Photography by © Tomàs Moyà / Ugo Fonolla
On Sunday 9 January at 1300 hours at Charlotte’s Point, Antigua, the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams fired the starting cannon for the Oyster World Rally.
There are 25 British-built Oyster yachts taking part in the 27,000-nautical-mile world circumnavigation that will take the intrepid crews some 16 months to complete, stopping at 25 locations around the world.
“We feel ready, not panicked, just excited! There are so many highlights on this trip ahead of us, but it’s the prospect of the adventure we’re most looking forward to,” noted Trevor and Judy Hill, owners of the Oyster 725 INTREPID, shortly before the start.
The 25 yachts taking part in the Oyster World Rally are crewed by families, couples and individuals, all brought together by the lure of a global adventure of a lifetime.
The Oyster World Rally provides a fully supported experience for any Oyster owner who has always dreamt of sailing around the world.
A dedicated Oyster support team works with entrants from the moment of sign up, providing technical training, advice on boat preparation and service, logistics, customs procedures, provisioning and is even able to help to provide professional crew through Oyster Yachts Crew Finder service.
The Oyster team travels ahead of the rally and is on hand at every stopover to offer an extraordinary depth of technical expertise and local knowledge.
Most of the fleet arrived in the Antigua before Christmas, and the crews, who are aged between ten and 70 have spent the past few weeks making the final preparations ahead of their once in a lifetime voyage.
The first leg of the Oyster World Rally will take the crew 1,180 miles from Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands, through the Caribbean Sea to Panama City where the fleet will come back together to transit the famous Panama Canal in early February.
This is the third edition of the Oyster World Rally, and the only fully supported circumnavigation of the world.
The highly experienced Oyster World Rally logistics and technical team who between them have over 225 years of combined ocean experience, over a million sea miles and six circumnavigations, are with the fleet every step of the way, greeting them at all of the 25 stopovers.
Amongst the 25 competing yachts, there are five new Oyster Yachts – three Oyster 565s, one Oyster 595 and an Oyster 675. The largest yacht in the fleet is Intrepid, an Oyster 725.
“What an amazing day to see the Oyster World rally fleet departing Antigua after a fantastic week of fun activities, parties, briefings and celebrations.
“The crews have all started to bond together and great friendships have started to form. After all the hard work and preparations, as well as navigating the COVID challenges, we’re finally on our way!” commented Allie Smith, Head of Group Events at Oyster Yachts shortly after the start.
The Rally is being followed in real-time on the Rally Live section of the Oyster Yachts website. Next stop is Panama and then the Galápagos Islands.