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Oyster Yachts sail the BVI for Oyster Regatta 2015

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The Oyster Regatta – A Coveted Social Sailing Experience Returns to the BVI

Photography by Mike Jones – Waterline Media

The British Virgin Islands is a renowned sailor’s paradise for its prime, predictable sailing conditions, which is why the country is the frequent host of many competitive regattas each year.

Oyster Regatta returned to the BVI for its 6th time to host their 35th annual spring Caribbean event. However, unlike the majority of sailing races which place a strong emphasis on the competitive aspect of the sport, these exclusive regattas focus on the social bonding experiences shared between owners of luxurious Oyster yachts.

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The Oyster Regatta takes place twice a year, situated in a Caribbean location in the spring, and in the Mediterranean in autumn. They are designed to be social experiences, exclusive to members of the ‘Oyster Family,’ to showcase their prized possessions, and meet and build strong relationships based around their mutual interest: the ownership of a beautiful Oyster.

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Oyster Marine was established in 1973, quickly becoming an international market leader of world-class cruising yachts, and has since built more than a thousand vessels. The boats are recognised for their unique, modern design with elements customised to maximise the comfort and preferences of those who sail them. The yachts are more than material possessions and emphasise the importance of luxurious comfort over competitive performance, as it is the affluent yachting lifestyle around owning an Oyster, which defines the company.

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David Tydeman has been the CEO of Oyster for six years and is a naval architect by trade. He joined the company with an extensive background on the technical knowledge of yacht building and an uncompromising passion for sailing. During his time with Oyster, he has tweaked the classic design to improve areas of functionality and comfort based on his pre-existing expertise of the industry.

“A lot of thinking goes around the social uses of the boat when we begin designing an Oyster,” said David. “The design is not created with high-tech sails or racing specifics, but rather, unique features to maximise modern essentials and comfort.”

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The Oyster’s naval architecture is created to withstand harsh weather conditions while cruising along the oceans of the world.

“In many ways we are like a Bentley SUV…classy, quality, but tough,” David commented. The introduction of their signature ‘tear drop window,’ wrapping around the saloon space, allows travellers to experience the extraordinary views when relaxing inside the boat. Oysters are built with the owners in mind and how they will co-inhabit with their crew, and as such are designed in a way to allow privacy and separation if they prefer.

To adhere to this ethos of comfort, and recognising that Oyster owners enjoy passage making voyages, the boats feature the master cabin at the back rather than the front.

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Oyster owners enjoy coming to the BVI because it offers the chance for the race to take place in multiple locations on different islands, rather than beginning and concluding at the same base each day. Because Oyster places a strong emphasis on the social experience of the regatta, exclusive events took place each evening, including a prize giving, dinner, and party on each of the three visited islands. Day one began at Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola, where the owners registered, enjoying a cocktail party and buffet dinner at Peg Leg’s restaurant.

On the first race day, the fleet travelled to Norman Island, where participants dressed up for a pirate-themed party at Pirates Bight Restaurant. The final three days of the regatta took place around Virgin Gorda, where the Oyster Family raced for two days and spent one ‘lay day’ relaxing at luxury accommodations in the North Sound, including Bitter End Yacht Club, Oil Nut Bay, and the prestigious, state-of-the-art superyacht marina, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).

“What I love about our regattas in the BVI is that we get to sail from place to place in some of the best, predictable sailing conditions in the world,” David added.

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Recently, Oyster launched the start of a new venture for their customers by implementing the World Rally, with its inauguration in 2013. During this rally, 100 people came together on 25 boats for a 15 month global expedition, congregating at organised locations to partake in social bonding events. 

Oyster’s next World Rally is set to take place beginning in 2017 and ending in 2019.

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In addition to luxury yacht builders, the company also sells second-hand yachts through Oyster Brokerage, a dedicated team of experts with an extensive database of technical documents and photographs to match prospective owners to their perfect, previously owned Oyster.

Cruising on a luxury sailing vessel is alternatively offered for vacationers through Oyster Charters, who provide an experienced crew to operate or assist with the sailing and hospitality services provided on charter holidays.

“Sailors who are new to yachting trust Oyster because they feel safe in the customised, durable vessels when cruising the transatlantic,” David explained.

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The overall winners of the event were Reina in class 1, an 825 Oyster owned by Jeroen Hemels, and Infiniti of Cowes in class 2, a 72 Oyster owned by Ken and Diana Randall. The next Oyster Regatta will take place this autumn in the Mediterranean in Palma between September 29 and October 3, 2015.

Between the official regattas, the owners will enjoy many other exciting opportunities such as parties, dinners, and boat shows to meet and connect with the Oyster Family.

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Lauren Charley

Lauren Charley

Writer at aLookingGlass
Lauren graduated with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations.

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