruising requirements. The new Oyster 625 will make her boat show debut at the Southampton Boat Show and will also be on display at the Cannes and Genoa Shows, where she is sure to attract a lot of attention. For an appointment to view please contact our sales team at: yachts@oystermarine.com or call us on +44 (0)1473 695 005. Blue Jeannie is available for charter from Oyster Charter. For more information please contact Molly Marston at molly.marston@oystermarine.com


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THE SPACIOUS SALOON IS FITTED WITH TRIPLE 'SEASCAPE' VERTICAL WINDOWS, WHICH FILL THE SALOON WITH LIGHT AND GIVE A FANTASTIC VIEW OVER THE WATER.

OYSTER 625. DIMENSIONS Length overall (including pulpit)

19.37m

63' 7"

Length of hull

19.03m

62' 5"

Length of waterline

17.24m

56' 7"

Beam

5.44m

17' 10"

Draft HPB keel (standard)

2.80m

9' 2"

Draft HPB keel (shoal)

2.15m

7' 1"

Standard rig and spar type

Semi-fractional sloop with fully battened main

Standard layout

Available rig options

In-mast furling, cutter and double headsail rigs

Ballast keel type

High Performance Bulb (HPB)

Displacement (standard keel)

33,500 kgs

Typical engine

Volvo D4-180 132kW (180hp)

73,854 lbs

Optional layout

Photos: Anthony Cullen, Mike Jones

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Miss Tippy Oyster 56, Miss Tippy. Cultural extravaganza through Asia and then tragedy. The Norton Family continues their circumnavigation with the Blue Water Rally.

By Brian and Sheila Norton, Oyster 56, Miss Tippy

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After a trip to the outback in camper vans, we departed Darwin later than other rally boats as we stayed with a friend whose starter motor had broken. In the event this proved lucky, since most of the other boats had to motor for the entire three day voyage to Kupang in Indonesia. We picked up some squalls and finally had a wonderful broad reach, which drove us along at 8 to 9 knots for the last day. It was an exciting way to arrive in Asia!

on the night of our arrival and had spent a lovely day touring the area meeting local children.

We anchored outside the town of Kupang, which was bursting with life. There were some derelict and bullet pocked buildings following the Timor War but it was now peaceful apart from the incessant gurgle of mopeds and motorbikes that dominate the roads in Indonesia. Upon arrival we were soon met by an unofficial looking Quarantine Officer. He was a warm, smiley character with a bushy moustache and deep wrinkles around his eyes. He wore what appeared to be an army surplus jacket with many pockets in which he could stow the odd small bottle of whiskey. We were shocked when he carefully placed his empty coke can in the sea as we were taking him back on shore in the dinghy. This was our first indication of a huge litter problem in Indonesia.

Luckily we were sailing with friends who had worked and lived in Indonesia previously. We followed them to the island of Sumba as part of a group of four boats.

We departed at dawn feeling nervous about getting arrested somewhere in Indonesian waters before we could get formal customs clearance in Bali. This constraint curtailed our planned trip through the Spice Islands, as we had to be careful which islands we visited.

“After much deliberation we were told that we had to leave Kupang before sunrise or have our boats impounded.” We had no pilotage information and our electronic charts were completely inaccurate as we approached the town in Nangamessi Bay. We arrived first and managed to get into a shallow anchorage and then send waypoints to our friends. Unfortunately one of the yachts cut the corner and managed to impale themselves on a wreck which itself was on a reef. We went back out to help them while the sun was dwindling but were helpless due to the depth of our keel. With frantically waving arms and pointing we somehow managed to communicate with

Once ashore to complete the check-in process we discovered that there was a problem with customs clearance. After much deliberation we were told that we had to leave Kupang before sunrise or have our boats impounded. It was a great shame, since we had been welcomed by local dignitaries with a lavish feast

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a couple of local fishing boats that roared off to help. After much bumping and grinding our friends were finally pulled free on a rising tide and were soon safely anchored, having a well earned beer and debriefing us all. Once settled down we hired a Bemo (a small van) and two guides, Jimmy and Amaa, to take us on a tour of this rarely visited island. We were blown away during our two days there after visiting bustling markets, a traditional village and weavers where they handmade the highly decorative Ikat textiles. Wherever we went children mobbed us and giggled as our own children chatted with them and shared small gifts of sweets, pens or balloons. Even the adults got in on the act and wanted to be photographed with our blonde-haired children for luck. After our whirlwind tour of Sumba we sailed to Rinca. This is a beautiful island next to the more famous and more visited island of Komodo. Here we went diving on some small reefs and then dinghied ashore to seek out some Komodo dragons. Several locals alerted us that the dragons we approached on the beach were hungry and angry. We rapidly retreated to watch them from the relative safety of our dinghy as Freddie informed us that bacteria in their saliva causes a slow agonising death if they bite you! We went to Gili Lawa Laut to the North of Komodo to visit the famous dive sites of Castle and Crystal Rocks. We had to time our passage carefully as tides rip between the islands. After a couple of days of diving

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and chilling-out by the beach we set off again past Sumbawa towards Lombok. We encountered a vast fl eet of small open fishing boats and had to dodge nets during the night passages but arrived unscathed at an anchorage in a remote spot on the North West of Lombok. Several fishermen visited us at anchor and we went into the local village with them to buy some provisions. Lombok is a Muslim island and people were more reserved here. Despite this we had a lovely time and enjoyed sitting at anchor at night listening to the melodic wails from competing minarets at prayer time.

“Wherever we went children mobbed us and giggled as our own children chatted with them and shared small gifts of sweets, pens or balloons.” From here it was a short hop to Bali. En route we stopped at a small island called Gili Air. Diving operations abound and we met a great team from Ocean 5 and in particular a young Welshman called Nathan who helped Charlie, Freddie and Annie achieve their PADI dive qualifications. After a night out for Halloween we left Gili Air for Bali. Bali marina is in a sad state of disrepair and contradicted our image of Bali as a beautiful holiday destination. It was a bit depressing to be moored up to dishevelled concrete


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pontoons amidst pollution from litter and plastic. However, after sorting out our customs clearance with the appropriate ‘payment’ we ventured away from the marina and found some of the beauty that Bali is famous for. We travelled inland to Ubud, went white water rafting, cycled through paddy fields and ate spicy Indonesian food while sitting cross-legged in local warungs. Our next passage took us 350 miles north to the Kalimantan province in Borneo. This province is still part of Indonesia but has a very different feel to it. We arrived in the morning and travelled 50 miles up past a headland into a muddy river, which meandered 15 miles to the town of Kumai. The big attraction here is the Orangutan Sanctuary in the jungle. We hired a riverboat (a klotok), which took us and another family up ever narrowing tributaries as we delved deeper and deeper into the jungle. The riverbank was alive with wildlife. We saw kingfishers, hornbills, proboscis monkeys and the occasional orangutan rattling the trees as we ambled slowly upriver. Sadly the spread of palm oil plantations, as well as damage from illegal logging and mining activity, is fast destroying the natural habitat for the human-like orangutan. Over 10 million hectares of jungle have been devastated and the population of the ‘people from the trees’ has dwindled from half a million to about 20,000. After a days trip we visited the first feeding station deep in the heart of the Borneo jungle

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and met a number of these lovely creatures. We slept beneath mosquito nets on the open decks of the Klotok and then went trekking through the swampy jungle picking up a number of leeches on the way! The kids even invented a new game to see how many leeches each of them could carry. The winner, Freddie, managed three! Sheila also scared every animal within 10 miles when she screamed after being bitten by fire ants. On the way back our guide took us to the village where he had been born. We wandered among the simple houses built on stilts above fetid marshy water and pondered how tough it must be to live in this part of the world. We passed a father and son swimming in the murky water between two levees on our way to


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the school. Here we met the headmaster and found that despite their humble existence they were extremely committed to education. We met conscientious, well-behaved children turned out in pristine uniforms working diligently on their sums! A guy who had slept in our cockpit to protect Miss Tippy was relieved when we returned after our two-day trip. He had obviously been lost for things to do as we found a number of animal figures modelled from clothes pegs scattered around the deck! Then we left to a chorus of prayer calls from local mosques while marvelling at the huge ‘office block’ like buildings that housed thousands of swallows, which produced birds’ nests for consumption in China. A three-day sail took us to Nongsa Point marina on Batam opposite Singapore. We stayed there a couple of days before crossing the narrow straits of Singapore. To say the straits are busy is an understatement. In fact there were so many signals from ships on the AIS that the chart plotter malfunctioned. Full throttle was needed as we ran the gauntlet between the shipping traffic. Wealthy Singapore offers a stark contrast to the relatively poor Indonesia, which is only a few miles away. Awe inspiring architecture, pristine streets and shopping malls galore left us reeling as we tried to cope with city life once more. Checking out of Singapore was the most efficient process we had encountered anywhere on our world trip. We just left the marina and met a customs and immigration boat out in the harbour, which took our papers in a net on a pole, processed them and handed them back to us within minutes. From Singapore we sailed up the Malacca Straits to Malaysia. Once notorious for piracy this stretch of water is now relatively safe. Winds were light but we have found, to our delight, that Miss Tippy manages to make

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the most of light winds and allows us to continue sailing when others have to motor. We enjoyed a lovely gentle sail to Port Klang. Kuala Lumpar was a short train ride from the port so we took the opportunity to visit the Petronas Towers and immerse ourselves in city life again. There was much regeneration occurring on the route towards the capital and you got a sense of fast paced development here. After another jolt of city life we sailed up the coast to the small island of Pulau Payar where we went diving for a few days before moving onto Langkawi. We encountered massive fishing fleets (of up to 100 trawlers) during day and night and had to keep a careful watch at all times to avoid nets. It was saddening to see the litter left behind by these fleets. We saw hundreds if not thousands of plastic water bottles and other detritus in the water and saw fishermen picking more plastic bags from their nets than fish! In Langkawi we met some other families sailing around the world and got our first hint of problems ahead when a couple we met suggested that we shouldn’t be taking children through the Gulf of Aden. At the time we just dismissed this as a bit of scaremongering. Our last stop in Malaysia was at a small group of islands known as the Butang group. We enjoyed some diving there and then ventured north onwards through the beautiful islands of Thailand. We have sailed charter boats in this region before so we had a bit of a holiday and spent our time relaxing on beaches, swimming and diving rather than exploring. We had to get to the Yacht Haven marina in Phuket to meet up for a rally briefing by early December. We spent a week there and got to know a number of new boats who were joining the rally including Quest,

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Saildance (an Oyster 62), and Journey. We also said goodbye to the Oyster 47, Moonshadow who had planned to leave the rally at that point. Here we started to plan for our trip through the Red Sea and formed the small groups who would sail together in formation when we hit the Gulf of Aden.

“Miss Tippy shrugged off the treacherous conditions in her familiar style. Several boats that were following us by a day or so were not so lucky and were caught out as the depression escalated into a tropical storm with winds of up to 65 knots.” After a haul-out and anti-fouling we visited James Bond island and a floating village before heading to Phi Phi island for Christmas. Immediately after Christmas we managed to sneak in a few days of diving in the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Similan Islands north of Thailand before following the rally fleet to Sri Lanka. The route to Sri Lanka took us about 1,000 miles across the Bay of Bengal. We were slightly North of the main fleet and experienced different weather to everyone

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else. We gradually became aware that we were heading into a tropical depression and got stuck in 35-40 knot headwinds for the last couple of days before we got into Galle. Miss Tippy shrugged off the treacherous conditions in her now familiar style. Several boats that were following us by a day or so were not so lucky and were caught out as the depression escalated into a tropical storm with winds of up to 65 knots. Thankfully all survived to tell the tale but some of the yachts were damaged. Sri Lanka was wonderful. We immediately met tuk-tuk drivers outside the port gates who doubled up as fixers who would help us with just about anything we needed. We got to know a number of these guys as friends while we stayed there and visited some local homes. Th ese are very resilient people who have survived not only a war with the Tamil Tigers but also the devastation of the Tsunami in 2005. Most people had a personal tale of tragedy to tell but they had all picked up the pieces and approached life with a positive attitude that was uplifting to see. We took a tour inland visiting ancient mountain-top ruins, temples and a variety of towns. Our highlight was a 7km trek up Adam’s Peak in the highlands near to sprawling tea plantations. The locals believe that this is the place that Adam or Buddha first set foot on the earth and a temple has been built at the pinnacle of the


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mountain to celebrate this. It is a sacred place and many thousands of Sri Lankans make a pilgrimage there. We merged with barefooted pilgrims of all ages and struggled our way up the mountain in the early hours of the morning to arrive at the peak before sunrise. Watching the sun emerge from behind mist covered mountains while listening to local music from Buddhist monks was an incredibly spiritual and inspiring experience. In Sri Lanka we got an indication of growing piracy problems. A reporter contacted one of our fleet to ask what we thought about the escalating piracy in the Indian Ocean. Dockside meetings were hastily arranged to discuss the situation and people began to undertake their own research. It became clear that Somali pirates’ tactics had changed and they were now able to operate thousands of miles from their shores by using mother ships, which had themselves been pirated. Pirate attacks were appearing with increasing frequency, not just in the Gulf of Aden, but also all the way across the Indian Ocean. The passage to India was short but thrilling. In the gap between Sri Lanka and the bottom of India we had 25 knot headwinds and large, frequent waves. Again we were thankful for the solid construction of our Oyster, which allowed us to plough comfortably through the oncoming seas. The winds rapidly declined as we passed the southern tip of India and sailed up the coast in the lee of the land. Many small fishing boats approached us asking for cigarettes, food or drink. While we didn’t have cigarettes aboard we were happy to indulge these requests as far as we could and found the fishermen to be thankful and friendly. In Cochin we faced a lengthy check-in process to clear customs and immigration before we could start exploring. At Bolgatty marina we found ourselves to be a local tourist attraction since this is currently the only marina in India. Indian tourists would come round on tour boats and would cheer and wave when we acknowledged them. Here we met Nasser who

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was our local Mr Fixit. He helped us organise some repairs we needed and generally helped us find our way around. Again we became friends and went to his house for a lovely lunch. He lived in Fort Cochin among humble surroundings but his family were every bit the gracious hosts. They explained how their family of eight used to live in a place measuring about eight feet wide. It is humbling to discover that over 40% of India’s population of more than a billion still live with their families in one-room homes. Despite this one got a strong sense of the fast paced development that is often described in the media these days. Fort Cochin itself was a beautiful city with many historical buildings and the hustle and bustle you would expect from India. The colourful saris worn by the ladies were particularly beautiful in the bright sunshine and tempted many of the ladies on the rally, including our daughters to invest in some local clothing!

“It is humbling to discover that over 40% of India’s population of more than a billion still live with their families in one-room homes.” While in Cochin we gathered more information about the escalating piracy risk as well as the unrest, which had just emerged in Egypt. At one point we discussed whether Sheila and the children should leave the boat while we passed through these increasingly dangerous waters, but no-one wanted to leave Miss Tippy nor compromise their circumnavigation having got so far. In the end the rally changed its route fairly drastically to travel an additional 700 miles up the Indian Coast past Goa and to Mumbai before crossing to Oman. This route seemed to avoid the highest concentration of pirate attacks that had been occurring. We travelled in the company of a small group of boats up the coast of India since some attacks were coming quite close to the shore. We were relieved when we got to the safety of the hazy port in Mumbai. Our visit to Mumbai was a bonus, as we had never expected to come this far north. There was a vibrant and eclectic culture here. We enjoyed visiting local museums and an art festival frequented by trendy young middle class Indians. We drove along Marine Drive and pondered about the multi-million dollar houses in Malabar Hill that were just a stone’s throw from some of the crushing poverty that India is stereotypically known for. A visit to a small museum at Gandhi’s house was both educational and inspirational. Our trip to Mumbai would not have been complete however, without a trip to Dharavi and the slum made famous by the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Our guide had an uncle who lived there and he helped us to feel a bit

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more comfortable as we hesitantly entered this alien world. In the slum we found ramshackle housing, saw young boys wading in a filthy river trawling with their hands for anything recyclable among the rubbish, and tried to avoid stepping into open sewers (Sheila was not successful in this and went knee-deep into a sewer losing a shoe!). Despite the obvious hardships we also got a strong sense of community in the area and found a vibrant mini-economy here. Having been saddened by the plastic litter that seems to pervade Asia the sight of so many recycling businesses gives some hope for the future. People gathered round us as we stopped for a sweet drink from squeezed sugar beet and local boys even invited us to join a game of cricket being played in the narrow streets. We left with great respect for the hard-working families and strong communities that had emerged amidst such adversity. The time came for us to leave Mumbai or jeopardise the dates for our planned trip through the Gulf of Aden. We were jumpy when we departed but soon got even more afraid when we received a report that night of an attack 30 miles off the coast of Pakistan and directly on our proposed route. We diverted our course and travelled through congested oil fields while being on high alert.

