Please select your home edition

A Classic ARC crossing

by World Cruising Club 12 Dec 2018 09:20 UTC
Challenger - 2018 ARC Classic arival at Rodney Bay © World Cruising

Wave after wave comes surging onto the Atlantic coast of Saint Lucia, pushed across the ocean by the constant trade winds, each wave steadily following that ahead. Just as the waves are relentless, so is the constant flow of ARC boats arriving into Rodney Bay, passing fifty arrivals this afternoon. This year has definitely been a classic crossing, with ceaseless ENE trades blowing almost from the day of departure from Las Palmas 16 days ago.

The magic mix of not too strong but not too weak – the Goldilocks spot for transocean sailing - has given most boats a faster than average crossing, relatively few rain squalls, and modest breakages. There have been the expected gear failures and breaks; dropped halyards often the root cause of a damaged sail. One broken boom, one rig failure and one broken goose-neck make up the score line of rig and spar damage, along with several broken spinnaker poles; again not unusual when boats are sailing in good, consistent trade winds for days on end.

On average boats are arriving one of two days early than usual, both for the ARC+ route via Cape Verdes and the direct route from Las Palmas non-stop. "It was the easiest and nicest crossing we've done" said George Gamble, skipper of Testarossa, Beneteau Oceanis 55, a veteran of 6 Atlantic crossing after they arrived today. "We just did two sail changes - putting the sails up, then taken them down this evening" joked Frank Lambrechts, skipper of Lagoon 450 Moving 2, another ARC veteran who arrived today.

Shoreside, crews are relaxing and making the most of the extra shore leave granted by earlier than expected arrivals. Once boats are cleaned and tidied; lifejackets, jackstays and line washed down, laundry sent off, and galleys cleaned it is time to relax. Adventurous types with energy to spare, have been hiking Saint Lucia's famous Grand Piton and zip-lining through the rainforest. The marina Boardwalk bar is a popular hang-out; a chance to catch up with friends from other boats, swap tales of the crossing and relax in the warm Caribbean air.

Last night, the evening sundowner was hosted by Buzz Seafood & Grill restaurant in Rodney Bay, with rum-punch, canapés and conversation, plus a chance for new arrivals to see something of the Rodney Bay beachfront, just across the lagoon from the marina.

At sea the weather and waves seem to have caught the relaxed Caribbean vibe, with lighter winds today slowing down this evening's arrivals. Frustrating for crews on 115 boats still at sea. Lighter trade winds do bring the bonus of smaller waves, and an easier ride. With friends, family and fellow crews all eager to welcome in the next boat, the dockside celebrations are certainly set to continue for a few days yet!

Related Articles

ARC Europe concludes at Marina de Lagos
That's a wrap! ARC Europe 2019 concluded in style with a packed final prizegiving dinner at Marina de Lagos on Sunday 16th June. Crews enjoyed a celebratory end to a memorable rally that has seen them sail west to east across the Atlantic on the multistage event Posted today at 5:26 am
2019-20 World ARC: Leg 5 prize giving
Dinner at the Mango Bar & Grill in Tonga There was great excitement as participants of World ARC 2019-20 met up again as one group at the dinner and prize giving for Leg 5 at the Mango Bar & Grill. The evening began with a rum punch reception where the local brass band performed Posted on 17 Jun
ARC Portugal: Touring by tuk tuk
Exploring the historic city of Porto ARC Portugal crews have been enjoying a fun-filled Friday exploring the historic city of Porto by tuk tuk and sampling Portugal's signature delights of port wine and Pastel de nata. Posted on 15 Jun
ARC Portugal: Adios Bayona!
Many are sad to say goodbye to the lovely Spanish port Greeted by sunny skies for a beautiful final morning in Bayona, rally crews readied their boats for the 50NM mile passage to the Portuguese port of Povoa de Varzim. Posted on 13 Jun
ARC Portugal: Great days in Bayona
A well-earned reward after their Biscay crossing ARC Portugal crews have been enjoying a well-earned reward after their Biscay crossing with an exciting time exploring Galicia. On Monday, crews headed to the world-famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. Posted on 12 Jun
25th edition of ARC Portugal sets sail
Taking boats south to Marina de Lagos since 1995 Heading out into a cloudy Plymouth Sound on Sunday 2 June, seventeen boats began their three week adventure sailing to the sunny Algarve with World Cruising Club's annual sailing rally ARC Portugal. Posted on 3 Jun
ARC Portugal 2019 sets sail from Plymouth
Seventeen boats have begun their three week adventure Heading out into a cloudy Plymouth Sound this morning, seventeen boats have now begun their three week adventure sailing to sunny southern Portugal. This morning, the docks of Mayflower Marina were buzzing with anticipation Posted on 3 Jun
2019 ARC Portugal: Pre-departure preparations
Pre-departure preparations in Plymouth It has been a busy few days in Plymouth's Mayflower Marina as the crews of ARC Portugal 2019 have been preparing for their departure on Sunday. Provisioning trips, equipment tweaks and ticking final items off the jobs list Posted on 1 Jun
ARC Europe: Farewell Horta!
Grand finale at the Azorina Centre as the prizes were awarded ARC Europe's time in Horta came to its grand finale at the Azorina Centre as the prizes were awarded for the 2nd leg of multistage Atlantic Crossing. Posted on 1 Jun
First day of the 25th edition of ARC Portugal
Yellowshirt team started to check-in most of the boats at Mayflower Marina The ARC Portugal Rally Office opened first thing in the morning marking the start of the 25th edition. Attracting a diverse fleet of 20 boats, the Yellowshirt team started to check-in most of the boats at Mayflower Marina, Plymouth Posted on 31 May
Zhik 2018 Hyeres 728x90 BOTTOMGJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 2