Ascension : WORLD OYSTER RALLY MAKES UNSCHEDULED STOPOVER AT ASCENSION ISLAND
Submitted by The Islander (Mario Anthony) 03.02.2014 (Article Archived on 17.02.2014)
On 10 January last year, 28 yachts left Fort Charlotte in Antigua in the first ever Oyster World Rally!
On 10 January last year, 28 yachts left Fort Charlotte in Antigua in the first ever Oyster World Rally! After two years of meticulous planning the rally which was conceived as an event to celebrate Oyster’s 40th Anniversary promised a 16-month odyssey of endless adventure. The fleet comprising of 28 yachts from Canada, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States can only be described as a truly international event spanning a 27,000-mile journey. A year into the adventure, 24 yachts remain in the rally with only 4 yachts leaving for various reasons.
Although St Helena Island is a recognized stop along the way; Ascension is off the “beaten track”, and those on Ascension Island who have been following the rally were pleasantly surprised to find that half of the competing vessels had decided to make a call at Ascension to see what we have to offer. “Spent”, “Stiarna”, “Wolfhound”, “Satika”, “Lush”, “Dreams Come True”, “Sotto Vento”, “Mariela”, “Purusha”, “Serendipity”, “Proteus” and “Aequitas” have all called at Ascension over the past 2 weeks. They told The Islander that they were all really delighted with their decision to call at Ascension. During their time here they participated in both island and turtles tours run by the Conservation/Tourist Office, visited the VC Snack bar for dinner and various calls at the local clubs which they thoroughly enjoyed and will be recommending Ascension to fellow travellers with the hopes that Ascension can actually be added as an official stop in any future Oyster Rallies! Geoff and Sue Morris on board yacht “Spent” arrived in record time to deliver a presentation and talk to the pupils of Two Boats School. Hailing from the small village of Orlingbury, Northamptonshire, they have a Saint Helenian friend who works there. Tina Porter is the cousin of Stacey & Shonray Phillips and Sherelle Reynolds here on Ascension! Perhaps the vessel most looked forward to was the luxury yacht “LUSH” who is owned by Eddie Jordan of Formula One fame. It is a well-known fact that Eddie Jordan had started the race from Antigua along with his wife, Marie and friends and relatives but seemed to have disembarked somewhere along the journey. With an overall length of 27.08 metres/88 feet, “LUSH” boasts of State of the art deck systems, including furling sails and hydraulic winches, making the Oyster 885 easy to handle. Unsurprisingly, performance is still important to a man like Eddie Jordan, even on a yacht this size, so “Lush” does not have an in-furling mainsail and her enormous 510 square metre asymmetric spinnaker requires at least six competent crew to handle. Rumored to be worth a staggering 17 million pounds it is described as anuber-luxury floating hotel! “Lush” is all you might expect for a yacht owned by Eddie Jordan… An interior design that shouts ‘rock star’ and reflects somewhat the man’s flair for style, twinned with a sleek and speedy-looking exterior. This a yacht packed with luxurious indulgences, for a man who doesn’t like going slowly! Everyone would like to wish all of the World Oyster Rally visitors, a safe and happy voyage to their next destination!