Oyster News 53

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                                                                                           Oysters party in the BVI

                                                                                                OYSTER 82
                                                                                                 An inside look

                                                                                               NUTS ABOUT BRAZIL
                                                                                               South American Cruising

 JUNE 2004

                      O Y S T E R - W O R L D L E A D E R S I N D E C K S A L O O N C R U I S I N G YA C H T S
ON                                   CONTENTS
                                                                              FROM THE CHAIRMAN
                                                                              Richard Matthews

                                                                              NEWS ROUNDUP

                                                                         6    WINDBOATS ANNIVERSARY DINNER
                                                                              A history of the Norfolk Yard

                                                                         8    FLIRT’S CARIBBEAN SEASON
                                                                              Richard Matthews

                                                                         10   ANTIGUA CLASSIC WEEK
                                                                              Richard Matthews

                                                                         12   NATURE’S LITTLE SECRETS
                                                                              Roger Vaughan reports on
                                                                              Oyster’s BVI Regatta

                                                                         24   TABOO GOES TERRESTRIAL
                                                                              Louise May

                                                                         26   KNOWING WHAT TO DO
                                                                              Profile of Oyster 56 owner, Michael Stevenson
                                                                              Roger Vaughan

                                                                         36   NUTS ABOUT BRAZIL
                                                                              Cruising South America
  EDITOR                          CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
  Liz Whitman                     Roger Vaughan                               Stephen Thomas

  We publish Oyster News four times a year and we know
                                                                         44   THE NEW OYSTER 82
                                                                              An inside look
  from our readers that the articles they most enjoy reading
  about are the contributions from Oyster owners. If you have
  a story to tell or information about cruising in your Oyster
  please let me know. Photographs are always welcome with
                                                                         50   SONAR MIDWINTERS
                                                                              Hannah Stodel reports on
  or without a story. email: liz.whitman@oystermarine.com
                                                                              preparations for Athens 2004
  Oyster 56, Roulette; Oyster 70, Ravenous and the Oyster 62,
  Loblolly rounding Flanagan Island during the UBS Oyster
                                                                         53   OYSTER GROUP SKI TRIP
  BVI Regatta. Photo: Tim Wright                                              David Blacklaws

  Trevor and Anne Silver’s Oyster 56, Roulette, finishing race 3         54   JUST LAUNCHED
  off Guana Island during the UBS Oyster BVI Regatta.                         A selection of recently
  Photo: Tim Wright
                                                                              launched Oysters

  Oyster News is published by Oyster Marine Ltd.

  Oyster News is for promotional purposes only, privately circulated,
  and cannot form part of any contract or offer. Views, details and
  information herein are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher
  who will not be held responsible for the consequences of any
  error or omission. Pictures and illustrations are liable to show non
  standard equipment.

2 www.oystermarine.com
     Welcome to Oyster News, Issue 53,
     put together in some haste following our
     recent British Virgin Islands Regatta.
     The BVI provided great sailing and a week that everyone who took
     part agreed offered a good balance between fun ashore and time
     afloat. Antigua or the BVI next time? It’s a question we will have to
     answer soon but with three more Oyster Regattas this year – Newport
     in June, Cowes in July and Palma in September - we already have
     plenty to think about. In the meantime, if any of our Owners have any
     ideas for 2005 we’d love to hear from you.

     We hope you enjoy this edition as a "good read" - we particularly like
     Roger Vaughan’s profile of Michael Stevenson and Stephen Thomas's

26   article on Brazil. Just before going to press HRH The Duchess of
     Gloucester launched "Fizz of Cowes" the Oyster 53 of Jan and Anni
     Matthews (no relation). The Duchess said some very kind words
     about Oyster quality - more in our next issue.

     The season in the UK really is in full swing, we just took the cover off
     my Fife Pierrette now 105 years old and we will soon be doing those
     Friday evening races from home, which finish with more time in the
     pub than on the racecourse. Sailing is a great sport at every level
     whether its gliding up a creek at sunset of doing 19.8 knots down the
     crest of a wave in an Oyster 82, as reported in this edition.

     Our thanks as usual to those owners whose contributions appear in
     this issue. Please keep them coming and, on behalf of everyone at
     Oyster, wherever your bow wave is heading this summer, we wish you
     fair winds and good sailing.

44   Richard Matthews
     Founder and Chairman
     Oyster Marine

                                                            www.oystermarine.com 3
                                                                                                           19.8 KNOTS?
                                                                                                            – YOU MUST
                                                                                                             BE JOKING!

                                                             Skipper, Paul Bennett, reports on Cygnus’s first passage after leaving Fox’s Marina.

                                                             "We had a very fast passage from Cherbourg to Gibraltar and, whilst we had good
                                                             winds, there was nothing exceptional, we saw 30 knots true at one time when we did
                                                             our best speed. The boat is very long legged and particularly good in light airs; 7-8
                                                             knots true wind enables close reaching at 7+ knots. 12-14 knots true gives 10 knots,
                                                             and this makes for some good passage making. Everyone on board for the passage
                                                             helmed at boat speeds of over 15 knots and a couple of us had 17 knots on a few
                                                             occasions but, surprisingly, we were under autopilot when we hit 19.8 knots and, for the
                                                             non-believers, this is stored on the Raymarine ST 60 log, as the maximum speed
                                                             achieved! The boat remained light on the helm even when we were at maximum speeds.
                                                             She tracked well and has proven well mannered at all times."

                                                             61 Years together
               ALMOST THERE                                  and still sailing!
               Quest, Maurice and Eveline Frankefort’s       During Oyster’s BVI Regatta we were
               Oyster 62, arrived in Rhodes during April     privileged to share in the party for Oyster
               and the family are due to complete their      68, Kealoha, owners, Leslie and Joan
               circumnavigation returning to Cannes          Holliday, who celebrated their 61st
               on 13 June. Congratulations, especially       wedding anniversary on the last day of
               on setting sail with two children and         the event. We think they are probably
               returning home with three!                    our longest married owners, but if
               (See Oyster News Issue 48 for a profile       anybody can beat that we would like to
               on Maurice Frankefort)                        hear from you.

               The annual three day Brokerage Spring         The next major Oyster Brokerage event          the yachts on display selling as a direct
               Boat Show was held at our marina base         is the Autumn Brokerage Show at our            result of visitors seeing them during the
               in Ipswich in May. The many visitors          Southampton Yachts Services facility,          show. Entry space is limited, so if you
               used the show as a fantastic opportunity      held during the Southampton                    are thinking about selling your Oyster at
               to view fourteen high-quality, yachts         International Boat Show from 10 to 18          the end of the 2004 season contact
               from 43 ft to 61 ft, all available for sale   September. This event has fast become          Oyster Brokerage soon.
               through Oyster Brokerage - the                the premier event for buying and selling
               specialists in pre-owned Oyster Yachts.       pre-owned Oyster Yachts with most of
Entries are still coming in but already a fleet of over 40 Oysters is due to set sail at Oyster’s first
UK regatta, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes from 6-10 July. With racing starting
and finishing from the RYS start line off the Castle, spectators will be able to enjoy seeing the
                                                                                                            We are pleased to
fleet at close quarters.
                                                                                                            welcome some new,
                                                                                                            and not so new,
                                                                                                            members to our team.

                                                                  HUNGRY                                    ALAN HARMER
                                                                                                            After two years at sea skippering both
                                                                                                            an Oyster 62 and 66, Alan has returned

                                                                  FOR SPEED                                 to the fold as a Project Manager. Alan
                                                                                                            had previously been a Project Manager
                                                                                                            at Oyster for three years and before
                                                                  Bill Dockser owner of the Oyster          that had been a member of our
                                                                  70 Ravenous reports that she left         Commissioning team. With a wealth
                                                                  St. Maarten on Monday, 10 May             of experience, Alan will help manage
                                                                  at 9am and arrived in Annapolis           the build of some of the larger models
                                                                  on 17 May, at 5am. She did the            in the range.
                                                                  trip in less than 7 days - 99%
                                                                  under sail before she got to the
                                                                  Chesapeake - at an average daily
                                                                  speed of 220 miles a day. Bill
                                                                  says "The "old girl" has a lot of
                                                                  speed left in her". Speaking of
                                                                  speed, congratulations to Bill
                                                                  who won his class in this year’s
                                                                  Rolex Regatta.

NEWPORT REGATTA 10-13 JUNE                                                                                  MATTHEW MORGAN
                                                                                                            Joining us as a Project Manager,
                                                                                                            Matthew spent eight years as Boatyard
More than a dozen yachts are expected to take part in our first US Oyster Regatta. Based in the
Newport area, the event will start from the Hereshoff Maritime Museum in Bristol and visit Mystic           Manager at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht
Seaport and Block Island before returning to Newport where the New York Yacht Club will host a              Club. After leaving Hong Kong he rebuilt
prize giving dinner.                                                                                        his own yacht, from an insurance write-
                                                                                                            off wreck, which he and his girlfriend
                                                                                                            then sailed double-handed to New
                                                                                                            Zealand. Matthew recently left DK Yachts

GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY                                                                                       in Malaysia, where he was building high-
                                                                                                            tech, composite, racer-cruiser yachts as
                                                                                                            their Production Manager.

‘   Now in Moorea and having a nice easy time. Miss Molly behaving impeccably                               SARAH HARMER

                                                                                                            Joins us as Warranty Secretary
         and still looks brand new, out of the box. Rangiroa to Tahiti in 22 hours
                                                               David Hughes, owner, Oyster 66, Miss Molly   CLAIRE WATERS
                                                                                                            Joins us as IT assistant

                                                                                                            SIMON TUBBY – Joins us as
                                                                                                            Commissioning Assistant

                                                                                                            STEVE HOWELL - Moves
                                                                                                            from Commissioning to
                                                                                                            Assistant Warranty Manager

                                                                                                            JENNA CRAIG
                                                                                                            Moves from Warranty
                                                                                                            Secretary to After
                                                                                                            Sales Assistant

                                                                                                                                       Jenna Craig
Windboats                                                                              Anniversary Dinner

                                                                                       A H I S T O R Y O F W I N D B O AT S M A R I N E
                                                                                       1920 circa Graham Bunn, son of Wroxham boat builder, Herbert Bunn,
                                                                                                  founded the company after serving with the Southampton
                                                                                                  Power Boat Co. during World War I.
                                                                                       1923      Designed and built 40ft Broads passenger launch
                                                                                       1932      Company moved to the current Wroxham site
                                                                                       1934      First use of Windboat name on hire motor cruiser
                                                                                       1936      Exhibited at National Boat Show, part of the Motor Show
                                                                                                 at Olympia
                                                                                       1940      The lead Wroxham boatbuilder handling the issue of War
                                                                                                 Office contracts to other Wroxham Yards. Our current wood
                                                                                                 machine shop was the munitions Store, containing depth
                                                                                                 charges, torpedoes and other munitions. Built series of
                                                                                                 MFV’s during the war years.
                                                                                       1945      Windboats purchased by Donald Hagenbach. MA .Cantab.
                                                                                       1946      More modern design of hire fleet boat developed.
                                                                                       1954      Exhibited at inaugural London Boat Show at Olympia.
                   Richard Matthews presents Oliver James, Windboats’ Production
                       Director, with a gift from Oyster Marine to mark the occasion
                                                                                       1955      Built 44ft motor yacht for George Formby.
                                                                                       1956      Produced some of the first GRP boats in Norfolk.

  Windboats Marine, one of Oyster’s                                                    1957      Commenced building alloy boats.
                                                                                       1957      Built Yvancha, 67ft long, to Lloyds 100A1. The largest boat
  family of suppliers, recently held a                                                           ever built on the Broads at that time.
                                                                                       1958      Windboats became founder members of the Ship and
                                                                                                 Boatbuilders National Federation.
  multiple anniversary celebration.                                                    1960      Commenced Ferro-cement construction under trade name
  For Managing Director, Trevor James, this is his 50th year in the                    1961      Built alloy motorboat for Prince Rainier of Monaco.
  marine industry, the 40th since he joined Windboats Marine, the                      1962      Donald Hagenbach appointed President of the Ship and
                                                                                                 Boatbuilders National Federation.
  30th since he purchased Windboats and last, but by no means
                                                                                       1963      First (Ferro-cement) Seacrete boat ever exhibited at London
  least, the Windboats yard have recently completed fitting out
                                                                                                 Boat Show.
  their 200th Oyster.
                                                                                       1964      Trevor James joins Windboats as Manager of Seacrete
  Windboats is very much a family business run by Trevor and his                       1964      Lloyds 100 A1 awarded to Seacrete motor yacht.
  wife Yvonne and, in recent years, their son, Oliver, who joined                      1966      Trevor James appointed Director of Windboats.
  the company in 1995. Over 200 guests, including a large party                        1969      Hire fleet boats sold, ending 50 years involvement with
  from Oyster Marine, Windboats staff and marine industry                                        Blakes Holidays.
  suppliers, enjoyed an evening of celebration and reminiscing.                        1969      Built Trixie, 75ft twin-screw motor yacht, to Lloyds 100A1.
                                                                                                 Largest pleasure yacht built on the Broads.
  In recent years, the yard has committed 100% of its production                       1971      First Endurance 35 built. Over 100 Endurances built over the
                                                                                                 next ten years at 35ft, 40ft, 45ft and 55ft in length.
  to Oyster and Richard Matthews was happy to reply on behalf of
                                                                                       1973      First exhibited at Southampton Boat Show
  the guests. Looking back over Trevor’s time in the boatbuilding
                                                                                       1974      Trevor James. C Eng. MRINA. Purchased the manufacturing
  industry, he concluded that Trevor had in fact spent three
                                                                                                 side of Windboats. Previously, Indentured Ships
  whole years of his life inside Earls Court, whilst attending the                               Draughtsman with Rowhedge Ironworks in 1955, he became
  London Boat shows!                                                                             Naval Architect and Chief Ships Draughtsman before joining
                                                                                                 Windboats in 1964.

6 www.oystermarine.com                                                                                          Trevor James and Frank Berry. Now retired after over 20
                                                                                                                   years service, Frank remains a Director of Windboats.
                                                                              B RO K E R A G E
                                                                          International Specialists in Pre-owned Oyster Yachts

                                                                              9 AM OW RA
                                                                           - 1 TH SH KE
                                                                         10 SOU AT RO

                                                                                   EM N
                                                                                 PT TO
                                                                                BO ER B

                                                                               SE P
                                                   Trevor and
                                                   Yvonne James

1976   65ft Research Trawler, designed by Trevor James, built for
       Solomon Islands in the Pacific. Vessel delivered the 15,000
       miles on own bottom. Handed over to the Solomon Island
       Government by HM Queen Elizabeth II
1977   First of a series of three-quarter ton Dick Carter designed
       yachts built.
1977   Built pontoons in Seacrete for Norfolk Naturalists Trust Centre
       based at Ranworth. Opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
1979   Windboats complete 25 years continuous attendance at the
       London Boat Show.
1983   First boat built for Oyster Marine, three-quarter ton SJ 35,
       the first of many.
1984   Built last Seacrete boat. Over 1000 different structures built
       in Seacrete in that time.
1991   Purchase all of rented premises.
1993   Built 100th Oyster.                                                   Oyster Brokerage Boat Show
1993   Built first of ten Nelson motor yachts.                                    Southampton 10 – 19 September
1995   Trevor’s son, Oliver James Bsc, joins company.
2000   Increase size of yard by purchasing original Seacrete                  Oyster Brokerage will be holding its annual show of pre-owned
       building shop and adjacent buildings.                                 Oyster Yachts at Saxon Wharf, the home of Southampton Yacht
                                                                             Services, during the main Southampton International Boat Show.
2002   Built new workshop to construct larger Oysters.
2004   Twenty-one years of continuous Oyster construction.                    The Oyster Brokerage Boat Show has fast become the premier
       Complete build of 200th Oyster.                                       event for buying or selling a pre-owned Oyster with the majority
2004   Trevor James completes 40 years at Windboats, 30 years                          of yachts on display selling as a direct result.
       ownership of Windboats and commences 50th year in the
       Marine Industry.                                                       If you are seriously considering selling or buying a pre-owned
                                                                                   Oyster, please call Oyster Brokerage for more details.