Light winds prevailed and we motor-sailed in formation with five other boats. The next night we saw an oil tanker gliding past us in the moonlight without any navigation lights on. We reported this spooky sight to the authorities that then contacted them and later advised us that there was no problem as they were merely travelling unlit to avoid pirates! On our second day out we heard the unthinkable. One of the rally boats, Quest, had been seen by a Danish helicopter towing a skiff and appeared to have been pirated. Our vigilance and nervousness escalated and we took evasive action a number of times when we saw targets approaching on our radars. Thankfully nothing manifested itself as an attack. Tragically the night before we arrived at the Oman coast we heard from UKMTO that all aboard Quest had been killed. We arrived in Salalah, Oman fairly shattered after what had been the most tiring and emotionally draining trip of the past few years. We decided to fly the children home and were intending to carry on as a husband and wife team until further reports emerged including rumours of another yacht being pirated with children aboard. These rumours sadly turned out to be true and, after further information gathering, all but one yacht took the advice of various military forces and other authorities not to proceed. As we write, Miss Tippy is in Oman awaiting shipment to the Mediterranean from which we will continue our voyages. Our hearts go out to the families of those on board Quest as well as all of those from the Danish yacht, Ing who are still in captivity. Our circumnavigation has undoubtedly been marred by these tragedies. We have learned so much, visited so many wonderful places, overcome so many challenges and met so many lovely people over the past two years. We will not allow this minority of ruthless, unscrupulous pirates to overwhelm all the positive memories of, what has undoubtedly been, one of the best experiences of our lives. Photos: The Norton Family Read Miss Tippy’s story on the family’s blog at www.rock2rock.co.uk

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OYST E R S U P E RYAC H T U P D AT E Our first press release announcing the Oyster Superyacht project was way back in April 2007. It’s amazing to reflect on the four years of hard work since then and to remember that when the exciting news was first announced, our partners – RMK Marine in Turkey – had yet to start building the sophisticated composite facility and fit-out building in which we now build the Oyster Superyachts. Oyster 100-01 hit the water on June 27th 2011 and the new owner and her son wielded the axe, which cut the string, released the pendulum, swung the champagne… and named the yacht Sarafin. God bless her and all who sail in her! It was a great day for Oyster, the team of international superyacht specialists, designers, and the many craftsmen and suppliers who have all been involved in her build. Th e Oyster team has done a really good job, particularly our Superyacht Project Coordinator, Hamish Burgess-Simpson, and we are really proud that, at the same time, we’ve had the

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energy and enthusiasm to design and develop the new Oyster 575, 625, 725 and Oyster 885. The new Oyster 100 brings a unique package to the 100-foot marketplace by cleverly filling the gap between the increasing trend towards less comfortable, light and ultra light production offerings, focused more on the race circuit than long distance cruising and, at the other end of the time and cost scale, one-off projects. Whilst benefiting from the best aspects of a series production design, e.g. composite hull and deck, proven sailing performance, common engineering, tried and tested systems,


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the new Oyster 100 also offers many of the best aspects of a high-end custom built superyacht. A flexibly mounted interior minimises sound and vibration, one of the twin matched generators will run continuously providing air management 24/7, continuous 110/220V and a hydraulic ring main. A wide range of customisation enables each owner to choose their own interior timber, flooring, bulkhead finishes, fi xtures, fittings and furnishings. Sarafin has stunning high gloss walnut joinery work contrasting with light fabric bulkheads and upholstery. Th e new Oyster 100 could be described as more of a small ship than a large yacht.

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Another first for a production yacht of this size is full Lloyds 100 A1 classification giving every owner huge confidence in the standard of construction, equipment quality and will help underwrite future resale value. This exceptional yacht will appeal to the owner who wants the best but does not have either the time or experience to embark on a time consuming one off project. Commissioning is now under way to prepare Sarafin for her sail trials and press launch before she departs Turkey for a season in the Caribbean. Oyster 100-02 is now well into the fit out phase and will be launched in Spring 2012.

As if all this is not enough to keep the yard fully occupied, the first of the Oyster 125s is moulded and progressing well. The Oyster 125 is offered in three very different configurations, first in build is the stunning Oyster 125 Flybridge. We studied the international superyacht market from 100ft up to 200ft and realised that there were a number of attractive flybridge designs of 160ft plus available from different naval architects and shipyards, but very little below this size. We concluded that a flybridge design of between 120ft and 130ft would be ideal if combined series production engineering with Lloyds 100 A1 and full MCA, LY2 coding and thus would fill a gap in the market (as we believe our Oyster 100 also does). Our first objective was to design a slightly higher than normal superstructure. This enabled all the

daytime living area to be in one huge upper saloon area of the size more normally found in a significantly larger yacht of approximately 150ft plus. This upper saloon offers a lounge, bar and dining area all with a full 360 degree panoramic view. This superstructure also incorporates a flybridge upper deck with a lounge area, refrigerator and wet bar, twin helm positions, and a large sunbathing area, whilst cleverly providing shelter from the sun over the outside dining area. Oyster 125/01 will be launched in Summer 2012 and premieres at the 2012 Monaco Boat Show.

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For more information about the Oyster Superyachts please contact Murray Aitken: murray.aitken@oystermarine.com

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U H U RU’ S ‘SOUTHER N A DV E N T U R E ’ I can truly say that the Southern leg of our adventure is why UHURU was built. I remember walking into Oyster in Ipswich for the first meeting with Mike Taylor, our Project Manager, back in the summer of 2006. I very grandly handed him one sheet of paper with the following words on:

NAME: UHURU (SWAHILI FOR FREEDOM) 1. She must be capable of surviving in both Equatorial and Antarctic conditions. 2. She must be able to be sailed very short-handed, possibly solo in friendly waters. 3. We will need maximum fuel and water capacity, for extended passages. 4. Quality engineering, reliability, redundancy and safety are my priorities.

BY STEVE POWELL, OYSTER 62, UHURU

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“We tend to ignore the old adage that “Gentlemen only sail downwind”; we prefer “Sailors go where they want.”

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Mike looked at my list of requirements and gave me a sideways look saying “It’s unusual for new owners to know the name of their boat this early” and then promptly stuck it in a draw as if to say, “as for the rest, all our boats can do that”… well we were about to find out if that was true. My plan was to depart from Grenada around about the 1st October and start heading south down the east coast of South America. Visiting Guyana, Suriname, Devil’s Island, French Guiana, Brazil, and Uruguay before heading down to the Falkland Islands for Christmas. A journey of approximately 6,500nm, the first 2,000 of which was up wind and against the prevailing current, not an unusual situation for UHURU. We tend to ignore the old adage that “Gentlemen only sail downwind”; we prefer “Sailors go where they want”. The journey down was both eventful and enjoyable, we had toyed with hurricane ‘Otto’, gone up a rainforest river, slugged it out against the wind and current for nearly 3,000 miles, been chased by ‘pirates’ (or possibly innocent fishermen, who knows), crossed the equator, been hit by a whale, visited amongst others Devil’s Island, Salvador, Bouzios, Rio and finally crossed from Punte del Este, Uruguay to Port Stanley whilst getting lashed by three separate gales. Christmas and New Year in Port Stanley was a joy, singing carols under the Whale Bone Arch and many a lively evening in the Victory pub, just like home. The locals were very friendly and helpful and took a genuine interest in what we were planning, but mainly we were there to do the final preparations for heading south.

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PREPARATIONS

The preparations had been plentiful, and had started with the build of the boat. Conscious of the fact that I had never sailed to Antarctica before, or any high latitudes for that matter, and that taking a glass fibre boat down there came with its own set of risks, I took on Richard Haworth of High Latitudes as a consultant on the build from the early stages. I explained that I didn’t want to build an icebreaker, but wanted to make sure that she would be safe in those waters. His input was invaluable and covered many areas of the build and outfitting, but was centred on a simple philosophy. Where possible, on all critical systems, have a backup of everything. Two autopilots, installed and ready, two raw water inlet systems, two separate Racor Fuel filter systems, pre-heater on the water-making system, two heating systems, re-enforcement on all key areas of the sail, extra high cut for good visibility and deep-reefing, double bolt ropes on all sails, double leach lines on main and genoa, plus stitched in sail hanks up the luff of the genoa and staysail, hydraulic windlass and extra weight ground tackle, and so on, the list wasn’t endless but certainly extensive. When it came to outfitting her it all started again, two tenders, two outboard engines, three anchors, two eight-man life rafts, two EPIRBS, two full sets of safety equipment and grab bags, two communication systems, diving equipment, 400m of floating line for tying off to rocks, two ice poles, etc, etc. The spares and tools list was endless, everything from a spare propeller, bolted under one of the bunks, to mountains of spare filters and pumps, every critical component had to be covered.

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The spares list ran to five A4 pages and the tools list ran another two pages in addition to the extensive range of tools we already carried, including sledgehammers, crowbars, and a machete! At times I wondered what we were getting into. By the time we had loaded everything it was a wonder she could sail. But she did, and well. Our final preparations in Port Stanley included rigging a double-glazing system for all the windows, hatches and port lights to reduce condensation. This was done with a mixture of perspex, dual lock, gaffer tape and cling film, not very elegant, but effective. We didn’t have any condensation problems throughout the trip. We then bolted, screwed or lashed everything down. We were ready! My crew for the next month were to be Chris Durham, (1st mate and engineer), Richard Haworth, (ice guide, diver and mountaineer), my brother Mike Powell, (photographer, diver and mountaineer) and Alistair ‘Buzz’ Keck (sailor and good friend) who came on as a last

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minute stand in when unfortunately David and Tamsin Kidwell, owners of the Oyster 435, Twice Eleven had to fly home from Stanley after a family bereavement.

LEAVING PORT STANLEY

It was all now down to the weather. Having read all the recommended texts on crossing the Southern Oceans, I was understandably apprehensive. The Drake Passage has a well-earned reputation. But I have been using a combination of daily weather reports from Chris Tibbs, on the challenging sections, and ‘Clearpoint’, a downloadable subscription forecasting system based on Grib files that has proved to be remarkably accurate so far. The helpful thing I have found down here is that the weather systems are so well defined that it is relatively easy to passage plan. Providing you are flexible with your departure date and are willing to wait, finding a suitable gap between fronts isn’t that hard. The trick then is to make sure you keep to the plan, don’t ‘dilly dally’ out there, and use the


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engine if necessary to maintain your planned mileage. And, of course, keep an eye on the forecasts because it can change in a heartbeat. We left Port Stanley early on the 4th January in near perfect conditions. Our first 48 hours were fantastic, 25 knots out of the NW, just aft of the beam and moderate seas. Everyone was well and getting plenty of sleep. Chris discovered early on just how cold the water is by getting a good dowsing while up forward setting a preventer line. We saw our first wandering albatross within hours of leaving Stanley, very impressive. Apparently they mate for life and only meet the wife once every two years on the same patch of land on one of the sub-Antarctic islands, after a bit of ‘slap and tickle’ they hatch their chicks together, then both head off again, separately, flying around the southern oceans feeding for the next two years. Sounds like a sailor’s life to me!

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BECALMED IN THE SOUTHERN OCEANS... WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT!

After two days of absolutely perfect sailing, 20-30 knots north-west, just aft of the beam, and moderate seas, we were then becalmed! Winds dropped to 2-3 knots. Who would have thought, we never expected this one. So the engine went on and we motored along playing sports trivia cards.

expected, cold, wet and ugly. After being effectively becalmed in the middle of the Southern Ocean, the weather turned on us as 35-40 knots of wind from the SSW (on the nose) straight off the Antarctic mainland, bitterly cold, with 5-6 metre seas. Everyone was very stoic and remembered our nation’s seafaring traditions. Well... they didn’t whinge too much! And we got through it well.

We did have a taste of the southern oceans later that night with 5-metre plus swells coming in from the west, and took quite a lot of water over the bow. But other than that it was a beautiful night that never really got dark, we had what looked like a permanent dawn on the horizon directly south of us.

As we sailed into Deception Island through the Boyd Straights, escorted by squadrons of cape petrels, we saw our first iceberg, a huge majestic looking thing, which had us all up and excited. We dropped anchor in the middle of Deception Island, a flooded volcano that last erupted in 1970. Never a dull moment really.

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RUNNING OUT OF SUPERLATIVES.

I knew months ago when I started using words like, fantastic, incredible, perfect, unbelievable and amazing in my blog that I would eventually come South and run out of superlatives. Well, it happened. Our arrival in Antarctica was just ‘astonishing’; we spent the first day at anchor in Deception Island. We managed a few very important maintenance jobs in the morning then spent the afternoon on the beach with the penguins. Yes, there are beaches, all be it black lava sand, and the penguins love it because the hot spring water seeping out of the still active volcano gives a water line of hot water for about 18 inches out. We set out very early the next morning in near-perfect conditions, sunshine and wind. The moment we came out of Deception Island, through Neptune’s Bellows, the aptly named gap into the volcano, we were greeted by whales and penguins. Penguins swimming are hilarious, they jump like dolphins, but it’s more of a little hop out of the water, then every few minutes they all stop, pop their heads up to check where they are going. Then off they go again, ‘hopping’ across the ocean. The rest of the day we were entertained by whales. And icebergs – there were hundreds of them, and nasty little ‘growlers’, which are large chunks of ice, often weighing several tons that have broken off an iceberg and are floating just on the surface and very difficult to see, anyone of which could easily rip the bottom out of UHURU. Which is a rather sobering thought while you are on watch, and tends to focus the mind. We spent a lot of time pinching ourselves; we just could not believe this place, Antarctica was truly out of this

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world. It was universally agreed that it doesn’t matter how much we try we will never be able to explain what it’s really like. Even Mike’s great pictures cannot come close to explaining what it’s really like. How do you adequately describe the feeling of sailing along under a deep blue sky, with the wind whistling through the rigging, little penguins ‘hopping’ alongside, birds circling constantly, whales popping up every now and then, all with the ‘ever present danger of growlers’. And I don’t care who you are, every now and then that very deep and dark thought will creep up on you. ‘We are at the end of the world down here, and if anything goes wrong…’ Well let’s not finish that thought, but I am sure everyone who has ever come down here must have had it.

BACK IN TIME…

Our next stop was Enterprise Island where we rafted up to an old sunken factory whaling boat, called The Governoren, which caught fire back in the 1930s. To try and save it they were going to run it aground, but before it could hit the shore they ran into a shallow rock bar. The stern sunk and there it still sits today. This is remote, really remote, we get the feeling that we have gone back in time here as everywhere you look there are reminders of a bygone era. Whaling was massive down here in the early 1900s, and the whalers established supply bases all around Antarctica. This is one of them. Edging our way in stern first to a narrow and shallow gap between the wreck and a rocky ice wall was testing at best. But once we had lines across to the wreck we found it to be a very secure berth, if a little noisy from the screaming Arctic terns that have taken over the ship’s boilers.


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Right behind us was a glacier wall, which immediately became the object of much interest to brother Mike and Rich. No sooner had we tied off our last line than out came the climbing gear and off they went. It seemed like only minutes later and they were halfway up this ice wall. It was here that we harvested our first crop of 1,000 year old, Antarctic ice, straight off the bergs. It made our early evening gin and tonics go with a zing. The next day we spent exploring the area, discovering old wooden water supply boats and bollards that had been painstakingly chiselled into the rock. We also had our first Antarctic dive, on the wreck – cold but very exciting.

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WORDS, WORDS, WORDS…

Words cannot possibly begin to describe Friday, 14th January 2011, we set off from Enterprise Island at 05.00, with a plan to stop at a couple of spots on the way to Port Lockroy. From that point on it all became rather surreal. The weather was perfect, blue skies and little white fluffy clouds. A strong and stable high had settled over the peninsular. We started off with the usual escort of penguins and terns, and then we had a full display from a pod of humpback whales. As we eased our way into Orne Harbour a pair of crabeater seals obliged by posing on a berg right next to us.

“I knew months ago when I started using words like, fantastic, incredible, perfect, unbelievable, amazing, in my blog, that I would eventually come south and run out of superlatives.”

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Mike, Buzz and Chris then went ashore to climb Spigots Peak to photograph the penguins and get a picture of UHURU creeping through the ice in Orne Harbour. From there they had the most spectacular views of Orne Harbour and the Gerlache Straits. As we left Orne Harbour we came across a leopard seal basking in the sun having just finished a snack, evidenced by the blood still on his chin. Then a large pod of orcas (killer whales) followed us for about 30 minutes as we gently cruised down the Gerlache Straits towards Port Lockroy. By this time there was a very distinct holiday atmosphere onboard, we were running around the boat snapping pictures here and there, at the wildlife, at the scenery, at each other, like kids in a sweet shop. So please excuse me if this gets a little bit over the top! But this is the reward you get for pushing it all out there, those bitterly cold nights, scary seas and long, lonely watches, eventually lead to the ultimate winter wonderland; Antarctica in all her glory.

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PORT LOCKROY AND PICO LUIGI

On arriving in Thunder Bay, Port Lockroy, the climbing team immediately set about planning the ascent of Pico Luigi, a 1,530m peak that looms over Port Lockroy and the Seven Sisters. Armed with alpine skis, ice axes, miles of rope and a couple of day’s supplies they set off at 04.30 the next morning. Meanwhile we went exploring ‘Base A’, Port Lockroy (pronounced: Lo-ckroy). This base was established in 1944 by a secret British military expedition, code-named ‘Operation Tabarin’, to monitor German movements in the Antarctic and provided weather information. They established a number of small bases all around the Antarctic Peninsula. After the war the base was used by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey for weather research and the important early studies of the ionosphere. The base closed in 1962 and fell into disrepair. In 1994 the site was identified as a key Antarctic historical site and restoration began in 1996. Since then the restoration work has continued by volunteers who come out and spend the whole summer season on this tiny island. This year there was a team of four glamorous young ladies led by Nikki from Surrey. They arrived on site in November and their first job was to dig the huts out of the snow, which was a full metre above the roof – tough ladies! They spend the summer clearing snow, monitoring the penguin population, restoring the buildings, and welcoming visitors to the wonderful museum that they have created here. Their only support

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is visiting expedition ships and passing yachts, they don’t even have a small RIB to run around in, they are literally trapped on this small island for five months. Idyllic on a sunny day like this, but you can imagine it’s not always like this and must be quite harsh at times. The penguins wander all over the base, creating little footpaths as they go. You can never tire of watching penguins; they are hilarious, and very, very cute. The base museum is a fascinating insight into an era where ‘men were men’ and survived horrific conditions, with two jars of Marmite and a pair of woolly mittens. It has been beautifully restored in all its details and the families of the original occupants have donated many of the artefacts. All the rooms have been laid out exactly as they were back in the late 1940s, and the kitchen features all your old favourites from tins of corned beef to Camp Coffee and Marmite. All of it original, dug out from the old store hut and preserved in the cold. But one of the most intriguing recent discoveries has been a number of paintings of glamorous pin ups of the era hidden underneath a coat of paint. These were only discovered last year when the covering paint started to peel. Many of these paintings were painted on doors, which were used as shutters during the winter. Local legend has it that on seeing these paintings outside the huts Argentinian fisherman assumed it was a British brothel in the middle of Antarctica. Resourceful lot the Brits! It is believed that they were painted over by the artist as he left the base, to avoid embarrassment to the following team.

