Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Erratic weather for Palma Oyster Regatta

Published on November 16, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

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In 2001 Oyster Yachts had a pearl of an idea and decided to hold a regatta for the owners of their sailing yachts helping build brand loyalty and providing some great racing to boot. This year sees the 36th dedicated Oyster regatta and the 11th hosted at Real Club Náutico in Palma.  The regatta is a fitting finale to the Mediterranean sailing season and, although the weather isn’t always perfect in October, spirits are high and the racing is exhilarating.

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The largest fleet ever for this event arrived in Palma with 29 sailing yachts from nine countries competing.  The ages of the crew ranged from five years to 85 years, showing that racing truly has something for everyone.

The competing Oyster Yachts were divided into three classes which are split by boat size: Class 3 being the smaller boats, Oyster 45 to 575; Class 2, the mid-sized 625 to 655; and the largest boats racing falling into Class 1, the smallest of which are 82 feet.

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The weather during the four-day event was extremely temperamental and on day one, as storm clouds gathered above Palma bay and 40 knot winds were predicted, it was touch and go whether there would be any racing at all.  However a weather window opened and allowed for a short, albeit wet, two hour triangle race.

“We were delighted to get a start and run a race,” says Race Officer and Oyster CEO David Tydeman.  “We did things race officers don’t normally do but it paid off.  We started with a heavy pin end port bias in only 3-5 knots of wind but we decided to go ahead.”

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Day Two dawned and the skies had cleared somewhat, allowing for two races.  The first race in the lighter morning wind was short with no time for mistakes, and then there was time for a longer more complex course in the afternoon.

The third day of racing was by far the best.  After two days of light winds and shortened courses, the wind built and stayed in and the fleet all finished in a 12 to 15 knot southerly.

On Saturday, the fourth and final day of racing, there was not a breath of wind and unfortunately the racing was abandoned.

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Three days of extremely close racing left all three classes tied and the ‘Countback Process’ needed to be used.  As all three categories had identical placings over the three days of racing, the podium places were decided on the winners of the last day of racing.

The final results were as follows:

Starry Night of the Caribbean, an Oyster 82, came first in Class 1 followed by Eddie Jordan’s Oyster 885 Lush, with Joe and Cathey Leitch’s Oyster 725 On Liberty coming in third.

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In Class 2, Rudolf Kaegi’s Oyster 625 Flying Spirit triumphed, followed by Oyster 625 Great Bear V, and bronze went to Richard Smith’s Oyster 655 Sotto Vento, the Oyster attendance record holder who has raced in 19 regattas to date.

Class 3 was won by Peter Blackmore’s Oyster 49 Pied Piper, second was Oyster 54 Nikitoo II helmed by owner Hugh Johnson with Charles Billson’s Oyster 54 Sara Blue V coming in third.

The next Oyster regatta will be the 37th in April in Antigua where the blue water sailing will hopefully be accompanied by blue skies.  But, of course, the fleet will be back in Palma again next October to brave the unpredictable winds and weather.

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http://www.oysteryachts.com/

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