                                                                                              OYSTER BROKERAGE
                                                                              FOX’S MARINA, IPSWICH, SUFFOLK IP2 8SA ENGLAND
                                                                                 TEL: +44 (0)1473 602263 FAX: +44 (0)1473 603192

                                                                                           OYSTER BROKERAGE USA
                                                                             5 MARINA PLAZA, GOAT ISLAND, NEWPORT RI 02840 USA
                                                                                    TEL: +1 401 846 7400 FAX: +1 401 846 7483

                                                                                                   AN OYSTER GROUP COMPANY
                         Caribbean Circuit
                                         Speaking about Flirt, our 49ft
                                         racer, I was quoted in the
                                         May issue of Yachting World
                                         as saying, "She’s had more
                                         nips and tucks than a
                                         Hollywood has-been".

                                         Last year, Rob Humphreys very graciously
                                         agreed to review the lines of our Corby-
                                         designed hull, the result being we chopped
                                         fifteen inches off her stern and gave her a
                                         much fatter back end. These modifications
                                         were undertaken at Oyster’s SYS yard and
                                         last year Flirt had her moments, winning the
                                         Queen’s Cup at Cowes Week and the
                                         Ramsgate Gold Cup amongst others.

                                         For 2004 Rob Humphreys helped again with
                                         a re-designed, deeper bow and an all-new
                                         keel, of T-configuration, with a very low
                                         centre of gravity. This work was undertaken
                                         at Fox’s Marina and Flirt was duly shipped
                                         across the Atlantic in time for the Heineken
                                         Regatta in St Maarten.

                                         Flirt competes reasonably well in the UK
                                         under the IRC rule but, in the Caribbean,
                                         races are sailed under their own local CSA
                                         (Caribbean Sailing Association) rule that is

We race our owners get the results!
8 www.oystermarine.com              Photo: Tim Wright
hugely disadvantageous to us. Aera, a 55ft racer, gave us two
                                                                         Galleon House
minutes per hour, while we were giving some new 45ft racers five                             ANTIGUA
minutes. Although Flirt is seriously fast for a 49-footer, somehow,
apart from a few third places when we sailed exceptionally well,
results eluded us.

The honour is of course in the taking part and, in the events we
sailed in, the Heineken in St Maarten; the Rolex Regatta in St
Thomas; the BVI Spring Regatta and, of course, Antigua Sailing
Week we enjoyed some outstanding sailing against some very well
sailed competition. The highest speed achieved was 20 knots,
spinnaker reaching down the back of St Maarten, the lowest
0 knots where the fleet lay becalmed for almost an hour during
Antigua Sailing Week – so much for Trade Wind sailing!

We had a top crew including Andy Beadsworth, Harold Cudmore,
Andy Green and Nik Pearson - all ex GB America’s Cup, as well as
Neil Macklay from North Sails, and our good friends Matthew
Vincent from Dolphin Sails and Rob Humphreys who both joined us
for the BVI Spring Regatta.

Looking back on our four Caribbean Regattas, Antigua Sailing
Week stands out as the event with the best sailing and social
agenda. From the viewpoint of Oyster owners wanting to ‘have a
go’ Antigua also offers a genuine cruiser class, where the choice of
using a spinnaker or cruising chute remains optional. There were
several Oysters taking part in this year’s Antigua Sailing Week,
while our track record of twice being the top scoring yacht in the
                                                                          Available for Rental
entire regatta, all classes, remains.                                        In a tranquil, private setting Galleon House is in ‘pole’
                                                                              position overlooking English Harbour and about two
                                                                                 minutes from Nelson’s Dockyard by water taxi.
For many years we have claimed that our various racing campaigns
directly benefit the Oyster range. As an example, take our carbon           Tastefully furnished, air-conditioned, accommodation
spars which, until the early 1990’s when first introduced into the             includes five bedrooms and two sitting rooms.
America’s Cup, were practically unheard of. Today Oyster’s                 Amenities include a covered patio area, freshwater pool,
                                                                                        satellite TV and Maid Service.
supplier, Hood Yacht Spars, has invested in new technology
enabling them to build much lighter spars as well as their well-                 Special rates available for Oyster Owners
proven Hood Stoway in-mast furling rigs in carbon. Lighter rigs in
cruising yachts mean greater stability and less pitching.                           Contact Sally Morton for further details

At Oyster, construction systems have been the subject of much
research and development in recent years in an effort to gain an
understanding of how to save weight, while at the same time
maintaining the reputation for strength and reliability, which is an
Oyster hallmark. Flirt is built from sixty-degree, post cure, pre-preg
carbon epoxy and knowledge and experience gained with her has
been directly applied to our newest designs such as the Oyster 72.

Non-overlapping sail plans and very low centre-of-gravity keels are
other areas where the cumulative experiences over our last few
racing projects are being applied to making Oyster yachts sail
faster without any concession to strength, reliability or comfort.
Racing or cruising an Oyster will always be an Oyster.
                                                                                          OYSTER PROPERTIES LTD
                                                  Richard Matthews
                                                                          FOX’S MARINA    IPSWICH SUFFOLK IP2 8SA              ENGLAND
                                                                            TEL: +44 (0) 1473 688888 FAX: +44 (0) 1473 686861
                                                                                   EMAIL: properties@oystermarine.com
    Antigua Classic
   The 17th Antigua Classic Regatta
   took place the weekend before
   Antigua Sailing Week.

   Well supported, as ever, the smallest yacht in
   the event was just 23ft, while the Sprit of
   Tradition class had four yachts over 100ft -
   the J-Class, Velsheda and the new Ranger,
   Windrose and Cambria

   My partner Denette and I had the good
   fortune to meet the owner of Cambria in
   Cowes, at the home of ex-America’s Cup
   skipper Harold Cudmore. Harold knew John
   David, Cambria’s Australian owner, and
   arranged for all three of us to sail aboard for
   the Classic Regatta.

   I have a half share in the 105-year-old
   Pierrette, like Cambria a Fife design, although
   I was soon trimmed down to size when we
   worked out that my Fife at 27ft was probably
   shorter than Cambria’s bowsprit.

   Cambria was built in 1928 as a 23 Metre and,
   with the revival of interest in the J-Class in
   recent years, she has now measured into the         The magnificent 1928 Fife, Cambria
                                                       Photo: Tim Wright
   J-Class joining Shamrock, Endeavour and
   Velsheda, the latter having been completely
   rebuilt by Oyster’s own SYS yard in                tons more weight then her illustrious              Brad Butterworth, was sailing aboard Ranger
   Southampton.                                       predecessor and has 4 inches more                  with a pro crew, including a bevy of current
                                                      freeboard. She also carries a rather               America’s Cup talent.
   The ‘new kid on the block’ was a recently          unflattering doghouse that breaks her classic
   launched replica of Ranger, the so-called          lines, but with the legendary snub bow she         Cambria has twin engines and her skipper
   "super J" of the 1930’s. I’ve been fascinated by   still looks and sails like a racing heavyweight.   Peter Mandalin showed real skill in getting
   the J -Class since childhood, and today our                                                           our enormous fisherman’s anchor unset and
   Persian cats are named Ranger and Shamrock.        Cambria with her Dacron sails, long bowsprit       manoeuvring all 130ft of her out of our stern-
                                                      and triple headed rig could never match the        to berth at the Antigua YC Marina. Cambria
   The new Ranger was built in Denmark and it         pace of Velsheda and Ranger with their state       does have some hydraulic winches for jib
   appears her owner may have fallen into the         of the art rigs and North 3DL laminated sails.     and mainsail sheeting, but in most respects
   trap of wanting everything, including the          How about US$200,000 for a mainsail!               her rig is very much original.
   kitchen sink, within. These yachts were            These J-Class owners are the heavy hitters
   originally built as 100% flat out racers and it    of the sailing world who really do want to         Ian Murray, our helmsman on Cambria,
   appears the new Ranger, beautiful as she           beat the other guy whatever it costs. Ex           is well known to every Australian sailor and
   undoubtedly is, weighs in with perhaps 20-30       Team New Zealand, now Alinghi tactician,           was involved with the yacht’s refit about

10 www.oystermarine.com
Week                                                                                                sensibly decided that, in view of the
                                                                                                    imminent change of ownership and the fact
                                                                                                    that the mainsail only had one row of reefs, it
                                                                                                    was time to call off the chase and head for
                                                                                                    the shelter of Falmouth Harbour.

                                                                                                    IT’S A GENTLEMAN’S SPORT!
                                                                                                    Meanwhile, the battle at the front of the fleet
                                                                                                    continued with Velsheda touching a mark,
                                                                                                    seen by Ranger and most of her crew, but
                                                                                                    strangely not seen by her helmsman. Ranger
                                                                                                    flew a protest flag but looked oddly down at
                                                                                                    the stern and up at the bow. After the race
                                                                                                    Ranger was unable to start her engine and
                                                                                                    called for a tow. The rescue and mark laying
                                                                                                    boat suggested she should anchor a while,
                                                                                                    since a tow would not be available until after
                                                                                                    the last yacht had completed the race. At
                                                                                                    that point Ranger was forced to admit they
                                                                                                    had left two tons of ground tackle on the
                                                                                                    dock that morning so had no anchor!
                                                                                                    Where we sail they call that cheating, but
                                                                                                    perhaps it’s all part of the game in the
                                                                                                    J-Class, one hopes not. Certainly protesting
                                                                                                    a fellow competitor for clipping a mark while
                                                                                                    your own anchor and ground tackle was left
                                                                                                    ashore to save weight might seem a bit rich
                                                                                                    to put it mildly. They used to refer to
                                                                                                    yachting in the J-Class era as the sport of
ten years ago. At the start of race 2 we hit the   For the third and final race the wind had        gentlemen. Certainly the yachts remain but
line doing 11.5 knots with Velsheda and            increased to 20 knots, gusting 25, and we        one is left wondering just how badly their
Ranger overlapping us just ahead. Mike Rose,       enjoyed the most incredible sight at the start   owners want to win.
the race officer came back on VHF "Velsheda        with the three J-Class yachts overlapped
and Ranger, you were over the line"! Magic.        together with Windrose, a 120ft schooner.        The Antigua Classic Regatta is a wonderful
                                                   Four yachts, each well over 100ft, thundering    opportunity for some beautiful classic yachts
Under the regatta rules, like the Oyster           across the line at 12-13 knots was truly a       to show their paces under ideal sailing
regattas, if a boat is ‘over early’ they must      freeze frame from a bygone era. What a           conditions. Many of these yachts are
ease their sheets and drop to the back of          privilege to stand on one of the most            maintained in close to new condition thanks
the fleet before rejoining the race. Neither       beautiful yachts in the world and witness this   to the hard work of the crews. Cambria had a
Velsheda nor Ranger bothered with this             spectacle of sailing power.                      crew of six full time professionals so I guess
formality and were duly penalised 5                                                                 the varnish should look pretty good. Fair
minutes each by the race committee.                Cambria had been sold and this was to be         winds to Cambria wherever her new owner
Velsheda soundly beat Ranger for the               her finale with John David who has owned         takes her.
second day in a row with our beautiful             her for ten glorious years. With the wind
Cambria a gracious third.                          gusting 25 knots, Cambria’s afterguard                                      Richard Matthews

                                                                                                                                www.oystermarine.com 11
                             nature’s little
                             T H E U B S O Y S T E R R E G AT TA
                             BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

         ROGER VAUGHAN       Man is a creature of habit, and in these quicksilver days he is
                             somewhat desperate for traditions to embrace, so there was some risk
               REPORTS ON    involved in holding Oyster’s fourth Caribbean regatta somewhere other
                             than Antigua, where three excellent UBS regatta weeks had gone into
          OYSTER’S FIRST     the record books. One could sense the brows furrowing among the
                             Caribbean regulars when they received notification that the British
               BVI REGATTA
                             Virgin Islands, not Antigua, would be hosting Oyster. But thirty owners
                             took the plunge, and they were very glad they did.

        Bill Dockser’s Oyster 70, Ravenous,
              at the head of the Class 1 fleet
        rounding Flanagan Island in Race 2
                          ‘ Thank you for a fantastic UBS
                          Oyster Regatta in the BVIs. Both
                              on and off the water everyone
                                         had a great time
                                  Colin Hall, Oyster 406, Boysterous

14 www.oystermarine.com
                                                                                                        THE UBS OYSTER REGATTA BVI 2004

t                he BVI is flat out gorgeous to
                 begin with. It’s one of those
                 unusual destinations where
                 much of what the public
                 relations people write in the
                 brochures is actually an
                 understatement. There are
some sixty islands in this little group nestled
between the east coast of Puerto Rico and
the beginning of the Leeward Island chain.
Sixteen of them are inhabited. The USB
Oyster Regatta visited four of them – Tortola,
the biggest (capital: Road Town); Norman
Island; Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke – just
                                                      Ask Liz Whitman, who directed the Oyster
                                                      event. She had to make several complicated
                                                      arrangements for dinners and parties by long
                                                      distance, and no one let her down.

                                                      For all its economic organisation, there
                                                      remains something mysterious about BVI
                                                      lending a seductive appeal for those who like
                                                      their paths less travelled. BVI’s beguiling
                                                      slogan, "Nature’s Little Secrets," imprinted on
                                                      the licence plates, quickly begins to make
                                                      sense. There are small, vacant beaches
                                                      sparkling bright white in the sun around every
                                                      corner, and many steep hillsides with no sign
                                                                                                                               Oyster 435, Bermuda Oyster

                                                                                                        water are set off by the white space of all
                                                                                                        those beaches. Not to mention the electric,
                                                                                                        clean blue sky where fluffy clumps of the
                                                                                                        whitest clouds are usually on station over the
                                                                                                        islands, creating an ever-changing backdrop
                                                                                                        for the soaring of frigate birds and the crash-
                                                                                                        diving of pelicans. At day’s end when the sun
                                                                                                        blessedly loses its power to roast, the
a scratch on the surface. After finally seeing        of man’s presence. The colours here are           dramatic play of light rivets one’s attention.
this place, and wondering what took him so            classic Caribbean to the max – the soft green     As Oyster’s head of sales, Joint Managing
long to get there, this sailor can’t wait to          foliage of the jagged terrain, and the dazzling   Director Murray Aitken, said one enchanted
spend several months afloat exploring the             blues and unearthly greens of the translucent     evening, "It’s hard to take it all in."
rest of the islands.

