Monthly Archives: April 2014

Homeward bound!

After a cracking couple of months racing and cruising in the Caribbean LUSH is on her final journey back to the Med. Alan our mighty engineer has returned home to his family as planned and he’s back in good time to help both his daughters out in their upcoming leaving and junior cert exams. Lucy who joined us in Indonesia as our superb hostess has always harboured an ambition to sail across the Pacific so luckily she secured a job on a 40metre sailing yacht (nearly twice as big as LUSH!) and she joined them in Galapagos last week. Paul and I got three new crew to join us for the final leg, two of whom had completed the World Rally on other oysters, Ian and Alvie. A cousin of mine, Richie, has also joined us. In fairness to Richie he kept sending emails requesting to join so we figured why not! Ask and you receive! He’s loving the trip thus far!

We dropped our lines in Nelsons Dockyard, Antigua on Sunday and are now 550nm (nautical miles) into our North Atlantic crossing with 1600nm left till we reach the Azores. The Azores lie in the mid Atlantic, 900 miles off the coast of Portugal, and has always been a great stopover for yachties on route from the Caribbean to the Med. Paul and I have both been to the Azores on previous transatlantic crossing and are certainly looking forward to our return.

It’s been an eventful couple of days since we left Antigua, especially as this really is the final battle on the fish front!! Paul’s not taking any chances this time round and threw his best lures on the line yesterday landing two stunning Mahi Mahi (Dorado) at the same time!!! Wow!! Pure magic! These have been our favourite fish on the circumnavigation so we weren’t long filleting them and cooking them up. We treated ourselves to some cevichie too! Delicious! Yesterday we had very little wind and with such a calm sea it could only mean one thing!!!!……. a swim mid ocean!! It’s been so rare on this trip to have flat calm seas, in fact the only other time we had conditions like that was between Panama and Galapagos. Unreal. It truly is an awesome feeling jumping into the big blue ocean! The sea temperature was perfect and the water the clearest I’ve ever seen it! Paradise!

Today the wind is up at 18knots and we’re sailing along at 10knots on a close reach. Happy days!!

That’s all for now folks! Lots of love from all aboard the good ship LUSH!

Remember One Life…. Live it!!!


(PS please do sign up for our emails if you want all the extra gos once we finish this trip)


LUSH Lying 2nd Overall in Oyster Regatta!

Sunshine and Smiles

Day Two, 2014 Oyster Regatta Antigua

The second race day at the Oyster Regatta Antigua, sponsored by Lewmar was blessed with sunshine and breeze. The magnificent Oyster fleet enjoyed superb racing conditions along Cades Reef on the south coast of Antigua. The downwind start had pulses racing and spinnakers flying and a windward leeward course provided plenty of close quarters action for the Oyster fleet, although gentlemanly conduct prevailed.

In Class One, British Oyster 100, Penelope continued its winning streak by taking line honours and the win on corrected time for the second day in succession. Tactician, Jeremy Robinson was quick to praise the crew.“On a yacht of this size, manoeuvres need to be perfect and the crew-work over the last two days has been impressive. Penelope has been right up on target speed and her owners Paul and Penny Brewer have been delighted with the performance.”

Oyster 885, Lush with Eddie Jordan at the helm, took second place by just over a minute and Dario Galvao’s Brazilian Oyster 655, Rocas sailed well to take third. Starry Night of the Caribbean was fourth and top Oyster 82, for the second day in a row.

Wolfram Birkel, owner of German Oyster 625 Red Cat, was a very happy man having won his first race in his new boat. “We were so close to winning yesterday but we made a few mistakes. Red Cat is a new boat for us and we are still getting used to her but today we put our experience into practice and sailed Red Cat in a much better fashion. I am so delighted to win my first race in an Oyster Regatta and keen to celebrate with my crew.”

Red Cat was the victor in Class Two, Maxim Kudryashov’s Russian Oyster 625, Guardian Angel was second and a great performance by Chris Glossop’s British Oyster 575, Dreamer of Hamble was third.

David and Joanne Furby’s Oyster 625, Vamos of Portsmouth had a problem at the start but recovered well to get right back in the mix, especially downwind with their resplendent red spinnaker expertly trimmed. The crew from the south of England enjoyed some close quarter racing with other yachts. “You learn so much about driving the boat at an Oyster Regatta.” commented David Furby. “Sailing on the wind really tests your ability to steer the boat correctly and downwind under spinnaker requires a different approach, I have a lot to learn but I am improving all the time.”

Class Three provided an epic duel between two British Oysters, Tony Keal’s Oyster 54, Wolfhound and Harvey and Sue Death’s Oyster 56,Sarabi. The two yachts were evenly matched for speed around the course and after over three hours of racing Wolfhound crossed the line just a boat length ahead of Sarabi to take the gun and the win after time correction. Joachim and Rolf Riel’s German Oyster 56, Mariela had another consistent day placing third.

