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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Comes to Oban

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Comes to Oban

As one of the most well-known stops along Scotland’s West Coast, Oban is known for many things, not least the area’s incredible scenery, historic sites of interest, and of course, its famous distillery.

With many people visiting the town every summer to explore the area, or using it as a springboard to the Inner Hebrides, Oban already enjoys a large tourist population during the summer months.

This year, however, the town will see an altogether different kind of visitor, as it welcomes Clipper’s Round the World Yacht Race on the 12th of July 2024.

The race is making a stop in Oban for the first time in its 27-year history. But what is the Round the World Race, why are they stopping in Oban?

What is the Around the World Yacht Race?

Described by Clipper as one of the biggest physical challenges to be found anywhere in the world, competitors will take on an endurance test of epic proportions as they sail a gargantuan 40,000 nautical mile race all around the planet.

Many different sailing boats attending the World Yacht Race
Image from Flickr, by Chris Bloom

Travelling on a rugged 70-foot ocean racing yacht and racing over eight legs across 13 and 16 individual races, those taking part will undergo an intensive training regime. Surprisingly, prior experience before competing is not a requirement – with the intent to welcome would-be sailors of all levels for an experience that is as inclusive as it is demanding.

As its name suggests, the race will encompass many of the world’s most famous oceanic areas, including the treacherous Southern Ocean, the picturesque Indian Ocean, and the mighty Pacific over eleven months. For every demand made by the weather and waves, sailors will be rewarded with a truly unforgettable shared experience and memories that will last a lifetime.

How did the race begin?

Devised by sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo around the world non-stop, the race’s open-to-all ethos is inspired by the idea that every one of us are equal in the eyes of Mother Nature, with every competitor expected to undergo the same challenges no matter their level of experience.

The first race took place in 1996 and has since welcomed thousands of competitors from all over the world and has been incredibly popular ever since!

Why Oban?

This year’s race will not only see a nine-person Scottish crew taking part but, for the first-time since its inception, it’ll feature Oban as the second-to-last stop on the 12th of July 2024 before a scintillating race to the finish line. So why Oban?

Image of oban's coast with a boat in the water

As a coastal town, seafaring is at the heart of its legacy. Clipper Ventures Managing Director had the following to say:

As our first ever stop in Scotland, we know Oban locals will put on a huge Highlands welcome for our crew...Oban is not only an incredible sailing destination but also has a rich history of adventure – the perfect match for our intrepid crew.

The area’s great food and drink scene will also be welcomed after a tough Atlantic crossing. From previously visiting Oban through our other sailing programmes, we know this will make a brilliant penultimate stop on our circumnavigation, and the stopover will show off everything Oban has to offer and shine the spotlight on the town and surrounding region.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. So, if you’re visiting Oban during this time, what can you expect?

Oban’s Festival of the Sea

Alongside many of the town’s most popular landmarks and attractions, Oban will also hold its Festival of the Sea. As part of a celebration of the areas surrounding seas and beyond, the festival will recognise the role they play in sustaining Oban and its surrounding islands.

Spotlighting many of the cultural aspects of Oban’s maritime tradition, including marine conservation demonstrations, sports sessions, and Gaelic workshops, the festival will also offer entertainment value in the form of arts and crafts exhibitions, as well as The Big Tune Concert at the town’s Corran Halls.

If you’re a foodie visiting the area for the first time, don’t worry – the festival will also feature many opportunities to sample some of the incredible local produce and artisanal food and drink – everyone’s a winner!

An Incredible Food & Drink Scene

Oban is known for its incredible food and drink scene. Thousands of visitors come from around the world to experience the culinary excellence our town has to offer.

Here are some of the most popular local restaurants and drink experiences:

Local restaurants

Oban is known for many things, but their food and drink is usually upon the top reasons for visiting our town. Having such a strong history with fishing, many people come to Oban to experience some of the best seafood restaurants that Scotland has to offer.

The Italian restaurant, Porcini, in Oban

These restaurants include the Waterfront Fishhouse, Ee-usk, and Cuan Mor. If seafood isn’t your cup of tea, there are a range of other cuisines to choose from. Located in our sister hotel, No.17 The Promenade, the Italian restaurant, Porcini is placed in high regard with locals and visitors alike.


Oban and whisky go hand-in-hand. The local distillery is world renowned for producing their signature drink. Visitors from around the world come to tour the distillery grounds and sample their whisky straight from the barrel.

Where to Stay in Oban

With so much to do in Oban and the surrounding area this summer, it’s worth booking as soon as possible to keep yourself at the heart of all the exciting goings-on. There are plenty of great places to stay in and around Oban, but our two hotels stand-out against the rest.

No. 26 By The Sea and our sister hotel, No. 17 The Promenade, are situated on the waterfront in Oban’s bustling centre, making them the perfect choice if you want to keep up with all the summer’s exciting events and activities, including the World Yacht Race.

However, with rooms filling up fast, be sure to book as soon as possible to avoid any potential disappointment. Booking info can be found here.