It’s not like the BVI hasn’t been discovered.
The Dutch were the original settlers. British
planters took control of the group in 1666,
and it remained part of the Leeward Islands
colony until 1956 when the islands became a
separately administered entity. BVI is still
under British control, more or less. Everyone
drives on the left side of the road, but they
do business with US dollars. There are
several very smart resorts, a pack of salty-
dog bars, a good-sized charter fleet, and the
usual scuba and parasailing outfits. All that is
par for anywhere in the Caribbean, but those
who ply the BVI’s tourist trade understand
the need to provide good value, from
specifics (food, service) to attitude. Ashore,
BVI tends to be pricey, but it’s pricey with a
smile, and that makes a world of difference.

          Oyster 53, Janus and Oyster 39, Severance

                                                                                                                     ‘  The spinnaker was brand new from
                                                                                                                     Dolphin Sails, the anti-fouling was 24
                                                                                                                     hours old on day 1 and our race
                                                                                                                     positions during the week - 4-3-2-1 -
                                                                                                                     reflect the diminishing weight of the
                                                                                                                     boat as the beers were drunk!
                                                                                                                     Phil Fleming, Oyster Lightwave 48, Boysterous of
                                                                                                                     Lymington, on winning the UBS Trophy for Class 2

                                                                    chaired the skippers meeting on the upper        On Tuesday, race officer Alan Brook sent the
               Oyster Lightwave 48, Boysterous of Lymington         deck of Peg Leg’s Restaurant. He stressed        fleet off to a finish at Pirate’s Bight on
                                                                    the need for safety while maneuvering the        Norman Cay. There was wind, which
                                                                    heavy Oysters in close quarters.                 surprised everyone including the weather
      But thirty Oyster owners, families, friends,                                                                   man, whose dire prediction had been for a
      and crews gave it their best shot during the                 Most of the crews had arrived at Peg Legs         week of calm. It wasn’t the 25-knot
      six-day regatta that began April 5, with a                   early, and discovered the specialty of the        screaming reaches the Oysters had enjoyed
      rendezvous at Nanny Cay marina on Tortola.                   island, a drink (that came in a keeper mug        at Antigua last year (many owners were
      One boat had a mishap on the way. Pete and                   imprinted with the recipe) called a               relieved by that missing element), but 10 to
      Katherine Savage’s Oyster 62, Venture, was                   "Painkiller." Declan O’Sullivan (Pelagos          15 knots of wind moved the boats
      sideswiped by a Cuban freighter off St.                      Yachts) reported that the 12-ounce version        comfortably.
      Maarten. The crew was on deck, the Savages                   was the small one. A concoction of pineapple
      in their bunks, when the unlit, 250-foot vessel              and orange juice, coconut cream, nutmeg –         The race to Norman Island, like most of the
      snuck up on their starboard quarter in the dark              and oh yes, a healthy splash of Pussar’s rum      races, was sailed in Sir Francis Drake
      of night. Suddenly it was on top of them. It                 – it went down like a dessert, and tasted like    Channel, a 20-mile long body of friendly
      took a chunk out of Venture’s bow, raked the                 more. That evening Peg Legs provided              water that runs east-northeast and west
      side and splintered the teak cap rail, somehow               cocktails and a gourmet presentation of hors      south-west. The Channel is only four or five
      leaving the rig in place. Then it motored on, a              d’ouvres under tents on the beach, followed       miles across, and nicely protected by islands
      hit-and-runner. Aroused, the crew of Venture                 by a delicious buffet dinner on the deck.         on all sides. The big rollers that tend to build
      gave chase. Only when one of the flares they                                                                   off Antigua were absent.
      fired landed on the freighter did the vessel                 There is such a feeling of celebration at these
      slow. It seems no one had been on the bridge.                Oyster regattas around the world that bring
      The vessel was impounded by the Coast                        together collections of unique yachts and
      Guard. With Oyster’s assistance, Venture                     those who love them. More and more families
      received an excellent temporary repair in St.                are taking part, with children and
      Maarten. But Venture, having won her class in                grandchildren on board, adding an
      the last Marion/Bermuda Race, wasn’t fit to                  attractive generational spread
      compete in this regatta. The Savages were                    to the greater Oyster family.
      disappointed, but very aware of their good                   The racing is good fun, and
      fortune, under the circumstances.                            ever more keenly contested.
                                                                   But just being there is as
      Owners and crews had spent Monday                            rewarding as any hunk
      scrubbing and polishing for the Concours                     of silver. Old
      d’ Elegance judging that took place that                     friendships are
      afternoon. One of the judges, Will White                     rekindled, and
      (After Sales support, Oyster USA) warned me                  new ones are
      that walking the docks without sunglasses                    forged
      was downright dangerous, so glittering was                   throughout
      the chrome, so sparkling was the varnish.                    the week.
      Oyster founder and CEO Richard Matthews

   16 www.oystermarine.com            Pirates party winners- Gabriele and Patrick
                                        Fiorentino with their crew Inke and Robin
From top: Oyster 70, Ravenous, Oyster 62, Loblolly, Oyster 62,   www.oystermarine.com 17
Oystercatcher XXIV, Oyster 66, Magic Dragon

                                  Sailing within the islands was both
                                  picturesque, and smooth going. But with the
                                  wind effected by the cuts between islands,
                                  and a bit of current running from the
                                  northeast, tactics in the Channel were

                                  Despite the breeze, racing was hot work.
                                  Those who kept their biminis up were slowed
                                  a bit by the windage, but the shade was well
                                  worth it. We slathered on many ounces of
                                  factor 30 and 40, got out the big-brimmed
                                  hats, and still felt the sun’s sting. On board
                                  Dick and Sally Morgan’s Blue Destiny, after a
                                  fine run under a big spinnaker version of the
                                  Welsh flag (a red, fire-breathing dragon on an
                                  emerald green field), we barely had the
                                  anchor set in Pirate’s Bight before we jumped
                                  over the side. The water had a welcome chill.

                                  Ashore, Bob Marston (Oyster Brokerage USA)
                                  and Robin Campbell (Director, Oyster Marine
                                  USA) had the beach games underway. The
                                  Lilo raft races were a big hit with the kids –
                                  eleven youngsters were in attendance at the
                                  regatta – but the bigger kids preferred playing
                                  water golf, a game that had been transported
                                  from its permanent location on Tortola. The
                                  idea is to chip balls off the beach toward an
                                  old military life raft target anchored 40 yards
                                  out. Around the life raft is a ring of buoys.
                                  Landing the ball inside the buoys is worth 10
                                  points. Hitting the raft counts 20. And into the
                                  raft is 50 points. Floating golf balls that hit
                                  just like the real thing, and a person in a
                                  kayak who retrieves them makes the game
                                  possible. Boats formed teams, and there was
                                  a line at the "chipping range" until sunset.

                                  The best thing about Pirates’ Bight is the
                                  bar/restaurant barely 50 feet back from the
                                  beach. Its broad, covered porch full of tables
                                  and chairs was a welcome sight. One could
                                  sit back, enjoy a “painkiller” after all that hard
                                  racing and golf, and marvel at the bulk of St.
                                  John’s Island (USVI) looming just a few miles

   18                             Oyster 56, Roulette and Oyster 68, Kealoha of Whitby
‘   More and more families
are taking part, with children
and grandchildren on board,
adding a generational spread
to the Oyster family

                                                                                                           Dick and Sally Morgan’s Oyster 56, Blue Destiny

                                                Race two started off Norman Island and would         good reason. Suddenly there’s a stretch of
                                                finish to the northeast off a little island called   coast that looks unlike any other terrain
                                                Fallen Jerusalem. In the interest of having a        anywhere in the islands. No one has figured
                                                reaching start, the fleet first went west to         out how it got that way. At first one suspects
                                                round tiny Flanagan’s Island, little more than a     the engineers from Disney have come in and
                                                hunk of rock. On board Molly and Terry King-         built enormous smooth fibreglass boulders all
                                                Smith’s Dorado (Oyster 62), we held an inside        over the beach. Some are big as Oyster 56
to the northwest. No sooner had the sun
                                                position and gained four boats at the turn. We       hulls, and balanced upon one another two
gone down than the bar was crowded with...
                                                could sense the bottom closing on the keel as        and three high. But these granite formations
pirates! Liz Whitman had announced a fancy
                                                Terry confidently guided the big boat over the       are the real thing. Walking among them and
dress competition, and the response was
                                                shallows. Then we hardened up and began              crawling into the eerily-lit grottos where the
enthusiastic. A more gnarly bunch would
                                                the long weather leg. Once again, there was          sea floods in to make delightful, waist-deep
have been hard to find. Johnny Depp would
                                                wind in the 12 knot range, just enough to put        pools, is like being on another planet.
have felt right at home. Wigs, eye-patches,
                                                Dorado’s shoulder to the task. On board were         Georgina and Katie, who had been to The
faux parrots, ear-hoops and rubber cutlasses
                                                Molly and Terry's son, Richard, his wife Ally,       Baths before, were good guides.
abounded. It appeared that Oyster’s
                                                and their two girls, Georgina (7) and Katie (5).
Customer Care Manager Eddie Scougal’s
                                                They spent the weather leg watching Babe             It was another hour’s sail to the night’s
glittering eye patch might have done previous
                                                down below.                                          anchorage at the famous Bitter End Yacht
work as a thong, but his lips were sealed.
                                                                                                     Club in North Sound. Bitter End began as a
                                                We finished at Fallen Jerusalem in good time,        shore-front pub and a few cottages built by
                                                and sailed on to the southwest side of Virgin        yachtsman Basil Symonette in the late 1950s.
                                                Gorda, where the famous Baths are located.           The concept was rough: paper sheets and
                                                Terry launched the dinghy and Molly ferried          lights provided by generator. Taken over by
                                                Richard, Ally, the girls and me to the beach,        another yachtsman and his wife – Myron and
                                                where a strong surge required that we swim           Bernice Hokin – in the 1970s, today it is
                                                ashore. The Baths are highly touted, and with        famous as a watersports' resort, with fleets
                                                                                                     of one design sailboats and sailboards that
                                                                                                     are often used in pro-am events, in addition
                                                                                                     to diving, chartering, fishing, excursions, and
                                                                                                     other activities. And Bitter End has a great
                                                                                                     activity schedule for kids. It was an ideal spot
                                                                                                     for an Oyster lay day, one that was
                                                                                                     welcomed after cocktails, a buffet dinner that
                                                                                                     featured fresh kingfish hot off the barbecue,
                                                                                                     and limbo dancing into the night.

                                                                                                     The lay day highlight was one-design racing
                                                                                                     on North Sound as regatta sailors flocked to
                                                                                                     the 4-person Hunter 21s, and single-handed
                                                                                                     Lasers. The fleet of 12 Lasers had a series of
                                                                                                     six races, and featured a nip and tuck battle

                                                                                                                                    www.oystermarine.com 19

                      Pirates of the Caribbean - Oyster style

      between UBS representative, Sean Goodlet,
      and Todd Merrill from the crew of Casey and
      Melanie Fannin’s Bliss (Oyster 56). Either
      sailor would rank at the top of most Laser
      fleets, and it was a pleasure to watch them
      handle the boats. Merrill took the prize in the
      end, but the two were never more than a
      point apart.

      For the rest, it was a day to relax on the
      beach, take walks, or attend to the more
      mundane duties of cruising, like laundry.
      Except for Bill Dockser (Ravenous, Oyster
      70), who found himself on a beach where a
      large "condo" ship called the Sea Dreams
      Yacht Club was having a caviar party.
                                                                                                                              Poolside cocktail party, Bitter End Yacht Club
      Dockser says he slipped into the crowd with
      a smile, waded up to the big floating table of
      caviar and champagne and helped himself.                  The anchorage at Great Bay, on Jost Van               Then the Shanglo Band took over, and the
      When they called for a group photo, Dockser               Dyke, was the most crowded of the regatta.            two players sang a dozen cool songs you
      was front and centre, glass raised on high.               That’s because Great Bay is the home of               never heard non-stop for hours over a pre-
      He had to laugh afterwards. "They’re going to             Foxy’s famous Beach Bar, a barefoot saloon            recorded rhythm track. They sang beautifully
      be wondering, ‘who the hell is this guy?’ "               and restaurant festooned with the remains of          together. They rocked into the night, and the
                                                                every flag and T-shirt remnant and personal           dance floor was jammed. Those not dancing
      For Race 3, the weatherman turned out to be               card ever made, and that’s just the beginning         were upstairs in the Upper Crust Room
      right. There was very little wind, which made it          of the decor. Foxy’s is funky down home               enjoying ribs the size of winch handles.
      a scorcher. Aboard Patrick and Gabriele                   central, el tourista trappo grandé, but one
      Fiorentino’s Talisman (Oyster 61), we took                you’re glad to experience. And there was old          It was a short hop over to Nanny Cay the
      smug satisfaction knowing that sailing without            Foxy himself, pushing 80 or maybe 100                 next day, and that was lucky because the
      the bimini made us faster, but even so it was a           years, on stage with his guitar beside a              wind was still off sulking somewhere. Back
      hot, slow ride down the length of Sir Francis             frightfully realistic life-sized stuffed replica of   home at Peg Legs, the focus for the final
      Drake Channel. A slice of crew Inka Neilson's             himself, rasping out a couple songs. Blink            cocktail party on the beach was
      perfect cheesecake in mid-afternoon saved                 and you missed him. Foxy has been known               photographer Tim Wright’s slide show of the
      the day. Oyster racing in adverse conditions is           to panhandle the customers just for laughs,           weeks’ events. To a chorus of appreciative
      tough, let me tell you.                                   but this night he cut out after his gig.              oohs and aahs, Tim projected more than a

   20 www.oystermarine.com
‘   No sooner had the sun gone
down than the bar was
crowded with … pirates. Wigs,
eye-patches, faux parrots,
earings and rubber cutlasses
abounded. Johnny Depp would
have felt right at home
hundred crisp, digital images on a sail hung
for the purpose. Then everyone was eagerly
seated by team under large tents as Richard
Matthews, with microphone in hand,
approached a table groaning with glittering
trophies. Just as he was about to begin the
awards, Miss BVI appeared, crown in place,
adding glamour to the gathering. The
impressive 22 year-old, Dian Sanderson, won
her title at the August Festival in Road Town,
two weeks of carnival celebrating the islands’
heritage. She wowed the judges in bathing
suit, evening gown, and "business attire"
categories. For the talent portion, she danced
on moco jumbie sticks. She’ll go on to the
Miss Universe competition. She would be
handing out several of the awards for Oyster.

The award ceremony is always a highlight of an
Oyster regatta because of the number of
elegant trophies, and the fact there are so
many winners. Boats that finish first to fourth in
each class in each race are awarded, as well as
overall winners. Each day’s racing is
sponsored, and Lewmar’s Robert Hill; Dolphin
Sails’ Matthew Vincent; Pantaenius’ John
McCurdy; Hood Yacht Spars’ John Boyce
presented the silver plates and cups (Pelagos’
Declan O’Sullivan had to leave that afternoon).
UBS’s Sean Goodlet presented the overall
awards, the magnificent antique silver trophies.
(see page 22 for results). Excitement always
runs high for the awards. As Richard says, "It’s
not quite a night at the Oscars, but close to it."
Oyster is actually two up on the Oscars: while
winners might brandish trophies, there are no
victory speeches. And Richard sings better
than Billy Crystal.