At about three o’clock in the afternoon while we were on the base chatting with the girls about the museum and its artefacts, well that was our excuse, we received our first radio communication from the climbing team saying that they had reached the summit and could just make out the base as a tiny speck. In amongst much cheering and celebrations we invited everyone over for drinks that night after supper to help celebrate Mike and Rich’s achievement, including some guys from a Brazilian yacht anchored close by. It took Mike and Rich another six hours to descend. We got lots of interesting local insights and had a very unexpected, and enjoyable evening, finishing sometime in the early hours. But as it is pretty much daylight all-night nobody was really sure what time it finished, the only indicator was the size of the hangovers the next morning, or was it afternoon?

THE LEMAIRE CHANNEL AND PORT CHARCOT

As we headed further south the ice got thicker and the going got slower, but all the time the spectacular scenery kept us spellbound. Mike and Rich dissected every peak as a possible challenge one day. I spent my whole time dodging growlers and trying to find clear routes through the ice. The occasional heavy thump of ice hitting the bow reminded us all of how potentially perilous this endeavour was. We successfully navigated the Lemaire Passage, aka ‘Kodak Alley’, one of the most spectacular scenic spots in the world, but the weather was


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closing in. We anchored that night in Port Charcot, site of the first expedition to winter over in Antarctica lead by Jean-Baptiste Charcot, a Frenchman, in 1903. The wind changed constantly that night and we had to change our anchorage. We finally settled into a small sheltered cut, with shorelines out to rocks. But despite that, bergs started to move during the night and the sight of Rich and Buzz at three o’clock in the morning in their thermal long johns using the tender to push large ‘growlers’ out of our anchorage would have been comical, were it not so serious. I had been monitoring the weather forecasts closely over the last few days and all the signs were that there was a big weather front coming in. We had had the most incredible weather so far for our trip but it was all about to change. Choices had to be made, and they were, as always never simple, but in a nutshell; leave Antarctica immediately and try and beat the front across or wait until it passes through. The risks of waiting until it passed through were sitting for possibly five or six days in Antarctica in bad weather with all the associated risks of shifting ice and a fibreglass boat, and also using up our vital diesel reserves. Followed by a very rough passage in the big seas that follow a front like that, with the risk of a lot of growlers on the loose in those seas. Or leave now and miss a few days of our planned trip in Antarctica and get across before the front kicks in. However, if it sped up or we don’t make the daily mileage I planned we risk getting a

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good kicking around the Horn. I guessed that would be likely anyway. So I reviewed the situation again at 06.00 and woke everyone up at 07.00 to tell them that we were leaving in two hours. Not the most popular decision I’ve made, but one all agreed with when the options were explained. We headed out through a very challenging un-surveyed section of rock and ice to exit through the Nimrod Passage then north back across the Drake Passage. We rounded the Horn three and a half days later in 30 knots of wind from the north-east, and headed directly to a safe anchorage in Porto William. Nine hours later, a 50-knot plus north westerly swept through the area, with 10 metre seas around the Horn, but we were happily having a beer or two in the ‘Micalvi’. It had been a fantastic trip across to the Antarctic Peninsula, a little shorter than we had planned but safe, no one got hurt, and the only damage we sustained to UHURU was a lost Windex after it got caught up with the masthead burgee, and a ‘pecked’ through outhaul button cover. Not bad really, we also managed to get down to 65 degrees South, which although is no record, was no mean achievement for a glass fibre hull. Was it worth it? All the months, no years, of preparation... all the agonizing and doubts, and, of course, the cost. Every moment... every sleepless night... worth every penny!

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For more information on High Latitudes visit www.highlatitudes.com Photos: Mike Powell/www.mikepowellphoto.com

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UHURU AT WORK, REST & PLAY. Chris surfing a small berg

As we left Antarctica and sailed north for the Horn, the atmosphere onboard was understandably subdued. Yes, I thought, after all that work, preparation and effort we have been to Antarctica, it’s over. It’s done. It’s finished. It’s in the past. But it was fun; in fact it was more than fun. Then I started thinking about all the ‘little’ things that somehow got missed in the excitement of the ‘big’ things. The simple act of maintaining the boat and us on a day-today basis required a lot more work and effort than normal.

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Our resident dare devil/comedian, Chris kept us in fits with his antics. But Chris really pushed it all out there when he decided that he would leap off the spreaders into the freezing Antarctic Ocean. The cold hit him like a sledgehammer; you’ve never seen anyone swim back to the boat so fast. Apparently there was no pain, just instant total numbness. The fact that shortly after recovering him we came across a Leopard seal basking on a small berg didn’t phase him at all. I suspect his Mum might have had something to say about it!

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1. Laundry day on UHURU, Mike editing pictures and Chris in the bilges, checking the engine filters 2. Rich and Chris stripping the windlass in Deception Island

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3. Mike carrying out the daily task of crushing the tin cans. Everything we took in with us had to come out with us, so waste management was very important

We had a lot of laughs, at each other, at ourselves and sometimes at the world, but mostly at penguins.

Mike working with penguins on Spigots Peak and some penguins with UHURU in the background

But the worst and best of the bird world was the Sheathbill, a little mischievous white bird, that made a mess all over the boat on our last night, but somehow in the process managed to turn on our windvane auto pilot, which requires two buttons to be held down simultaneously. So we spent most of the night ‘sailing’ to the wind, at anchor. They also managed to peck through the waterproof cover on the outhaul button.

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Chris’s valiant attempt at giving both himself and his mother a heart attack


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All in all the guys had a great time, they did things they never thought possible, and discovered a part of the world that you only see on the BBC.

Talking about the cold, I guess it’s confession time. Family and friends had been asking the question in almost every email, “how cold is it?” Well unfortunately, we had no idea, because despite the hoards of extra equipment we had loaded onboard for this trip, the Skipper, yours truly, forgot to pack a thermometer!

Buzz found a boat park in the middle of an iceberg, and learnt how to fend off ice flows

We knew it was cold, but we just didn’t know how cold! Best guess is that on average it’s about zero to +1 degree, but the wind chill can drop that to minus 20 to 30 in a heartbeat. Just a gentle sailing breeze dropped the temperature dramatically. In the picture above I am wearing seven layers! Merino wool long johns and top, fleece under shirt, full-length Windstopper thermal long johns, full-length Gore-Tex fleece romper suit, Windstopper thermal blouse, big fleece, and a full HPX Ocean suit, plus lining gloves, wrist warmers, a pair of ski gloves and mittens over the top, a neck warmer, balaclava and two woolly hats, three pairs of thermal socks and thermal wellies. Oh, and a life jacket. The Michelin Man has got nothing on me!

Mike climbed up everything he could see to bring us great pictures. And then he ran or skied down the rest!

But the real cold came when we went diving! We managed a couple of dives while we were down there, that was enough, believe me. Once on the wreck in Enterprise Bay and then on some old whalebones in Thunder Bay, Port Lockroy. I enjoyed both but the cold just ate into you.

Rich guided us safely to some of the most beautiful anchorages in the world. And taught us a lot while doing it

As for me, I had one of the most relaxed and enjoyable trips ever, I knew we were prepared and all our problems were small ones.

We all prepare to go diving on the wreck in Enterprise Bay

We head out to an old whaling area in Thunder Bay that is reputed to be covered in whalebones. Three very cold guys prepare to go down

And whale bones we found, loads of them, but the visibility wasn’t that great. This is at about 18 metres

So I spent a lot of time just feeling smug...

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hidden gems of the

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5. Villa Marie, near St Tropez, France

3. Cap Rocat, Mallorca, Spain

1. Eight Hotel Portofino, Italy 2. Casa Angelina Lifestyle, Amalfi Coast, Italy Clinging to the hillside on the Amalfi Coast overlooking the clear blue Mediterranean, this gleaming white contemporary hotel is blessed with stunning sea views, showcased by floorto-ceiling windows. White decor and whimsical pieces of art enhance the stylish minimalism.

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There are plenty of quiet corners and shaded patios at Villa Marie where you can tuck yourself away, plus charming terraces shaded by trees, views over Pampelonne Bay, beautiful Mediterranean gardens and a spectacular pool cut into natural rock.


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Oyster 56

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T H E OY S T E R EXPERIENCE S TA RT S R I G H T H E R E.

Oyster 54

As we approach the Autumn boat show season, we extend a very warm welcome to you, our owners, customers and show visitors, to view some of the newest Oysters afloat

Oyster 575

As usual we will be operating an appointment system to enable as many visitors as possible to view our yachts. Whilst we do try to ensure everyone who wishes to get on board can do so, we do get extremely busy so please contact us to book a boarding time ahead of your visit to the show so you won’t be disappointed.

Oyster 625

Please visit the Events section of our website where you can find more details about each boat show and 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 simply call our sales team.

Oyster 655

HISWA In-Water

Genoa

6 – 11 September Oyster 54

1 – 9 October Oyster 625

Cannes

Annapolis Sailboat Show

6 – 11 September Oyster 625 Oyster 725

Newport Brokerage Show

Oyster 82

15 – 18 September

6 – 10 October Oyster 655

Hamburg 29 October – 6 November Oyster 54 or 575

Southampton 16 – 25 September Oyster 575 and 625

Oyster 885

Oyster Brokerage Autumn Show, Southampton

Oyster 100

Oyster Private View, Palma 24 – 25 September Oyster 46, 54, 575, 655 and 72

16 – 25 September

UK/EUROPEAN SHOWS UK Office: +44 (0)1473 695 005

US SHOWS US Office: +1 401 846 7400

Email us at: yachts@oystermarine.com Visit us online: www.oystermarine.com

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TWIN RUDDERS F OR

BLU E

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CRU ISI NG

...another leading idea from Oyster!

“Twin rudders have been around for a long time and we’ve used them on several Oysters where we’ve fitted shallow draft keels or centreboards. Another manufacturer uses them as props to stop their yachts falling over when they beach and, as Rob points out, race yachts regularly use them. What interested me was the opportunity of finding a step change for Oyster based on scientific tank testing data, balanced with some CFD rig testing. It was exciting to find such convincing results that Oyster can take a market-leading stance and now offer a fully engineered option across the range.” David Tydeman

BY RO B H UM P H R E YS

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Having been a proponent of twin rudders for well over a decade, Rob Humphreys Design has a wealth of experience with the arrangement through a range of boat types, from the rather esoteric world of Open 60s and Volvo 70s through to moderately heavy cruising yachts. Our knowledge of what to do and how to do it has been partly theoretical, partly intuitive and – through feedback from our boats – partly empirical. However, it is only very recently that we have had the opportunity to really quantify the benefits. This came through an exhaustive tank testing session on behalf of the new Oyster 885, which was commissioned by Oyster on the basis it would not only benefit the development of the 885 but also the rest of the Oyster range. In the early design brief discussions last year on the Oyster “PC” as it was code-named, the Oyster New Product Development team and I sat down and ran through their ideas for how this new yacht should fit into the range. The conclusion was a yacht with moderate beam, balancing the requirements of interior volume with boat speed, a mast further aft to provide a powerful blade jib for easy upwind sailing, and room for four owner/guest cabins in a hull length of “no more than 20 millimetres short of the LY2 MCA 24 metre rule”. David Tydeman’s naval architecture background quickly helped me persuade him that twin rudders were the way to go! It was clear that this was going to be a bit of a sea change for Oyster and I was pleased that David was keen to push this forward and also to support this breakthrough with a proper budget for tank testing. We all felt it would be helpful to have tangible reference information for those owners trying to understand the shift from a skeg-rudder to the twin rudder form for this exciting new model. In fact our testing session set out to do more than just this because we also used the opportunity to let the spade rudder have its say, just for some form of completeness. We have often been asked why Oyster has tended to steer clear of spade rudders and the answer has more to do with potential vulnerability than any disrespect for its potential qualities. As any Oyster owner knows, a blue-water cruising yacht has to be accomplished in a number of different ways, and one of the lower profi le requirements has to be an ability to slide backwards against a Mediterranean harbour wall without necessarily endangering the steering gear. One paradox of success for

RU D D ER S

We tested a lot of other things as well, but the rudder testing was most interesting and was totally supportive of all that we had learnt to be true in the field. For a given side force and leeway angle the skeg rudder and the spade rudder were in a roughly similar ballpark, whereas the twin-rudder equivalent was in another world altogether. For example, with the twin rudders set to just two degrees to the flow, the spade rudder needed to be at over six for an equivalent moment, and the skeg-hung rudder at eight – all for the same yaw moment.

CFD analysis of the sailplan

Put another way, the leeward twin rudder provided four times as much force than a skeg rudder! Much of the distinction comes from the fact that the twin rudders are operating in clean water whereas centreline rudders – of whatever denomination – are operating in a disturbed second-hand flow coming off the keel. The result is a much more satisfying steering experience and at the same time a significant reduction in resistance – so more speed.

“From our perspective, twin rudders represent a huge benefit and Oyster owners will really appreciate this development too as soon as they have the wheel at their fingertips.” Oyster is that with so many boats out there, if it is possible to do something then it has usually been tried. In this case, with three SuperShoal twin rudder Oysters already on the water, the expression ‘tried and tested’ comes to mind. A spade rudder, whatever its qualities in other respects, is not quite as bomb-proof as a rudder hung off a full-depth skeg, but again David’s racing and technical background has helped to push the decisions forward. In our tank testing we were focusing our attention on a fully-pressed up set of sailing conditions, with the boat heeled over to 20 degrees and sailing at nine knots, with a variety of leeway angles and load conditions. Separately we had commissioned North Sails to run their proprietary CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) panel code ‘Flow’, to determine the exact three-dimensional centres of pressure that are relevant to Oysters, so that we could keep an eye on what was happening to the balance of the boats.

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From our perspective, twin rudders represent a huge benefit and Oyster owners will really appreciate this development too as soon as they have the wheel at their fingertips. But what’s also interesting is that the system fares a lot better in terms of potential reliability, especially against the spade rudder. Th e blades are significantly smaller and more lightly loaded, and the span is considerably shorter, making it almost impossible to damage the steering gear when reversing into a quay. And of course, with two rudders rather than one, there is an obvious increase in the level of redundancy. Unlike some twin-rudder installations, the arrangement we have for Oyster means that even assuming the worst-case loss of one rudder it would still be possible to sail the boat on the compromised tack, albeit with reduced canvas. All in all we learnt nothing new in a qualitative sense; but in quantitative terms it was certainly an eye-opener, not just for me but also for the Wolfson Unit who had not previously run such a benchmarking comparison. With twin rudder installations already in action on Oyster 82s and an Oyster 655, and now specified as standard on the new Oyster 885, in addition to being available on the SuperShoal versions of the 54, 575 and 625, we see their use spreading through to the standard keel yachts. Watch this space for the next new model! Photos: Mike Jones / waterlinemedia.com

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n i e v i L C U Golden Gate is an Oyster 62 owned by Ole Vagner and crewed by Kris and Gunilla Bewert. It’s always interesting to talk about future plans. Living and working on a yacht is never dull, the possibilities to see different places around the world through your work is a way of life for us. After having spent a year and a half in the Mediterranean, we crossed the Atlantic again with the ARC in November 2010. Not sure exactly what lay ahead after St Lucia, we sat talking on one of the windless days at sea…

BY G U N I L L A B E W E RT (C H E F/ST E WA R D E S S A N D RO C K ’ N ’ RO L L M A N AG E R )

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B A “We are going to Cuba,” announced Ole. We looked at each other and replied, “Are we?” “Yes, with A-Band”, said Ole. That was how it started. A-Band is a band playing classic rock ’n’ roll, Ole is the bass guitarist. The band have been on board Golden Gate twice before, once in the Caribbean and once in Greece and we have managed to organise gigs for them in different places along the sailing routes. Cuba was now the new place on the horizon and Ole asked us to organise it all, certainly a challenge worth the name.

Where do we start? We gathered information on Cuba and where we could sail. With Golden Gate’s draft of 2.7 metres our options were quite limited and we had to search the charts for harbours, marinas and anchorages. The only pilot books seemed to be from around 1999 and not up-to-date. Online we found out that more information would be published in a pilot book when the USA lifts the embargo. That could take a while!... A-Band wanted to sail on the south coast so we focused on places there.

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“FIDEL CASTRO PREVIOUSLY BANNED THE BEATLES FROM CUBA, BUT ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN LENNON’S DEATH, IN 2000, A STATUE OF HIM WAS UNVEILED IN THE PRESENCE OF FIDEL.”

After some searching we came across Placido Sanchez at Mega Yacht Services and, even though we normally don’t need to use agencies, for this trip we found it more than helpful to have a person on the inside to help us with the organising. A-Band also had a contact, a music producer in Havana and between the two of them we managed to book four concerts, two in Havana, one in Trinidad and one in Cienfuegos. Being Cuba, this required the band to have cultural visas instead of tourist visas and the music producer in Havana applied for those on our behalf. Cienfuegos lays almost 1100nm from St Maarten and was the place we chose as our port of entry. As we arrived in late May there were not many, in fact hardly any, cruising yachts around. Having sent all the ship’s documents and crew lists to Placido we arrived after a six-day passage and had the entire range of officials waiting for us. We had to anchor off the marina first, lower the tender and go into the dock to pick up the doctor and the immigration officer who came back out to the boat with Kris. While planning the passage from St Maarten we had made note of several ports of refuge should we need to divert. This was never necessary as the weather was fine and the boat behaved well, something we were very glad of when we learned of all the questions on our arrival. The doctor asked if we had stopped in the Dominican Republic and since the answer was “no” we were clear. When we asked why, he answered that there was cholera on Hispaniola and a stop there would have meant we would have to be in quarantine for several days and not allowed ashore.

