Oyster Regatta – Grenada

April 22, 2013

Dreamer of Hamblewins the 31st Regatta.

20 Oysters arrived in the beautiful setting of Grenada for the 31st Regatta. This is a popular destination for Oysters with its great facilities and truly wonderful sailing conditions.

The flags of 5 nations proudly flew from the sterns as crews got to work with the chamois and polish for the Concours d’Elegance. With boats shinning brightly, owners and skippers headed to the briefing to hear about th eplans for the week.

Tuesday – Race One – Sponsored by Dolphin Sails
Start – Port Louis; Finish – Le Phare Bleu

The Dolphin Sails sponsored Race One started on time and in perfect conditions. The boats were treated to sunshine and 20kts. Class Two were first away and it was the two 575’s (Sophistikate and Dreamer of Hamble

) that went around the first mark together. Sophistikate just had the edge and both crews had to work hard on the reach down to Point Salines. Dreamertried various moves but couldnt do enough to pass the leading boat. From Point Salines it was a beat to the finish, Dreamer edged passed her rival and sailing a more offshore course Sarabi gained on both 575’s to win the class by just under a minute. All three boats are powered by Dolphin DYS Dyneema laminate sails.

It was even closer in Class One between the big boats. Matawai (655) sneaked through to win by just 3 seconds from Starry Night. In a very credible 3rd place was the husband and wife team on board Bill & Me

Wednesday – Race Two – Sponsored by Pelagos Yachts
Start – Le Phare Blue; Finish Port Louis

The course for Race Two was the reverse of the previous day. It started with a 2 mile beat, followed by a run down to Point Salines before a reach up to the finish. A number of boats opted to take the extra rating and fly their asymmetrics. It was a lovely sight as an array of colour, enhanced with some boats having logos on the sails.

In Class One Starry Night romped home winning by over 14 minutes on corrected time. Part of her success was down to the fact that she was able to fly the assy of the spinnaker pole allowing for a deeper sailing angle and therfore a shorter distance to Point Salines. Again, more than matching the race teams on board other boats was Bill & Me, she took 2nd place ahead of the 82 Rivendell

Class Two – Dreamer of Hamble got away to a flier and never looked back, she sailed the 2 mile beat perfectly and then poled out the headsail to ensure she made the corner in one at Point Salines finishing the race to record a very comfortable win. Sarabi also opted to go ‘white sails’ only – sailing the shorter distance allowed her to nip in front of a number of boats before th ereach up to the last mark. On the reach each boat worked hard to the sound of creaking sheets and whirling winches. Sarabi held of the 575 Sophistikate, 56 Stardust of Burnham and the Scottish crew on Jigsaw

Friday – Race Three – Sponsored by Lewmar

Start / Finish – Port Louis

The fleet was set a challenging course just outside the harbour, the gusty and shifty conditions kept the crews working hard

In Class Two it was not a case of how you started but how you finished. Chris Glossop time dthe start wrongly leaving Dreamer to be the last to cross the start line but with the boat speed he has shown in the previous two races he climbed through the fleet to take line honours and the win on handicap. The fight for second was intense, the 575 Sophistikate just edged ahead of Sarabi by 23 seconds.

Iw was so close in Class One that Matawai and Starry Night could not be separated on corrected time. Rivendell who had been one of the few boats to opt for downwind sails finished 3rd.

Saturday – Race Four – Sponsored by Raymarine
Start / Finish – Port Louis

With a perfect 20kt breeze a short course was set which would allow enough time in the afternoon for the fun pursuit race.

Yet again Class Two got away to a great start. Most boats opted for the Committe Boat end but it was the team on Dreamer who went for the pin and poled out the headsail. Sarabi and Sophistikate battled hard for the remaining podium place. By just 12 seconds Sophistikate took 2nd from the very consistent Sarabi. In fact Harvey, Sue ans Alice were never placed outside the top 3.

In Class One the three 82’s had a great tussle, Rivendell sailed a wonderful race to take the gun, but on corrected time Starry Night just pipped her and Ravenous II was only 13 seconds behind to claim 3rd.

Saturday – Pusuit Race – Prizes by Sailkote Plus

With the Class trophies all decided there was one more chance for boats to do battle and claim the chance for a free Sailkote Plus treament for a sail. Chief Race Officer, David Tydeman, set each boat off at their carefully calculated alloted time with the intention of a two hour race. On Liberty sailed perfectly to over take the early starters and hold off the challenge of the big boats.

Overall it was a magnificent Regatta, superbly organised and set in the beautiful location of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marine. Many congratulations go to the expertly sailed Dreamer of Hamble, helmed by owner Chris Glossop and crewed by the young team from Ireland.