16 January 2024
The Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, fired the cannon to the 27,000-nautical-mile, 16-month adventure that will take in some 27 destinations and explore some the world’s most spectacular cruising grounds. Oyster Yachts Chief Executive, Ashley Highfield, was also at the starting ceremony on Fort Charlotte, Antigua.
The fleet will meet again in Panama for their transit through the canal in mid February.
It has been an emotional and exciting build up to the start of the 16-month adventure. Some of the fleet arrived in Antigua in mid December having taken part in the ARC Rally, the traditional delivery passage to the Caribbean for Europe-based yachts.
All the crews have spent the past few weeks building up to this day ensuring their boats are fully ready for this experience-of-a-lifetime event.
They have taken part in safety training, weather briefings, technical workshops and more – all supported by the Oyster Technical and Logistics Team, who will be on hand for the whole event to support and advise the fleet.
The first stop for the Rally will be Shelter Bay, Panama, where the fleet will all come together ahead of transiting the Panama Canal.
“Logistically, this is one of the trickiest parts of this edition of the Rally, as lack of water in the lake that feeds the canal has put additional pressure on the number of recreational boats allowed to transit at one time. However, we are hopeful that we should be able to keep with our current schedule of arriving in Galapagos, our second stopover, in early March,” comments Oyster World Rally Director, Allie Smith.
Follow the Rally and keep up-to-date with the fleet’s adventures around the world, here.