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When the form was completed we had to lower the Q-flag immediately to show the people ashore we were healthy. We could then dock the boat and go through the rest of the inward clearance procedure, it took four hours but everyone was very nice and friendly. All the officials, nine of them, required a soda in order to do the work. Only the drugs sniffer dog didn’t! We were glad we had stocked up in St Maarten. Ole and the band arrived in Havana on a Sunday evening and, staying at Hotel Nacional, were keen to try the mojitos and Cohibas (cigars) at the hotel’s bar. The Hotel Nacional opened in the 1930s and is famous for all the prominent guests who have stayed there over the years and their terrace bar is the place to be seen. Kris and I had rented a car and drove to Havana to greet A-Band and make sure all went well. Apart from a lost suitcase, which we couldn’t blame on the Cubans, everyone was happy. Fidel Castro previously banned the Beatles from Cuba, but on the 20th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, in 2000, a statue of him was unveiled in the presence of Fidel. The statue sits in Parque Lennon and there is a club called Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) that recently opened next to the park. What better place for A-Band to play in Havana, where the people like to rock! The first concert took place on a Tuesday night and the club was packed with happy people. A-Band started with the song ‘Unchain my Heart’ by Joe Cocker and the audience were with them right from the start, raving until they left the stage an hour and a half later. It was a great success and true evidence that music brings people together.

A-Band departed on a bus tour to different places of interest for a few days while we went back to Golden Gate to make her ready for their arrival. The Harbour Master came by and asked if the trip had been good and made sure all was fine with the boat. The kindness of the officials is worth mentioning, especially after a few seasons in the Caribbean. We found the Cubans to be very honest and hardworking people. No one asked us for money, they did however ask for gifts of different kinds. One bicycle taxi driver asked if we had soap to spare. We had read of the need for soap, shampoo and such articles and had stocked up with extra, although we weren’t exactly walking around with soap in our bags. It’s very expensive for the Cubans, only to be found in the so-called CUC stores. Cuba has two currencies, the peso and the Cuban convertible. The people get paid in pesos and there are 24 pesos to one CUC. That is something to remember when buying fruit and vegetables in the markets where the counting is fast and knowing a little Spanish is very important for a trip to Cuba. Costa Sur Club hosted A-Band’s concert in Cienfuegos together with the local band ‘Los Moddyz’. It’s an open-air scene and with the daily rain shower we were somewhat concerned if it would work. Luckily, despite a few early showers the heavy rain went elsewhere. It was another great evening and the local band even invited A-Band’s singer, Lasse, up on stage to sing along with them to the beat of Duran Duran’s ‘Shout’. When we talked to the locals, they were very appreciative to have the opportunity to see and hear a band from outside Cuba.


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DO’S & DON’TS

inCuba! DO’S

Brush up on your Spanish, it’s just as crucial to know some while in Cuba, as English is good to know when in England.

Plan your trip. The best pilot book is still Nigel Calder’s ‘Cuba – A Cruising Guide’. Ashore we found the ‘MOON Cuba Guide Book (2010)’ by Christopher P. Baker very helpful.

Bring all the spares you need, or think you might need. Cuba is not on the FedEx route and even if there are DHL offices here it’s difficult to have anything sent there.

Buy all the food you need at your last port of call. Sure, the Cubans eat too… but many things are just not obtainable. Fruit and vegetables are good but think tropical, very good pineapples and mangos but no apples or grapes. Bake your own bread and if you’re into cheese and yoghurt, bring that too. Havana has a better selection than in the rural parts of the country.

Bring Euros for cash exchange into the Cuban CUC. The USD gets a 10% surcharge on top of the rate.

DON’TS

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Buy lobster from a back door freezer; take my word for it… The restaurants serve good lobsters; they’re a better choice.

Get agitated by the extensive paperwork. The officials are only doing their job, and with a smile it can be a fun experience as well.

Invite a Cuban onboard, it’s not permitted. Only officials carry the special license to come aboard.

Buy cigars on the street. They are illegal to buy, fake and taste thereafter. You get what you pay for.

Go to Cuba for their cuisine, it doesn’t exist… try the Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes) dish at a good restaurant, it’s worth a try and surprisingly good. Best we had was at Dona Eutimia near the Plaza de la Catedral in Havana.

“CUBA IS A DELIGHTFUL COUNTRY TO VISIT. THE FRIENDLINESS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE ATMOSPHERE ALL AROUND IS LIKE BEING TRANSFERRED BACK TO THE 1960s.”


OWN ER

The day after the concert, we filed the paperwork for our new crew of eight and with that taken care of we could cast off and sail to the islands. The nearest to Cienfuegos, heading west, is a little speck of an island called Guano del Este. It has a lighthouse with two lighthouse keepers and some derelict buildings, that’s it! The younger part of A-Band took the tender and got a tour of the lighthouse with some great views as a reward. Cayo Largo was next on our agenda and we had a great sail there with winds of about 20-25 knots all the way. Playa Sirena is considered one of the best beaches in Cuba and we anchored off and enjoyed stunning views. After some research with the echo sounder we found out we could go a little further up into more protected waters. There is a marina there and the channel is dredged to 4 metres. Several of the marinas on the south coast of Cuba are named Marina Marlin and this was another one. The government owns them all and we had to do an inward clearance with three officials on the boat. Only four hours later, as we went into the marina, we had to see yet another official for what reason we never understood. Cayo Largo is a tourist island and if you want to experience Cuba this is not the place to go. However, if you want great diving and snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, pretty beaches and to have a leisurely time, this is a great spot to be. The marina is in El Pueblo, which is the little village where the locals who work on the island live. They work

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for 20 days, and then they have 10 days off when they go home to their families on the mainland or Isla de Juventud where some of them live. We all went diving and snorkelling on the reef just outside the marina with the dive company. It was a shallow dive with plenty of coral and fish. We got to see a half-grown turtle, and at the end of the dive a nurse shark was lurking in the coral not wanting to be disturbed. It was very exciting to see a shark in its natural habitat, something to cherish and write home about. The show must go on though and after five days onboard it was time for Ole and A-Band to go back to Havana again. They flew from the small airport on Cayo Largo; it’s a short 30 minute flight, which was very convenient. In Havana they had one more concert at Submarino Amarillo before they flew home to Denmark with many new memories. As for Golden Gate, we planned to sail from Cayo Largo straight to Marina Hemingway near Havana, in one go. It was a bit of a concern as there was a low forming in the Caribbean basin that could have developed into a tropical storm. At the time it produced fresh easterly winds on the north coast of Cuba. We took advice from Commander Weather to give us a good forecast and when they said the winds would subside to 10 knots we left Cayo Largo. Sailing along the south coast was dreamlike; with the wind from the aft we made good speed. Rounding the western end of Cuba however turned out to be

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quite a challenge. We never saw the 10 knots, we got 30-35 knots on the nose the entire way along the north coast and, together with a counter current from the Gulf Stream, we had a very long and slow trip heading east. 56 hours and 370nm after leaving Cayo Largo we entered Marina Hemingway, a good protected marina. Again we were expected, as Placido had booked us a berth. This did not however make the paperwork any easier, there were even more papers to fill out in Havana than we had on the south coast. Once past the paper exercises, Cuba is a delightful country to visit. The friendliness of the people and the atmosphere all around is like being transferred back to the 1960s. The old American cars are still running and they’re a joy to watch. The most common car for the Cubans to own is a Lada, we saw eight passengers in one, so they must hold together pretty well! Public transport is a problem; there are just not enough buses so people are hitch-hiking everywhere. Imagine having to do that to go to work every morning, no wonder shops and businesses never open on time! With plenty to see and do, and a culture scene very different from the rest of the Caribbean we have enjoyed our weeks in Cuba tremendously. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca once wrote, “If I get lost, look for me in Cuba”. We now know why.

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CLASSIC YACHT REFIT & REPAIR CUSTOM NEW BUILD

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SUPERYACHT FIT OUT

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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SUPERYACHT REFIT & REPAIR

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

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OYSTER YACHT BUILDERS

H E TA I R O S Hetairos is a 43m (142ft) wooden, Bruce King designed ketch built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1992. Hetairos is well known on the racing and cruising circuits, and a little unusual in that she has a fully retracting centreboard. She spent the winter with SYS in the refit hall. SYS’s engineering team was kept busy with the removal of the centreboard and servicing of the

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beautifully designed control mechanism – all in bronze. Years of extensive cruising, and latterly some racing, had exacted its toll, but the fundamentals of the system remained sound. Having removed all the components from the keel box, including the 6.5 tonne, 7.5 metre long centreboard, and serviced the two 30 tonne hydraulic rams and control system, she has returned to the water as good as new.

Other work on the yacht included service work to the rudder, winches and windlass, and a thorough service of the main engine, shaft and propeller plus some additional shipwright and joinery work. After a repaint of the topsides and the 45m main and 36m mizzen and spars, plus an overhaul of the rig, she emerged gleaming in her new livery of jet black with gold cavita line and gold details on the trailboards.


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SE A LION Sea Lion, the 21m (67ft) Abeking and Rasmussen yawl, built in 1953, left the yard in July after her extensive rebuild. As she sailed towards the Needles on her way down the Channel, she looked splendid and back in her element. With gleaming new brightwork and fittings, new frames, bronze fl oors and mahogany hull skin, new deck and coachroof, all new equipment and machinery, plus all new interior

joinery, electrics and plumbing, she is ready to face the next 50 years. The opportunity was taken to add some innovative new features and update her systems, and to install additional equipment and services into the hull, whilst preserving her classic appearance, thus making her easier to live aboard and enjoy. Earlier stages of the rebuild were reported on in issues 70 and 71 of Oyster News.

As many of our readers will know, Piers Wilson retired in July after over 30 years leading SYS as Managing Director. Piers started the company in 1980 and has guided the business through three decades of yacht building, always keeping clients and the SYS team happy. Over that time the yard has produced a range of exemplary refits on yachts including Altair, Belle Aventure, Ticonderoga, Thendara, Velsheda, Ilona of Kylesku, Mari-Cha III, Bystander, Merrymaid, Alinda V, and Sea Lion, plus numerous smaller refit projects on classic motor and sailing yachts. In the early days, SYS became known for building one off wood epoxy yachts such as Gemervescence, Craftsman’s Art and Rocio. Since 1990, SYS has built more than 65 Oysters, comprising the larger models from 60ft upwards. In July the yard held a summer garden party to say thank you to Piers, but not goodbye, as he has agreed to remain close to the business as a specialist to advise on custom new build and refit projects, we all look forward to continuing to work with him.

N E W OYST ER MODEL S

W IN DSOR BELLE Windsor Belle, is a 20.7m (68ft) 1901 Steam Launch, which arrived at SYS in April for structural repairs to the hull and replacement of her steam engine and boiler. The SYS team of shipwrights and joiners set to work replacing the beam shelves, some areas of hull and deck planking and the arch board across the transom, fitting splines to the topsides, recaulking the seams

and re-varnishing the hull and deckhouse. New engine bearers are being fitted and the tanks, plumbing and wiring upgraded. She is being fitted with a rebuilt triple expansion engine, boiler and ancillary steam equipment by SYS engineers under the direction of a specialist steam engineer. After trials in August she will return to the tranquil waters of the River Thames.

S M A L L W O R K S – R E PA I R S , R E F I T S , O V E R H AU L S A ND M A INTENA NCE The Small Works team at Southampton Yacht Services is dedicated to providing the same standard of care and craftsmanship when looking after Oyster yachts, as when they were built. The team has access to all the build information and design specifications, plus the full range of facilities and skills at the yard, and in some cases has access

to the people who originally built the yacht. Whatever your query, please give the team a call on +44 (0)23 8033 5266 or email mattm@southamptonyachtservices.co.uk. For Oyster Customer Service and Support related questions please email: paul.bennett@oystermarine.com

For further information please contact: Tel: +44 (0)23 8033 5266 Email: enquiry@southamptonyachtservices.co.uk www.southamptonyachtservices.co.uk

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SYS completed the first stunning new Oyster 625 in April and is now nearing completion of the second yacht, which will be on show at the Southampton Boat Show in September. In August the yard starts work on the new Oyster 885, which has been in development since mid 2010. The team at SYS, including our designers and yacht builders, has been busy since the start of the year on detailed design and production engineering of this new yacht to ensure that when all the elements of design and construction are brought together, the result is another superb Oyster. The results that are emerging are spectacular, and everyone is looking forward to getting 885s hull #1 and #2 into the build hall and commencing work on them.

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g n i s s o r C a e S n a i b a r A e Th

When you have sailed over four thousand miles through pirate infested seas, been chased out of anchorages by African, gun toting military boats, survived engine failures, ďŹ erce currents and strong winds and are sixty miles from your destination, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect the Indian Navy to T-bone your yacht!

BY L I Z C L E E R E A N D JA M I E F U R L ONG , OY S T E R 43 5 E S PE R

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sa fe l y th rou gh s u g in tt ge in e os rp u ve d its p “The con vo y, ha vi n g s er ed sa fe r wa te rs. ch a re we en wh up e ok p ir a te -r id d en s ea s, br r of hi s own d es ti n y.” te s a m e or m ce on s wa E ve r y sk ip p er Salalah should have been where our convoy ended, but the pirates hadn’t finished with us yet. As we prepared to leave, a call came through from the UKMTO to tell us a ship had been hijacked 30 miles off the coast of Oman, bang in the middle of our proposed route. We were asked to stay for a few more days while they investigated the danger. With no further attacks occurring in the vicinity, and an intense Omani naval presence, we took the decision to head out of Salalah on 5th April. The taskforce requested we stay together until well away from the danger zone. Once again we sailed together in convoy, checking in with the taskforce every six hours, maintaining radio silence and using minimal navigation lights. Before taking the plunge eastwards, we spent another night at anchor in a pristine bay. Ras al Hallaniyah, part of the Kuria Muria Islands, lies 125 miles north of Salalah. Knowing this would be our last chance to enjoy the deserted shores of Oman, we spent the day snorkelling and beachcombing among the white sands, beneath the dramatic red rock of this barren coast. We relished a few hours of unadulterated 78

fun before the familiar threats of piracy, storms and equipment failure forced their way back into the forefront of our minds. Despite these underlying concerns, Jamie and I were eager to begin life on the open water. Since leaving Turkey we had been anticipating the crossing as one of the highlights of the Rally. We headed north, still in formation, early the following morning. The convoy, having served its purpose in getting us safely through pirateridden seas, broke up when we reached safer waters. Every skipper was once more master of his own destiny. Some of the faster yachts disappeared over the horizon quickly. We kept up the radio ‘net’ twice a day – once in the morning and again in the evening. Between the group we had enough SSB and VHF power for messages and bulletins to be relayed back and forth across the Arabian Sea. For security reasons we did not give our positions over the air, instead we announced our distance and direction from previously agreed waypoints. The net gave us a chance to pool weather information and to pick up the latest advice from the taskforce.

After a couple of days of freedom and light winds, the group began to hallucinate. Jamie was the first to see phantoms on the radar screen, always dead ahead. We strained our eyes in the darkness, but saw nothing. Soon Roam II reported the phenomenon: a clear blip, dead ahead, but nothing in the water. When Dan of Still Dreaming reported the same apparition our imaginations ran riot. What was out there, so solid on the radar screen but so well camouflaged in the water? Next time the ghost appeared Dan was ready. Night vision goggles in hand, he strode to the front of his yacht and peered into the middle distance. No boat. But hovering in the air, just above the sea was a helicopter. It seemed that even out here our military friends were keeping an eye on us. Within moments of leaving the convoy we caught our biggest fish yet, a bright blue dorado (aka mahi-mahi or dolphin-fish). It was skinned, filleted and put in the fridge within minutes, while Millie gorged herself on the leftovers. It is one of the tastiest fish in the sea and very plentiful; we dined well over the next few days, after which we moved on to tuna. This positive start to our independence, boosted by half


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decent winds, augured well for the crossing. We sat back and relaxed as Esper slowly made her way across the rolling ocean. A pattern soon emerges when you are at sea. On Esper we have no strict system, instead we take our watches when the time suits both of us, maintaining a minimum of three hours. Jamie is a night owl, preferring to cruise through the blackness, trimming the sails. He will happily stay awake from evening till the wee small hours, while I sleep for England below. I am a lark, it works well. I start to flag by 22.00 hours when I scuttle off to bed, leaving Jamie alone in the cockpit. We have discovered that letting the person on watch make the decision about when to finish works best for us, allowing the other person to sleep without waiting for the alarm going off. Jamie starts to flag around 03.00 hours and will rouse me carefully, but no matter how gentle the awakening we are both programmed to spring into action as soon as our eyes open. We’ll check the radar, paper charts, digital display and AIS together before heading our separate ways, Jamie leaving me with the same mantra – “Keep a 360 degree lookout. Stay in the cockpit. Come and get me if you are worried about anything.” We keep up our energy levels through the night by eating little and often. Heating up a bowl of noodles when coming on watch takes just enough time to let our night vision kick in. The cockpit at night is a cosy place, illuminated only by the moon

from shades of grey to bursts of Turneresque pinks and oranges. Dolphins, already on the hunt, come to play in Esper’s bow waves at daybreak, happiness incarnate.

and dimmed dashboard lights. Sometimes we might listen to audio books, but neither of us listens to music, preferring the sound of the boat and the sea. For the first couple of hours I am on full alert, scanning for lights and hazards. I’ll assiduously clamber up and down the companionway checking the instruments and the horizon. On a good night the boat creaks as the rigging does its job and the sails are taut in the warm, steady breeze. The air of the Arabian Sea is hot and, when you are alone with your thoughts, it is easy to nod off in the darkness. To keep awake I’ll do sit-ups in the cockpit, check the radar and AIS more frequently and try to identify the stars. With no light pollution in the middle of the ocean the night sky is spectacular. It was a joy to watch Scorpius emerge on the horizon and crawl across the heavens – home to my favourite star, the fiery red Antares. I never tire of peering over the side to watch a stream of brilliant tiny galaxies reflected in the phosphorescence of Esper’s wake. Dawn is a special time for any yachtsman. As the weak light reveals the horizon, the world emerges S UM M ER

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The calm didn’t last long. On the third day over the radio we heard Mary’s frightened voice from Still Dreaming. “Rally boats! Rally boats! Can anyone hear me? We are being followed! It’s a big dhow. Can anyone assist?” Their yacht was not visible, but she was coming across loud and clear. The fear in Mary’s voice was palpable as she tried to explain to Jamie what was happening. “They have come alongside. Dan has gone out to talk to them. They passed us and then turned round and came back. There are lots of men shouting at Dan. I don’t know what to do.” “Describe everything you can see and tell me where you are.” “There’s lots of shouting. They are so close!” Jamie did his best to keep Mary calm and asked her to describe what she could see. We tried to work out where she was as the position she had given made no sense. After a tense few minutes while we listened to Mary, and some tremendous shouting in the background, she stopped transmitting. Fearing the worst we waited by the VHF, calling them again and again. Eventually a relieved Dan came on to tell us that the men in the dhow had simply been curious and had wanted to say hello. This was a timely reminder that we should continue to expect the unexpected. 79


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Having gone through the niceties the gentleman in charge took a bottle of gin for his troubles. We kept a lookout for said fishing boat and an hour later a heavy wooden tub, ringed with old car tyres, headed straight towards us.

