World ARC 2014-15 ends in St. Lu­cia

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Fif­teen months ago the World ARC 2014-15 fleet set out from Saint Lu­cia to sail around the world. Amongst the crews were many na­tion­al­i­ties, back­grounds and rea­sons for tak­ing part.

Since then, the crews have sailed well over 26,000 nau­ti­cal miles, crossed three oceans and vis­ited more than 17 coun­tries. As they ar­rived back in Saint Lu­cia on Sun­day, they joined the spe­cial band of cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tors who have sailed the world on their own boats and, per­haps more im­por­tantly, be­come a fam­ily bonded to­gether by hun­dreds of shared ex­pe­ri­ences to last a life­time of re­flec­tion.

The Pa­rade of Sail and of­fi­cial prize giv­ing cer­e­mony pro­vided a fit­ting fin­ish to the adventure. The fleet pa­raded up the coast of Saint Lu­cia ac­com­pa­nied by lo­cal boats, mem­bers of the Saint Lu­cia Yacht Club, me­dia and sup­port­ers of World ARC in Saint Lu­cia.

Af­ter a morn­ing of light showers, the Caribbean sun beamed down as the fleet crossed the cer­e­mo­nial fin­ish line in Rod­ney Bay. The crews and those look­ing on cheered and con­grat­u­lated one an­other as cham­pagne corks popped in cel­e­bra­tion of the oc­ca­sion. There was high emo­tion on the dock and at the IGY Rod­ney Bay Ma­rina drinks re­cep­tion af­ter­wards. It was only a mat­ter of time be­fore many of the crews spon­ta­neously jumped into the ma­rina swim­ming pool to cool down!

The Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board pro­vided a re­ally en­joy­able prize giv­ing re­cep­tion in the evening, and crews were wel­comed back to Saint Lu­cia by the Hon­ourable Lorne Theophilius, Min­is­ter for Tourism, Her­itage and the Cre­ative In­dus­tries in Saint Lu­cia who said how pleased he was to see World ARC’s re­turn to the coun­try’s shores. The evening of cel­e­bra­tion con­tin­ued with su­perb food, and af­ter-din­ner danc­ing late into the night which was a splen­did way to end 15 months of chal­lenge, ex­cite­ment and fun.

The crews have been spoilt with some beau­ti­ful, fas­ci­nat­ing and wel­com­ing places all around the globe but speak­ing on the dock­side, all agreed that it will be their friends from the rally that they will miss most as they go their sep­a­rate ways. Ex­plor­ing the world to­gether as a ‘World ARC fam­ily’ has made all those ex­pe­ri­ences into truly spe­cial mem­o­ries to be trea­sured for years to come.

Since 2014, the World ARC has been an an­nual rally with starts each year in Saint Lu­cia and Australia. The World ARC 2015 fleet is cur­rently cruis­ing the Mar­que­sas and Tuamo­tus for the next ren­dezvous in Tahiti and in the past four months crews have set­tled into life ex­plor­ing the Pa­cific is­lands.

Mean­while away from th­ese idyl­lic sur­round­ings, the adventure is just be­gin­ning for those plan­ning their fu­ture cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tions with World Cruis­ing Club. En­tries are open for two forth­com­ing edi­tions - World ARC 2016 and World ARC 2017, in­clud­ing the op­tion to ex­plore South Amer­ica via the Cold Wa­ter Route. Yachts can join in Saint Lu­cia (Jan­uary) or in Australia (Septem­ber), and sail a half rally or make the whole cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion. Boats can also take a year out to ex­plore Aus­trala­sia and join the next edi­tion to com­plete their cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion.

Plan­ning a round-the-world adventure takes time. World Cruis­ing Club uses ex­pe­ri­ence gained over five edi­tions of World ARC to help and sup­port par­tic­i­pants to set sail safely and well pre­pared. Many fu­ture ral­liers at­tended World Cruis­ing Club seminars this spring in Guild­ford, UK and An­napo­lis, USA, some tak­ing their first steps in pre­par­ing for life afloat whilst oth­ers will be cast­ing off their lines in just eight months’ time.

For more in­for­ma­tion about fu­ture edi­tions of World ARC, visit www.world­cruis­ing.com/world_arc

This sail­boat was among the fleet in the

World ARC 2014-15.

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