It was a hearty and emotional moment for participants in the 2022 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers [ARC], as they gathered at the Beausejour Indoor Facility, last Saturday, for the prize- giving function.
And also, an evening of fun and enjoyment for the 800 or so yachters that undertook the transatlantic sailing rally for another year to the shores of Saint Lucia – to anchor at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina. Notably, the event focused on the achievements of the crews taking part in the 37TH edition of the ARC.
The evening’s celebration recognised the achievements of the fastest and slowest, the oldest and youngest, and the couples and families “that are so much a part of this classic sailing rally”, stated an official of the World Cruising Club (WCC), the official event organisers.
With cultural displays and other entertainment segments on display to woo the visitors, it was an appropriate time “to cheer on friends and family members in the spirit of the ARC, one of camaraderie and adventure”.
And with the ARC’s presence, firmly grounded in Saint Lucia and regarded as a major annual sailing event to be showcased in the region, the event provided an opportunity for the organisers to acknowledge the many local supporters who have helped provide commendable accommodation for the visitors. Major support have been provided by the IGY Rodney Bay Marina, Events Company Saint Lucia (ECSL), and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).
While delivering an enthusiastic speech, SLTA’s CEO Lorine Charles St-Jules, declared that the crews will always be welcome “to enjoy the many delights of Saint Lucia” and encouraged the yachters to return.
Other celebratory messages were delivered by IGY Rodney Bay Marina General Manager Sean Devaux and ECSL’s CEO Loraine Sidonie.
ARC Event Manager, Andrew Pickersgill welcomed almost 120 crews on stage to receive awards. The biggest cheers and salutations came for crews who were recognised for their achievements and contributions to the overall rally atmosphere – crews of the boats which diverted to assist other yachts, and there was a special mention for Robert Falck, who switched boats to help the crew of Take Off.
Other presentations included the first Double-handed crew on corrected time (Wilhelm & Nicole – Bluewater Mooney), Senior Skipper (John Marett aged 80, of Chantoosie) and Family Boat awards including Best Family Performance on corrected time, to Oskari on Toucan. Many other fun prizes, included; award for Best Logs, the Fishing Competition and recognition for the Radio Net Controllers and Finish Line volunteers.
Interestingly, a ‘rousing cheer’ was reserved for the 10 ARC yachts that had not yet made landfall to the island, due to departure delays.
Awards were also presented for line honours and class winners including: Paradox (1A), Impuls (1B), Vahine (1C), Sunbeat VI (1D and overall 1), Montana (1E), Escapado (2A), Malolo (4A and overall) and Aphrodite 1, (4B).
WCC’s retiring Managing Director Andrew Bishop, in an emotional speech to end the proceedings, spoke about the strong bond between the ARC and Saint Lucia, forged over 33 years of the island offering a Caribbean home to the finish of the ARC. For his final ARC presentation, Bishop, who has been involved with organising the ARC since 1990, received a standing ovation from the assembled ARC crews to bid him farewell.
The Spirit of the ARC award is awarded each year to the yacht or individual that best displays the spirit of camaraderie that the rally creates amongst the fleet. For ARC 2022, and accompanied by a standing ovation the award was given to the crew of sy Aphrodite 1, to recognise their selfless actions to help the crew of Take Off immediately following their dismasting; crossing over to Take Off in dangerous swells to provide urgent medical attention, help clear the damaged rig, donate fuel, and then sail alongside them during the night.
Added an ARC organiser, “The rally this year has been one of great rewards for overcoming the weather and navigational challenges encountered along the way; unique friendships have been formed, special memories have been made and the ocean sailors of ARC 2022 can all feel proud of their achievements to reach the shores of Saint Lucia.”