THE first vessel out of a fleet of fifty-seven in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has made its way to the finish line at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia, after braving a phenomenal feat from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The journey began on November 22, 2020 for the six-member crew and ended on December 3, 2020 at 6:03 a.m. local time, when the 42- foot Marsaudon TS42 vessel, ‘Banzai’ crossed the finish line in Saint Lucia’s waters. Skippered by Vincent Willemart, the all-Belgian crew was welcomed at sea by ARC officials.
It was just moments later that the second vessel, ‘The Kid’ with a double handed crew registered its arrival at the finish line.
Saint Lucia is now home to ARC for 31 years and in extending a warm welcome to the team, Tourism Minister -Hon. Dominic Fedee said, “We are indeed excited that in rethinking events amid this pandemic we can again welcome the ARC family to our shores. Although this year we observe the culmination of the ARC and ARC+ under very different circumstances, we have no doubt that observing the protocols set by the Health Authorities will keep us all safe.”
The first vessel in the ARC+ fleet of twenty-five which departed Las Palmas de Grande Canaria on November 8 is expected to arrive in the early evening of December 3.
In Hosting ARC and ARC+ 2020, Saint Lucia expects to welcome a combined total of 454 crewmembers including 37 children from 137 nationalities.
Maintaining the logistics of the annual event is the Events Company of Saint Lucia. Chief Executive Officer -Lorraine Sidonie commenting on the arrival of the vessels said; “We congratulate Banzai and The Kid on being the first boats to cross the finish line. We are very pleased that they arrived safely, and we wish them all the best as they continue on. We look forward to receiving all participants in ARC and ARC+ 2020 and have prepared for them a special program that takes into consideration the current health protocols. We continue to encourage every participant and our public to adhere to the protocols and to enjoy ARC 2020 safely.”
Working in tandem with the Ministry of Health, all arriving sailors must adhere to the following mandatory COVID-19 protocols:
• Mandatory health screening and a second PCR testing on arrival in Saint Lucia.
• They will wear wristbands to indicate that they have completed quarantine and testing and obtained the clearance from Port Health to move around.
• Daily Health screening for quarantined crewmembers.
• Quarantined sailors must reside on their vessels or at COVID-19 Certified properties.
• Island protocols of facemasks and physical distancing must be adhered to one outside the cabin of a vessel.