Dinner was served on the beach under the
tents. Afterwards, there was an early retreat
to the bunks. As she walked down the dock
toward her boat, Gabriele Fiorentino said,
"I'm going to have to sleep for a week to
recover from this." But she was smiling.

                                Roger Vaughan

                                                     The 62, Oystercatcher XXV - a veteran of four Oyster Regattas   www.oystermarine.com 21
                                               Concours winners
                                                    Stephen and
                                               Catherine Thomas

                                                                         RACE 1    – SPONSORED BY LEWMAR
                                                                         Class 1
                                                                         1st       Terry & Molly King-Smith              Oyster   62      Dorado
                                                                         2nd       Trevor & Anne Silver                  Oyster   56      Roulette
                                                                         3rd       Patrick & Gabriele Fiorentino         Oyster   61      Talisman
                                                                         4th       Leslie Holliday/David Holliday OBE    Oyster   68      Kealoha of Whitby

                                                                         Class 2
                                                                         1st     Colin Hall                              Oyster   406     Boysterous
                                                                         2nd     Jean Mellows & Mike Starr               Oyster   39      Severance
                                                                         3rd     Paul Hubbard                            Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster
                                                                         4th     Phil Fleming                            Oyster   LW 48   Boysterous of Lymington

                                                                         RACE 2    – SPONSORED BY DOLPHIN SAILS
                                                                         Class 1
                                                                         1st       Terry & Molly King-Smith              Oyster   62      Dorado
                                                                         2nd       Trevor & Anne Silver                  Oyster   56      Roulette
                                                                         3rd       Patrick & Gabriele Fiorentino         Oyster   61      Talisman
                                                                         4th       Stephen & Catherine Thomas            Oyster   66      Magic Dragon of Wroxham

                                                                         Class 2
                                                                         1st     Paul Hubbard                            Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster
                                                                         2nd     Robin Wilshaw                           Oyster   435     Pied Beauty
                                                                         3rd     Phil Fleming                            Oyster   LW 48   Boysterous of Lymington
                                                                         4th     Colin Hall                              Oyster   406     Boysterous

                                  Miss BVI, Dian Sanderson, and          Best Overall over both Classes for the Dolphin Trophy
                             Oyster 53 owner, Aram Shishmanian           Colin Hall                                    Oyster 406         Boysterous

                                                                         RACE 3    – SPONSORED BY HOOD YACHT SPARS
                                                                         Class 1
                                                                         1st       Trevor & Anne Silver                  Oyster   56      Roulette
                                                                         2nd       Mark & Mary Nell DeFriece             Oyster   62      Loblolly
                                                                         3rd       Stephen & Catherine Thomas            Oyster   66      Magic Dragon of Wroxham
                                                                         4th       Terry & Molly King-Smith              Oyster   62      Dorado

                                                                         Class 2
                                                                         1st     Jean Mellows & Mike Starr               Oyster   39      Severance
                                                                         2nd     Phil Fleming                            Oyster   LW 48   Boysterous of Lymington
                                                                         3rd     Colin Hall                              Oyster   406     Boysterous
                                                                         4th     Paul Hubbard                            Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster

                                                                         RACE 4 – SPONSORED BY PANTAENIUS
                                                                         1st     Trevor & Anne Silver                    Oyster   56      Roulette
                                                                         2nd     Patrick & Gabriele Fiorentino           Oyster   61      Talisman
                                                                         3rd     Terry & Molly King-Smith                Oyster   62      Dorado
                                                                         4th     Mark & Mary Nell DeFriece               Oyster   62      Loblolly

                                                                         Class 2
                                                                         1st     Phil Fleming                            Oyster   LW 48   Boysterous of Lymington
UBS Trophy winners for Class 1, Trevor                                   2nd     Colin Hall                              Oyster   406     Boysterous
and Anne Silver, Oyster 56, Roulette
                                                                         3rd     Paul & Diane May                        Oyster   45      Taboo
                                                                         4th     Paul Hubbard                            Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster

                                                                         THE YACHTING WORLD TROPHY
                                                                         Best yacht over both classes over the regatta
                                                                         1st      Colin Hall                             Oyster   406     Boysterous
                                                                         2nd      Paul Hubbard                           Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster
                                                                         3rd      Jean Mellows/Mike Starr                Oyster   39      Severance
                                                                         4th      Trevor & Anne Silver                   Oyster   56      Roulette
                                                                         5th      Robin Wilshaw                          Oyster   435     Pied Beauty
                                                                         6th      Paul & Diane May                       Oyster   45      Taboo

                                                                         ROYAL SOUTHERN YACHT CLUB – UNITY CHALLENGE
                                                                         1st    The T-off Team (Dorado, Taboo, Bermuda Oyster)

                               Overall winner, Colin Hall, Oyster 406,
                      Boysterous, receives the Yachting World Trophy

                                                                                       Laser Dinghy
                                                                                     Regatta winner,
                                                                                   Todd Merrill (right)

Class 1
1st     Trevor & Anne Silver                     Oyster   56      Roulette
2nd     Terry & Molly King-Smith                 Oyster   62      Dorado
3rd     Patrick & Gabriele Fiorentino            Oyster   61      Talisman
4th     Mark & Mary Nell DeFriece                Oyster   62      Loblolly

Class 2
1st     Phil Fleming                             Oyster   LW 48   Boysterous of Lymington
2nd     Colin Hall                               Oyster   406     Boysterous
3rd     Paul Hubbard                             Oyster   435     Bermuda Oyster
4th     Jean Mellows/Mike Starr                  Oyster   39      Severance

Presented by the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board
Class 1 Bill Dockser                              Oyster 70       Ravenous
Class 2 Paul & Diane May                          Oyster 45       Taboo

Presented by the Caribbean Yacht Management
Under 5 years old-Stephen & Catherine Thomas Oyster 66            Magic Dragon of Wroxham
Over 5 years old-Patrick & Gabriele Fiorentino Oyster 61          Talisman

Sponsored by Pelagos Yachts
1st     Todd Merrill, Bliss
2nd     Ben Davies, Taboo
3rd     Sean Goodlet, UBS

1st     Boyce & Girls
2nd     Boysterous
3rd     Kealoha

Sponsored by Caribbean Yacht Management                                                                      Bill Dockser, Oyster 70 Ravenous, receives the Concours
                                                                                                                   prize from BVI Tourist Board Director, Keith Dawson
1st     Team Venture
2nd     Team Boysterous
3rd     Team Ravenous

Robert Grinold & Arleen Songailo           Boundless                   Oyster   55PH
Michele Colenso                            Capriccio of Rhu            Oyster   55
Jonathon Mould                             Kuyenda                     Oyster   56
Casey & Melanie Fannin                     Bliss                       Oyster   56
Michael Dickinson                          Renee II                    Oyster   56
Trevor & Anne Silver                       Roulette                    Oyster   56
Dick and Sally Morgan                      Blue Destiny                Oyster   56
Roger Harding                              Oyster Rose II              Oyster   56
Patrick Fiorentino                         Talisman                    Oyster   61
Pete and Katherine Savage                  Venture                     Oyster   62
Mary Nell & Mark DeFriece                  Loblolly                    Oyster   62
James Flynn OBE                            Oystercatcher XXIV          Oyster   62
Terry & Molly King-Smith                   Dorado                      Oyster   62
Stephen & Catherine Thomas                 Magic Dragon                Oyster   66
Leslie Holliday & David Holliday OBE       Kealoha of Whitby           Oyster   68
Bill Dockser                               Ravenous                    Oyster   70                        Class 2 winner, Phil Fleming, Oyster Lightwave 48,
                                                                                                          Boysterous of Lymington receives the UBS Regatta
CLASS 2                                                                                                                   Trophy from Sean Goodlet of UBS
Jean Mellows & Mike Starr                  Severance                   Oyster   39
Colin Hall                                 Boysterous                  Oyster   406
Roy & Jan Stansfield                       Blue Boojum                 Oyster   406
Anke Dembowski                             Gerda                       Oyster   406                           We are grateful for the help and support
Robin Wilshaw                              Pied Beauty                 Oyster   435                                of the following BVI organisations:
Paul Hubbard                               Bermuda Oyster              Oyster   435
                                                                                                                   British Virgin Islands Tourist Board,
Dr Gibney                                  Freedom Won                 Oyster   435                        Caribbean Yacht Management, Mount Gay,
Paul & Diane May                           Taboo of St Helier          Oyster   45                              CCT Boat phone, Nanny Cay Marina,
Peter Mantle                               Moonshadow of London        Oyster   47                          Bitter End Yacht Club, Island Helicopters
Phil Fleming                               Boysterous                  Oyster   Lightwave 48                                          and Virgin Traders
Mariusz Koper                              Katharsis                   Oyster   485
Aram Shishmanian                           Janus                       Oyster   53
Eugene & Kirsten Bannon                    Sandpiper of London         Oyster   53                            All Photos: Tim Wright, photoaction.com
                                                                                            CHANNEL 4 FILM CREW ONBOARD
                                          GOES TERRESTRIAL

                                     Just before the start of the UBS Oyster
                                     Regatta in The British Virgin Islands, Taboo
                                     was visited by two film crew from Maverick
                                     Television who spent a full day on board the
                                     yacht filming for a forthcoming production of
                                     'Home from Home' currently being shown on
                                     Channel 4 television.

                                     Filming interest in Taboo, an Oyster 45 owned
                                     by Paul and Diane May, started when she was
                                     first registered as the only yacht on Homelink,
                                     an International agency introducing families to
                                     exchange homes. Film coverage will be used
                                     to advertise Taboo in this exchange
                                     programme with links to the Oyster Marine and
                                     Taboo websites.

                                     The UBS Oyster Regatta was a great success,
                                     with Taboo coming 6th overall and also being
                                     awarded the Concours d’Elegance prize.

                                     Taboo is available for skippered charter in The
                                     Grenadines from May to November and will
                                     later be based in the British Virgin Islands.

                                     For further details please see:
                                     or call Louise May on +44 (0) 1883 652 722.

24 www.oystermarine.com   Richard Matthews takes Taboo’s helm during Oyster’s BVI Regatta
                                                                       Photo: Tim Wright
                                                                               Command the
                                                                               capabilities of our
                                                                               world-class crew.

      UBS is Main Partner of Alinghi, the Defender of America’s Cup XXXII.

       Unbiased advice. World-class wealth managers. An investment strategy as individual as you are. At UBS Wealth

       Management, we pair a dynamic advisory process with the vast resources of a global financial services group. The former

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       Personalised proactive service. Worldwide opportunities and expertise from one of the world’s leading wealth managers.

       The ideal combination to deliver a customised solution and to ensure you feel confident in your decisions.

       For information about UBS in the UK,
       please contact Sean Goodlet on 020 7568 3758


UBS is a premier global financial services firm offering wealth management, asset management and investment banking services to individual, corporate and institutional investors.
UBS is headquartered in Switzerland and operates in over 50 countries and from all major financial centers.
   Knowing what to

26 www.oystermarine.com
                                                                                                                                          OWNER PROFILE

                                                                 Michael Stevenson combines a practical mind with
                                                                 a reliance on common sense and a willingness to roll
                                                                 up his sleeves
                                                                 BY ROGER VAUGHAN

                                                                In 1998, Michael Stevenson was on honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands. One
                                                                evening he and his wife, Serena, were walking toward the Peter Island Hotel when
                                                                they noticed a commotion in the bay. With much fanfare, three fishermen in a
                                                                small boat were bringing in a seine net full of fish, dragging it toward a holding
                                                                pen under the dock, much to the joy of the crowd of villagers gathered on the
                                                                beach. Then the seine snagged on the bottom. Loathe to get into the water, like
                                                       most fishermen, they were prodding at the seine with sticks and oars. Meanwhile the fish
                                                       were beginning to escape.

                                                       In a flash, Michael Stevenson had thrown off his shorts and shoes and was in the water, going
                                                       under to free the net, and herding the escaping fish toward the pen. When he finished, only a few
                                                       had been lost. As he walked out of the water toward his clothing on the beach, Stevenson says
                                                       one of the older women covered her eyes and began to wail. "I guess she’d never seen a white
                                                       man naked," he says with a grin. The fishermen were both amazed and grateful, and presented
                                                       Michael and Serena with more fish than they could eat. Stevenson shrugs when he tells the story.
                                                       "I simply knew what to do," he says.

                                                       His way with fish can be explained by the fact that for almost 25 years Stevenson has owned and
                                                       run the 15-acre Berkshire Trout Farm, just outside Hungerford, Berkshire, that produces two million
                                                       brown and rainbow trout annually. It’s the largest-area re-stocking trout farm in England. But
                                                       Stevenson wasn’t trained as a trout farmer. Nor was it his family’s business. He jumped into it on a
                                                       whim, figuring he’d learn as he went along. It’s how he’s always done things. That’s why when he
                                                       bought an Oyster 56 as his entry-level sailboat, those who knew him were only mildly surprised.

                                                       I met Michael Stevenson at the 2003 UBS Oyster Regatta in Palma, Mallorca. He’s lean as a
                                                       distance runner, slightly under six-feet tall with eyes wide-set in a long, friendly face, an engaging
                                                       man who looks younger than his 60 years. He’s curious, a person who constantly takes in the details
                                                       of his surroundings. He smiles easily. On board his newly acquired Oyster, Fario ("brown trout" in
                                                       Latin), with Serena and assorted children and friends, he was participating in his first regatta.

                                                          During the first conversation I had with him he looked me in the eye and said that he’d never
                                                               sailed before. I was so taken aback he had to say it again. Then he laughed, eyes
                                                                                                       glittering, obviously delighted by the shock effect,
                                                                                                           and gracious enough to be a little embarrassed
                                                                                                              at the same time. He went on to explain that
                                                                                                                his daughter’s boyfriend knew something
                                                                                                                  about sailing, and was leading his crew
                                                                                                                               of rank novices. He said
                                                                                                                                    Fario was giving the
                                                                                                                                     other boats plenty of
                                                                                                                                   room, starting last by
                                                                                                                                  design, and cautiously
                                                                                                                          feeling their way along.

    Michael and Serena Stevenson’s Oyster 56, Fario,                                                                                      www.oystermarine.com 27
racing off Palma during Oyster’s 2003 Palma Regatta.
                                Photo: Nico Martinez
                          But then at the awards dinner, there he was,
                          picking up a trophy for finishing second in
                          one of the races that had been plagued by
                          light, fluky conditions. When challenged in a
                          friendly way about his neophyte status, he
                          said he was no stranger to the outdoors, that
                          he was an accomplished stalker of animals
                          and as a result had a good nose for the wind.
                          Indeed, while the rest of the fleet had given a
                          wide berth to a high cliff near the finish of that
                          race and ended up wallowing in a windless
                          hole, Fario and one other boat (with local
                          knowledge on board) had sailed to within a
                          boat length of the cliff face and kept moving.