We soon slipped back into our routine, but it became tougher as the wind dropped, the seas got lumpy, and our autopilot – which had been problematic since Egypt – really began to play up. What had started out as an occasional loss of power had transformed into regular lengthy periods of no autopilot at all. The conditions meant motoring, so on went the engine and once again we were hand steering, the pain of which was compounded by an increasingly stiff wheel.

“I have been hailing you for the last 20 minutes on Channel 05. Why do you not respond?” shouted an angry looking naval type. “We are not listening on 05, we have Channel 16 open,” was Jamie’s reasonable reply. “Call me now on 05!” came the command.

Jamie spent the best part of the next two days with his head in the engine or the lazarette. He checked the alternator regulator, the steering cables and the rudder. The jury remained out on whether the alternator regulator was at fault or if it was an electronic/ computer problem. The rudder turned out to be fine. We had already checked the cables in Egypt, but they had stiffened again, so Jamie loosened them and the steering became easier. I spent six unbroken hours on the helm and was eventually forced to go to bed with a frozen back. Some hours later I was back on watch. To my astonishment Jamie had balanced the boat and Esper’s windvane steering system had taken over helming duties. I nearly cried from relief. We were motor-sailing, but there was just enough wind for our wonderful Windpilot Pacific Plus to work. We had no autopilot for the rest of the trip, but with this new-found ability there were fewer occasions we would have to steer by hand. We took a moment in the middle of our journey across the Arabian Sea to mark the occasion and to toast Jamie’s 15,000th mile. A weak vodka and tonic and half a beer later, we resumed our jobs, but decided that from now on we would take more time out to simply sit together and enjoy the sailing, rather than running from task to task. As we headed towards Mumbai the shipping traffic steadily increased. With the aid of AIS we were easily able to work out which vessels were 8 0

Since we were in earshot and already having a conversation it seemed superfluous to talk on the VHF, but Jamie dutifully went below to try Channel 05. The crew took this as their cue to grin and wave at me. The helmsman was mesmerised and – presumably interpreting my shouts and gesticulations to back off as a sign of encouragement – steered the boat in the direction he was looking, straight at me.

on a collision course and which could be quickly discounted. Having a transponder meant we knew we were clearly visible to those ships equipped with AIS. On the few occasions we made radio contact to alert them to our presence they had already seen us. But even the brilliance of AIS could not prevent what happened next. Roughly 60 miles from our final destination we, along with Roam II, were skirting the Neelam Heera and Ratna oilfields along Direction Bank. Terry called us to warn us they had been boarded by the Indian Navy, who had arrived on an aged fishing boat demanding to see ships papers and any stocks of alcohol on board.

Just as Jamie was about to come up and point out to the naval man that Channel 05 is a duplex channel so he couldn’t be heard, there was a sickening crunch. The fishing vessel drove into the side of Esper, smashing the toe rail and bending a stanchion. Jamie flew up the companionway without touching the sides and began cursing. There was a stand-off for 10 minutes while Jamie refused to show Petty Officer Ali Kumar any paperwork until he had seen insurance documents and been given a promise to pay for our repairs. PO Kumar denied all responsibility and told him to stop swearing. “I’m not swearing at you, I’m swearing at the situation.” Misunderstanding what Jamie had said, PO Kumar looked concerned. “We are not trying to scare you.” Luckily this linguistic mix-up defused the situation and, registering Jamie’s outright refusal to allow him on board, they backed off and let us on our way. Some time later Jamie wrote about this incident on our blog and was contacted by VAdm Pradeep Chauhan of the Indian Navy.


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USEFUL INFORMATION Whilst asserting that he was writing unofficially he was kind enough to show some sympathy towards our experience and promised that those responsible would be “investigated.” We were never reimbursed for the damage.

Insurance? Each rally member had a different tale to tell. We knew boats with expensive policies for every eventuality and some with no insurance at all. We contacted all the brokers we could find about our planned voyage.

The final 24 hours motoring into Mumbai was arduous and fraught with obstacles, allowing us no sleep. Every inch of ocean was covered in fishing boats or nets. At night we were surrounded by lights of all colours and combinations, flashing or static and utterly meaningless to us. During the day we gave up trying to dodge the nets, so we put the boat in neutral and glided over them. It was a pity we had not stumbled on this successful tactic earlier.

We were surprised by the different responses:

• No kind of policy outside the Mediterranean. • Cover only for Egypt. • Varying premiums from country to country, within a single policy. • Cover only if the yacht is part of a rally. • No cover if the yacht is part of a rally. • No cover for single yachtsmen. • No cover without a minimum of three crew. • Cover for two crew only – providing the yacht has a windvane

Arriving in Mumbai had the adrenalin rushing as this wondrous city assaulted our senses from all sides. Despite some difficult moments we had made it across almost a thousand miles of ocean. We anchored in the shadow of the Gateway of India in water resembling Mulligatawny soup. We gazed at the exotic skyline and then, after 36 hours without rest, fell asleep, dreaming of the comfort awaiting us at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

steering system, which is regarded as crew. Unlike an autopilot, which relies on battery power.

VHF Hell We hadn’t anticipated the ever-present jibber jabber on the VHF radio. Many blue-water cruisers will have heard lone voices over the airways at night pining for “Maaario-o-o” and the derogatory chanting of “Filipino mon-key!” This was nothing compared to the bombardment of sound that accompanied us from Oman to India. Every channel was alive, including 16, with conversation too X-rated to repeat here. For most of the voyage we kept Channel 16 on low and relied on digital selective calling to contact fellow rally members. As we came closer to the Indian coastline it was worse, with all channels blocked by local fishermen shouting into their radios.

Liz recently won The Telegraph weekly travel writing competition and has just reached the final of the Independent on Sunday/Bradt Travel Writing Competition. You can read her article, ‘Searching for Mermaids’, on-line at: www.bradtguides.com/travelwriting Read more about Liz and Jamie’s adventures with Esper on their website, where you can also download podcasts every Friday. Go to www.followtheboat.com

Vasco da Gama Rally The fifth Vasco Da Gama Rally left Cochin in January. At the time of writing all yachts are safely in the northern Red Sea. Despite the increase of piracy, and widening tentacles of the Somali pirates, Lo safely took his rally on a northerly passage through the Arabian Sea. Minimising the risks, and armed with the latest information, the rally hugged the coasts of India and Oman, keeping in daily contact with maritime safety agencies.

Log Date

From

05/04/10 Salalah, Oman

To

Distance

Ras al Hallaniyah, Oman (17 31.55N 055 59.42E)

125

07/04/10 Ras al Mumbai, India Hallaniyah

990

Leg total

1115

Prior to joining his rallies, Lo makes it clear that participants must have the necessary knowledge and experience to get there on their own. He also stresses that each skipper is responsible for the safety of their own crew and must have a sea-worthy vessel. You can find out more about the last five rallies on his website: www.vascodagamarally.nl

Photos: Jamie Furlong

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ENGINEERING THE PERFECT PARTNERSHIP WHEN OYSTER ANNOUNCED THEIR NEW SUPERYACHT PROJECTS, THE LEWMAR TEAM WERE EAGER TO BE INVOLVED. WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING CONTROL SOLUTIONS FOR THE RACING AND CUSTOM YACHT MARKET, THE LEWMAR TEAM WERE KEEN TO APPLY ALL THEIR KNOWLEDGE TO THE LATEST OYSTER. Recent superyacht designs have increasingly called for a combination of the beautiful, sleek lines of a classic yacht and the performance of a weight-critical racing yacht. Each new demand on space and use poses a different challenge for the equipment design engineer focused on striking a balance between aesthetics, weight, and performance. Simply put, the equipment on a 21st Century superyacht needs to be as light as possible, deliver superior performance, and look stunning. For the Lewmar Design Engineers in Havant, UK, a wealth of experience combined with strong relationships with naval architects, shipyards, and captains puts them in a good position to understand how to achieve this balance. Working with the Oyster Design Office and the team at RMK Marine, Lewmar have tailored

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a range of marine equipment to complement the Dubois design ethos of the Oyster 100 and the Oyster 125. Hardware, for example, is a prominent piece of equipment, with blocks permanently in sight on the mast, boom, and deck. The strength of each block is of the utmost importance, as they work with the high loads of halyards and sheets. Working in a 3D CAD design programme, the Lewmar Designer explored taking a block back to its bare bones, sculpting out excess material. The result is a skeletal block which draws its resilience from its design and the inherent strength of the material from which it is made. The skeletal block’s ability to maintain a high level of performance when subjected to load is tested with the latest Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, which assesses the impact of stress and load over time.

Further opportunity for testing takes place during the design to manufacture process, as the blocks are machined and assembled at the Lewmar Factory on the South Coast of the UK. The finished product is a sleek, minimalistic block that complements the styling of the Oyster’s deck and spars, while also providing the strength and performance required of high-performance equipment. In addition, the requirement that the yachts attain full Lloyds 100A1 classification has resulted in a set of bespoke, low-profile genoa cars that clear the lifeline by the requisite amount whilst complementing the sleek styling of the blocks. The design trend for clean, uncluttered lines has resulted in innovative ways to clear the decks of excess equipment and sheets. Each of the Oyster Superyacht models


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features a set of captive winches. Recognising the need to strike a balance between concealing equipment below decks without compromising on available living space, Lewmar have designed a uniquely compact Captive Winch. Storing the line on a lightweight carbon drum adjacent to the main aluminium pulling drum reduces the need for the large space needed for a single drum winch, while also removing the load from the stored rope. The result is a compact, lightweight, high-performance captive winch which embraces cutting-edge technology. Indeed, the latest advances in rope manufacture have posed new challenges for the Captive Winch system. The core of modern ropes goes hard under load and when the soft outer is held against a standard sheave, there is potential for damage to the rope. The Lewmar Design Engineers have developed a sheave with a ‘V’ groove. The ‘V’ sheave features a carefully selected angle that compresses the rope outer and the inner core together, while simultaneously spreading the load over the two sides of the rope. The result is a firm grip which does not damage the increasingly expensive rope. With the ability to be concealed in small spaces below the deck, the Captive Winch provides an unobtrusive, lightweight, sail control solution with heavyweight performance.

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Once the sails have been furled, the owner wants to be able to moor up effortlessly, be it mooring stern-to or dropping the anchor. A 125 foot yacht is a large boat to manoeuvre, the captain demands precise control at all times, and superyacht anchoring equipment needs to be powerful enough to deliver it. Yet this equipment is only required when mooring, and should not detract from the use and performance of the yacht the rest of the time. To overcome this challenge, Lewmar have developed a Retracting Swing Thruster. A standard vertical retracting thruster is stored within a tunnel in the hull and slides down when deployed. The reach of the thruster and the space available for its storage are linked and define the maximum length of the thruster arm which, in turn, affects the performance of the thruster. Rather than storing the unit vertically in the hull, the Retracting Swing Thruster arm folds up into a shallow recess in the hull. The length of the arm is increased and, with less vertical storage required, the unit can be installed further forward providing more accurate control. In addition, the Oyster 125 features a pair of V10 Vertical Windlasses, which are mounted down below to maintain the flush look on deck. With a maximum pull of 5 tonnes, the V10 and V12 are the newest additions to the Lewmar

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Vertical Windlass range, extending the anchor control solution to boats up to 165 feet in length. The investment cast stainless steel V10 deck unit is lightweight and has an innovative mobile brake ring which can be moved by increments of 30 degrees to ensure that it is always in the optimum position for control. Should the unit be installed on deck, the stylish windlass can be installed in a position that complements the lines of the deck without compromising on performance. While Lewmar have worked closely with the Oyster Design Team to develop the best control solutions, one aim has always been paramount. Whether under sail or motoring, the owner of an Oyster Superyacht is offered effortless, superior control, enhancing the ultimate Oyster sailing experience.

Southmoor Lane, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1JJ UK T: +44 (0)23 9247 1 841 www.lewmar.com

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by LOUAY HABIB

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C H ARTE R

THE TASTE of an OYSTER Peter Harding has a long-standing career in the financial services sector and leads the advisory division of St James Wealth Management, the award-winning firm with funds under management amounting to £28 billion.

Away from the office, Peter is a proud family man and together with his wife Susie, they have three very active children. The Harding family has always loved to sail and Peter’s passion has also led him to take part in three transatlantic races, including an epic 5,000-mile race from France to Mexico in 2010. All three races were undertaken with just Peter and a co-skipper. Sailing two-handed, on a high performance race boat, with freeze-dried food for sustenance and weeks of sleepless nights is a far cry from an Oyster yacht charter. Peter and Susie Harding, together with their three young sons, Henry, Freddie and Hugo, enjoyed a fabulous time cruising the Grenadines aboard the Oyster 655, Lush, arriving in

Grenada just before the start of Oyster’s annual Caribbean Regatta. Their timing was perfect, as having enjoyed some family time, Peter was invited to stay on as crew for the regatta, as Peter explains. “We have been taking sailing holidays as a family for over 10 years and to begin with we started with bareboat trips with some of the well-known charter companies. Over the years, I came to realise that if you want to do it properly, have a skipper and a cook and go for one of the best boats on the market. This can still be a bit hit and miss, as even with luxury boats you cannot take the arrangement for granted. But chartering with Oyster direct, you get excellent service and you know what you are going to get

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rather than using a firm that you don’t know much about. I have been chartering Oysters for the last five years and I have never been disappointed. Th e results have always been the same, an up market holiday with facilities akin to a five star hotel on the water. When I am with my wife and children, I want something that is as good as home and Oysters are extremely comfortable yachts. Peter and Susie’s children are aged 6, 8 and 13. Keeping three highly energetic boys busy with activities was very high on the agenda and the holiday on board Lush provided them with all they could ask for.

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“The boys absolutely loved Lush, especially all the toys!” Laughed Peter. “They spent a lot of time enjoying sailing the dinghy, water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing and when they weren’t on the water, they were in it, snorkelling around reefs spotting tropical fish. They also loved the fact that they were waking up in a different place every day. Every morning there was a new place to explore. Th e boys were

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never bored, which can happen if you stay in a hotel or villa, the trip to Grenada was a great adventure for them.” Lush has three luxury guest cabins, that meant there was plenty of accommodation for the Hardings and the crew, which was an important factor to the success of the charter, as Peter details.

“With two highly experienced people on board who can sail and really know the boat, you can do as much or as little as you want. You know that you are in a safe pair of hands. Safety is a primary concern to us and an Oyster is extremely well designed and meticulously built. Problems are extremely rare but even if something isn’t working as it should, the level of Oyster’s worldwide service and support is outstanding.


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If you have a bareboat charter, you are doing it all yourself and the truth is that the standard of yacht is nowhere near as good as an Oyster. Even if you have chartered the boat before, you have no idea what condition it will be in when you arrive and the level of service is highly unlikely to come close to that which is provided by Oyster.

C H ARTE R

I love to sail, but it is also nice to have some time-out on board with the family and once in a while let someone else do the sailing and the clearing up behind you. The crew on Lush recognised that and were highly skilled in providing just the right amount of assistance, whenever it was required. Also the crew knew the location extremely well and took us to some of the best places. My wife, Susie, found it very relaxing, she would rather spend the day in casual clothes and not worry about dressing up for dinner, as you would in a hotel and the kids just loved spending the holiday in swimming trunks.”

“It is great to come to a marina or a bay and to appreciate that people are looking at the yacht. An Oyster is distinctive, it has a presence. It is a yacht that people instantly recognise. Oyster, as a company, is very well-founded, there is a great degree of pedigree there. Attention to detail is as important to me as it is to Oyster. You are dealing with a respected company and you know what you are going to get. For a start you know that the yacht is going to be there. It will be in perfect condition, ready and waiting for you. From the moment we were met at the airport and taken straight to the boat, my family and I were made to feel very special.

