Beach Party Wraps Up ARC+ for another year

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

For sailors on the ARC+ route of the At­lantic Rally for Cruis­ers, the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony in Saint Lu­cia marked the end of their At­lantic ad­ven­ture that be­gan in Las Pal­mas de Gran Ca­naria on the east­ern side of the At­lantic six weeks ago.

The sec­ond edi­tion of this al­ter­na­tive route to the tra­di­tional ARC route saw 50 yachts and over 200 crew en­joy the same great ac­tiv­ity pro­gramme be­fore and after their ARC cross­ing, but also an in­ter­est­ing and en­joy­able stopover on São Vi­cente, one of the less vis­ited of the Cape Verde is­lands.

Crews were full of praise for ARC+, now an in­te­gral part of the an­nual At­lantic Rally for Cruis­ers. “ARC+ has been a fab­u­lous ad­ven­ture. We have en­joyed ev­ery minute. The group has de­vel­oped re­ally well and I feel I know almost all the other crews. The stop in Min­delo re­ally helped us to get to know one another and I found the is­lands of São Vi­cente and Santo An­tão to be re­ally spe­cial,” said Mar­ian Borde from the Starlight 39 Ex­ody. “We will go on to cir­cum­nav­i­gate with World ARC and the visit to Cape Verde is ex­actly what we were al­ways look­ing for.”

The am­bi­ence at the prize-giv­ing re­flected the con­vivial na­ture of ARC+. Held beach­side at The Mis­tral Bar at The Royal by Rex Re­sorts, the venue was the per­fect size to ac­com­mo­date all the crews and their guests and pro­vided a re­ally in­volved at­mos­phere be­tween the au­di­ence and the prize win­ners. The sound of steel pan mu­sic wel­comed the sailors in through the door and quickly got them in Caribbean par­ty­ing mood.

Those vis­it­ing the stage to col­lect their prizes in­cluded Marita and Rune Lind­berg and the Swedish crew from the Hall­berg Rassy 37 Shira, who man­aged first in Class C on cor­rected time, and first over­all in the mono­hull Cruis­ing Di­vi­sion. And it was not just crews who were suc­cess­ful in the com­pet­i­tive side of the Rally who re­ceived prizes. As is tra­di­tional in the ARC too, there were many other prizes given out for hap­pen­ings at sea, suc­cesses and achieve­ments as well as recog­nis­ing the fam­i­lies and dou­ble-handed crews who took part.

2014 is the sec­ond year that World Cruis­ing Club has de­liv­ered the ARC+ route and it was in­ter­est­ing that this year the places on the cruise reached ca­pac­ity be­fore long es­tab­lished di­rect ARC. The two routes of­fer vari­a­tions on the same theme of pro­mot­ing more so­cia­ble and safer sail­ing, and both ap­peal to a broad range of cruis­ers. “This year, I’ve sailed with my fa­ther on ARC+,” said Daniel Frin­trop from the Ger­man fam­ily boat LaVida adding, “Next year I want to re­turn with my own boat, but Dad and I are still de­bat­ing: I want to re­turn to do the ARC but my fa­ther wants to do the ARC+ again!” as Henry, his fa­ther lis­tened and smiled be­side him.

The fi­nal prize-giv­ing, whilst mark­ing the of­fi­cial close of the rally, is not quite the last party, as this morn­ing the majority of the ARC+ fleet and their crews have set sail from the IGY Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina to head a few miles south to the Capella Ma­rina at Marigot Bay. Here there is one fi­nal op­por­tu­nity to so­cialise be­fore crews start to dis­perse to ex­plore the Caribbean or fur­ther afield. But it has been clear dur­ing the last few days of ar­rivals that friend­ships will con­tinue and paths are sure to to cross again.

This pho­to­graph taken a few years ago shows ARC par­tic­i­pants en­joy­ing one of the many par­ties

hosted in their hon­our.

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