Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

New year, new ocean - Oyster World Rally sets off across the Atlantic

by Oyster Yachts 18 Jan 06:33 PST
Oyster World Rally sets off across the Atlantic © Oyster Yachts

The fleet of British-built Oyster yachts taking part in the Oyster World Rally 2022-23 has set off on the next passage of their round the world circumnavigation.

The yachts departed from the V&A Waterfront Marina at Cape Town, where they had enjoyed Christmas and New Year celebrations. The next passage takes them firstly to the remote island of St Helena, before heading across the Atlantic to Ascension Island, Salvador in Brazil, Fernando de Noronha and Grenada.

The fleet has been sailing for just over 12 months since starting from Antigua in January 2022. With over 20,000 nm already sailed and now around the Cape of Good Hope, the significance of leaving the Indian Ocean behind and heading back into the Atlantic will, for many, feel like the final count down on this amazing voyage of a lifetime. "I can't believe how quickly the time goes - it just flashes by," says Oyster 565 Infinity owner Ross Golding.

There are now only four months of sailing and some 7,000 nm left before the fleet cross the finish line at English Harbour, Antigua and where one of the yachts in the rally will formally be recognised as the 100thOyster to circumnavigate the world.

Prior to enjoying the Christmas break, the fleet faced one of the most memorable and challenging passages of the circumnavigation from Reunion to Durban and then onto Cape Town. Hugh Mullens, owner and skipper of Oyster 565 Akoya said this was due to the combination of more upwind sailing in strong winds and sailing against the famous Agulhas current that made it one of the most memorable legs. For Ross Golding onboard Oyster 565 Infinity, it was rounding the Cape of Good Hope in winds of 40-45 knots, hitting personal breaking-record speeds over 20 knots - "our 565 was just razor sharp" he said.

Having lived aboard now for over a year, Ross added that for him and his family Infinity was "just like home, a very comfortable home. The quality and workmanship that goes into an Oyster makes us feel almost more comfortable than in our home!" Hugh agrees: "When you have family and friends crewing with you on the way round, you need to feel incredible safe and she's solid as a rock. Oyster yachts are without doubt the ultimate 'get you home' boat."

Fully supported by Oyster's Rally Support team and After Sales service, the fleet will set off across to St Helena having undergone essential checks of the rig, electronics, navigation and safety systems.

Allie Smith, Head of Oyster Group Events comments, "The support provided by Oyster on the World Rally is one of the key features of this event and a main reason why people sign up to sail around the world with us. Whether it's our Technical Support team helping service winch and hydraulic systems, carrying out rigging checks or renewing anti-fouling and replacing anodes, or our Logistics team assisting with official formalities, admin, and concierge services, or the After Sales team bringing out specific items from the UK, we're on hand to ensure our Oyster owners are fully supported all around the world."

Reflecting on lessons learned so far along the circumnavigation, both Ross and Hugh agree that having a positive attitude, sense of humour and a cool head are paramount. "There undoubtedly will be problems along the way, and these will often occur at the worst times, but a sense of humour and cool head enable you to work it out," says Ross. Hugh agrees, and says his biggest surprise was how relaxed he felt and how well he had coped with long and sometimes challenging passages.

And their advice for future entrants in the next Oyster World Rally? "Just appreciate being disconnected with the world," says Ross. "Before we left Antigua we were worried about getting into ports due to Covid, but in the middle of the ocean, you realise that Covid doesn't exist, that politics doesn't exist and you just forget about the need to be connected. You can just unwind and enjoy every moment."

The Oyster World Rally fleet is due to arrive into St Helena around January 23rd. Some of the yachts will choose to stop over at Ascension Island, before heading to Salvador in mainland Brazil or choosing to sail to the archipelago of 21 volcanic islands that make up Fernando de Noronha.

For anyone interested in taking part in the Oyster World Rally 2026-27, there are still some places available. Follow the Rally live here.

For more information about taking part in an Oyster World Rally visit here.

Related Articles

Pantaenius embark on partnership with Oyster
The Pantaenius Group and Oyster Yachts are excited to build on their unique relationship Leading leisure marine insurance specialist Pantaenius have recently announced their exclusive partnership with Oyster Yachts. This association commemorates the 50th anniversary for Oyster and further reinforces a long term relationship. Posted on 5 Jun
Oyster now offers four shallow-draft models
Providing access to secluded bays and shallow cruising grounds New shallow-draft options on the Oyster 495, 595, 745 and 885 provide access to secluded bays and shallow cruising grounds, whilst still delivering high-spec upwind bluewater performance. Posted on 2 Jun
100th Oyster yacht circumnavigates the world
The equivalent of travelling ten times to the moon and back Oyster Yachts has confirmed that with the completion of the Oyster World Rally 2022-23, more than 100 Oyster yachts have now circumnavigated the world. Posted on 27 May
Oyster Yachts strengthen senior management team
Ashley Highfield confirmed two key appointments Ashley Highfield, new Chief Executive Officer of Oyster Yachts, has confirmed two key appointments to the senior management team. Posted on 21 Apr
Oyster Yachts at London Luxury Afloat
Perfect location to showcase four of the newest and most popular sailing yachts Oyster Yachts will once again be at the very heart of London Luxury Afloat, taking place at St. Katharine Docks from 18-22 April, described as the UK's most luxurious showcase for discerning buyers. Posted on 3 Mar
Oyster 495 plays leading role in film series
Following the build of this benchmark 50 foot bluewater cruiser The Oyster 495, named European Yacht of the Year 2023, takes the leading role in a six-part film series that follows the build of this benchmark 50 foot bluewater cruiser. Posted on 26 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 - An international affair
Seventy boats set to to start on Monday The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts on 20th February at 11:00 AST (UTC-4). Seventy boats from all over the world are ready in Antigua for the non-stop 600nm race around 11 Caribbean islands. Posted on 19 Feb
Ashley Highfield appointed as Oyster Yachts' CEO
Previously Executive Chairman of the British-based luxury boat builder Highfield, who was previously Executive Chairman of the British-based luxury boat builder, has been fulfilling the interim CEO role since September 2022 following a re-organisation, and was formally offered the role last month. Posted on 9 Feb
International fleet set for RORC Caribbean 600
Over 70 teams from 16 different nations are expected to compete Over 70 teams from 16 different nations are expected for the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600, with a dozen or more boats racing in the inaugural RORC Nelson's Cup Series. Posted on 1 Feb
Oyster 495 wins European Yacht of the Year 2023
Their newest, and smallest, addition to the fleet Oyster Yachts is delighted to confirm that their newest, and smallest, addition to the fleet, the Oyster 495, has won the European Yacht for the Year in the Luxury Cruiser category. Posted on 23 Jan
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERLloyd Stevenson - Artnautica60 728x90px BOTTOMHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER