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Gijs & Ade Holstege and 'Bellamare'

Bellamare' - an Oyster 53, is a well admired yacht here in Fairway Bay Marina for it's classic Oyster lines, dark blue hull and sloop rig; if you believe in the old adage that "the boat will find it's owner" then this is the perfect example. Owner Gijs Holstege has sailed small boats and dinghies as a teenager and progressed to amateur coastal crewing larger keelers in Northern Ireland and The Netherlands, prior to chartering yachts in several countries - dreaming of owning a bigger boat of his own one day. When the opportunity in life unfolded, the search for a yacht began and would continue for a number of years to find the perfect boat - and the right circumstances.

There was however a small challenge to overcome, Adė, Gijs's wife, had no boating experience having grown up in a land locked region in the southern Nederlands, and in her own words, "had little interest in sailing" and "wondered how they were going to make the dream work."


Adė and Gijs were working and based in Brunei, and in 2019 visited family in New Zealand. While having a coffee down at the Viaduct here in Auckland, Adė looked across at a yacht called 'Bellamare', and casually commented "that's a nice boat, maybe in the future you could buy a boat like that one." After their coffee, and out of interest, they walked around to the boat and per chance there was a boat brokers sign on it with contact details. At the time it seemed like a big challenge to buy an unknown boat, well beyond budget, here in New Zealand, and to ship her back to Brunei with only one sailor in the family. The future seemed difficult to grasp, however from the very beginning of the inquiries the planets just seemed to align. Firstly, the 2021 Americas Cup defence in Auckland provided the perfect excuse to leave 'Bellamare' in Auckland and enjoy the boat and the Hauraki Gulf with family, during and following the Americas Cup. Gijs reflects "It was such a simple process taking possession of 'Bellamare' from start to finish. We expected all sorts of hurdles and challenges, but to our surprise the negotiations went without any hitches. Everything was done remotely from Brunei, including three boat surveyors, mechanical, electrical and rigging and all the Kiwis we dealt with were an absolute pleasure to work with. Fortunately 'Bellamare' had been well loved by her previous owners and it reflected in her condition, and as the purchasing process unfolded it really felt like everything was meant to be." As fate would have it, since owing 'Bellamare', Adė has grown to love sailing as active crew and thoroughly enjoys her fishing - the dream had finally came true. Also being a foodie Adė loves the classic Oyster galley setup, which is well appointed and super functional. "The family enjoy passing me their caught fish and I can fillet and cook a meal, even on a passage, it's a great combination, we all just love it," says Adė. Adė and Gijs, spend the New Zealand summer months sailing 'Bellamare' in the Hauraki Gulf and Northland and return to work and family commitments back home in the Netherlands for the European summer months. There's talk of sailing to the Pacific Islands at some point, because 'Bellamare' is the perfect yacht for any ocean adventure.



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