                          Sailing is like kite flying. Even children, with
                          the exception of Peanuts cartoon character
                          ‘Charlie Brown’, can get a kite airborne. But
                          Zen masters are still perfecting the art when
                          they are 80. And Michael Stevenson had
                          actually sailed before, on two Caribbean
                          charters with a captain. Both were three-day
                          affairs on 40-footers, with lots of rum punches
                          and snorkeling. But it was enough to let him
                          know he liked being afloat. "One day we got a
                          bit of a breeze, and I loved it. That got me
                          going on sailing." He said he bought the
                          Oyster because it is obviously a quality
                          product, and he got a larger one because at
                          his age he likes a bit of comfort. In Palma, it
                          seemed he was quickly getting the hang of it.
                          But then the man is a quick study.

                          Stevenson knew at an early age he wasn’t
                          cut out to be a student. "I knew I was smart,
                          and practical," he says, "but I wasn’t an
                          academic." He left school aged 15, and
                          spent a year doing an engineering
                          apprenticeship as a tool and instrument
                          maker. But zippers were on his mind. His
                          father, an engineer at Bristol Aeroplane
                          Corporation, had been sent to Germany after
                          World War II to sort out the spoils and see
                          what was worth shipping home. He spotted a
                          machine for making zip fasteners, sent it to
                          England, and developed a sideline for his
                          company. Michael went to see that factory
                          when he was 12 and came away fascinated
                          by the process.

28 www.oystermarine.com
                                                                                                                                         OWNER PROFILE

‘ He said he bought the Oyster because it is obviously a
quality product, and he got a larger one because at his
                                                                                                           purchased the trout farm. He says he’s
                                                                                                           always wanted to be a farmer, mainly
                                                                                                           because of the lifestyle. He couldn’t afford

                                                                                                           the 3,000 acres necessary for conventional
age he likes a bit of comfort                                                                              farming, so when he heard of the fish farm,
                                                                                                           he jumped at it. The learning curve was
                                                                                                           steep. But Stevenson embraces career
Before finishing his apprenticeship, Michael’s           outside my office door in New York.               changes with enthusiasm. "Why be satisfied
grandmother died and left him a modest                   "Zippers on suede boots were big for a while.     with doing one thing all your life?" he says.
inheritance. He immediately used the money               All colors. And hot pants and jackets. Mary       "So what if it’s new stuff? Common sense
to open a 30-day line of credit, and at age 17           Quant dresses featured zippers. But keeping       will get you through."
went off to Germany to buy a zipper-making               up with the fashion side was crazy. There
machine of his own. He thought the bank                  was no time. Suddenly this colour or that         The farm is an idyllic place, ideally situated
would start the 30 days upon receipt of the              style was in, and we had to go-go-go              on a narrow strip of lush English countryside
machine, and figured he could make enough                because slam-bam it would change                  an hour west of London. It is bordered by
money within that time to pay off the note.              tomorrow. We always had to have huge stock        two small rivers - Kennet to the north, Dunn
The fellow in Germany he bought the                      available, all possible colours, and we’d only    on the south - that run gently toward a
machine from assumed the letter to be good               be selling 10% of it in any season. But I did     confluence at the east end of the property.
from the day the machine left Germany. "He               very well in the 60s."                            There’s a third body of water, the Kennet and
was livid," Stevenson recalls. "He screamed                                                                Avon Canal, separated from the River Dunn
at me on the phone."                                     Stevenson found himself travelling to all parts   by a narrow bank of earth. Started in 1840, it
                                                         of the world as an advisor on zipper              took 50 years to build the Canal’s 106 locks,
Stevenson says he had the machine wired                  manufacturing. He could design machines           and its dams and pumping stations. It was
and running the day it arrived, and began                and fix them. "I was asked to go to               built as an 85-mile commercial link
cranking out "stringers," lengths of fabric              Washington, DC, when I was 28 to consult          connecting the Bristol Channel to the River
imbedded with rows of zipper teeth. Three                on a patent problem the Talon Zipper              Thames. But the Great Western Railway,
weeks later, Stevenson’s sales totalled                  Company was having. They were the biggest         designed and built by England’s famed
enough to buy another machine, so he went                at the time. The chairman came to the airport     Isambard Kingdom Brunel, rendered the
back to Germany. "The guy took one look at               to roll out the red carpet. He gave me a tour     Canal obsolete virtually upon its completion.
me and said `no way.’ I put cash on the table            of the capital. I met with Talon’s lawyer. It
and he was much friendlier."                             was right out of a Perry Mason drama. At the      Stevenson’s land has been part of the town
                                                         time I probably knew more about zippers           of Hungerford since 1200. A mill was built on
Michael Stevenson was soon up to his neck                than anyone in the world. I probably still        the site in the 1500s, and was converted to
in the zipper business. By the time he was               know more about them than most people."           fish farming in the early 1900s. This was
19, he had his own factory full of stringer                                                                before electricity was available, and one
machines. He’d also designed and built finish            Stevenson got out of zippers in 1975. He saw      marvels at how cleverly gravity is used to
machines that manufactured all the various               the writing on the wall when a Japanese           draw the water off the rivers to the west end
pieces a zipper requires, and had started a              container ship arrived in the UK with a six-      of the farm, direct it through 70 straight-sided
cottage industry: women in South Wales                   month supply of zipper stock that was sold                           ponds and the hatchery
were assembling the products. At one point               at huge discounts. So he concentrated on                                    troughs before it flows
he had 600 women working for him. And he                 making machinery and equipment. "The                                          back into the rivers
was selling miles of stringers. "I had great             Japanese loved my machines, but we both                                       at the east end. It
advice, mainly from old Jewish men I met in              knew it was only a matter of time before they                                  took two hundred
the rag trade. They were like uncles to me, a            would make their own." Given the nature of                                      labourers four years
teenage gentile kid. They supplied me with               his product – small, intricate pressings and                                   to dig the original
pearls of wisdom like, `Never give up your               extrusions – it wasn’t difficult for Stevenson                                50 ponds by hand.
business.’"                                              to move sideways into the manufacture of
                                                         telephone and computer plugs, and parts for
Zippers were in fashion and Stevenson was                electric motors used in aero space. He
on top of it. "We knew in the 60's," he says,            sold his business in 1991.
"that the average woman had 65 zippers in
her wardrobe. At first, zippers were hidden              At that point he wasn’t exactly
fasteners. Then in the 60s they became a                 looking for something to do.
fashion item." Stevenson came up with the                Ten years earlier, he had
ring-pull zipper, a one-inch (or larger) ring that       taken a partner in his
was attached to the slider instead of the                zipper business and
usual flat puller, and it quickly became trendy
in Paris and London. "The US was slow to
get into it," he says, "but when they did, we
sold millions of pieces. Buyers queued up

                                                                                                                                         www.oystermarine.com 29
     The old mill provided the foundation for          There are several outbuildings on the farm,
     Stevenson’s house. A spacious entry hall now      one of which is a rebuilt barn that houses the
     exists where the river once ran through to        interior design studio of Serena Stevenson.
     turn the mill wheel. Converting the building      Serena is a stylish woman, attractive and
     into habitable quarters, let alone the            cheerful. Like Michael, she is slim, energetic,
     handsome dwelling Stevenson has created,          and self-taught. They are two of a kind.
     would have been too daunting an undertaking       Serena once cooked for a living, and thinks
     for most people. The mill and the dwelling        nothing of getting behind the wheel of the 7-
     attached in 1760 were in bad repair. But in old   ton truck she uses to deliver furnishings. Her
     snapshots, there is Stevenson in knee-high        interior design business grew out of her
     rubber boots, shovel in hand, leading             innate good taste, and a sewing hobby. The
     workers through the task of revealing the         woman, who at 17 had been Serena’s
     enormous brick mill foundations of the 1500s,     mother’s helper, went on to train as a            equipment require constant maintenance.
     buried in silt. "Our local building supervisors   seamstress, then to work in London. In 1990       The fish must be sorted, graded, re-
     were worried," he says. "But it had to have       when the recession hit, she retreated to          distributed in various ponds, hand-selected,
     been strong. One hundred and fifty tons of        Berkshire, moved in over Serena’s house,          and delivered to customers. Just
     corn was stored on the third floor. And it was    and the two began making curtains for local       understanding the chemistry of feeding takes
     a five-stone mill, so the vibrations were         people. Today things have progressed to the       considerable study. Aggressive opportunists
     fierce." Stevenson has replaced some of the       point that Serena Richards Interiors has a        like herons and cormorants must be
     corn bins with two 750-gallon tanks that          contract to decorate 56 rooms being added         discouraged. It’s labour-intensive.
     gravity-feed the house water system.              to a local hotel. She’s done much of the work
                                                       for The Vineyard, a 5-star "restaurant with       At one pond, three of Stevenson’s workers
     Standing in the Stevenson’s kitchen, it takes     rooms" near Newbury, and her work can be          have dragged a net toward one end to gather
     a while to get used to being at eye level with    seen around London. She keeps a staff of          ‘rainbows’ for bailing into a tank for delivery.
     the Canal flowing by less than a dozen feet       five women very busy.                             Stevenson pitches in. Soon his boots are
     beyond the window.                                                                                  ankle-deep in the muck of the bank as he
                                                       The fish farm is enchanting even on a grey,       adjusts the net for more efficient bailing. The
                                                       chilly day. Walking at his normal rapid pace,     fish are gorgeous two-pounders. Their
                                                       Stevenson and his black Labrador, Judy, lead      rainbows flash in the gray light. "They’re
                                                       the way. We begin in the old brick hatchery       strong fish with good fins," Stevenson says.
                                                       building with its large concrete troughs of       "They’ll ‘account themselves well’ when
                                                       eggs, alevins (newly hatched fish), and fry       caught. That’s because we don’t crowd the
                                                       (recognizable as fish, and ready to feed). The    ponds. If I were table farming, I’d have
                                                       eggs are collected in the late fall by manually   18,000 fish in the big ponds. But with 8,000,
                                                       "stripping" the broodstock, a painstaking job.    they have room to grow and be healthy. And
                                                       Milt collected from the males is then mixed       that keeps the water quality up when it
                                                       with the eggs to insure fertilization. Water is   returns to the river.
                                                       added, and incubation begins.
                                                                                                         "When I bought the farm, I knew nothing
                                                       The surfaces of the ponds are still, rippled      about fish," Stevenson says. "The previous
                                                       only lightly by the breeze. Stevenson opens       owner came over two or three mornings a
                                                       the lid of a large plastic container at one       week and told me things. I never took a
                                                       pond, fills a scoop with compressed food          course. I just started figuring it out. I guess I
                                                       pellets and flings them onto the water’s          had a feel for it. Not everyone does. I can tell
                                                       surface. The pond explodes with fish, an          about someone I hire in the first couple of
                                                       angler’s dream. Each of the large ponds           weeks. They’ll lay out a net on the floor then
                                                       (150' x 50') contains 8,000 rainbows or           trip over it. It takes hand to eye coordination,
                                                       brown trout in the two-pound range. We            and you have to be in tune with nature. I’ve
                                                       move on, walking among the ponds over             always liked actively doing things, walking
                                                       many little footbridges under which water is      miles over the hills in search of game. I’d
                                                       flowing steadily, with a pleasant gurgle. The     rather climb Everest than fly over it."
                                                       sound of the gently flowing water permeates
                                                       the air. In a piece about the fish farm in        Berkshire fish go mainly to private fishing
                                                       Punch magazine in 1952, P M Hubbard               clubs. Stevenson also supplies river and
                                                       wrote, "I don’t know whether Wordsworth           water authorities, particularly when there
                                                       was within his rights in expecting beauty         have been problems with pollution. He enjoys
                                                       born of murmuring sound to pass into his          doing the deliveries, driving his small four-
                                                       Lucy’s face; if so the trout-farmers should be    wheel drive trucks with their 300-gallon tanks
                                                       a good looking lot." For sure they are a hard     in the back to some very remote locations.
                                                       working lot. Ponds, banks, buildings, and         "The fish have caused me to learn a lot about

                                            OWNER PROFILE

‘ The old mill provided the foundation for Stevenson’s
house. A spacious entry hall now exists where the river
            once ran through to turn the mill wheel
                                            www.oystermarine.com 31
32 www.oystermarine.com
                                                                                                                                   OWNER PROFILE

‘  Stevenson says freelance professional sailor David Gray
is the reason he has learned sailing so fast
                                                                                                       Stevenson says freelance professional sailor
                                                                                                       David Gray is the reason he has learned
                                                                                                       sailing so fast, and so well. "I got his name
                                                                                                       from Oyster, called him, and he said he’d like
                                                                                                       to meet Serena and me before he agreed to
England. My customers are everywhere, and           They couldn’t take the chance of burying           work with us. He suggested neutral ground
most of them stock once a year. After a             them on the site. At the time they had no          for the interview. Finally Serena asked him,
delivery, the champagne sometimes comes             idea what had killed them.                         `Are we acceptable?’ and he said yes. So we
out. Many of them are second and third                                                                 met on the boat in the South of France. I’d
generation operators. One woman’s father            "The bank gave me an open checking                 been commenting a bit about how expensive
died at 84 – he’d been stocking his river 40        account," Stevenson says, "and they would          he was. The second day on board, Serena
years. Now she’s in charge. I’ve seen great         get back every penny within 18 months. Our         and I looked at each other and said wow, this
little villages I never would have visited          situation spurred Serena on. Her business was      guy is worth every penny."
otherwise. Lovely spots."                           a casual affair up to that point. But a friend,
                                                    who wanted to help, commissioned her to            Gray has hauled Stevenson up the mast
On March 3, 1998, Berkshire Trout Farm              completely re-do his house in Scotland. She        several times, and shown him how to rig a
almost foundered. Late at night, Stevenson’s        did a brilliant job. That took her business up a   handy billy to pull himself out of the water.
farm manager knocked on his door. He’d              notch overnight, and helped keep us going.         "He’s a marvellous seaman, and extremely
made the rounds as usual before retiring, and       Our legal fees were £100,000 annually."            safety conscious," Stevenson says of Gray.
to his horror, discovered fish dying. Lots of                                                          "He won’t leave port unless everyone on
them. Stevenson called the pollution hot line,      The turning point for Stevenson’s case was         board has been through a man overboard
and brought in his other employees. They            the discovery of an Act of Parliament written      drill, and he’s teaching the whole time, using
were up all night. "It was a disaster,"             in 1794 governing the operation of                 everything that happens to illustrate
Stevenson says, visibly shaken when recalling       waterways. The Act states that damage done         manoeuvres and demonstrate technique."
that gruesome night. "The whole lot was             by any oozing or seeping of water will be          Stevenson returned with a stack of books
gone, 300 tons. We still had the hatchery, that     compensated. "It took three years to get to        about Greece, and is looking forward to a
has a different water supply, but we lost the       that point," Stevenson says. "Around               summer in the Ionian Islands.
rest including all the broodstock."                 Christmas, 2001, British Waterways admitted
                                                    their liability. We fought for another year over   Last January I ran into Michael Stevenson at
Six years before, in an interview in Fish           what proper compensation would be." The            the London Boat Show, where he was ogling
Farmer magazine, Stevenson had proudly              following year, Berkshire Trout Farm was           the Oyster 66 on display. He was also
pointed out the chalk-spring source of his          back at full capacity.                             carrying a small Mylar/Kevlar duffle bag he’d
water supply, saying "So we’re free from                                                               bought at a sailmaker’s stand. "Look at this,"
pollution and water-borne diseases...we’re          The farm’s delivery season ends as summer          he said, unfolding the bag and displaying its
one of the few trout farms never to have            begins, allowing Stevenson to spend time on        exaggerated zipper. It had to be six inches
received a disease order." What got him             his boat. Recently he and a crew of three          wide across the top of the bag, with a ring
turned out to be an overflow from the Canal.        friends took Fario from Palma to Lefkadha,         pull the size of a butter plate. "In 1963 a
It took six months worth of research on water       Greece, in the Ionian Islands. He waxes            French company asked me to provide these
samples to discover that toxic algae had            eloquent about the passage around the toe          enormous zippers for naval gun covers. Now
killed Berkshire’s trout.                           of Italy, with the intoxicating smell of orange    they’re a fashion item!"
                                                    blossoms strong on the breeze four miles
"After Brunel’s railroad made the Canal             offshore, and snow-capped Mount Etna in
                                                                                                                                     Roger Vaughan
obsolete," Stevenson says, "it became               the distance astern. As an engineer, he
derelict. Finally the government provided           enjoys studying his boat’s many systems.
funding, and decided to open up the Canal in        "We had all the floor boards up on the trip to
1991. In 1995 it became operational. They           Greece," he says proudly, and he has several
did a great job, put in a lot of effort, but they   ideas for improving access to machinery and
fell down on the maintenance end."                  certain design features of the boat. He likes
                                                    solving problems, like why his fridge and
Neglected were the spillways that handle            freezer were operating intermittently (it turned
flooding in the reaches between locks after         out a missing screw was allowing the
heavy rains. The rains came, the Canal              solenoid to slip several inches on one tack,
flooded, and the waters contaminated by             and not slip back unless the boat tacked
boat traffic backed up, spilled over the            again). "If I were to build an Oyster,
banks, and found their way into the fish            and I do fancy the 72, my dream
farm’s water supply. The British Waterways          is to be project manager on
Authority denied responsibility, and the battle     the job. I don’t suppose
was joined in court. Meanwhile, the farm had        they’d go for that," he
to be drained, the fish removed and trucked         adds with a chuckle.
away to be buried, a ghastly job.

