June 10th saw the arrival of the Oyster World Rally into the Lau Group from Tonga.
The rally, exclusive to owners of Oyster brand yachts, set off from Antigua in January this year and after clearing into Lau, sailed on to Savusavu, Port Denarau and Musket Cove before heading to Vanuatu on their way back home. As we wave them off into the sunset, we reflect on a wonderful month for our country and a tremendous boost to our yachting industry.
The arrival of these upmarket yachts into Vanua Balavu signaled the start of a new yachting tourism era for Fiji’s most outlying islands. The efforts allowed Vanua Balavu to be temporarily trialed as a port of entry into Fiji, and also showcased the unspoiled uniqueness of the Lau group of islands and the strong, rich culture of the people who live there.
Many of the visiting yachtsmen and women ventured out of the marinas to sample some of Fiji’s many tourist attractions, such as White Water Rafting in Pacific Harbour and dining out to sample many of Fiji’s restaurants.
Importantly, Fiji’s Yachting industry was also given both a financial and confidence boost with 12 of the 25 strong Oyster Yachts choosing to haul out for necessary maintenance work. This demonstrated an enormous amount of faith in our craftsmanship and attention to detail when looking after high end vessels.
Responding to huge interest in the inaugural event and with more than 15 Oyster Yachts already on the entry list, Oyster has announced a second World Rally starting in January 2016.
Fiji is looking forward to welcoming the 2016 Oyster World Rally, who will of course, be armed with copies of ‘A Mariners Guide to Fiji – Shores & Marinas’ ahead of time!