THE OYSTER WORLD RALLY ALUMNI15 December 2017 Go back
The inaugural Oyster World Rally (2013-14) had somewhat of a regatta connection, many of the ‘Class of 2013’ had owned Oysters for many years, and as regular competitors at Oyster Regattas, they brought some of that competitive spirit with them. The owners that participated in that first edition were pioneers and after listening to them, we decided that the rally length of 15 months was too short, especially the time allocated to explore the Pacific.
The Class of 2017 are very different, 18 of the Oysters were entered through Oyster Brokerage transactions and over half of the owners are new to Oyster. They have come into the Oyster family to do the rally and many of them are already talking about what’s next, such as experiencing the Oyster Regattas.
The Class of 2017 have spent almost double the time exploring the Pacific, taking more time to visit probably the best part of the route, before sailing to New Zealand, to avoid the cyclone season. This break during November and March allows participants to return home at an ideal time for business or family reasons and to explore Australia and New Zealand, during their summer months.
Summarising the reasoning behind the ‘Pacific Rally’, David Tydeman Oyster CEO said: “The decision to extend the overall timetable for the 2017-19 Oyster World Rally to 27 months was driven by requests from participants for them to be able to have a longer time in the Pacific than the first Oyster World Rally.
“We were delighted to be able to make this happen and whereas the first fleet took 5 months from Antigua to Fiji, the 2017-19 fleet – the “Class of 17” as they have been nicknamed – were able to enjoy 9 months in the same waters. Not only has this greatly increased their wonderful experience in the Pacific Islands, it has also allowed them to divert south to New Zealand to enjoy exploring the North & South Islands.
“We were a little concerned that whilst this diversion was necessary to get clear of the cyclone season, we would find it a challenge to keep the fleet motivated as they waited for the start of the second half of the circumnavigation scheduled for early April 2018. We need not have been concerned – the New Zealand community – from the Bay of Islands marina’s and support staff, the professional yachting and service companies in Auckland, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Tourism board and businesses in the South Island – have been fantastic, welcoming the Oyster fleet with open arms and full of ideas for exploring this great country during the next few months. Some owners will fly home for Christmas and the New Year knowing they are leaving their yachts in the care of professional hands, others are adventuring in-land and across to Australia and we are really pleased we made the decision to include New Zealand in the rally programme. It will be firmly in the plans for the next event in 2021-23”.
Find further details of the 2021-23 Oyster World Rally in our brochure on the Oyster Yachts website