After two years of planning, the first ever Oyster World Rally started with a blast of cannon fire from Fort Charlotte, Antigua. The Georgian lookout post high above the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ was a perfect vantage point to watch the start of an adventure that will span a 16-month quest to sail around the world. There was tension on the dock before the start, when a vicious squall ripped through Nelson’s Dockyard but undeterred, the Oyster fleet cast off lines and headed out to the starting area. Conditions at the start were nothing short of glorious; with 20 knots of warm trade winds and brilliant sunshine, the magnificent Oyster fleet was a spectacular sight, as they started the 27,000-mile adventure of a lifetime.
“It is such a proud moment.” Enthused Oyster CEO, David Tydeman who was watching from the start line. “Today is the start of the first ever Oyster World Rally and a huge amount of effort has gone into making it happen. Watching the start was just so exhilarating but if I was being honest, I would say that I am extremely jealous; what a marvelous adventure to undertake and I am sure that the Oyster World Rally will capture the hearts and imagination of sailors the world over. It is every sailors dream to sail around the world and to witness the Oyster fleet departing today was a very special occasion for everyone associated with this event.”
A total of 28 examples of the Oyster range will take part in The Oyster World Rally. Each will have their own story to tell of the fantastic voyage. Eddie Jordan of Formula One fame, is sailing Oyster 885, Lush together with his wife, Marie. Eddie is a dab hand at the drums and gave an impromptu gig along with a sensational guitarist on the eve of the start. “It was great to wish everyone good luck last night with a bit of a dance and a sing along to a few anthems.” Laughed Eddie Jordan. “This is going to be a fantastic experience, I have more air miles than you could imagine but to sail around the world is going to be the biggest adventure of them all. It is full of unknowns but that is all part of the attraction and I am just so thrilled about the whole thing.”
After leaving Antigua, the Oyster World Rally heads for Panama with a rendezvous organised for all participants before entering the Panama Canal to cross into the Pacific Ocean. All of the yachts are fitted with Yellowbrick trackers throughout the 16-month Oyster World Rally.
Photo Credit: Mike Jones
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