Photos:                                                                                                                            www.oystermarine.com 33
Roger Vaughan
Nico Martinez
B E                           I N                    P E R F E C T                                                                  C O N
Craftsmanship and
performance for
the world’s ocean
going yachts
World leading deck equipment                         A specialist worldwide Custom Team oversees         project management and technical support
                                                     every new project from concept to sea trials        for each build.
manufacturer Lewmar has for
                                                     and that includes each new Oyster design.
                                                                                                         For each new Oyster design a complete
many years enjoyed a successful                      Lewmar then provides technical support and
                                                                                                         turn-key service ensures full support during
                                                     back up through the life of every yacht.
partnership with Oyster, supplying                                                                       the commission of the first new craft, and
                                                     The Custom Team:                                    total systems integration.
winches, anchoring systems,
                                                     taking design to completion                         Concept requirements are assessed and
hardware, hatches and portlights to
                                                     The Custom Team seamlessly manages                  evaluated, as Lewmar’s team works with
these prestige sailing yachts.                       engineering, design, product development,           Oyster’s architects, design team and builders

Lewmar works closely with Oyster to ensure
that each item of equipment is carefully
specified and is fitted and operational to exactly
suit the task for which it is intended. Lewmar’s
deck equipment is not only functional, but
advanced styling ensures that each product
enhances the elegant presentation of every new
Oyster as she is handed to her delighted owner.

Lewmar’s thrusters: easy control in a tight spot
                                                     Several of the Oyster models are fitted with        none of the drag that you would get with the
                                                     Lewmar’s powerful thrusters, and never are          traditional tunnel thrusters.
                                                     they more welcome than when the skipper is
                                                                                                             The Lewmar thrusters are made from
                                                     manoeuvring the yacht into and out of
                                                                                                               high-grade marine alloy and stainless
                                                     a tight position such as when docking.
                                                                                                                steel with a lightweight fibreglass
                                                     The current range of Oyster 82s,                             propeller shroud.
                                                     for example are all fitted with                                Extensive tank testing has allowed
                                                     Lewmar retractable bow                                         Lewmar to tailor speed and pitch of
                                                     thrusters, which are capable                                  the alloy propellers to match
                                                     of delivering thrust up to a                                  specifically the required horsepower,
                                                     whopping 30-horse power.                                      which gives powerful and efficient
                                                     These compact and powerful units                              thrust in both directions.
                                                     are deployed at the touch of a                                  The Bow Thruster is controlled
                                                     button, and then they are ready for use.            by a proportional joystick, which gives
                                                     When fully retracted they are completely            fingertip variable control for precise and
                                                     within the hull leaving the hull fair so there is   controlled manoeuvring.
T R O L                                    W I T H                                        L E W M A R
                                                    Sail Handling Tip from Lewmar

                                                    Getting the best from
                                                    your genoa cars
                                                    Correct sail shape is important not just for   shape. The typical vertical sheeting angle
 to provide equipment specifications.
                                                    racing yachts to gain maximum speed, but       for a number 3 sail is 70 degrees to the deck.
 Lewmar supplies a full set of documentation        for cruising yachts too, to maintain a good
 to support the equipment selected including        direction, making efficient headway, and       Tuning the genoa car position
 detailed schematics, installation, service and     many other factors.
                                                                                                   For correct sail shape for a given weather
 maintenance manuals and technical details.
                                                    Lewmar supplies a selection of genoa cars      condition in the number one, two, or three
 A global network                                   to Oyster from their range of Custom Cars      sail ranges, it may be necessary to flatten
                                                    designed to cope with high loads and yet       the sail out in higher wind speeds by
 The world is your Oyster, and wherever you
                                                    to be discreet and lightweight.                moving the car one hole back. This will
 are Lewmar’s unrivalled network of in-house
                                                                                                      have the effect of reducing heel and
 and third party support means a source of
                                                    Genoa car                                           increasing pointing ability. In the
 experienced servicing personnel and a supply
                                                    positioning                                           lighter wind ranges of a sail position
 of spares is never far away.
                                                                                                            when there is a sloppy sea it can be
                                                    There are two reasons
                                                                                                             desirable to move the car forward a
                                                    for adjusting the
                                                                                                              notch to give the sail more drive
                                                    position of the genoa
                                                                                                                and power.
                                                    cars. Primarily to keep
                                                    the correct sail shape                                       Typically if there are three
                                                    when furling or                                                    head sails or three pre
                                                    unfurling the                                                            defined reefing
                                                    genoa to or from                                                              points the
                                                    its reefed positions.                                                         genoa cars
                                                    The secondary reason is to                                                    should be
                                                    tune the shape of the sail at those                                           moved to the
                                                    given reef positions.                                                        relevant
                                                                                                                                points on the
                                                    Moving the cars for head sail                                              track and tuned
 Hydraulic power is supplied by a high efficiency   changes or reefed positions                    around these points for given conditions.
 variable displacement pump fitted to the           When sailing with a number one genoa or        The Oyster 66 is fitted as standard with
 generator. The pump uses a sophisticated load      fully unfurled genoa, the typical vertical     towable Lewmar Genoa cars to add to the
 sensing system to efficiently deliver power on     sheeting angle is around 60 degrees from       control of the genoa sail shape. This means
 demand. It can also be used to power the           the deck as it passes through the car, with    there is no need to leave the cockpit to
 windlass and furlers as a backup while the         the car relatively far aft on the track.       alter the setting as the lines are lead back.
 thruster pump is engaged.                          When the genoa is changed for a number 2       The same cars are favoured by the Oyster
 The thruster reservoir also features a             or 3 the car needs to move forward as the      82 (Lewmar models 29913031 & 29913032
 seamlessly integrated Commander 400 Power          clew goes forward to maintain correct sail     for port and starboard, respectively).
 Pack fitted with 2 x 3.3kw DC motors
 mounted on the tank lid. This allows for
 quiet ship sailing for powering the furlers and
 windlass quietly and efficiently.
 Lewmar has been supplying thruster and
 hydraulic systems for over 15 years and has                                        www.lewmar.com
 supplied in-excess of a thousand boats
 from 15–47m.
   The idea of taking our Oyster 66

   'Magic Dragon of Wroxham'

   cruising in Brazil arose out of a

   desire to find a more interesting

   route to the Caribbean which didn’t

   replicate our previous Canaries –

   Antigua ‘milk run’ passage.

   By Stephen Thomas - OYSTER 66
   Magic Dragon of Wroxham

36 www.oystermarine.com                Magic Dragon - Christmas Day anchorage in the Rio Paraguacu off a white sand beach.
                                                                                                             O W N E R R E P O RT

Bra zil!      Salvador, like most South American cities – sprawling,
              chaotic and noisy, but full of life and colour.

                                                                                                              The Cathedral,

                                     ur objectives were to explore some interesting and uncrowded new cruising
 NUTS ABOUT                          grounds, to find somewhere enjoyable to spend Christmas but to still arrive in
                                     the Caribbean in time for some serious cruising prior to our Panama passage.
              As we had already decided to explore the Cape Verde islands en route, a visit to Brazil looked like
              a good option. It turned out to be a great choice with many unexpected delights; a wonderful
              place to spend Christmas, a fascinating variety of cruising grounds and many memorable
                                         experiences with something to appeal to all of us – myself, my wife
                                              Catherine, 11 year-old son James and our crew Chris and Mel.

                                               Most of the eastern and north-eastern coast of Brazil is sandy and
                                               low-lying, punctuated only by some large, artificial and fairly unlovely
                                          ports such as Recife, Natal and Fortaleza, making for limited cruising
                                         opportunities. However, this stretch of coast is bounded at the north end
                                           by the mighty delta of the Amazon and at the south end by a series of
                                           large estuaries from Salvador southwards which offer some great
                                         opportunities for cruising off of the beaten track. The passage from the
                                      Cape Verdes to Natal or Fortaleza is a short 1500 miles but the west-going
                                   trade winds and currents split north and south at Recife, making destinations
                                   further south more difficult from which to return. However, making an extra 400
                                             miles south allows access to Salvador and its nearby cruising grounds
                                               and this was a sacrifice that we were very pleased that we made.

                                                 We chose Salvador as our base for Christmas and New Year largely
                                                on the basis of its large and secure marina, but it turned out to be a
                                                           fantastic location in which to celebrate the holiday period. As
                                                          a whole, the city itself is like most large South American
                                                          cities: sprawling, noisy, chaotic and pretty rough at the edges.
                                                          We were aware, however, that much had been done in recent
                                                           years to restore the magnificent but decaying Portuguese
                                                           colonial centre of the city, the Pelourinho, and to make it
                                                          safe for tourists. What caught us completely by surprise was

                                                                                                       www.oystermarine.com 37
     Anchored off the abandoned Sao Francisco Monastery

     the scale and verve of the city’s Christmas and New Year celebrations, which
     made any European city seem pale by comparison. For the whole three weeks
     leading up to Christmas, every building in the city centre was lit up by
     elaborate fairy lights, every evening the streets teemed with Christmas stalls,
     food vendors, wandering bands and, at many points around the centre, there
     were stages on which carol singers, nativity players, bands and pop singers
     would perform every night. The overall effect was both stunning and
     fascinating in this city of largely West African cultural background.

     After a few days break to recover, the city lights up again for New Year, with
     huge firework displays all over the city as the clocks chimed and the traditional
     Procissao do Senhor Bom Jesus dos Navigantes, a hugely colourful marine
                           procession made its way around the city’s bays, on New Year’s
                            Day. The procession is an escort for an ornate barge or gondola
                            which is rowed between two of the city’s beach-side churches
                            conveying an image of Christ and is an opportunity for services to
                            be held to bless the fishing activities for the coming year. We
                                                          decided that ‘Magic Dragon’ should take
                                                           part in the procession and on New Year’s
                                                           morning we joined several hundred other
                                                              boats ranging from tugs to harbour
                                                               launches, passenger ferries, fishing
                                                                 boats and local working boats, all
                                                                  highly decorated, in a typically South
                                                                 American, noisy, colourful and chaotic
                                                     circuit of the bay. There was much jollity all round,
                                                  assisted in the later stages by the generous use of the
                                                 water cannons on the tugs to soak all concerned.

                                                                      Cape Verde Islands
                                                                                                                                                                     O W N E R R E P O RT


                                                                                                                               Bahia Marina was modern, well-equipped and
                                                                                                                               close to the city centre, but strangely (to our
                                                                                                                               eyes) almost bereft of any local sailing boats as
                                                                                                             Cape Palmas
                                                                                                                               the local owners clearly favoured large, fast
                                                                                                                               motor boats. Although the marina looked after
                                                                                                                               us well, we used the few days over Christmas to
                             Sao Luis                           Fernando                                                       get away from the noise and bustle of the city
                                                               de Novonha
                                        Forteleza                                                                              and retire to the peace of some quiet
                                                       Natal                                                                   anchorages. Salvador lies at the entrance to a
                                                      Olinda                                               Ascension           large bay, Baia de Todos os Santos, which,
                                                      Recife                                                                   despite its proximity to the city, contains many
                                                                                                                               delightfully quiet and rural rivers, creeks and
                                              Salvador                                                                                         islands. For Christmas Day, we
                                        Camamu                                                                                                        found an idyllic anchorage
                                        Rio Cairu
                                                                                                                                                      in the Rio Paraguacu, off a
                                                                                                                                                      white sand beach,
                                                                                                                                                      overhung by tall palms
                                                                                                                                                     which sheltered parrots
                                                                                                                                                     and monkeys. Only the
                                                                                                                                                     gentle splash of the odd
                                                                                                                                                     dug-out canoe or saveiro
                                                                                                                                                    (the local sailing work boats)
                                                                                                                                                    disturbed the peace. Boxing
                                                                                                                                                    Day gave us the opportunity
                                                                                                                                                    for a gentle cruise some
                                                                                  Dugouts, Sao Fra                                                 miles up-river to Sao
                                                                                                                                                  Francisco, a very picturesque
                                                                                  abandoned riverside monastery surrounded by a delightful small village in which water
                                                                                  buffalo could be seen at work, the local youths rode around at a furious pace on ponies and
                                                                                  a whole fleet of dug-out canoes rocked at their moorings. On the way back to Salvador, we
                                                                                   also stopped at the islands of Bom Jesus and Itaparica, the former a traditional fishing
                                                                                   village and the latter a colourful and picturesque holiday retreat for Salvadorians.

