Stunning conditions mark the end of hugely successful regatta
Monday, October 10, 2016 10:22 PM
Although winds reached no more than 11 kts throughout the day, it was more consistent than it had been all week, and the 37 teams competing in this 38th annual regatta, were treated to exciting racing that resulted in some extremely close finishes in the overall standings.
The huge, record-breaking fleet of Oysters ranging from 46ft family yachts to sparkling new professionally-led 885s, powering downwind towards the leeward mark under spinnaker, was a sight to behold and the perfect end to what has been, arguably, the most successful regatta to date.
One of the closest finishes was in Class 1 between Firebird – Oyster 885-07 – Firebird (Ocean Limited) and Maxim Kudryashov’s Guardian Angel – Oyster 885-04. The team on Guardian Angelhowever, had their work cut out to retain a top position in the final race after they ripped their spinnaker. They had to sail the last downwind leg without spinnaker, which meant Firebird beat them by seven seconds. This last minute place change put Firebird ahead of Eddie Jordan’s Lush – Oyster 885-01 (IRE) in the overall standings, while Guardian Angel took the overall win.
The grand awards ceremony at the Palacio de Congresos, one of Palma’s landmark 20th century Spanish architectural buildings, gave crews, guests and VIPs a chance to enjoy the final lavish evening of Oyster hospitality and share their regatta experiences.
Vladimir Baksheev and his team on Lady Mariposa – Oyster 625-05, received plenty of applause for their impressive performance in Class 2 this week, which included two firsts and a second place. Their final race win yesterday was enough to clinch the top spot overall from Richard Smith’s British Sotto Vento – Oyster 655-07.
Racing in this 10-strong class yesterday was extremely close with Cascina Int Ltd’s iSNL – Oyster 655-11 (FIN) only one point ahead of David & Joanna’s Vamos – Oyster 625-06 in 3rd place.
The Swedish husband and wife team – Eric and Ann Alfredson, and friends Lars and Birgitta onLisanne – Oyster 575-29, in Class 3 were always in contention this week with their three firsts and a second.
Commenting on the regatta, Alfredson said: “We are really happy about our win, this is the first time in our new boat. We had good crew work and the ambience on board was fantastic. I think that helped a lot. As far as tuning the boat goes, we haven’t done anything, it is just a standard model.”
Another really well sailed boat was Ostra – Oyster 53-23 (GBR) crewed by Ritchie Gatt and friends in Class 4. This team, who are using the regatta to ‘iron out any creases’ before the start of the ARC next month managed to keep the ever-threatening Peter Blackmore and team on Pied Piper – Oyster 49-12A (GBR) at bay. Although Team Pied Piper won the final race from Hugh Johnson on Nikitoo II – Oyster 54-19 (GBR), by just over a minute, Ostra sneaked ahead on the overall scoreboard by 1.25pts.
In his rounding up of the event, David Tydeman (Oyster Group CEO – Event Chairman-Race Officer) said the regatta has beaten all expectations: “It really has been one of the best regattas to date and we seemed to have achieved what we set out to do, in terms of attracting not only a large fleet but also a diverse fleet. From newcomers to sailing-those who’ve never raced before, to a selection of professional teams, this regatta has never been more accessible and we hope to welcome even more new Oyster owners to our next event."