THIS year’s ARC + fleet have been steadily arriving into Rodney Bay Marina, greeted by the ARC + Rally Control and Events Saint Lucia.
Clarelsa is keeping Altair company on the super yacht pontoon while the rest of the fleet has started to congregate on E pontoon. The first of the early morning arrivals was Marisja shortly followed by Clarelsa and then Charm, who managed to chase the wind and cross the finish line at 04:00 local time.
By press time yesterday, 12 yachts would have crossed the finish line and taken their first steps onto Caribbean soil.
There are still currently 61 yachts at sea, but they are all making steady progress in the light winds that have stayed with the fleet for the majority of leg 2.
On Sunday, Saint Lucia cheerfully welcomed the first arrival of the ARC+ fleet, Sparkman and Stevens Sloop Altair after a fast 2100 nautical mile passage from Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands, crossing the finish line at 3:48 a.m., making an elapsed time of 10 days, 17 hours, 48 minutes and 32 seconds.
Skipper Clinton, owner Robert and crew on board were in great spirits having enjoyed their passage, although the approach to the island in the middle of the night with squalls and shift winds made it a “sporty and even more special arrival”.
As Altair sailed across the ARC+ finish line, the crew were welcomed and congratulated by Lynn and Ken manning the Finish Line and later by Rally Control who assisted them to their berth inside the IGY Rodney Bay Marina. A representative of Events Saint Lucia was also on hand to greet the crew.
Meanwhile, following the first 10 days of the ARC, which departed from La Palmas some 2700 nautical miles east of Saint Lucia on Sunday, November 19, the ARC fleet tracker resembles a bowl of spaghetti; it’s now a little clearer that the Caribbean is firmly in the sights of the fleet. The effects of the low pressure system that formed along the rhumb line caused the fleet to weave their way through their first week at sea as the system continued to evolve, delivering head winds then no wind and a little bit of everything in between.
The first ARC yacht is expected to cross the finish line just off Reduit beach in Gros Islet within the next 48 hours.