World Rally yachts gather in Antigua ready for start 


Twenty-one Oyster yachts, ranging from 53 to 90 feet, are now gathered in Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, ready for the start of the Oyster World Rally on Sunday 14 January.  

Some 18 yachts have been bought specifically for the Rally. Just underhalf the fleet are new Oyster yachts. Some were launched in 2023 and built specifically for this once in a lifetime experience.  

Amongst 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. Proof indeed that these are the ultimate long-distance blue water cruisers

ARC Rally

However, these luxurious British-built blue water yachts are also capable of impressive speeds. This was demonstrated by four of them finishing in the top ten of the ARC Rally. It is a feeder event which many yachts participate in to get from Europe to the Caribbean.   

For Oyster World Rally Director Allie Smith, reaching the start, is always a milestone.

Round the world event

“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!  During the next ten days, everyone will be ensuring that each boat is ready for the start, fully victualled and supplied.  

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.” She states.

The World Rally is set to be a voyage of discovery. It is packed with life-changing experiences.  The participants will travel across three oceans. They will cover 27,000 nautical miles over 16 months. And visit 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.

Photos: Rick Tomlinson/OysterYachts