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Lizard 2020 - LEADERBOARD

38th Oyster Regatta at Real Club Nautico de Palma - Day 2

by Sue Pelling 7 Oct 2016 19:17 BST 4-8 October 2016
38th Oyster Regatta day 2 © Martinez Studio

Conditions fail to dampen Oyster family's spirits

Thunder, lightning, sun, rain, flat calm, winds up to 20kts, and extreme wind shifts seemed the perfect recipe for a disastrous day on the water. Thankfully, however, it wasn't to be. Instead, the race committee, led by David Tydeman, once again managed to defy nature and pull off yet another successful day at the Oyster Palma Regatta (Race Day 2) sponsored by Lewmar. Even the threat of rain at the dockside cocktail party after racing at the Real Club Náutico de Palma (RCNP), failed to dampen the spirits of the 350 competitors who had more than a few tales to tell after a testing day on the water.

One of the most notable stories of the day was the heroic antics that took place aboard Andrey Yakunin's stylish Oyster 885-07 Firebird in Class 1. The team made up of a total of seven nationalities thought their day had ended early when their hydraulics failed. Instead they managed to sail the yacht 'manually' and finish second to Maxim Kudryashov's impressively sailed Guardian Angel – Oyster 885-04 (RUS). After two races Guardian Angel leads Class 1 in the four-race, three-to-count series.

Jesper Bank, calling tactics on Firebird, commented that although the hydraulics issue was a minor technical issue it turned out to be a really great team experience because we seemed to solve all the issues of sailing a heavy boat like that with our bare hands. When it happened we thought we'd see how we get on and see if we can make the next manoeuvre, then see if we could get the jib out, then see if we could sheet on the main, and we seemed to solve the whole thing and were less than a minute from winning Class 1 overall. So actually it was a really good day."

In Class 2 Vladimir Baksheev and team on Lady Mariposa – Oyster 625-05 (RUS) demonstrated some extremely impressive boat speed today, and managed to beat David and Joanne Furby's Oyster 625-06 Vamos by nearly four minutes on corrected time. Baksheev enjoying the festival atmosphere at the dockside cocktail party after racing, said: "We are delighted to win class. The teamwork was really good and happy we chose the correct sails for the conditions. The gennaker was a really good option and we were changing gears all the time to account for the shifty conditions. I think that's what won us the race."

A third for Richard Smith's Sotto Vento – Oyster 655-07 (GBR) is enough for this Oyster Regatta-regular to retain the overnight leading position in class by just 0.25pts from Lady Mariposa.

Elsewhere in Class 2, the Swedes aboard Henrik Nyman's Delicia – Oyster 625-09 managed to retain their fun spirit despite losing their early advantage after a cracking start and first beat. They also suffered gear failure when the electric winches stopped working, and like many yesterday, they suffered in the large shifts and holes in the Bay. Although they gained a bit back on the last run, they had to settle for sixth.

Nyman commented: "Our winches failing took us down a bit, but we sorted it and had a really fun day. We had a good start and flew off the start line and were able maintain speed as well as pointing well. One of the best bits of the race was the last few 100 metres to the finish when, in the holey wind, we managed to coax Delicia all the way down the run by using the asymmetric spinnaker as a Code Zero. Although naturally it is good to do well, what is important is enjoying the time spent on the water with friends. That is something we never fail on."

Fellow Swedish sailors Eric and Ann Alfredson and their good friends on Lisanne – Oyster 575-29, continued their winning ways in Class 3 yesterday and now lead their class with two days to go. They started well, had a good beat and led at the windward mark. Although their race was shortened after one round, Alfredson confessed he thought the decision to shorten was a good one. "Although at the time we would have liked a second round I think it was a good move to shorten. Two hours in those conditions was more than enough. The team is sailing well and I think they are getting better by the minute, which is why we are doing so well."

Retired mechanical engineer, Ritchie Gatt from Sussex in the UK on Ostra – Oyster 53-23 – is also sailing with family but has a couple of permanent crew in preparation for the forthcoming ARC. With a second, and first place in Class 4 on day two, Team Ostra are now one point ahead of Hugh Johnson and his team on Oyster 54-19 – Nikitoo II.

Praising his crew after yesterday's win, Gatt said: "The key to our win today was a very good start, we were pointing well and had good speed. The most important thing in today's tricky conditions, however, was teamwork particularly during kite hoists and drops. We are now looking forward to the next race when things should start to hot up."

On the progress of the event so far, after two days, Tydeman (Oyster Group CEO – Event Chairman-Race Officer) said: "I am absolutely delighted that despite the incredibly tricky conditions, we've managed to complete two good days of racing. The positive vibe throughout the record-breaking 43-strong fleet is tremendous. I am particularly delighted that Oyster's ethos of promoting Corinthian sailors as well as professionals, is as strong today as it has ever been."

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