Oyster Yachts is best known for its large, top quality long distance cruising yachts, but it’s also among a number of premium boat builders that organises both rallies – including a well-supported round the world event – and regattas. While no one buys an Oyster solely for short distance day racing, these events are valued as an opportunity to meet like-minded owners, socialise and share ideas with them, and measure your own prowess alongside that of your peers.
The most recent event took place in Palma, Mallorca in mid October 2016, when a record 43 boats from 45ft to 100ft gathered for a four-race series and evening lavish social functions. The weather delivered everything from light airs to thunderstorms and gusts of 20 knots, which tested teams across a range of conditions.
In Class One a close battle played out all week between seven giant Oyster 885s. Nevertheless an impressive performance by Maxim Kudryashov’s Guardian Angel saw the Russian entry winning three of the four races. Andrey Yakunin’s Firebird took a clean sweep of podium places, including clinching a win in the last race by a margin of seven seconds. Yakunin therefore finished the series in second place overall, just ahead of former Formula One supremo Eddie Jordan’s Lush.
Among the smaller boats, Ritchie Gatt’s Oyster 53 Ostra sailed an almost perfect regatta, scoring a second and two firsts to win Class 4. Sailing with friends from England, along with local guests, Peter Blackmore’s Oyster 49 Pied Piper took second overall, also with a clean sweep of podium finishes. “We just bonded as a team and did very well,” says Blackmore. “Although we are competitive, we are also delighted to be here soaking up the fine Oyster hospitality with the 300 or so other guests.”
David Tydeman, Oyster Group CEO and Event Chairman/Race Officer, said the regatta had beaten all expectations: “It really has been one of the best to date and we have achieved what we set out to do in terms of attracting a large and diverse fleet. From newcomers to sailing who’ve never raced before, to a selection of professional teams, this regatta has never been more accessible.”