Whilst Peter has chartered Oyster yachts before, the Oyster Regatta in Grenada was the first time he had come to an organised Oyster event. Peter found that combining a family holiday with the regatta itself, worked extremely well.

Our time on board Lush was a memorable one, especially the pleasure it gave our children, snorkelling and water-skiing. The thrill each morning, as we explored somewhere new was ours to savour. A real adventure for us all and chartering an Oyster is a very practical way of having a great holiday. If like us, you have children still at school, you may only be able to use a yacht for a few weeks a year, so for us at the moment it makes more sense to charter than buy a yacht. What is more, you can charter an Oyster just about anywhere in the world and at any time of the year and after the trip, you can just walk away with happy memories.”

“Our leisure time is very important to us. The Oyster Regatta was professionally managed and when you have committed your precious time to an event, a well-run event is vital to its success. Grenada is a wonderful location and the ambience at the Oyster Regatta was superb. The racing was very well organised and whilst I love spending time with my wife and children, it was great to meet other people in the evening at some outstanding parties. The Oyster family comes from all walks of life but all have something in common, sailing. After a day spent yachting in a beautiful location, on a great boat, it was very pleasing to spend time with a friendly group of people with interesting stories to tell. The Oyster team put in extensive research into the event programme and chose some spectacular venues for fabulous dinner parties.” Oyster Yachts are famous throughout the world. For nearly 40 years, the Oyster marque has established itself as the very best in world-class cruising yachts. This factor carries advantages beyond the luxury of just sailing and chartering an Oyster and, for Peter Harding, makes a lot of sense:

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Peter Harding was talking to Louay Habib at the Oyster Regatta in Grenada, April 2011.

For more information about Oyster Yacht Charter please contact Molly Marston on +1 401 846 7400, email molly.marston@oystermarine.com or visit www.oystercharter.com Photos: Harding family, An Lambrechts

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THE th 25 ARC

Congratulations to Mike Freeman and his Oyster 575 crew on Can Do Too. Finishing third in Class A, they were first among the 19-strong Oyster fleet to complete the 3,000 mile Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from Las Palmas to Rodney Bay, St Lucia – not bad for a maiden voyage! Three cheers also go to Alan and Sue Brook and their equally new Oyster 56 Sulana for finishing second in Class B, and to David Edwards and his crew on the Oyster 46 NaughtyNes, for their second placing in Class F and winning the Oyster Trophy for first Oyster to finish on ARC Handicap. Not to be outdone, James Blazeby’s Oyster 45 Apparition, a veteran of several ARCs, finished fourth in Class H and Siri Ros, Elizabeth Rowntree’s Oyster 485 took sixth place in Class F. This, the 25th ARC event organised by the World Cruising Club did not exactly go to plan. “Where are the Trade Winds?” came the bleat from just about every one of the 233 yachts. Instead, those

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who chose the shortest great circle route north found themselves beating uncomfortably into head winds, while those that went south found little wind at all. For one honeymooning couple, the winds – or lack of them – were secondary to the adventure. John and Laura Salmon decided a sea voyage was just what was required to start life together and bought the Oyster Lightwave 395 Rainmaker, on which to undertake the crossing. “Our trip across the Atlantic was very enjoyable.” says Laura. “The preparation was the most arduous part, but the support we received from the Oyster Service Team was amazing. They came aboard in Las Palmas and surveyed the rig, electronics, engine, gas system, batteries, bilges and winches and gave us a full report at the end. This was a real boon. We were quite resolute in not using our engine, so a few days were spent sitting on a sea that looked more like a milky sheet than the building waves we expected.


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There were mixed emotions when we finally sighted St Lucia on the 24th day. Certainly, there was the excitement of arriving somewhere new, but there was also the knowledge that all too soon the adventure would be over. We all had a great time, great food, great company… and great starlit nights.” Deborah and Guy Tolson aboard Lady of Avalon, were equally impressed. “The Oyster Service and Support Team checked all the essential systems, changed the tri-colour bulbs up the mast and got our AIS working for us – an incredible free service.” For Andreas Zimmermann on the Oyster 53 Dragonfly, the voyage became one of recovery. The German had bought her in 2009 specifically to take part in the ARC, but was then diagnosed with cancer. “I thought I would have to forget my dream, but a few weeks after surgery, I decided that I could still do the voyage providing I could continue with the chemotherapy. I needed a doctor on board – I found him with an advertisement! He came from Vienna and it was a pleasure for both of us.” One last-minute problem on Dragonfly, uncovered by the Oyster service team, was a damaged shroud. “We couldn’t get it replaced in Las Palmas and I thought we wouldn’t be able to start, but Oyster’s Eddie Scougall organised for a replacement to be flown out from England and everything was fixed within four days!” recalled Andreas with appreciation at the finish. For Alan Brook, and his wife Sue, who has played a major part in the Oyster story, this was also a maiden voyage, the first stage of an ambitious round the world retirement cruise aboard their new Oyster 56 Sulana. As they sailed into the setting sun on the first night, they had covered 50 of the 2,900 miles, with a plan to sail 500 miles south to pick up the Trade Winds. How would it work out?

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have held a breeze and kept sailing south, so our reported 17th position in fleet yesterday is but a memory.” Alan Brook added to the log. Not to be outdone, the entire crew went for a swim. “The water is remarkably warm, but it felt odd swimming in a pool several miles deep.” Day 5 – 26th November – was Thanksgiving Day, which the Neki crew celebrated in style. “Mike and Tater cooked a superb Thanksgiving Day meal. It was almost a traditional meal but provisioning in Las Palmas denied us some of the traditional staples. We had an 8lb Turkey cooked in the oven, homemade stuffing, roasted carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic, corn on the cob, hot bread and wine. The weather lightened up in the afternoon so we had a nice peaceful dinner in the cockpit. But we had to do without the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie!” complained John Noble.

“Where are the Trade Winds?” came the bleat from just about every one of the 233 yachts.

Neki, was left totally becalmed for eight hours, and the crew on Lady of Avalon quickly became fed up. The only bright spot was catching a 6lb yellow fin tuna to provide fillets for lunch. Straight after, they furled sails and fired up the engine to push them towards the Cape Verde Islands. The NaughtyNes crew soon followed suit and contented themselves with rod and line. “We have two budding fishermen, one that can fish and one that is on L plates. So far several big strikes and one decent fish caught and eaten for dinner. On the first day we hooked a massive dorado but after a good fight, Paul lost him, which was probably just as well. It would have been way too much for the four of us and probably difficult to get on board. We are however well armed with soy and wasabi and expect to catch fish regularly.” The Edwards’ crew reported.

Deborah and Guy Tolson aboard Lady of Avalon were treated to their first dolphin sighting on Day 2 while fishing for tuna, but the focus on Sulana, was very much on speed. “We logged 183 miles during our first day and are now romping along under colourful spinnaker in 15 knots of breeze with a school of dolphins for company diving around her bow and quarter wave.” wrote Alan.

The Siri Ros crew were also enjoying outside entertainment. “Dolphins have been swimming around the bow. You can even hear their calls; a kind of squeaky sound. We are trying to make the best of the calm conditions; we had a lovely evening last night, with a candle-lit dinner served in the best dining room in the world; good wine, panoramic views and a clear night sky with a fantastic presentation of the stars and planets accompanied by a few tracks from Pavarotti and ‘Flight of the Concord’.” Liz Rowntree reported.

But Day 3 brought a change in the wind and a forecast for calms ahead. Sulana was one of the first to suffer. “The wind dropped away to nothing in the early hours of this morning and we have been struggling all day to make any headway. We are 180 miles offshore and it would seem that boats up to 100 miles nearer the African coast

Shaya Moya, one of those to have taken an inshore course, was still surfing along with a following sea down the west coast of Africa at 6.5 knots. “We have just received our expert weather briefing, and guess what the best corridor for wind was to the Islands?” reported Dave. “I would have liked to say it was a perfectly

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executed plan but the one flaw to this is we are surrounded by yachts, normally much slower than us. But I am sure, given our expert positioning and constant fiddling with the rig, we will overhaul the others.” They were asking the same question on Sulana. “Mixed fortunes in the night, the good reaching breeze continued until the early hours – and then we were in the doldrums again. Finally it filled in from the NNE and we made a tactical decision; instead of continuing south to reach the fabled Trade Winds, we have turned west on to a great circle course for St Lucia. The Trades seem to be further south and pretty weak anyway and not worth the extra distance. We are likely to face head winds in a couple of days and if that sends us a bit more south then so be it. At least every mile will now be off the distance to run to the finish – 2,200 miles to go...”

"They saw a small pod of dolphins swimming towards us. One of them swum right under our bow, popped its head up and grinned, not once, but twice, to show off the large tuna it had in its mouth. Talk about rubbing it in!" Luck finally ran out for Shaya Moya along with the wind. “Who on earth said the Atlantic was going to be difficult? We have decided to switch on the engine and will probably stick with it for the next 12 hours or so. The challenges of life on board have changed. Navigation now consists of pointing the bow in the right direction and pressing the autopilot button. The major strategic decisions

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consist of whether to have tea and what time lunch will be!” reported First Mate, Dave. On 2nd December, the decision taken onboard Dragonfly, to motor through the calms now carried consequences. “Back in Las Palmas, we only took on 400 litres of diesel in order to save weight. We didn’t think there would be so little wind and I also underestimated how often we would need to run the generator. Everything on the yacht needs electricity – lights, navigation, self steering, winches, furling, water pumps, toilet. Soon our diesel supplies had dwindled. Our AIS system showed a Greek tanker on a similar course. We radioed the ship and the Captain agreed to stop and give us a barrel of fuel. An hour later this giant tanker stopped beside us. We launched the RIB and collected this black and dirty broth. Not long after, our filters were blocked – but at least we had bought enough spares back in Las Palmas to see us through to the finish!” Onboard Sulana, the mystery of why they were not catching their fair share of fish became clear. “This morning, James and Fi were on watch when they saw a small pod of dolphins swimming towards us. One of them swum right under our bow, popped its head up and grinned, not once, but twice, to show off the large tuna it had in its mouth. Talk about rubbing it in!” Alan Brook recorded. The change to head winds inevitably led to a few ‘casualties’. One was Nigel, the cook aboard NaughtyNes. “He went down almost immediately with quite bad seasickness. Meals have become the more usual ship’s fare using the random contents of tins most close to hand. It will probably be a day or two before Nigel is ready to start cooking again and the rest of us are grateful for a few days without peppers!” wrote Deborah. There were moans from Neki too: “We have been hoping for wind and we got our wish. It is

just not from the direction we asked for. The wind is Force 7 (approximately 25 knots) from the southwest. We are currently beating into the wind making good time but it is a rough, wet, ride.” By Day 9, Sulana was 25th overall and 3rd in class. “Just maybe, our long term plans are working out OK.” Alan Brook noted. “Yesterday was bad, wet and windy, with nobody really enjoying it, except, of course, Sulana. All our grand plans went down the pan when the weather files came in. There is a depression building in front of us, which will give us more headwinds for the foreseeable future. Ben’s string of fancy smoothies for our cocktail hour, are keeping morale high. Tonight we had 'Windward Bashers', with a pineapple and passion fruit base. His previous extravagant titles have included: Dirty Banana, French Maid, Pacific Poulet and Mullered Mango!” Onboard Shaya Moya, the fickle winds further south had prompted the crew to switch on their engine. “You can’t do much with a 40 tonne yacht in 4 knots of wind. However, we also know that Sulana, has not switched on their engine at all since they have an ambition to 'sail' across the Atlantic. They are currently well over 100 miles behind us on a similar course, and on adjusted times, could still beat us by a good margin.” reported Dave. Flying fish were the hot topic on NaughtyNes; “One flew through the main cabin window and landed directly on Nick’s laptop while he was using it!” reported Nigel who was just as amazed by the night time phosphorescence in the sea. “Lots of flashing lights in the water when it is disturbed by dolphins, which leave a trail of lights behind them – science fiction!” NaughtyNes now had good winds and was sailing on a direct course towards St Lucia, but life on Siri Ros was not so great. They too were


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"By Day 13, the ARC organisers decided to move the prize-giving back a few days, fearing that no one would be there in time. 'What about moving Christmas too?' came the response."

facing strong headwinds, and three of their number had succumbed to seasickness, which led to a change of course south once more in search of the elusive Trade Winds and a more comfortable ride. The crew announced one medical triumph… “A new blend of wine with antidiuretic properties for the more elderly crew members using wines containing grapes from the Pinot Noir range. We have named it… PI NO MORE!” The Lady of Avalon crew was also searching for those elusive Trade Winds and by Day 10 was south of the Cape Verde Islands. “Last night was spent dodging squalls and thunderstorms, which while spectacular, did mean that we looked like drowned rats during much of the night shift.” Having spent the previous night chasing their tails in a flat calm, Sulana finally picked up the beginnings of a new breeze from the SE direction at the start to Day 11 “Oh joy! Off we go again with a gentle genoa reach, on a south-westerly heading. We still need to get further south to avoid the effects of the large depression, to the north-west ahead of us, but at least we now have a breeze to give us a fighting chance to get where we need to be.” reported Brook. “Dragonfly further south, is looking very good indeed, but then she has motored a bit, so that may help us, if we don’t give in before the finish!” 100 miles behind, Lady of Avalon also found the Trades but found little to celebrate in the forecast offering further head winds until the end of the week. The news was not greeted well aboard Shaya Moya. “Imagine our dismay to read the weather report this morning which is predicting another low developing mid Atlantic Wednesday/ Thursday. This will further delay the Trades filling in as normal. So more beating against the wind for this week. Our tactics remain the same;

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make our way westward as much as possible without going too far north. Living on board has taken on a new meaning with the boat healing at 20-30°. One has to move around crab-like holding on for dear life.” To raise spirits, Sulana held a ‘halfway celebration Hawaiian party’, with music, a conga around the cockpit and aft deck, topped off with a glass of pink fizz and a delicious meal of lightly grilled marlin in a hoi sin sauce. By Day 13, the ARC organisers decided to move the prize-giving back a few days, fearing that no one would be there in time. “What about moving Christmas too?” came the response from Lady of Avalon. By Day 14, Sulana and others to the south, finally found the Trade Winds. “We are bowling along at 8.5 knots straight for St Lucia!” a delighted Alan Brook recorded with little more than 1,000 miles to the finish. By Day 16 when Siri Ros was 1,131 miles out, disaster struck. “Our spinnaker was torn apart last night. Lutz and Denise have spent the day with needle and thread trying to repair the damage. It is a long and tedious job that will most likely take several days.” reported Liz, but added on a lighter note, “We have discovered, that another boat has caught a 1.5 metre long tuna and several dorado using a squid lure. We are now trailing a hook with a Marigold washing-up glove attached, which looks absolutely delicious and a little bit like a squid!” The following day, the Sulana crew recorded their best day’s run – 214 miles, but it all ended in tears. “We made the fatal error of trying to snuff the kite down in our spinnaker squeezer in 25 knots of true wind.” Alan wrote in his blog. They suffered the same on NaughtyNes. “Real fun and games last night, the wind came up with

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the spinnaker out, and continued to increase beyond the designated limit of the sail. Speed over ground maxed at 11.1 knots! At 05.15 it was all hands on deck to take down the spinnaker, but to our horror, it wrapped around the foresail and got really knotted up, we had to leave it flapping until day break.” Shaya Moya covered 196nm that day, but not without incident. “We had some ‘issues’ with a spinnaker retrieval system yesterday. It’s rather disconcerting to see steam coming from your gloves as the sheets are running through your hands despite your best efforts to arrest their progress.” recorded Dave.

“We are bowling along at 8.5 knots straight for St Lucia!” a delighted Alan Brook recorded with little more than 1,000 miles to the finish. Onboard Siri Ros with 699 miles to run, the Marigold glove trailing astern suddenly attracted too much attention… “We caught an absolutely enormous fish – 100kg+ – but it got away with our line, steel trace, lure, Marigold, and all our hopes and dreams. All that’s left is some line, the fishing reel handle and our tattered emotions. No more of Denise’s delicious fish pie!“ Liz wrote in the log. Mike Freeman and his crew on the Oyster 575 Can Do Too headed the cruising fleet into Rodney Bay having taken the shortest rhum line route across the Atlantic – their prize for enduring the worst of the head winds, taking 3rd place on handicap in Class A. The following day, both Neki and Apollonia had St Lucia in their sights. Apollonia finished a scant 13 minutes behind us after 18+ days at sea.

“Remarkable!” wrote Neki’s skipper John Noble, adding: “The crew of Neki had a fantastic time! It has been an incredible experience… It was exciting, boring, tedious, eventful, educational and introspective. All of us missed our families tremendously and we are all deeply appreciative of the sacrifices they made to allow us the privilege of going on this adventure… It was a trip I will cherish for the rest of my life.” Two days later, Lady of Avalon and Siri Ros got to within a short distance of St Lucia only to run out of wind. “So close, yet so far. Can’t believe it… No wind… It just died and we are making very slow progress,” wailed Liz, before attention turned towards helping a Norwegian ARC yacht, with a young child onboard that had run out of fuel. “After checking our own fuel supply we decided that we could spare a 25 litre drum of diesel and waited three hours for the Norwegians to catch up.“ reported Liz. The Siri Ros crew were rewarded with a goody bag filled with wine, sweets, biscuits and nibbles and resumed their course to St Lucia, drinking and munching away to become the first lady skippered yacht to finish. When Shaya Moya also finished, First Mate Dave summed up the feelings best. “We are handed a rum cocktail and a case of freezing cold beer. Welcome to St Lucia! Now is the time for self-congratulation, hugs and high fives all round. After the band had moved on in readiness for the next arrival, we sat quietly reflecting on what we had achieved. It seemed surreal that we had sailed here from Europe. We now have to wait until the prize-giving to know how we finally faired in the ‘rally’ but this genuinely is very much secondary to the sense of achievement we all personally feel. Everyone has their own stories about the barriers and challenges they had overcome to firstly be able to take part and also the adventures they had along the way.”


