Whilst Oban may be the final stopover destination of the global Clipper 2023-24 Race route before returning to Portsmouth, it is certainly set to be a stopover to remember as it becomes the first ever Scottish Host Port in the Clipper Race’s 27 year history.

While action on the water enters the final stages, shoreside activity in Oban is gearing up as the Host Port gets ready to welcome some 200 Clipper Race Crew with a special programme of events forming a one-off Festival of the Sea.

Showcasing the best of Scottish food, drink, music, sport and culture, activities get underway from 12 - 21 July 2024. From learning how to play shinty (a Scottish twelve-a-side game, played with curved sticks and taller goalposts) and speaking Gaelic, to discovering the finest Scottish food and drink (including a tour of Oban Distillery), to beach cleans, behind-the-scenes yacht tours, ceilidh dancing and traditional music, there really is something for everyone during Oban’s debut stopover.

Joining us on Oban? Here’s what you can look forward to:

Spectator and Turn Up Events

  • 12th - 16th July - Welcome the Clipper Race Fleet - Yachts arrive in Oban and will berth at North Pontoon.
  • 13th & 14th July - WASZP Scottish Championships - A competitor only sailing activity providing an exciting spectator opportunity from shore.
  • 14th July, 11am - 4pm - RYA Coastal Beach Clean, meet at Dunstaffnage Castle car park - No need to book, just turn up.
  • 16th - 21st July - Clipper Race Fanzone - Do you want to learn more about the Clipper Race, the world’s toughest ocean challenge? Then come and visit Clipper Race Fanzone.
  • 15th July - Oban Sailing Club Monday Mayhem event - see Oban’s young sailors take part in water events in the bay.
  • 15th - 19th July - Ocean Science Busking event, North Pier - Dive into some of the latest advances in our understanding about the ocean: be inspired, amazed, amused and entertained by the team of students, researchers and conservationists.
  • 16th July - See Oban Sailing Club Keel Boats Racing around the bay from 6pm.
  • 17th - 21st July - Food Village - 10am to 4pm, Rockfield Centre - Come and sample some of Scotland’s finest produce.
  • 17th - 19th July - Introductory Gaelic lessons - 2pm to 3.30pm, Corran Halls - no need to book!
  • 17th July, 1pm - 4pm - Chop for Charity at Cuan Mor - join Clipper Race crew for a haircut and/or beard trim with donations to UNICEF & The Little Princess Trust. No need to book.
  • 18th & 19th July, 11am - 3pm - See and visit Oban’s newest RNLI Lifeboat, The Campbell-Watson at North Pontoon.
  • 18th & 19th July, 10am to 6pm - Tour a Clipper 70 racing yacht - Bring the family and step on board a Clipper 70 stripped down ocean racing yacht. Take an above and below deck tour with the Race Crew that have called these yachts home for eleven months - Free at North Pontoon - no need to book!
  • 20th July - Rotary Annual Duck Race, 3pm from Black Lynn River - Sponsor a duck for charity at Station Square from Friday 19th.
  • 20th July, 10am - 4pm - RNLI Lifejacket Clinic & water safety at North Pier.
  • 21st July, 10.30am - Parade of Sail - Watch as the Clipper Race Crew are piped down to the North Pontoons for the race start preparations.
  • 21st July, 12pm - Slip the Lines Ceremony, Dunstaffnage - the Clipper Race yachts will start their final stretch to Portsmouth, to complete the circumnavigation.

Book In Advance and Ticketed Events

  • 17th & 18th July - 11am & 2pm - Guided walking tours around the town. £12 per person. Book tickets here.
  • 18th July - Ocean Kindness: how to use the sea sustainably. A free walking tour with talks, demonstrations and hands-on science at Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). Free mini bus from Corran Halls to SAMS, every 30 mins. Book tickets here.
  • 19th July - Clipper Race Discovery Talk: Become an Ocean Racer, 6.30pm - 7.30pm - Hear from the Clipper Race crew and team all about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Register your interest here.
  • 19th July - Join the Clipper Race crew of Ha Long Bay for their UNICEF fundraiser. A night of quizzing, raffling, and assorted hi-jinks! Ticketed event at The View - Tickets here.
  • 20th July - Come join us for an unforgettable night of music with Skerryore in concert - Book tickets here for Corran Halls.
  • 20th July, 11am - Pirates, Mermaids and the Ocean at Dunollie Castle - Spend the day and enjoy some nautical themed fun for all ages. Take part in workshops, craft activities, storytelling, and take the explorer’s quest through Dunollie’s enchanting woodland grounds. Enjoy face painting , a special ocean themed lunch menu and homebaking. Fancy dress is welcome. Book tickets here.

For those unable to be in Oban in person, be sure to follow the Clipper Race Facebook and Instagram pages and check back on the News Hub for all the latest from the West Coast of Scotland.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Race Viewer as Race 13: Oban Atlantic Homecoming enters the closing stages.

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