LAST Saturday, 1st December 2018, Saint Lucia welcomed the first arrival of the ARC+ fleet ‘Nika’ after a 2,100-nautical-mile journey from Cape Verde, crossing the finish line at 2.01 p.m. at Rodney Bay.
The four male and two female crew members on board were in great spirits having enjoyed 10 days at sea and are now looking forward to experiencing life in Caribbean, including Saint Lucia.
With the first ARC+ fleet already anchored, World Cruising Company officials here told the VOICE, the first ARC yacht is scheduled to cross the finish line sometime tomorrow (Wednesday 6th December), but in terms of the arrival time, that remains uncertain as to the wind conditions may either pickup or drop a few knots in the next few hours.
Meanwhile, for the six Slovenian crew on board Nika have enjoyed a smooth passage since leaving, with almost NE tradewind conditions most of the way from Mindelo.
As Nika sailed across the ARC+ finish line, the crew were congratulated by a number of boats participating in the 2018 Mango Bowl Regatta, also on hand were members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Maritime Division, and ARC Rally Control Crew who then assisted them to their berth inside Island Global Yachting (IGY) Rodney Bay Marina.
The VOICE spoke to captain Ziga, “The trip was very nice, the ocean was pretty smooth for us sailing at a maximum speed of 19.1 knots, it was perfect”. he said.
For Ziga, it was the first time across the Atlantic with this boat (Nika), but someone else has done it four times.
What was the experience like for the two ladies on board? With a huge smile, He said, “Just sleeping and cooking on board”.
With such great experience across the Atlantic, will you do it again? Ziga replied, “Yes, off course. I normally sail up to 1000 nautical miles per month, but this is the most I have done in one go”.
How do you and other members of your team intend spending your stay in Saint Lucia, He said, “We want to see the Caribbean; we want to have some fun, it is a first time for us”.
The boat Nika is originally from Denmark, its 65 foot long and weighs 38 tons with all the latest equipment on board.
Hayle Harvey and Tessa Joseph, and other representatives of Events Company of Saint Lucia were waiting on the pontoon to welcome the ARC+ first arrival who were promptly presented with Saint Lucian rum punch, a much appreciated fruit basket and steel pan music in the back ground.
Up to midnight Monday 3rd December a total of 38 boats were expected to cross the finish line, with 40 ARC+ boats still on the way to Saint Lucia. Things are beginning to heat up at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina and in the comin
g days, the IGY Rodney Bay Marina will certainly look like a volcano showing signs of erupting, but in a party style atmosphere.
Saturday 8th, will be the official Welcome Cocktail at the Habour Club from 5.00 p.m., Wednesday 12th, ARC+ Prize Giving Ceremony from 5.00 p.m. and the ARC Welcome Cocktail at 7.00 p.m. both events will take place at the IGY Rodney Bay, Marina.