“Saint Lucia will remain the home of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) for the fore seeable future.”
So says Andrew Pickersgill, Event Manager of ARC 2021.
Speaking during a Welcome Ceremony for the owners, captain and crew of Nacira 69 – the first vessel to arrive at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina – Pickersgill said everything that Saint Lucia offers as a yachting destination is perfect for the ARC, including the world-class facilities at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina. For ARC participants, Pickersgill says Saint Lucia is “a great place” to start their yachting season in the Caribbean, whether they choose to sail north or south.
Commenting on this year’s ARC, Pickersgill said: “I think what makes the ARC special this year is that we are running it as we did last year against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are making it happen, with the help of the SLTA, ECSL, IGY Rodney Bay Marina, and everybody else here in Saint Lucia. We’ve got twice as many boats this year as we had last year, and we’re able to do a lot more than we did last year. Not only have we got people sailing across the Atlantic which of course is a challenge, we’ve been able to bring them in here into this warm wonderful climate, and we can still hold some of the after-sail events for them on the island.”
The Italian yacht 12 Nacira 69 was the first to cross the finish line in ARC 2021. The 23-meter yacht sailed into the IGY Rodney Bay Marina at 3:15 a.m. on Friday, December 3, 2021. Described as “a racing boat that’s been made comfortable inside” Nacira completed the 2700 nautical mile journey from Las Palmas to Saint Lucia in 11 days. Nacira 69 is skippered by Federico Dosso. She is owned by Diego Paterno and Federico Marchi. The 8-member crew of Nacira comprises Italian, French and American sailors.
Each crew member was presented with a gift pack from ECSL comprising Chairman’s Reserve rum, other local products together with IGY branded merchandise.
Captain Federico Dosso was presented with a bouquet by CEO of Events Saint Lucia, Lorraine Sidonie. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, presented a plaque to the Captain and Crew of Nacira to celebrate their achievement as 1st Over the Line in ARC 2021.
In extending a warm welcome to the owners, captain and crew of Nacira, Minister Hilaire underscored the importance of ARC to Saint Lucia. He told the gathering: “ARC is now part of the landscape of Saint Lucia. There cannot be a December without ARC. The ARC is a very important part of our tourism product. The ARC contributes significantly to the economy of Saint Lucia and to our tourism returns, so we are happy to have such a large pool of participants this year, and we hope the ARC will continue to grow and continue to have a positive impact on our tourism product. Saint Lucia is a delightful place to be. The offerings of Saint Lucia are extraordinary. So, I want to encourage you to enjoy Saint Lucia as much as you can, despite the limitations of COVID. Our teams from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and Events Saint Lucia, along with Andrew Pickersgill and his team from World Cruising Club, will do all that they can to ensure that you have the very best time in Saint Lucia.”
The ARC sailed off from Las Palmas on Sunday November 21st 2021. Saint Lucia has been home to the ARC for 32 years now. ARC 2021 is one of the ‘safest events’ to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. It affords Saint Lucia the opportunity to once again welcome familiar faces and newbies. UP to 900 crew on 143 yachts are making the 2700 nautical mile transatlantic voyage from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) to the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia. 36 children under the age of 16 are also sailing in the ARC this year, the youngest being Hadrien Meister on yacht Olimir (CHE). She is 19-months old.