                          Parade – Salvado                                  Our intention had been to head north from Salvador, but we were persuaded by the local
           New Year’s Day
                                                                            yachtsmen to take time to cruise in the two large river estuaries just south of Salvador at
                                                                            Camamu and Morro de Sao Paulo and we were glad that we took their advice. Although we had
                                                                            no detailed charts, a good local pilot book provided good sketches and very detailed GPS routes
                                                                            to follow. The estuary of the Rio Marau at Camamu winds its way 30 or 40 miles inland, offering a
                                                                            myriad of pretty anchorages amid small creeks and wooded islands. Near its navigable head is
                                                                            the small town of Marau, from which a long dinghy ride through mangrove-lined rivers leads to a
                                                                            large waterfall at Tremembe. After several days of very pleasant gentle cruising and exploration in
                                                                            the river, we moved to Morro de Sao Paulo at the entrance to the Rio Cairu. This is another large
                                                                            and picturesque estuary offering many contrasts. Up-river, quiet villages and the old Portuguese
              "Refuelling was an                                            town of Cairu are dotted along the banks. At pretty Cairu we were shown around the still-active
                                                                            monastery by a young Jesuit monk and were fascinated by the traditional wooden boat-building
              exercise requiring the                                        along the river banks. In contrast, Morro is a raucous beach town for the teeming hoards of
                                                                            young Salvadorians shipped in by the ferry-load every day. Between them, these estuaries near
              cooperation of the                                            Salvador offer the potential for many weeks of very attractive and relaxed cruising with no more
                                                                            than a tiny handful of yachts between them.
              local filling station, a
                                                                            Time was pressing, however, and a 400 mile motor-sail to windward took us to Recife and then
              pickup truck, a number                                        onwards onto Cabadelo and the Jacare river. Recife struck us as a rough and unattractive city
                                                                            fringed by appalling favelas, redeemed only by its proximity to the quaint and historic old colonial
              of 45-gallon drums                                            Portuguese town of Olinda. We paused only briefly here for an overnight stop, put off by the lack
                                                                            of secure (from thugs and thieves) overnight moorings. Cabadelo was a workaday town at the
              and some ingenuity!"
                                                                                                                                                               www.oystermarine.com 39
       "For Christmas Day, we
       found an idyllic
       anchorage in the Rio
       Paraguacu off of a
       white sand beach
       overhung by tall palms
       which sheltered parrots
       and monkeys"

                                       Tagging turtles on the                                               Christmas Day on board, complete
                                       island of Fernando                                                   with Christmas tree, Rio Paraguacu
                                       de Noronha

                                          entrance to the Jacare river, an attractive and sheltered spot along this unwelcoming
                                           coast, well known to cruising yachtsmen where an Englishman, Brian Stevens, has set
                                           up a small boatyard adjacent to some relaxed beach bars and restaurants. Jacare was
                                            also our base to visit the city of Joao Pessoa, a trip made more interesting by the
                                            opportunity to use an antiquated and well-worn local railway to reach it. Refuelling here
                                                   was an exercise requiring the cooperation of the local filling station, a pickup
                                                    truck, a number of 45-gallon drums and some ingenuity!

                                                   By way of a contrast, our next passage took us some 200 miles offshore to the
                                                   island of Fernando de Noronha, an exposed, volcanic, rocky island which is now
                                                   a holiday island and nature reserve. This picturesque and remote island teems
                                                   with bird life and is famous as a dive site for its variety of undersea life. Mel and
                                                  Chris enjoyed some great diving here, while we enjoyed the dramatic coastal
                                                  scenery, watched turtles being tagged on the beach and indulged the children in
                                                  us by renting one of the ubiquitous and decrepit beach buggies as local transport.
                                                 Unfortunately, the anchorage here is badly exposed to the swell. Out in the bay, a
                                                 stern kedge allowed us to ride the developing 2m swell without too much
   The market at Joa                             discomfort, although the seas smashing over the nearby rocky islands were a trifle
                    o Pessao
                                                un-nerving. Getting ashore rapidly became a life-or-death experience. At some
                                 states of the tide, the swell reaching the only landing beach in the small harbour broke heavily in
                                 breakers up to 5m high, requiring a carefully-timed approach or departure. It’s always a bad sign
                                 when the landing beach is dotted with keen surfers on the look-out for the next ‘big one’ and we
                                 decided to cut short our stay on the island after a couple of heavy dunkings in the surf.

                                 Fortunately, Forteleza, our next port of call, offered the opportunity to calm our nerves for a few
                                 days. Although itself a large and unremarkable seaside resort town, Forteleza boasts a small if
                                 ramshackle ‘marina’ (remarkable for being constructed from a collection of rusty metal tanks
                                 loosely chained together which bob about in the swell and crash into each other) which has the
                                 benefit of being attached to a large hotel, thus providing good swimming pools, bars and
                                 restaurants only yards from the boat. Our stay here was marked by a truly awesome amount of
                                 rain. At its peak, we estimated that some 15 inches of rain fell in one 36-hour period. Even our
                                 trusty Avon dinghy, floating beside us, came close to foundering as it filled with water to the brim

40 www.oystermarine.com
                                                                                                                                               O W N E R R E P O RT

in overnight downpours. We later heard
that this was exceptional even for Brazil
(where Forteleza is regarded as one of the
drier spots) as 10 people had drowned
nearby in various flood and mud-slides
caused by the rain.

Most foreign yachts which venture this far
head directly north from Forteleza to reach
the Caribbean some 1800 miles away to
the NW. We, however, felt that it would be
a sin to sail past the famous Amazon
without taking the opportunity to do some
exploring. The Amazon delta region
covers an immense
area some 300 miles
square in which a
number of major rivers
                                                                                                                 The large swell at Fernando de Noronha made
reach the sea. The                                                                                                    getting ashore a life-or–death experience
Amazon itself is
navigable by sizeable
vessels for at least 600
miles upstream and,
strangely, is tidal
(although still fresh) for
nearly all of this distance.
Navigationally the delta
region is not without its                                        l fishing boats, Cabede
                                             One of the many loca
challenges; 8 knots plus tidal
streams, 3 metre tidal bores, rapidly-shifting channels, floating tree trunks,
vicious rain squalls known as marajos, big wind-over-tide waves and local
pirates known as ‘river rats’ all make for interesting sailing. We decided to
head for Belem, the capital city of the region and some 150 miles up-river on
the Rio Para. Entrance to the river (which is some 20 miles wide at this point)
through the buoyed shipping channel was straightforward as we reached it on
a fairly calm evening at neaps. Even then we were pounced on by a 40 knot
rain squall, which reduced visibility to zero at midnight while we were in the
narrowest part of the buoyed channel, doing little for my blood pressure! By
morning we were motoring along the chaotic waterfront at Belem to an
anchorage off the Irate Club do Para – actually some half a mile off it - as the
river was so shallow at this point (and even then we went aground at each low water).

Belem is a fascinating city. As the focal point for trading in the immense Amazon region, it teems
with life. It has a real sense of being a rough, tough frontier town where fortunes have been made
         and lost. A host of relatively modern concrete apartment blocks (ubiquitous to all
                                        Brazilian cities) contrast strangely with the primitive jungle
                                                 huts across the river and with the ramshackle
                                                         fishing boats swarming around the market.            For those of a more
                                                                Local markets are piled high with
                                                                      strange fruits garnered from the        adventurous spirit, the
                                                                          Amazon forests, stalls are
                                                                           stacked with hundreds of
                                                                                                              Amazon region offers
                                                                         different herbs and medicines
                                                                          derived from forest plants, the
                                                                                                              a unique and
                                                                            fish market is piled high with
                                                                                                              captivating experience
                                                                             Amazon fish, Belem fish market                             www.oystermarine.com 41
     large and very unfamiliar-looking fresh-water fish
     netted in the teeming waters of the rivers. Fleets
     of large river ferries jostle for customers and
     goods seeking passage up-river and huge
     barges pass slowly down-river carrying stacks of
     timber from the forests. Despite some recent
     attempts to smarten up the waterfront, the city
     has the uneasy feel of a war zone and we never
     felt completely safe here, but it has a certain
     undeniable fascination. In bygone days, the city
     was immensely wealthy from the rubber trade
     and a few monuments remain to this era. Most
     of the fine buildings are now sadly decayed but
     a wonderfully ornate and vast opera house has
     been painstakingly restored and a few of the
     palaces have re-emerged as museums and
     government offices.

                                                                                                                                 Anchored in the Jacare river

                                                                                   the riversbank
                                                                  ly in huts along
                                                   als live entire
                              The Amazon, where loc

     We were made extremely welcome by the few sailing members of the ‘Yacht Club’
                                                                                                                       James with Am
                                                                                                                                    azon Jungle fru
     who did everything that they could to help the few visiting yachtsmen. They also suggested                                                    it

     something that I had already considered – making a complete 500-mile circumnavigation of the
     Amazon delta via the Os Estreitos channel (leaving through the north channel of the Amazon). We
     acquired the necessary local charts to follow this tortuous channel through the delta and it
     appeared a feasible if adventurous option. Sadly, we were reaching a period of equinoctial spring
     tides and this meant that we would have faced very strong streams throughout the passage so,
     lacking the time to wait for neaps to come round again, we reluctantly abandoned this idea. By
     way of compensation, we took a number of day trips out into the local rivers of the delta in small
     local boats which were completely fascinating. We were lucky enough to find an outstanding local
     naturalist guide to take us out into the jungle and to show us the many kinds of plants and
     wildlife, not least a young but still chubby tarantula which he plucked from its nest in a dead palm
                               frond and some ants over 3cm long. The local people live entirely in huts
                                                                                                                 "We had no regrets and
                                      along the edges of the rivers as all transport here is water-born,
                                                  much of it by traditional dug-out or planked canoes.           many delightful surprises
                                                   Most derive a living from gathering forest fruits and by
                                                         fishing in the rivers. On our final day in Belem we     from choosing our
                                                              were invited to join a yacht club outing to a
                                                              simple restaurant out in the jungle which gave     less-usual route to
                                                              us the opportunity for another close look at the
                                                              jungle from a locally-built catamaran.             the Caribbean"
                             Pelagos Yachts
                              I n t e r n a t i o n a l Ya c h t C o n s u l t a n t s

      Expert navigation through
         the yachting world
             Leasing • VAT and Tax Services • Marine Finance • Insurance
      Commercial and Private Yacht Registration • International Safety Management
           Project Management • Yacht Management • Crew Employment

          Pelagos Yachts Limited, Auldyn House, 7 West Quay, Ramsey, Isle of Man, IM8 1DW.
                      Tel: + 44 (0) 1624 819 867 Fax: + 44 (0) 1624 819 887
                      Email: info@pelagosyachts.com www.pelagosyachts.com

                                                                UBS Oyster Regatta BVI 2004
                                                                                                   Class 1
                                                                                             1st ‘Roulette’
                                                                                             2nd ‘Dorado’
                                                                                                   Class 2
                                                                             1st ‘Boysterous of Lymington’

                                                                                    400 Main Road Harwich Essex CO12 4DN
The choice of                                                                        Tel: (01255) 243366 Fax: (01255) 240920
Oyster Marine                                                                 sails@dolphin-sails.com www.dolphinsails.com
The Oyster Ski Group has         Meeting up at Sun Valley Lodge for the first of two weeks glorious skiing we were all impressed
                                 by the photo of one of our stalwarts, Tom Corcoran, in the Sun Valley Lodge corridor of fame.
                                 Tom skied for the USA in three Olympics and his photograph rightfully holds place alongside his
customarily met in Europe        skiing contemporaries, as well as famous movie stars of the day such as a youthful Bing Crosbie,
                                 Clark Gable, Sonia Heeny and many others who frequented Sun Valley as the fashionable ski
     and North America in        resort of the day. Joining us on the group were Tom’s guests, Oswaldo Ancinas and his wife.
                                 Oswaldo, who skied for Argentina against Tom Corcoran in the Olympics, is an accomplished
   alternate years. After an     guitarist and we all enjoyed his musical entertainment on a number of evenings during the week.

 interesting visit to Klosters   Baldy Mountain at Sun Valley is steep and it provided us with some exciting skiing. The resort
                                 lived up to its reputation and we had beautiful sunshine with daytime temperatures just around
    in Switzerland in 2003       freezing and the ‘Camelot’ experience of 2 to 3 inches of snowfall on three nights during our stay.

we travelled to Sun Valley,      For our second week we travelled to Deer Valley in Utah where we welcomed additional members
                                 who had been unable to get to Sun Valley. Bobby Foster, President of Sales at Deer Valley
    Idaho and Deer Valley,       Lodging made us all especially welcome on this, our second, visit to the resort in three seasons.
                                 Baskets of fruit, nibbles and bottles of wine awaited us all in our rooms and the loan of three 4x4
            Utah, for 2004.      Chevvy Vehicles enabled us to visit nearby Park City to satisfy any retail therapy needs and we
                                 were all guests of Deer Valley Lodging for a meal one evening.

                                 Once again we had great sunshine but with a rise in temperature this meant "spring skiing" with
                                 crisp early morning conditions that improved to superb by lunchtime, becoming somewhat heavy
                                 by mid afternoon. The group quickly settled into the routine of a fairly early start and a late lunch
                                 followed by the hot tub and sunbathing or, for those with any energy left, shopping in the afternoon.

                                   Anyone for Europe in 2005?

                                            EDITOR’S NOTE
                                             The Oyster Ski Group is an informal association of Oyster owners and friends who
                                              have met to ski and enjoy each others’ company for the past six or seven years.
                                               David Blacklaws, Oyster non executive director, is the Ski Group organiser and
                                                owners interested in the dates and venue of the next meeting should contact him
                                                 by email on david@blacklaw.keme.co.uk.

                                                Olympic skiers, Tom Corcoran and Oswaldo Ancinas                   www.oystermarine.com 53
   JUST Launched
   A selection of recent Oyster launchings

                                                                                                                     Bob de Haven

      David and Nicola Yelloly and their children, Nick and Sophie, launch Galloper at a party in Fox’s Marina    David Wansbrough
                                                                                                                     and Prue Moon

   David and Nicola Yelloly took delivery of their Oyster 49 GALLOPER at the end of April. David
   is a very keen yachtsman, having raced dinghies and many other yachts, and decided the time
   had come to share his passion for sailing with his wife Nicola, son Nick and daughter Sophie.
   The family plan to sail her to the Mediterranean and will be taking part in the UBS Oyster Regatta
   in Palma later this year. GALLOPER should be easy to spot, as she carries a huge galloping
   black horse on her large white and blue spinnaker.

   David Wansbrough and Prue Moon took delivery of their Oyster 47 JUBILATE at the beginning of
   April in time for a season of summer sailing on the couth coast. Having previously owned a 40 ft
   yacht, they both had many practical ideas they wanted to incorporate into their new Oyster. They
   are planning to spend their first year with JUBILATE on the south coast - just look out for the
   large Royal Southern Yacht Club burgee flying proudly from the mast top! Next year, JUBILATE
   will be heading for the Mediterranean and a Croatian cruise. Meanwhile we look forward to seeing
   JUBILATE at the UBS Oyster Regatta in Cowes in July.

                                                                                                                 Don and Sue Smyth

54 www.oystermarine.com
                               OYSTER 62 MISTRESS MALLIKA
                               Bob and Mallika de Haven took delivery of their Oyster 62 MISTRESS MALLIKA in May.
                               Following shipping to the USA, MISTRESS MALLIKA will be taking part in the Oyster Newport
                               Regatta. They intend to cruise the east coast of America, before heading for the British Virgin
                               Islands and Caribbean. MISTRESS MALLIKA features a carbon ‘Smartboom’ rig, which should
                               give them real pleasure in the local regattas that they so much enjoy taking part in.