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"Everyone has their own stories about the barriers and challenges they had overcome to firstly be able to take part and also the adventures they had along the way.”

OYSTER ENTRANTS Sestina

Michael Wilcznski

Oyster Heritage

Rainmaker

John Salmon

Oyster 395 Lightwave

GBR

Apparition

James Blazeby

Oyster 45

GBR

NaughtyNes

David Edwards

Oyster 46

GBR

Lady of Avalon

Deborah & Guy Tolson

Oyster 46HP

GBR

Siri Ros

Elisabeth Rowntree

Oyster 485

GBR

Dragonfly

Andreas Zimmermann

Oyster 53

GER

Surya

Jac Janssen

Oyster 54

BEL

Sulana

Alan & Sue Brook

Oyster 56

GBR

Shaya Moya

Don Smyth

Oyster 56

GBR

On Liberty

Rovinj LLP

Oyster 575

GBR

Endless One

Axel Moorkens

Oyster 575

MLT

Can Do Too

Mike Freeman

Oyster 575

GBR

Royal Leopard

Oscar Konyukhov

Oyster 61

RUS

Golden Gate

Krister Bewwert

Oyster 62

DEN

Neki

John Noble

Oyster 655

USA

Sotto Vento

Richard Smith

Oyster 655

GBR

Daena

Maciej Slusarek

Oyster 655

POL

Apollonia

Anthony Auger

Oyster 70

GBR

GBR

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r c or a n o C n i a t p Ca

B Y T I M B A R K E R , O Y S T E R 4 8 5 M i n a2

Tim Barker has sailed his Oyster 485 Mina2 from the Arctic, around the Baltic and the Mediterranean, and is now heading south to the Antarctic. This is his account as he makes his way down the coast of Brazil to Uruguay. I had a couple of technical problems, which had left my Oyster 485, Mina2, temporarily immobilised in Paraty, a delightful old colonial town midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Friends, Lawrence, Tom and Richard were to fly in from the UK to join me for the next two weeks whilst we sailed 1,200 miles south to Uruguay. On their arrival at the marina, I embraced my three reprobate crew with tears

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in my eyes, mainly because buried in their overweight luggage were all the new spares necessary to get us back on the high seas again! The following morning I bade a tearful farewell to Maria, my wife, as she left for Buenos Aires to see her mother, whilst we were left to negotiate the long and dangerous passages south to Uruguay. It was going to be tough and probably quite unpleasant. I had split our trip down to Uruguay into seven passages ranging from a nice day sail of 50 miles, up to a three-day passage of 450 miles between Porto Belo and Rio Grande. I had tried to select stopovers that would be of interest to my crew so that they would get to see a bit of Brazil as well as get some good sailing in. Our first passage was an overnight sail of 70 miles from Paraty down to Ilhabela, a very

pretty island with massive mountains of volcanic rock covered with the ubiquitous rain forest and palm trees. Ilhabela is reputedly also home to the biggest colony of the dreaded borrachudo, a small insect with a big bite. You never see them coming and the first thing you notice is a pin prick of blood. Then the trouble starts. The itch is ten times as bad as a mosquito bite and they last ten times as long. After a very pleasant 11-hour sail with the wind behind us, we picked up a mooring off the Yacht Club de Ilhabela, and even though it was only 07.30 my crew insisted we kept the age-old Mina2 tradition of an ‘anchor nip’. As we sat drinking the early morning tonic, Tom yelped. There was a tell-tale pin prick of blood on his arm. The first of the borrachudos had arrived and we all dived for the cans of Deet.


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Photos: Tim Barker

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e s n’ t o d y h w , ld o r a e y “ If h e’s a 68 o ld?” r a e y 8 6 a e k li e v a he b e h After a lazy day in Ilha Bela we set sail for the two-day 235-mile passage to São Francisco do Sul. This particular part of the coast is renowned for its lack of wind but we were lucky enough to have sufficient breeze to sail most of the passage. But it remained cloudy and cool and once out of the sight of land it was, as Richard said, pretty much the same as sailing across Lyme Bay. It was pleasant enough though, nonetheless. São Francisco do Sul, ten miles up a wide river, is one of the oldest towns in Brazil. Settled in 1660 by whalers from the Azores, many of the buildings, particularly on the seafront, are old and attractive reminders of the town’s colonial past. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the buildings are slowly being renovated. We arrived in torrential rain, anchored off the riverfront, going ashore for a long and rather good lunch of Moqueca (the local fish stew) to get out of the rain. We were now in the build up to Christmas and the very ‘green’ town council had adorned the riverfront with elaborate illuminated Christmas decorations cleverly fashioned from discarded plastic water bottles. They included, rather incongruously in a place where the average temperature on Christmas day is about 30ºC, delightful little snowmen standing on beds of artificial snow. The crew had taken to caipirinhas in a big way on health grounds. A caipirinha is the Brazilian cocktail made from limes, sugar and cachaça, the local, incredibly potent firewater made from sugar cane.

Tom, the dentist, said that in the quantities we were drinking, we would be provided with our five-a-day; the sugar would provide us with all the energy we needed, and there would be little chance of contracting scurvy. Needless to say, we needed no further encouragement. Our visit to São Francisco do Sul was a pit stop and after our leisurely lunch and a walk round the wet town we motored back out of the river and sailed overnight to Porto Belo 70 miles south. Just after dawn, as we were motoring in windless conditions, I was awoken by the sounds of panic on deck.

“N o - tu rn left. He’s in dica tin g u s to tu rn left.” “We ca n’ t tu rn left or we’ ll ru n in to his n e t!” I was on deck in half a second to see a small fishing boat about 50 metres away with a man jumping up and down and frantically waving his arms. He had a long net out of the back of the boat and had been slowly motoring in a large circle, closing the net and trapping the fish. The crew had successfully navigated us right into the middle of his net circle. This would be the fisherman’s biggest catch ever! But eventually we found a small gap between the fishing boat and the end of his net and shot out to freedom, much to everyone’s relief. We arrived in Porto Belo at 06.45, a delightful bay with a number of beautiful anchorages, b

where we dropped the hook for another chilled out day. Tom and Lawrence had been sharing the bunk cabin and Tom, who is fastidious in matters of personal hygiene, had his day spoilt by discovering that he and Lawrence had identical underpants and had inadvertently been sharing a pair. Meanwhile Lawrence had been in a state of excitement. It was his 68th birthday. What a fuss! We had to start the previous night at 22.00 (midnight UK time) by singing “Happy Birthday” several times, followed by “For he’s a jolly good fellow” and drinking toast after toast to his health and happiness. The following morning Lawrence was up early, bouncing around like Tigger and opening all his presents. Richard, in his usual grumpy mood after being woken prematurely said “If he’s a 68 year old, why doesn’t he behave like a 68 year old?” We were scheduled to leave for the long three-day, 450-mile leg down to Rio Grande at midday. But by late morning the skies opened and the rain was hammering down in biblical proportions, so we decided to hunker down and leave at first light the following morning. The passage to Rio Grande was 450 miles long, not just because we like a long passage, but down this stretch of coast there are no safe havens at all, so if you get caught out in thick weather – probably blowing you onto the inhospitable shore – you really have nowhere to go. The four day forecast was that for the first 18 hours we would be beating into a moderate wind, and thereafter we would have the wind directly behind us. Not ideal, but it wasn’t threatening. After six hours of motoring, the wind filled in, as promised, bang on the nose. We were expecting around 20 knots of wind. We got it, and it was quite pleasant. The wind picked up to 25 knots and it started getting a little wet and lumpy. The sky all around us turned grey, then black. The wind continued to strengthen and the sea got higher. By this time we were more than 30 miles offshore. We reefed right down until a full gale was shrieking through the rigging, spray whipping horizontally across the deck.

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The wind speed over the deck was gusting nearly 50 knots. One thing that Mina2 is good at is shouldering her way into strong winds and big seas, but for all of us it was distinctly uncomfortable. I was becoming a little nervous. This hadn’t been forecast at all. What if it stayed like this? What if it got even worse? But we toughed it out and after a few hours the wind began to abate slowly. A consequence of these unexpected conditions was that none of the crew had felt inclined to drink any alcohol for 24 hours and they were now showing signs of withdrawal symptoms – crashing headaches, vomiting, and the shakes. The vomiting was actually suffered by only one of the crew, and that may have had more to do with the sea conditions. But no names, not least because I’ve been paid quite a lot of money by Richard not to expose the sufferer’s identity. The following morning, conditions could not have been more different. The wind had eased, the waves had subsided, the sun was shining and the wind had backed round to the east allowing us to romp merrily along on a beam reach. Perfect conditions – for the moment.

The cherry on the cake was that we caught, what we thought to be, a large plump dorado, which would probably feed us for about three meals, starting at lunchtime.

legendary Pampero; the killer wind that hits you like a mallet and with speeds up to 100 miles per hour. This coastline and the River Plate are strewn with wrecks, victims of the Pampero. Get caught up in one, and all you pray for is that you survive.

I had appointed Richard as ‘Entertainments Officer.‘ Due to a deep-seated insecurity he likes titles and took his responsibilities seriously. At home he’s very keen on Am Dram (or, in his case, Ham Dram) and he had brought along the score and libretto of HMS Pinafore for us to perform. I was lucky enough to be given the role of the Captain of the ship, Captain Corcoran. At rehearsals, all the crew sing jolly songs about what a good Captain I am, and give me three cheers. It’s brilliant – the only time I’m treated with any respect on board. Shame it’s all play-acting!

When we received this news, we had reached the point of no return – there was no way we could fight our way back 100 miles against the strong winds and waves. So we were now rushing at the maximum possible speed with the wind right behind us in a desperate dash to get into Rio Grande before the front arrived. The boat was slewing around, surfing down the fronts of the waves at terrific speeds. We were rolling heavily and sleep was difficult.

We were now about 100 miles into the 450-mile passage – the one with no safe havens – nowhere to go if there was unexpected trouble! And unexpected trouble was on its way. I had picked up the latest forecast by satellite email and all of a sudden very strong southerly winds were being forecast to reach Rio Grande in a couple of days. These southerlies sweep up from Argentina and are often preceded by the

Over the two days and 22 hours we were screaming along for most of the time at 8 knots or more in big seas. Apart from the ghastly first night when we were beating into a gale in heavy pounding seas, we had the wind from our side or behind us, so it wasn’t too wet. There were some scary moments, but on balance it was an epic harum-scarum roller-coaster ride. Great fun.

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e tha n “We ha d en joyed gr ea t sa ili n g for m or 1,000 m ile s, a n d ver y lit tle m otorin g. It ha d b e en a bri llia n t cru is e.” We stopped at Rio Grande for two reasons: first, it was the only safe haven in 700 miles of coast, and secondly to go through the tortuous bureaucracy of clearing us and the boat out of Brazil. After just three hours sleep (making, for me, a total of about five hours sleep in two days) we all trudged off in the scorching heat to do the rounds of Immigration, Customs and Port Captain – all located at diametrically opposite ends of the town. The total exercise took more than five hours. Once the front had passed through, the following afternoon we slipped our lines and set the sails. This was to be our last long passage of 250 miles southwest to Punta Del Este in Uruguay. The forecast was for more moderate to fresh winds from the northeast. It was a beautiful evening gently sailing down the coast with the sun setting on our starboard bow. After dark, we saw a bright light on the horizon – within minutes it was clear that, whatever it was, it was moving towards us very fast! We have a clever bit of kit on board, which told us that he was travelling at nearly 25 knots. We were doing nearly 10 knots. Our closing speed was close to 40 mph. Impact would be within five minutes. By now we had a very strong following wind, big seas, poled out foresail and

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South Atlantic and on the other the placid waters of the River Plate. Both sides are fringed with spectacular beaches of clean white sand stretching for several miles. But the crew had little time to enjoy this holiday paradise as they packed their bags, caught the fast ferry to Buenos Aires, 200 miles across the River Plate, and flew back home to the UK.

strapped down mainsail, and we would not be able to react quickly enough to get out of their way. The kit also gave me the name of the vessel. It was my old friend MSC Musica, a rather upmarket cruise ship that I had come across many times at sea and in harbours throughout the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. We now had four minutes to impact. I called them on VHF radio. No response. The profile was much bigger now and we could clearly see their large bow wave. Three minutes to impact, I called them again. This time the radio crackled back “Mina2 this is MSC Musica, go ahead, over”. I explained that I was the tiny pinprick of light two miles dead ahead of him, and I had neither the time nor ability to get out of their way. “I see you and understand the situation. I am altering course to starboard now. I will pass you red to red, port to port”. A wave of relief came over me. His bow slowly turned away from us. I thanked the captain who wished us all a good cruise. The incident was over as he rushed past us less than half a mile away. It would have been ironic to have seen and admired the ship so many times before, and then to be run down by her.

In the two weeks that Richard, Lawrence and Tom were on board for the big push south, we had travelled from the tropics where the high mountains were covered with lush rain forest, from which came the sounds of parrots and monkeys, and the long sandy beaches were fringed with palm trees. In the sky above circled magnificent frigate birds and vultures. As we moved south they were replaced by petrels of every variety that swoop over and round the waves, their wingtips almost touching the water. The landscape along the southern Brazilian and Uruguayan coast is of low undulating hills. Yes, less dramatic but, in its own way, equally beautiful. I had been surprised at the relative strength of winds that meant we had enjoyed great sailing for more than 1,000 miles, and very little motoring. It had been a brilliant cruise.

Punta del Este in Uruguay is the St Tropez of the South American Riviera. It is on a small peninsula on one side of which are the surfing waves of the

Tim’s account of their trip to Uruguay is adapted from his blog, which can be found at: www.blog.mailasail.com/mina2


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OYSTER BROKERAGE AUTUMN BOAT SHOW Saxon Wharf, Southampton – 16-25 September 2011

Oyster Brokerage offers a wide range of luxury pre-owned Oyster yachts. Don’t miss the annual Oyster Brokerage Autumn Boat Show which runs at the same time as the PSP Southampton Boat Show. Saxon Wharf, Lower Brook Street, Southampton, SO14 5QF. 16-25 September 2011, 10.00-18.00 daily. Also on berths M338 and M340 at the PSP Southampton Boat Show 1 0 0


OYST E R

B RO KE R AG E

T H E

SP EC I ALI STS

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YAC H TS

2005 Oyster 72 Spirit of Montpelier

2007 Oyster 655 Acheron

2002 Oyster 62 Golden Gate

Originally specified for the Chairman of Oyster, this is a very special high performance 72. Her fully battened mainsail and barely overlapping jib, cored interior joinery and soles and deep keel make her hard to beat. She retains comfortable cabins with a luxurious feel.

Beautiful Oyster 655 with eight berths in four cabins. She benefits from a hydraulic in-mast furling mainsail, cutter rig complete with twin hydraulic furling systems for both head sails. A very easily handled yacht that has been skipper maintained since her launch in 2007.

This Oyster 62 excelled herself at the 2007 Oyster Regatta in Valencia winning overall in Class 1 and Concours d’Elégance Trophy. An exceptional example of this powerful, but easily handled, world cruiser.

£2,000,000 ex VAT Lying: West Med

£1,790,000 VAT Paid Lying: West Med

£1,195,000 VAT Paid Lying: Newport, RI. USA

NEW LISTING

NEW LISTING

NEW LISTING

Sistership

2009 Oyster 54 Love

2007 Oyster 53 Golden Pearl

2005 Oyster 49 Autumn Dream

Love is only the second Oyster 54 to hit the brokerage market. She has a fast hull, great living space and incorporates Oyster’s latest design and technology. Naturally Love has been well looked after and is only for sale to make way for the owner’s brand new Oyster.

The g5 deck design of this Oyster 53 gives a sleek and modern look. Fully equipped with all the mod cons for long distance cruising, with an interior finished in classic teak for a warm and traditional feel. Accommodation for eight in four separate luxurious cabins, plus the saloon.

Autumn Dream is a stunning Oyster 49 finished with beautiful dark blue topsides. American light oak joinery provides a light and airy interior. Her extensive equipment list ensures ease of handling and superb performance. She has benefited from an ongoing care programme.

£775,000 ex VAT Lying: West Med

£590,000 ex VAT Lying: Oyster UK

£495,000 VAT Paid Lying: UK South East Coast

NEW LISTING

Sistership

1999 Oyster 485 Sound of Breagha

2006 Oyster 46 Tramp

1999 Oyster 42 Alpina

Sound of Breagha is a wonderful example of a yacht which has received great maintenance, love and care. She is a very capable cruising yacht, easy to handle, and very rewarding to sail. The equipment list is very high. Owner is selling to upgrade to a larger Oyster.

Tramp is a great example of the Oyster 46. She is extremely well-maintained, and perfectly suited to short-handed long distance sailing. Her beautiful maple interior enhances the light and airy saloon. Owner is making way for a larger Oyster so keen to sell.

The Oyster 42 is a compact but well-appointed and capable cruising yacht. The forward owner’s cabin with en suite is huge and very comfortable. The cockpit is also very large for a 42ft yacht. Alpina is a beautiful, well-maintained yacht.

