Swapping horsepower for sail power

Adrian Newey OBE, Chief Technical Officer at Red Bull Racing F1 Team, has chosen Oyster Yachts to build his ‘dream bluewater sailing boat’, with the ambition one day to sail around the world.

Newey’s 885 yacht is currently in build at Oyster’s Southampton-based headquarters.  One of the greatest engineers in Formula One history, Newey is following in the footsteps of his good friend Eddie Jordan, who also owns a luxurious bluewater sailing yacht built by British boatbuilder Oyster Yachts. A world away from his current high-octane life, for Newey, the “purity of sailing” and the appeal of harnessing nature influenced his choice of moving to a more natural method of transport.

Newey explains that being able to work closely in collaboration with Oyster, and with Oyster Project Manager Matthew Townsend, enabled him to “exercise his engineering brain” to create design solutions to personalise his Oyster 885. Modifications have included some re-designing of the interior space to suit his specific requirements and adding a folding leaf into the aft swim platform, creating space for an additional outdoor dining area.

With a wish to operate a vessel that minimises generator use, he used his design background and motor racing experience to create a hard top bimini. This retains the elegant design and wind efficiency of the Oyster 885 and is lined with solar panels for the generation of clean energy.

Newey admits that designing a yacht is a very different experience to his day job of designing racing cars, as he explains in Oyster’s upcoming documentary “Adrian Newey, Building my Oyster”. In the film, he shares his experience, insights and learnings to help future Oyster owners through the process of building their own Oyster.

“We are tailoring an existing design, but it’s for a very different outcome,” he says.  “The beauty about motor racing is that there’s only two things that count – how quick it is and whether it’s reliable or not.  Building a live-aboard sailing yacht is much more subjective in terms of the overall pleasure versus performance and usability.”  

With the handover due in 2024, Newey says “seeing the splash after she emerges from the build shed will be a big landmark. It’s all personal and that’s the great thing about building a boat from new.”

Visit Oyster’s website to watch the trailer and discover more on Adrian Newey’s unmissable documentary about building his Oyster 885.

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