The annual ARC migration to the popular winter yacht charter destination – the Caribbean is once again in full swing, with an amazing 18 Oyster yachts gathering in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. To the envy of other marques, the Oyster Customer Services’ field team are on hand as ever checking and servicing systems as well as kit to help owners and crew confidently make ready for the Atlantic crossing ahead.
With the ARC always oversubscribed, 2013 sees organiser World Cruising Club introduce a new, almost concurrent sibling event to the ARC, the ARC+ which started on 10 November two weeks prior to the 25 November ARC departure. Designed to reduce the trans-ocean rally waiting list, the ‘plus’ presents the powerful attraction of an itinerary changing stop-over at Mindelo in the Cape Verdes islands. Three Oysters are among the 43 entries sailing this new route: Oyster 575 Josie Maria, Oyster 46 Sonsy Lass and Oyster Mariner 35 Babella. Josie Maria’s owner Vicki De Margheriti is en route home to Australia and Georg Bayer’s veteran Babella is the smallest of Oysters this year.
Among the 225 yachts sailing the customary ARC route direct to St Lucia, the 2012 Oyster 885 superyacht Karibu sails as Oyster flagship, while repeat Oyster owner Wolfram Birkel takes his fresh out of the box Oyster 625 Red Cat on his first ever Atlantic crossing. Surprisingly, it’s also a first for Olympic medallist Jesper Bank who’s sailing on board Red Cat, too.
Regulars include Ross Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster, Oyster 655 Acheron under new skipper Brendan Hall, and Jacobus Janssen’s Oyster 54 Surya with this their second crossing. For Clive Sparkes on Oyster 406 Sephina of Beaumaris this may be his first transatlantic but it’s just the beginning of bigger things, having been in private refit since purchase in 2010 Sephina’s now set for a circumnavigation.
So, as always a mixed fleet, all with good stories and all looking for more, through adventure. A full list of Oysters sailing the ARC is available on the World Cruising website. Follow the fleet’s progress via YellowBrick tracking.
Others leaving independently before the ARC to reach the Caribbean sooner for private and charter operation include Oyster 885 superyacht Clare, Oyster 725 charter yacht Spirit of Phantom and Oyster 575 On Liberty. As usual, there are more following.