£350,000 VAT paid Lying: East Med

£435,000 VAT paid Lying: UK East Coast

£195,000 VAT paid Lying: Oyster UK

Please see our website for the full range of yachts available through Oyster Brokerage. 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: +1 401 846 7400 F: +1 401 846 7483 E: info@oystermarine.com SAIL | BROKERAGE | CHARTER | REFIT

www.oysterbrokerage.com S UM M ER

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GONE with the wind...

PA RT T WO T H E F R E N C H P O LY N E S I A N I S L A N D S TO VA N UAT U S O U T H W E S T PAC I FI C

BY STEPH EN H Y D E, OYSTER 56 A L ADY


WHITE-SAND BEACHES, VIBR ANT MARINE LIFE, LU S H VO LC A N I C P E A K S A N D A CO LO U R F U L H I S TO RY. T H E W O R L D A R C R A L LY F I N D S I T S E L F I N PA C I F I C PA R A D I S E .

T H E M A RQ U ES A S I S L A N DS As part of the World ARC rally fleet we enjoyed a period of free cruising during our visit to the French Polynesian Islands. For us, that was from the date of our arrival in Porto Ayora, Hiva Oa, on the 24th March 2010 until we all gathered ready to leave Bora Bora on the 13th May 2010. The Marquesas Islands are truly beautiful and, bizarrely, one of our lasting memories of the area are the cocks crowing all night, every night, They became part of our

daily choir in the background and, on land, they run wild all over these beautifully maintained and manicured islands. We spent a few days exploring the Island of Hiva Oa and visiting all the sacrificial sites, where they buried the skulls of their human prey or sacrifices amongst the roots of the adjacent Banyan trees. We also visited Paul Gauguin’s House and Museum and had dinner at the French operated Hanakee Pearl Lodge Hotel.


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A few days later, we headed 42 miles southeast to Fatu Hiva. We had a great sail, a very stiff breeze on the port side made for a very different type of sailing to what we had become used to. We dropped anchor in ‘The Bay of Virgins’, a famously beautiful anchorage. A small group of us from four different yachts booked dinner ashore, in what turned out to be a family home and one of the more interesting meals we experienced anywhere on the trip. Most of the food was raw marinated fish in coconut oil, with a variety of locally grown fruits, including the famous ‘bread fruit’. When dinner was finished, the owner, his wife and their children brought out their guitars and, with some of our own guitar players, gave us a great night’s entertainment. Refreshments consisted of homemade juices – no alcohol. It was definitely a night to remember.

TUAMOTU ISLANDS Three days later, we set sail again, north this time to Tahuata where we spent one night before moving on to Ua Pou, a very mountainous island, which proved to be very different to the others in the group. It was Easter when we arrived and the churches of all denominations were clearly trying to out do each other when it came to church décor and singing. The choirs were simply wonderful! We discovered that church music and choirs got bigger and better as we sailed west through all the different islands throughout the Pacific. If these choirs represent a taste of ‘Heaven’ then we want to go there, but just not right now... After three nights in Ua Pou we headed north again to Nuka Hiva, this is one of the designated islands for clearing in or out of the Marquesas Islands, and as we were about to head southwest to the Tuamotus Islands, we needed clearance and to fill up with diesel. We spent a relaxing few days in Nuka Hiva and eventually sailed south on the 8th April. The weather for our three days at sea was simply perfect with a very light south easterly breeze and flat sea. We slept on deck most nights and enjoyed gazing at all those twinkling little stars dancing out all night especially for us (well that’s what we thought at the time).

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We had never heard of these islands or ‘archipelago’ (a total of 76 atolls or islands) until we arrived in the Marquesas Islands. We soon discovered that they are beautiful and well worth a visit. The first island we chose to explore was Manihi. However, the cruising guides that we read on the way there very nearly put us off. The book said that the sand bar at the entrance was only 2 metres deep (we draw 2.5 metres) and the current through the narrow entrance was so strong that most yachts would not get inside the lagoon. However, we never had less than 2.5 metres under our keel and the maximum current we encountered was a mere 3 knots as we sailed into the lagoon before rolling up the sails. And, what an experience! This huge coral reef, covered in palm trees surrounding a big lagoon was just perfect. We motored over and dropped anchor outside the ‘Manihi Pearl Beach Resort’ where all the guest rooms stand on stilts in the deep blue waters of the lagoon. We really felt we had arrived in paradise. We had a number of cruising guides on board for the Pacific and the other oceans we planned to cross, but the Pacific in particular, as this was our first long distance trip and in some respects was a venture into the


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island of Morea. A wonderful lush green paradise island that I would highly recommend.

unknown for us. The books were a great support, but you have to make up your own mind about what to do and where to go. If we had taken the advice of the cruising guides, we would never have gone near Manihi and would have missed a near perfect paradise. Another thing the guides implied was that we would be devoured by mosquitoes and sand flies if we went ashore. In fact we hardly came across any of these pests and certainly not enough to bother us... if you want to see mosquitoes, then take a trip to Scotland in the autumn!

It is worth mentioning that Aileen and I chartered a boat roughly 14 years ago and sailed around the Society Islands, therefore it was interesting to look at all the changes that have taken place since then. Back then we had felt it was the most expensive place in the world, now it is only as expensive as London or Paris! We departed Tahiti and sailed overnight to Raiatea, where we had entered A Lady in the Tahiti Pearl Regatta. The place was buzzing, full of excitement for the event. Unfortunately, a local boat, on loan to some French sailors for the event, caused some damage to A Lady, however this didn’t dampen our spirits and we enjoyed the few days racing and the prize-giving in Bora Bora.

Everyday we went swimming in paradise, always being mindful of the strong currents that flow through all these atolls. The coral heads were great for snorkelling and there were plenty of these, usually surrounded by hundreds of beautifully coloured fish. However, great care needed to be taken to avoid getting the anchor stuck in one. Our next stop was Rangiroa, another paradise where Donal and I took diving lessons. One evening we went ashore with some crews from some of the other rally yachts ashore, to a restaurant called ‘Les Relais de Josephine’, where we enjoyed an excellent meal of crab and lobster. However, it was as expensive as eating out in London. In fact, the whole of the French Polynesian Islands were very expensive. No wonder nearly all the cars on the islands are brand new!

“It was a sheer pleasure to sit on the transom seat and soak up the silent power of our beautiful boat as she surged through the seas”

From Rangiroa, we sailed 45 miles or so south in a very fresh breeze to the Island of Tikehau. Navigating our way through Tikehau was tricky with all the shallow corals, but they had plenty of markers, which made life much easier. We eventually dropped anchor at dusk and admired the beautiful pink beach of Tikehau Pearl Lodge.

We sailed onto Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and then to Niue. The one thing that will stick in our minds about Niue were the nights, the starry nights in the Pacific were spectacular, and in particular the Milky Way which was always a pleasure to study. On the way to Niue we had a full moon which shone down the mast like champagne fizzing down the side of a glass.

We spent two nights at Tikehau, before sailing southwest to Papeete, the capital of Tahiti and a mere 188 miles away. We had 25 knots of wind on our port beam and it was a sheer pleasure to sit on the transom seat and soak up the silent power of our beautiful boat as she surged through the seas, with only the sound of the babbling water as it rushed out from under the transom.

Niue was very interesting in that there was only a pier sticking out into the bay, so when we went ashore in the RIB, we had to use the crane on the pier to lift the RIB out of the water while we explored this interesting island. We enjoyed our brief stay, where we even managed a game of golf on what must have been the roughest golf course in the world! We also had some interesting food here, mostly marinated raw fish, it all tasted great and was really healthy, however we were disappointed to learn that these people do not live any longer than us Europeans, so much for a healthy diet!

Papeete was the same as any other capital, but nonetheless, very enjoyable. We spent a couple of weeks in Tahiti whilst the boat was lifted out, cleaned and antifouled. Donal looked after this task while Aileen and I spent a wonderful weekend in the Hilton Hotel on the adjoining

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On the 4th June we arrived in Vava’u (Tonga) a perfect spinnaker run all the way. Our first impressions of the main island... a very poor place and very untidy in comparison to the French Polynesian Islands or the Cook Islands. The island was the first place we saw fruit bats, although they looked more like flying cats than bats and it was fascinating to watch them devour the fruit. This was one of the best cruising grounds we ever sailed, a sailor’s paradise, hundreds of small sandy islands surrounded by coral reefs, which made them very attractive anchorages for swimming, diving, snorkeling and generally relaxing. Of course, we had to be extra careful with navigation, as well as being a sailor’s paradise, it could easily turn into a sailor’s nightmare if one hit one of the thousands of corals scattered throughout the islands. We spent about 10 days in Vava’u and in some respects this was just not enough, however we did manage to stay overnight at six different islands or locations, and we only explored a small portion of this beautiful place. There was always a lovely cool trade wind blowing about 20-25 knots day and night across and through the boat. Snorkelling in the corals here could be compared to floating through Gaudi’s cathedral in Barcelona in a vacuum… the gleaming and colourful corals, all set close to the surface in Prussian blue warm water, with all different chambers of various sizes, together with thousands of equally colourful fish. We sadly had to say goodbye to this wonderful place and headed northwest towards Fiji, a distance of 420 miles, the sailing was great as usual as we scooted along our merry way. However, we did get a fright early one morning as dawn broke, we could see the hulk of a ship sitting almost in front of us. It soon became obvious that this ship was sitting on a reef and, as we were sailing close by, we made a few alterations to the course to avoid meeting with the same fate. They say about Fiji, that there are two types of boats here, the ones that hit a reef and sink, and the ones that are about to hit a reef and sink! The entrance to Savu Savu (the island we selected for our inward clearances) was very narrow and through a right angle bend surrounded by coral reefs on all sides. It was 22.00, pitch black with 46 knots blowing up our transom and breaking waves running along the decks.

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Everyone on board loved the excitement, except the skipper, who was having a nervous breakdown. We relied totally on the E120 and sure enough we got into the lagoon without a hitch. Eventually, as always, things have to come to an end and so the fleet of 23 rally yachts set sail westwards towards a small island called Tanna in Vanuatu. This little island has one of the few live and active volcanoes in the world and, of course, we all had to go there at dusk one evening to view the fireworks for ourselves – spectacular! The island was very definitely the poorest place we visited. We had a meal ashore one night, the food was the usual raw marinated fish, but this time it was served on banana leaves as plates and we used our fingers to do the eating. Dinner cost about one Euro each. It was so different, that we really enjoyed the whole experience, before being led back the two miles to the harbour through the jungle by locals carrying flaming torches to light the way. From Tanna, we sailed north to Port Villa. This seemed a popular spot and has the world’s only underwater post office, (or rather a letterbox). We visited some beautiful resorts and restaurants here and fattened ourselves up ready for the next leg to Australia, a 1,200-mile trip.


YOU ARE NOW PRECISELY ONE MILLION MILES AWAY FROM WORK.

Where will your imagination take you? To the end of the boardroom table? Or to the place of your dreams? Of course, how you get there is important. Perhaps you should consider one of the world’s finest yachts with proven performance and an unsurpassed build quality, designed to take you as far away from routine as possible. For more information please email molly.marston@oystermarine.com or visit us online. SAIL | BROKERAGE | CHARTER | REFIT

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On their way... Oyster 575 Sophistikate Another new yacht planned with a circumnavigation in mind, Sophistikate is Richard and Angela Parkinson’s second new Oyster, replacing their Oyster 46 of the same name. They will cross the Atlantic with the 2011 ARC followed by a season in the Caribbean, before joining the Oyster World Rally fleet, which will depart the Caribbean in January 2013. Fitted out in a very pale American Oak, Sophistikate has all the essentials required for a world cruise, including air-conditioning, watermaker and heating, plus a few luxuries such as an icemaker, dishwasher, underwater camera and lighting.

Oyster 72 Infiniti Owned by Ken and Diana Randall, Infiniti was on show at the Oyster Private View in London. Her already beautiful interior was styled and accessorised specially for the event by the Interior Design Studio at Harrods and was much admired by visitors to the show.

Sophistikate has been built to an exceptionally high specification and her owners took a great deal of interest in the build process and visited the yard many times during her build. She was on display at Oyster’s Private View in St Katharine Docks, where she was much admired.

Following the show, Infiniti completed handover in Cherbourg before heading to the Mediterranean. She will make her first transatlantic crossing in the autumn and will spend the winter cruising in the Caribbean.

Oyster 575 Patrice The Oyster 575 Patrice is Joan and Ian Menzies’s first Oyster, and will be based in Largs on Scotland’s west coast. Their berth in Largs is very tight, so Ian opted for a retractable stern thruster as well as the standard bowthruster, making manoeuvring simple. Patrice is also unusual in that she has hydraulic primary and mainsheet winches.

With some of the most beautiful cruising grounds anywhere in the world right on their doorstep, Patrice will mainly be used for cruising around the Firth of Clyde and surrounding Lochs, with some longer passages planned to the Outer Hebrides and Norway.

Oyster 625 Rachel of London Owners Tony and Rachel Whitby have owned many yachts, their most recent being a 72' Sunseeker, which was the inspiration behind some of the detailing to be found on Rachel, in particular the blue spreader and cockpit lights, that really give the yacht a ‘wow’ factor. Equally striking is her bespoke interior. Styled by ‘Design

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Interiors’ a company Tony has worked with on many of his property developments, their expertise has resulted in a stunning Maple and Teak interior with plush leather upholstery and luxurious soft furnishings. With her sleek grey painted hull, chrome lines and black mast, Rachel really is a ‘super’ yacht in every sense of the word.


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Recently launched Oysters

Oyster 625 Blue Jeannie The first of the new Oyster 625s was launched in fine style during a party at Oyster’s annual Private View, held at St Katharine Docks in London. On a beautiful spring evening, owner John Bowley, for whom the new 625, Blue Jeannie, is his second Oyster, carried out the formalities with the traditional smashing of a bottle of champagne on her bow, assisted by his parents and family. Also present was Oyster 625 designer Rob Humphreys and his wife Jo, who had styled the interior furnishings. Now on her way to the Mediterranean, Blue Jeannie has a busy charter season ahead of her, before she is displayed at the Cannes and Genoa Boats Shows. Blue Jeannie is available for charter from Oyster Charter. For more information please contact Molly Marston at molly.marston@oystermarine.com

Oyster 575 Serendipity Serendipity is owned by David Caukill and is his second new Oyster, his first being an Oyster 46 of the same name. David will keep Serendipity on the south coast before heading south to the Canaries where she will be based until the start of the 2011 ARC.

Oyster 82 Mathilda Sound The new Oyster 82, Mathilda Sound, departed Oyster’s Ipswich HQ for Malta with Will White from Oyster’s US office on board as part of her delivery crew. Mathilda Sound has a Maple interior with Walnut soles and dark brown leather upholstery. With her dark blue hull she is a really stunning and contemporary new yacht.

Following a season in the Caribbean, Serendipity will slowly make her way across the Pacific to New Zealand where she will join the Oyster World Rally fleet for the second leg of the circumnavigation back to the Caribbean via South Africa and South America.

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Oyster 46 Callisto Callisto is the first Oyster to be owned by the Voigt-Firon family from Austria, having previously owned a Halberg Rassy 43. The boat set sail from Ipswich to sail around the west coast of England and up to Scotland with Oyster’s Senior Commissioner, Mick Hart, on board as skipper. The family are looking forward to joining the Oyster World Rally fleet in 2013, once they have gained more experience with their new yacht. Callisto is another superb example of an Oyster 46, with a beautiful Maple interior.

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We are grateful to our marine industry suppliers for not only helping us to build great yachts but also for supporting our events and regattas.

Bespoke quality sails and canvas work, UK manufactured.

Performance Masts, Engineered to Perfection.

Matthew Vincent T: +44 (0)1255 243 366 E: sails@dolphin-sails.com www.dolphinsails.com

T: +31 (0) 527 29 1989 E: info@formula-marine.com www.formula-marine.com

The world leading provider of sailing clothing.

Optimal coverage for your yacht, your assets and your paid crew.

International yacht consultants specialising in yacht management.

Alistair Munro T: +44 (0)203 479 4615 E: alistair@musto.com www.musto.com

John McCurdy, OBE T: +44 (0)1752 223 656 E: info@pantaenius.co.uk www.pantaenius.co.uk

Declan O’Sullivan T: +44 (0)1624 819 867 E: dos@pelagosyachts.com www.pelagosyachts.com

The world’s leading manufacturer in recreational marine electronics.

Reefing systems and hydraulics.

Truly global satellite tracking for yachts and yacht races.

Marcus Schuldt T: +49 (0)41 013 849 27 E: m.schuldt@reckmann.com www.reckmann.com

T: +44 (0)845 619 8252 E: sales@yellowbrick-tracking.com www.yellowbrick-tracking.com

Andy Davies T: +44 (0)23 9271 4700 E: andy.davies@raymarine.com www.raymarine.com 11 0

Leading sailboat and powerboat hardware supplier for the leisure marine industry. Roger Cerrato T: +44 (0)23 9247 1841 E: rcerrato@lewmar.com www.lewmar.com


Oyster Marine Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1473 688 888 Sales Team: Tel: +44 (0)1473 695 005 Customer Support: Tel: +44 (0)1473 690 198 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.com Oyster Marine in Australia Michael Bell Tel: +61 (0)2 9997 7133 Email: michael.bell@oystermarine.com Oyster Marine in Russia Oscar Konyukhov Tel: +7 925 771 29 91 Email: oscar.konyukhov@oystermarine.com Oyster Marine in Ukraine Alex Krykanyuk Tel: +38 (0)512 580 540 Email: alex.krykanyuk@oystermarine.com

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

Oyster Brokerage Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1473 695 100 Email: brokerage@oystermarine.com www.oysterbrokerage.com

Southampton Yacht Services Ltd Saxon Wharf, Lower York Street, Northam, Southampton, SO14 5QF UK 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 Summer 2011 // Issue72  
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