Please select your home edition
Edition
iSails 2020 - Spinnaker Spring Discount - LEADERBOARD

ARC 2019 Youth Team arrive in Saint Lucia

by World Cruising Club 12 Dec 2019 18:11 UTC
Challenger 1 with the ARC Youth Team on board arriving in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. © Tim Wright / photoaction.com

For the first time in history, a crew of young sailors from Saint Lucia, Gran Canaria and the UK have completed an epic transatlantic journey as part of the ARC 2019 sailing rally.

Departing from the Island of Gran Canaria on 24 November, ARC Youth Team sailing on board yacht Challenger 1 crossed the finish line in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia at 20:19:01 local time on Wednesday 12 December, sailing a total distance of 3028nm.

Awaiting the crew on the dockside, over 100 friends, family, media, supporters, sponsors and World Cruising Club staff gathered for a sensational welcome to Rodney Bay. As Challenger 1 made their final approach to their berth on the superyacht dock of IGY Rodney Bay Marina, applause, cheers and horns echoed around the entire lagoon. Lines were made fast and as the 16 crew stepped on land for the first time in 17 days; it was an emotional moment as their achievement of crossing the Atlantic began to sink in.

Crew members from Saint Lucia - Krishna Joseph, Jason Melius, Tyrus Antoine, Gabie Chreiki, Adonai Modeste and Crisanki Flood - were reunited with their families, and joined by project supporters from The Body Holiday, IGY Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia Yacht Club, Spinnakers Bar and Grill, and the Jus'Sail foundation.

The Honorable Dominic Fedee, Minister for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting came to greet the crew, having met them in Gran Canaria before their ARC adventure began. It was overwhelming to see the enthusiastic welcome of these young sailors and for the crew arriving in the Caribbean for the first time, the rum punch tasted even sweeter as it was presented by the Events Company of Saint Lucia.

Hugo O'kelly, aged 18 from the UK, said, "Arriving in Rodney Bay to this phenomenal welcome is just indescribable. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me. Being part of the ARC Youth Team has been the most amazing experience I have ever had and whilst we came across quite a few challenges, but we have worked as a great team to overcome them. Would I do it again? Of course!" Hugo sailed with fellow schoolmate Lucas Prichard-Jones and have been supported by Milton Abbey School plus raised funds themselves to take part in the ARC Youth Team.

"I'm just so excited to have arrived here; the trip has been wonderful. It has been one of the best experiences of my whole life, and I have to say a huge thank you to Tall Ships, the ARC, my sponsors and everyone who came to give us such an amazing welcome." said Enrique Diez above the applause as the rum was presented. "It is beautiful to be here in Saint Lucia. To come from my home paradise in Gran Canaria and arrive to this Caribbean paradise is amazing and I cannot wait to explore." Enrique, and his fellow Gran Canarians, Ada Garcia-Ferrandez Saavedra, Michele Garcia and Ariana Lorenzo Zambrano waved goodbye to Las Palmas with the support of businesses in Las Palmas Marina, Astican and Penisular Yacht Services.

The experience has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for the crew, all aged from 18-25, to compete in the world's largest transocean sailing rally. Many had never sailed offshore prior to arriving on board the boat, and spending 17 days at sea a 67 foot yacht has been an immense challenge.

Learning under the watchful eye of Skipper Gary Rutherford, Mate Sam Morley and Watchleaders Anna Jakob and Alex Monaghan, from the UK sailing charity The Tall Ships Youth Trust, the crew pulled together to keep the boat sailing 24/7 and reached a top speed of 15 knots surfing downwind. The watch system on board, six hours on and six off during the day, and four hours on then off at night was perhaps the biggest challenge for the young crew to adapt to.

For the start of the trip, Challenger 1 routed south to pick up the traditional trade winds, before turning west and setting a course virtually straight to Pigeon Island. For their final 7 days at sea, there were steady winds to propel them to Saint Lucia, as they closed down the final miles.

Once ashore, La Mesa Restaurant opened their doors as a space for interviews with the awaiting press, and then it was time to for the real Caribbean welcome and get the party started!

The final word, on this great adventure from 19 year old Adonai, "For me, the best day on board was the night we saw the dolphins. They were glowing in the phosphorescence as we were sailing along. The sunrises and sunsets have been truly amazing. Whilst it is great to be home in Gros Islet, there are for sure these moments I will miss. I may have to do it again next year!"

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the World Cruising Club.

Related Articles

World ARC 2019-20 in Walvis Bay, Namibia
The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated With the last yacht departed today the World ARC 2019-20 has officially left Namibia. The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated, participants enjoyed the area, went on tours in the desert with quad bikes and 4x4 Posted on 21 Jan
World ARC boats arrive in Santa Marta
Enjoying a lively arrival at their first stopover After a breezy 4-6 days sailing from the Caribbean isles towards the vast South American continent, most of the fleet has now arrived into Santa Marta Marina, Colombia. Posted on 18 Jan
World ARC starts from Rodney Bay
11th January marked a special day in World ARC history 33 yachts assembled at IGY Rodney Bay Marina, marking an end to years of planning and the start of an epic 26,000nm circumnavigation, with crews from 23 different countries sailing their own yachts to some of the world's best cruising grounds. Posted on 13 Jan
Circumnavigation begins for World ARC 2020/2021
The fleet this year is made up of 33 boats The planning for many of the World ARC fleet has been in the making for years. For one boat, Laura IV, the skipper Pino has been "dreaming about this voyage since he was a kid". Posted on 12 Jan
World ARC participants enjoy the adventure tour
Participants have been enjoying a day out swinging in the tree tops Ahead of crossing the start line for World ARC 2020, participants have been enjoying a day out swinging in the tree tops of the luscious Saint Lucian rainforest, on a zip lining adventure. Posted on 11 Jan
ARC Seminar Day at boot Dusseldorf
Explaining the route options for ARC/ARC+ and World ARC, World Cruising Club is hosting a series of presentations at boot Düsseldorf 2020. We will explain the route options for ARC/ARC+ and World ARC, plus the safety equipment requirements and other preparation tips. Posted on 10 Jan
World ARC 2019-20 departs from Cape Town
Fleet gathered again on the start line for the Leg from Cape Town to Salvador On 8th January after nearly 2 months of independence the World ARC Fleet gathered again on the start line for the Leg from Cape Town to Salvador via Saint Helena; by April they will sail almost 6000 miles. Posted on 9 Jan
World ARC 2020-2021 kicks off in Saint Lucia
Yellow shirts welcomed World ARC participants at Rodney Bay The yellow shirts welcomed World ARC participants yesterday at Rodney Bay, with a hoist of the flag above the office. With 24 boats already arrived in the marina, they are busily signing up the yachts for check in and safety checks Posted on 6 Jan
A night of celebration for ARC 2019
The classic ocean rally wraps up in Saint Lucia On Saturday 21st December hundreds of sailors from the 2019 edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers came together for a night of celebration to mark the end of the world's most popular sailing rally for another year. Posted on 22 Dec 2019
Ocean Safety to host Servicing and Safety Workshop
Ocean Safety team will also run a series of product demonstrations During the weekend there is the option to book in and observe your own liferaft and lifejackets being opened and inflated, then to leave your product for servicing and repacking. Posted on 20 Dec 2019
GJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - FooterMarine Resources 2019 - FooterVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3