Yesterday, Palma welcomed a fleet of 26 boats from 11 nations, gathered for the Oyster Regatta Palma 2014. At the quayside around the host Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), boats were tidied and shined ready for the afternoon’s Concours d’Elegance.
Ahead of the four days of racing, the 10th edition of the Palma Regatta welcomed a fleet with a varied level of skill and experience, including first time racers and world trophy holders.
Serial attendees include the ever green, Oyster 82 Starry Night of the Caribbean which has never missed a regatta, similarly John Marshall on Rock Oyster, a name long seen on an Oyster 56 but now on the transom of his newly bought 655, formerly Anabasis.
Two newer siblings, the 885/02 Karibu and Sir Frank Chapman’s /03 Clare, may not have the same depth of regatta history but have great sailing experience. Sharing that same section of the quay is newcomer Reina, the first Oyster 825 off the line, ready to race after a busy, high mileage first season.
Taking part in Oyster’s 34th regatta is Dennis and Janet Knight’s Oyster 435 Shilling of Hamble, a boat that sailed the inaugural Oyster event in Antigua in 2001. Here socially only, not racing, Janet proudly still sports a unique carved whale’s tooth oyster pendant the pair scooped at their first and last Oyster regatta.
Every year, the fleet and boats get bigger and the step up in technology enables so much more. Rory and Susie McGrath, on Oyster 53 Spindrift commented, “We enjoyed last year so much that we’re back… and we’re serious. We’ve even got new sails!”
Other newcomers include Neil and Sue Speed aboard their recently acquired Oyster 45 Yo Ho Ho of Sark, a boat well known to the Oyster family having cruised extensively both hot and cold climes in former ownership and now ready for new adventures.
Among the brand new is Tinus Slabber’s 625/12a Alpha Eden Island which sits in the single biggest boat grouping in the fleet, there being an impressive eight 625s including regatta regulars 625/03 and /05 Guardian Angel and Lady Mariposa, the latter with skipper Dan Hardy reporting new sails. Simon Pillar’s 625/04 Tiger slides in between the two to show her stripes, challenging also Vamos /06, Flying Spirit /07, Great Bear V /08 and Delicia /09 who sailed her first regatta in Antigua earlier this year.
In the fleet, incredibly, the Dubois drawn 100 Penelope and Yo Ho Ho of Sark from Holman & Pye are the only two boats racing not built to Rob Humphreys designs.
Oyster CEO David Tydeman commented, “This, the 34th of our Oyster Regattas, really is a tribute to Rob who we started working with in 1998 and the 675 we’ve just announced is the 18th design in this great working partnership our Oyster design team has with Rob.”
For more information visit Oyster Yachts.