15 January 2024
Twenty-one Oyster yachts, ranging from 53 to 90 feet, gathered in Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua for the start of the Oyster World Rally on Sunday 14 January.
Some 18 yachts have been bought specifically for the Rally, and just under half the fleet are new Oyster yachts, which were launched in 2023 and built specifically for this once in a lifetime experience.
Among the Rally fleet, there are 14 new generation Oysters: there are five Oyster 565s, three Oyster 595s, two Oyster 675s, an Oyster 745 and three Oyster 885s – testament to Oyster Yachts standing as the ultimate builder of luxury long-distance blue water cruisers.
However, these luxurious British-built blue water yachts are also capable of impressive speeds, as was demonstrated by four Oyster Yachts (565 Tír na nÓg and 675 Rí-Rá from Ireland, and 595 Sydney Rock and 575 Ahlam) finishing in the top ten of the ARC Rally, the feeder event which many yachts participate in to get from Europe to the Caribbean.
For Oyster World Rally Director Allie Smith, reaching this first stage of the Rally, just before the start, is always a milestone.
“There is something very special to see everyone finally coming together after such a long preparation period.
“There is so much planning that goes in to taking part in a fully supported round the world event like this, both for our Rally clients and us as organisers, so it is very satisfying seeing it all come together! Over 10 days, everyone will be ensuring that each boat is ready for the start, fully victualled and supplied.
“The owners and crew have safety and weather briefings as well as the all-important departure celebrations! We are very much looking forward to everyone gathering back again in Shelter Bay in Panama, before heading to the Galapagos,” Allie states.
The Oyster World Rally is set to be a voyage of discovery packed with life-changing experiences. The participants will travel across three oceans, covering 27,000 nautical miles over 16 months, and visiting some of the world’s most spectacular cruising grounds and sailing destinations.
All the while the fleet is fully supported by the Oyster Technical and Logistics teams, and the sailing is timed precisely to make the most of global weather patterns, ensuring that the fleet experiences the best that each location has to offer, with plenty of cruising time at the end of each passage.
Follow the Rally and keep up-to-date with the fleet’s adventures around the world here.