After racing the Oyster fleet enjoyed a private party at one of Antigua’s most famous locations. Shirley Heights is visited by thousands of party-goers every year. The view from Shirley Heights Lookout is without question the most famous on the beautiful island of Antigua and the 300 strong Oyster family was treated to a glorious sunset accompanied by a traditional steel band.

Oyster CEO, David Tydeman and Race Officer for the regatta welcomed the Oyster family to Shirley Heights and gave prizes for Race Two. “The course today was another testing one with a downwind start and boats sailing closer to one another and I would applaud the yachts who were very careful today and that attention to safety helped provide for another good day on the water. Racing was very close today, which shows the competitive spirit but it was also good to see that everybody is here to enjoy great company as well as superb racing and Shirley Heights is the perfect venue to celebrate with one another.”

After a delicious Caribbean-style BBQ, the Shirley Heights Reggae Band played into the night and the dance floor was soon swinging to the rhythm. After a lay day, racing at the Oyster Regatta Antigua continues, Friday 11th April.

Written by: Louay Habib
Images by: Kevin Johnson Photography


Press: End of Rally Party!

To Last Forever

06 April 2014

Oyster World Rally Finale Party, Casa Lidia, Antigua

Saturday 5 April 2014 marked the official end of the inaugural Oyster World Rally, organised to celebrate the 40th birthday of Oyster Yachts. Owners, sailors and friends of the 30,000 mile odyssey gathered in Nelson’s Dockyard for a day and a night never to be forgotten.

The Marching Band of the Antigua and Barbuda Police Service fired up proceeding with an early morning revelry in Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua, followed by the Oyster World Rally Awards Ceremony at the Admirals Inn. The Bucks Fizz was flowing and delicious brunch canapés were eagerly snapped up before Oyster CEO, David Tydeman welcomed the Oyster World Rally sailors to the awards ceremony.

“You have been an incredible inspiration to an enormous number of people around the world.” commented David Tydeman. “Your fabulous achievement has been followed by hundreds of thousands on the internet and Oyster has received expressions of interest from 200 families wanting to take part in the next event. Before the first Oyster World Rally started, 43 Oyster yachts had received their Oyster Circumnavigation Award and it gives me great pleasure to give out 23 more today and I am lost for words to describe how amazing that is.”

Debbie Johnson, Eddie Scougall and David Tydeman

Ian Davis owner of Oyster 56, Yantina operated a radio-net during the Oyster World Rally and was welcomed by David Tydeman to the stage to act as Master of Ceremonies. Much to the amusement of the guests, Ian used radio etiquette to call each yacht crew to the stage, the applause and laughter was long, loud and very genuine, as each yacht received their silver salver commemorating their circumnavigation.

The biggest cheer of the Awards Ceremony was the last, Eddie Scougall and Debbie Johnson have been the rock on which the Oyster World Rally was built. Two years of meticulous preparation was followed by 24-hour support throughout the 16-month voyage, assisting in all manner of logistical and technical solutions.

“That was a blast!” smiled Eddie, addressing the sailors. “ You should be very proud of what you have done, 99% of yachtsmen dream of sailing around the world and you have actually done it. This rally has seen higher highs and a few lows and you have taken everything in your stride and overcome so many adversities. Everybody has looked out for each other, providing all sorts of help, advice, moral support and occasionally a shoulder to cry on. If there was a spirit of the rally award, it would have to go to everyone, you have proved this by the way you have all bonded and every crew has stuck it out, right from the start to the finish and that is something fairly unique in this type of event. Debbie and I would like to thank everyone for their kindness, consideration and putting up with us, even when things weren’t going quite as they should. Words cannot express how proud…”

It was all too much for both Debbie and Eddie, who broke down in tears, spilling out the emotions of 30,000 miles and nearly four years work, it all came welling-up to the surface, as they left the stage to a standing ovation and a warm embrace from the Oyster family.

A private party was held at Casa Lidia, one of Antigua’s most exclusive villas with un-paralleled views of Nelson’s Dockyard. After a champagne reception, guests were treated to an evening of unusual entertainment of their own making. Each yacht in the Oyster World Rally performed an amusing sketch depicting their take on the experience. Raucous laughter and tumultuous applause accompanied each performance but Bob Morgan’s video rendition of Billy Joel ‘We didn’t start the fire!’ was so good an encore was demanded. The sketch included a six minute video depicting the Oyster World Rally, a cameo of moments from the event; whales breaching, dolphins playing, scuba diving, tribal dancing, trek walking and ocean sailing.

The party went on long into the night, with sailors reminiscing with each other about the incredible experience they had shared together, the Oyster World Rally had reached its conclusion but the memories and friendships made between a special group of people would last forever.

Written by Louay Habib

Pictures courtesy of Kevin Johnson Photography