The fourth edition of this 16-month circumnavigation of the world, arranged exclusively for Oyster yachts and their owners, starts from Antigua in January 2024. 22 yachts and their crews will take part in this fully supported circumnavigation and, for the first time, Oyster Yachts is employing an On-Board Reporter to capture stills, video and drone images and stories from the rally.
Rick, who has a stellar reputation as a photographer, has competed in four world circumnavigations and travelled as far afield as the Arctic and Antarctica. He raced with Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon on his yacht Drum and, while on that race, set the standard for on board photography.
Allie Smith, Director of Oyster World Rally says: “We’re thrilled to have secured Rick as our first ever On-Board Reporter for the Oyster World Rally. His application shone out – he’s incredibly experienced, is completely comfortable being at sea for extended periods and, of course, takes the most incredible photos! Most importantly, Rick is well known as someone who is easy to work with, extremely likeable and unobtrusive, which will make him a natural fit with our Rally participants.”
Rick says he’s delighted to have been selected. “This is probably the best job in the world - cruising to some of the most amazing places on the planet, on board luxury bluewater Oyster yachts – I have truly landed on my feet!” he comments.
Modest about his achievements, Rick is generally not comfortable talking about himself. He says: “I am normally behind the camera, telling other people’s stories” making him the perfect person be the very first On-board Reporter for the Oyster World Rally.
Rick says: “We must remember that this is a very personal adventure for everyone taking part. For some of the owners, their families and friends, this is their dream and I feel hugely privileged to be able to be part of their adventure. Not everyone will want me on board and I completely respect that, but I think for me the biggest challenge will be how to work slow! These guys are on the adventure of a lifetime, they do not need to race around the world. When you are stopping at some of the world’s most remote locations, they will need to be savoured and explored. The added beauty of Oyster yachts is that, especially with the shoal keel variants, we can access places that you only get to by sea, so some of the destinations are truly unique.”
Going around the world at a leisurely pace, on board luxurious Oyster yachts, will be a new experience for the Isle of Man-born photographer, who first made his name in the mid 1980’s with spectacular images of the Southern Ocean. As a crew member on Drum in the 1985/86 Whitbread Race, he took one Nikon camera and 20 rolls of film with him, but his photos – including his trademark slow exposure night-time shots of the Southern Ocean – were a huge success and set the standard for onboard photography. It is said that the effectiveness of Rick’s work established the now essential role of the on-board reporter in offshore racing DNA.
The Oyster World Rally, now in its fourth iteration, is the creation of Oyster Yachts, the British luxury bluewater yacht builder. Their range of yachts from 50-90 foot feature the iconic trademark deck saloon, uncompromising strength of construction and exhilarating performance. They are a liveaboard adventure machine, capable of long ocean passages and an owner’s platform to adventure, whether that be in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Polynesian archipelago, or even the Arctic.
The Oyster World Rally provides a unique opportunity for owners of Oyster yachts to sail around the world as part of an organised Rally, visiting some 25 different destinations in some of the world’s most beautiful cruising areas. The 16-month Rally is fully supported by Oyster yachts, with a Rally Support Team on hand throughout the voyage. To date, some 84 Oysters have been part of this Rally circumnavigation and the 2024 event, which starts in early January from Antigua, will see another 22 owners and their yachts achieve their dreams of adventure and exploration.
“From a personal perspective, I will visit a whole range of locations that I have never been to, and the opportunity to photograph beautiful boats in beautiful places truly does make this, for me at least, the best job in the world!” he says, grinning from ear to ear.
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