                                                       OYSTER 56 ICHI FEET
                                                       Owned by John and Elsie Oliver, ICHI FEET, was recently on show at
                                                       Oyster’s ‘Private View’ in St Katharine’s Dock, London, where John and

John and Elsie Oliver                                  Elsie invited family and friends to join them for a special launch party.

                                                       After setting off from London, ICHI FEET will be heading for a
                                                       shakedown cruise around the British Isles before sailing north to
                                                       Scandinavia for the summer season. ICHI FEET is finished in American
                                                       white oak with blue upholstery. She has been fitted out for long-
                                                       distance cruising with all the latest equipment to make life on board
                                                       comfortable and a home-from-home for John and Elsie and their
                                                       guests. Satellite communication will keep them in touch with their
                                                       friends all over the world.

                                                       OYSTER 49 ADESSO
                                                       Second time Oyster owners, Gerald and Ann-Marie Goetgeluck, have
                                                       named their new Oyster 49 ADESSO, which is Italian for "just now, or
                                                       immediately" which goes a long way to explaining how they are planning
                                                       to enjoy life over the next few years. Their cruising plans include a trip to
                                                       the Baltic, as far as St Petersburg, for this summer, with an Atlantic
                                                       crossing planned for later this year and then on into the Pacific in 2005.
                                                       ADESSO is cutter-rigged with oak interior joinery.
                   Gerald and Ann-Marie Goetgeluck

                              OYSTER 56 CLARE
                              Frank Chapman sailed away from Ipswich with his new Oyster 56 CLARE at the end of April and
                              had a fast trip to her homeport of Hamble in just over 24 hours. After her official launch party at
                              the Royal Southern Yacht Club at the end of May, Frank is planning some short familiarisation
                              trips across the English Channel with his family, before taking CLARE to the Mediterranean for the
                              summer season. With manual furlers and a high spec, slab reefing Mainsail, Frank wanted to
                              combine his racing experiences on the Challenge boat 'BG Group' with the luxury of a cruising
                              yacht, early reports suggest he has achieved his goal.

                                 OYSTER 56 SHAYA MOYA
                                  Owners Don and Sue Smyth are also heading north with their Oyster 56, SHAYA MOYA,
                                   where they plan to join the Classics Malt Cruise. Organised by the World Cruising Club,
                                    the 200-mile cruise through the Inner Hebrides combines a passion for sailing with the
                                    stunning Scottish scenery and of course malt whisky! Later in the year SHAYA MOYA will
                                    head for the Mediterranean, where she will be based for the next year or two.

                              Frank Chapman                                                                      www.oystermarine.com 55
     T H E WO R L D ' S YO U R OY S T E R

New 46   Deck Saloon                 53   Deck Saloon              62   Deck Saloon                New 72     FastTrack                 82 High Level
                                                                                                                                        Deck Saloon

               49      Deck Saloon             56   Deck Saloon                 66   High Level                  New 72   Deck Saloon                   100   High Level
                                                                                  Deck Saloon                                                            Deck Saloon

                                                         D o u b l e Q u e e n ’s Awa r d Ya c h t B u i l d e r s

                              OYSTER MARINE LTD                                                           OYSTER MARINE USA
                      FOX’S MARINA IPSWICH SUFFOLK                                                          5 MARINA PLAZA
                               IP2 8SA ENGLAND                                                     GOAT ISLAND NEWPORT RI 02840
                 TEL: +44 (0)1473 688888 FAX: +44 (0)1473 686861                                  TEL: +401 846 7400 FAX: +401 846 7483
                    EMAIL: YACHTS@OYSTERMARINE.COM                                                 EMAIL: INFO@OYSTERYACHTS.COM

                                                                                                                                              O W N E R R E P O RT

Sadly, a certain amount of banditry remains a
way of life here. On our last night, a couple of
guys in a dug-out removed our (locked)
                                                     Fact Box
outboard from the back of the boat in the
                                                     Size With an area of 8,512,000 square kilometres (3.3 million square miles), a coastline of
middle of the night (we just caught a glimpse
                                                     7,250 kilometres (4,500 miles) of warm, white beaches and a population of 170 million,
of them paddling away into the moonlight)
                                                     Brazil is the world’s fifth largest nation in terms of area and population.
During our stay a bunch of armed robbers
boarded a tanker moored in the harbour –
                                                     Language The language in Brazil is Portuguese. Spanish and, to a much lesser extent,
Belem remains high on the international ‘hot
                                                     English will help you get around.
spots’ for piracy.

                                                     Weather Most of Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to the north is blessed with a tropical climate.
After a week in Belem, we headed down-river
                                                     Rio’s average temperature is around 27ºC (80º F), which climbs to 40ºC during the summer
and soon experienced how rough it could get
                                                     months that stretch from December through to March.
even in the river when a 30-knot onshore wind
meets a 5-knot out-going current, completely
                                                     Getting There Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa,Swiss, Tam, Tap
submerging the boat from the bows aft to the
                                                     and Varig all offer scheduled services between Europe and Brazil. From the UK, the most
mast. One of the problems faced by any yacht
                                                     direct flights to Brazil are those operated by British Airways and Varig. Both offer daily
exploring the Amazon is that almost inevitably
                                                     services to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from London Heathrow.
one has to face a 150-mile beat to windward
in very shallow (less than 8 metres) waters
                                                     Passports and Visas European Community passport holders do not need a visa to enter
against the prevailing onshore trade winds
                                                     Brazil but passport holders from some other countries, such as the US, Australia and New
with strong tidal streams in order to reach the
                                                     Zealand do. If you have any doubts about the need for a visa, consult the airline with which
open sea again, clear of the shallows
                                                     you will be flying or contact your nearest Brazilian Consulate.
deposited by the rivers. We paused overnight
                                                     (In the UK 020-7930-9055 visa@cgbrasil.org.uk).
for breath at Soure, on the north side of the
Rio Para, a very pleasant small town famous
                                                     Currency and Exchange Rates Brazil’s currency since 1 July, 1994, is the Real (R$) which
for its herds of water buffalo, which wander
                                                     is roughly valued at R$5.19 = £1.00 (at February 2004) Most Brazilians understand dollars
the waterlogged island of Marajo between the
                                                     and, as a foreign currency, it is by far the most widely accepted throughout the country and
Para and Amazon rivers. Another day of hard
                                                     gives the best exchange rate. In the larger cities there is little problem in changing other
sailing to windward saw us clear and reaching
                                                     foreign currencies and there is an extensive network of ATMs. Most major credit cards are
fast in strong trade winds and a large swell
                                                     accepted in Brazil.
towards Trinidad and Tobago 1200 miles
away. It was soon nice to be clear of the
                                                     Vaccinations Vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for all travellers when
constant rain and humidity which is a natural
                                                     visiting the following states of Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Distrito Federal, Goiás,
part of the Amazonian experience.
                                                     Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins.

We had no regrets and many delightful
                                                     For more information on visiting Brazil
surprises from choosing our less-usual route to
                                                     please contact the Embassy of
the Caribbean. We left the Canaries in October
                                                     Brazil in London.
with the crowds, had a great couple of weeks
                                                     32 Green Street
cruising in the Cape Verde islands, spent a
wonderful Christmas and New Year in Salvador,
                                                     W1K 7AT
cruised for nearly two months in Brazil and still
                                                     Tel: 020 7399 9000
reached Trinidad in time for Carnival at the end
                                                     Email: info@brazil.org.uk
of February. Brazil exceeded all of our
expectations and it offers cruising for every
taste, from lively towns and cities to quiet and     The information shown is believed
secluded rivers and estuaries, where few yachts      correct at the time of going to press.
venture and where a primitive and fascinating        Readers should make their own
rural way of life still flourishes. For those of a   enquiries before travelling.
more adventurous spirit, the Amazon region
offers a unique and captivating experience.
Despite its challenges, the Amazon provided us
with some of our most memorable moments of
our voyage to date.                                                                                                                Photos: The Thomas Family

                                 Stephen Thomas
                                                                                                                                       www.oystermarine.com 43
    “    It is the level of detail that makes you realise
    just how much thought has gone into this latest
        creation from this prestigious boat builder
                                         BOAT INTERNATIONAL

44 www.oystermarine.com
   “  I am really pleased with

                                      An inside
     Cygnus. I think she is an
         outstanding boat and
beautifully designed and built.
   She is as good in her own
    way as the 56, which I've
  always thought was one of
the best boats you have ever
built. She sails beautifully and
  the balance seems superb.
                                      look at the
     I also think that the build
   quality by SYS is really first
rate. The attention I have had
  from Chris Packard and the
                                      new Oyster
  support on the design front
   from Chris Lock has really
combined to make this a boat
  that, not only sails well, but
     looks extremely good

                                            “   It would seem that
                                            the company’s oft
                                            repeated slogan of
                                            ‘quality, quality, quality’
                                            has paid off yet again

                                            BOAT INTERNATIONAL

                                                        www.oystermarine.com 45
     “     The engine room beneath the
      raised deck saloon is impressive
                  for a yacht of this size
                              BOAT INTERNATIONAL

46 www.oystermarine.com
                              “  An outstanding boat, which
                                  I think takes Oyster into the
                                     next league. It really is a
                              superyacht and I am delighted
                                     with the execution of the
                                concept. I am proud to own
                              the boat and I am sure you are
                                 proud to have created it
                                      THE OWNER, OYSTER 82, CYGNUS

“   Further aft is Oyster’s
trademark: a luxury owner’s
suite stretching across the
yacht’s full beam


                              “   I am increasingly happy

                              with the interior, both the way
                              it is laid out and the decor.
                              Chris Packard and Chris Lock
                              did a superb job and now
                              after four nights on board,
                              I am very comfortable in every
                              sense of the word
                              THE OWNER, OYSTER 82, CYGNUS

                                                    www.oystermarine.com 47
                                   AT SAXON WHARF

                                               a haven for
                                            Oysters on the
                                              South Coast
                                               YACHT BUILDERS
                                            Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.
                                                Saxon Wharf Lower York Street
                                        Northam Southampton SO14 5QF England
                                                Telephone +44 (0)23 8033 5266
                                                      Fax +44 (0)23 8063 4275

   and drop

                                                                Onne van der Wal, vanderwal.com
When it all comes together.
Cruising is supposed to be a breeze. When you leave the
dock, your bow thruster should ease you out with nothing
more than a whisper. En route to your favorite spot, your
steering, and sail control systems should take you there with
complete control. And when it’s time to anchor, why not enjoy
pushbutton windlass performance and a fast, solid hold on any
seabed? When it comes to cruising, we at Lewmar believe
there’s nothing wrong with perfection.

   Sonar Disabled
   Midwinter’s 2004
   Disabled sailor, Hannah Stodel, reports
   on her team’s preparations for the 2004
   Paralympic Games in Athens

   The Midwinter’s started with a disaster. Steve
   our mainsheet crew had some problems with his
   leg that we thought had been sorted.
   Unfortunately a week before we were due to fly
   out to Florida, he was re-admitted to hospital for
   an operation. Cue desperate panic in an attempt
   to find a replacement crew. Luckily my friend
   Graeme Oliver from the Musto Skiff class
   answered the call. Well who wouldn’t want to
   spend ten days sailing in Florida in March?

   With disaster number one out of the way, and a
   sad farewell to Steve, we set off in high spirits.
   We arrived in Florida to find glorious sunshine
   but one very grubby "Chimera" (our Sonar). We
   had decided to leave the boat in Florida after
   the Sonar Worlds due to the cost of shipping.        Racing during the actual competition was very         We are now off to Weymouth for a months
   So Graeme and I got to work in an attempt to         tight, with representatives from many countries       training with Andy Green, in readiness for the
   clean her. Cue next disaster - "Er guys, where       competing, including the top American and             Sonar Europeans in Cowes at the end of May,
   are the new sails?" "Somewhere in Florida." –        Irish boats.                                          where Andy will be our fourth crew in this
   Well that narrows it down.                                                                                 able- bodied event.
                                                        We finished 2nd overall, well ahead of third
   Having tracked down the sails, we finally got        place and only a couple of points behind the          Thank you Richard for your continued support
   racing after a couple of days of boat preparation    winning Canadian team. That’s not to say that         and a big thank you to all the Oyster owners
   work and some very windy training. We also           we didn’t cause them endless amounts of               supporting our campaign.
   spent time on our fitness regime. Having been        trouble in trying to get to the top spot! All said
   training hard in the UK, it was nice to do our       and done, the regatta was very successful for                                          Hannah Stodel
   usual 4-mile run in warm sunshine. We also           us, proving that we are still on top and definitely
   played tennis as part of our regime. Fellow crew,    in contention to be one of the top finishers at
   John Robertson, plays wheelchair tennis for          the Games. Added to that I won an award for           For more information about the
   team GBR and was certainly able to keep us all       the highest placed female sailor. Girl power!         British Paralympic Association
   running. Back on the water our boat speed            The icing on the cake came when British               and the Paralympic Games see:
   seemed to be up to scratch as we spent time          Airways, who already give us discounted flights,      www.paralympics.org.uk
   two-boat tuning against the Canadian team. We        gave us business class upgrades on our return         www.rya.org.uk
   were working well as a team despite the              flight to London!                                     www.sailforgold.co.uk
   absence of Steve.

50 www.oystermarine.com
           (and other yachts too)

            “    I acquired 'Arabella', a 1988 built Oyster 53, through Oyster Brokerage in 1997.
        She immediately went through a major refit at Fox's, including re-caulking the decks, refitting
          the deck saloon windows, new running and standing rigging and repainting all spars. After
             20,000 miles sailing I returned to Fox's from the Caribbean for her second major refit
         including the fitting of a custom high performance keel, modified rudder, stretched stern (to
            make her a '55') and a new generator. The keel was a particularly demanding exercise.
           Three years later after a 600-ton dredger tore into 'Arabella' on her mooring I returned to
        Fox's to repair a large hole in her starboard topsides, at the same time I replaced the engine
        and the complete rig after a spreader was torn off half way across the Atlantic. I chose Fox's
           because they have the expertise and experience to deal with difficult jobs and they were
             cost competitive. I have always found the management and staff good to deal with.

               Practical and fair with a boat building heritage stretching back generations...
                                    Jonathan Baker - Oyster 55 Arabella
                                             6 February 2004

                           NEED WE SAY MORE?
    TWO TRAVELIFTS                  FULLY EQUIPPED WORKSHOPS                           ELECTRONICS
TO 70 TONS AND 85FT LOA             REPAIRS • NEW DECKS • REFITS                     SALES SERVICE AND
                                            ENGINEERING                                INSTALLATION
                                         FULL RIGGING SERVICE                         ASHORE STORAGE
                                       STAINLESS FABRICATIONS                   ALL SERVICES UNDERTAKEN
    SPRAY PAINTING                                                                    BY OWN STAFF

                                      FOX’S MARINA IPSWICH LTD
                                IPSWICH SUFFOLK IP2 8SA ENGLAND
                              TEL: +44 (0)1473 689111 FAX: +44 (0)1473 601737
                                            foxs@oyster mar ine.com

                                             AN OYSTER GROUP COMPANY

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