Oyster Regatta – Palma 2014
A wide selection of Oysters arrived in Palma for the 34th Oyster Regatta. The long range forecast was for light winds interspersed with heavy rain, thankfully there is one thing that is normally wrong and that is the weather forecast! It proved to be sunny with perfect sailing winds that allowed Race Officer, David Tydeman, to complete the 5 race series with the bonus of a pursuit race on the final day. Each course was set up to test the crews sailing ability and tactical skills.
The excellent sailing conditions during the week allowed crews to dust off the offwind sails and add a huge splash of colour to proceedings. The Bay was full of great designs as either the sail was decorated with the boats markings or the owners home nation flag represented in the colour panel layout. With 11 nations represented it was easy to spot the Scottish boat with the red lion, the South African flag on the brand new 625 and the combined British and Norwegian entry. Other interesting designs included Spindrifts galloping horse and flowing mane, Lady Mariposa’s ornate butterfly design and the tiger stripes of the 625 Tiger.
It was interesting to watch the different launching methods employed by each crew. There were a number of Top Down furlers making life easy to deploy and douse the sail, but the majority used the traditional snuffer system. Being used for the first time at the Palma Regatta a number of boats had the Oxley inflatable snuffer system. The inflated bladder replaces the need for a hard and potentially dangerous GRP bucket. Two of the big boats with full race crew even opted to launch the asymmetric straight from the bag!
Results were tight all week with some races being decided by just 2 seconds on handicap and often boats were grouped with less than a minute being the difference between 2nd and 5th.
The Class Three battle was very impressive, only 5 points separated the top 5 boats. Spindrift flew out of the stalls in Race One and repeated her good form in Race Four, After a difficult first day the Scottish team bounced back from the disappointment of gear failure and a heavy night celebrating the owners special birthday to win Race Three. With her new owners sailing her for the first time the Holman & Pye designed Oyster 45 Yo Ho Ho finished the first day by winning the second race which is excellent bearing in mind she was using her original 18 year old Dolphin sails. With three generations on board the Polish entry SunSuSea sailed consistently throughout the Regatta and finished off the series with a win. The new 575 Silver Lining was only launched this summer and headed straight to the Med. The owners played down their previous racing experience and even arrived without an offwind sail. The plan was to keep it simple, race around with out incident and see how they got on. Counting only seconds and thirds Silver Lining sailed beautifully and took the overall class win by just three quarters of a point.
Class Two included six 625’s and four 655’s. Racing was very intense especially between the carbon rigged Lady Mariposa and Guardian Angel – with full race crews it was no surprise that these two slugged it out for the overall championship win. It was Lady Mariposa, helped by her Dolphin assy, that claimed the win by just three quarters of a point. There was not much to choose between the Dolphin supplied Great Bear V, Vamos, Delicia and iSNL for the remaining podium place. Vamos claimed 3rd in the final race to secure 3rd overall.
Class One was a battle of the new big boats, it was an imposing sight as they cut through the fleet. With four different winners the overall result very close. Clare, Reina, Karibu and Starry Night of the Caribbean all stood on the top of the podium. The 885 Karibu just did enough to take the overall win ahead of the beautiful new 825.
After racing with the better than expected weather many of the boats who had packed away the biminis were able to quickly deploy their boom awnings or Yacht Tensile Awnings before sitting back and enjoying a well deserved drink.
For another year running Dolphin Sails have shown the customer support that we have become so well known for. Three of the Dolphin team where on hand to sail and offer our support through out the 4 day regatta sailing on 12 different boats. The main purpose of sailing with our customers is so we see our product in action and to listen to the views and opinions of our the owners and crews. While on board we can help pass on our knowledge of sail tuning and boat set up to ensure that our different sail products are as good as they can be. By listening to our customers and seeing our product in action it allows us to stay at the front of the fleet in terms of product improvement and development. Throughout the series many of the podium places where taken by boats with Dolphin inventories proving that we also have a race winning edge in our sail design.
Thank you to Oyster, all the owners and crews for making it such a wonderful Regatta.
Event Sponsors: Dolphin Sails, Sailkote Plus, Lewmar, Raymarine, Pelagos, Pantaenius and Reckmann
For further details or to discuss your sail and cover plans please contact the Loft on 00 44(0)1255 384412 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos Credit : Oyster Yachts