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World ARC Rally - COVID-19 (Corona virus) update

by World Cruising Club 26 Mar 06:43 UTC
World ARC © World Cruising Club

The first yachts of the World ARC 2020/21 fleet have now begun to make landfall in French Polynesia following their Pacific crossing. Constant liaison between World Cruising Club, their representatives and the French Polynesian authorities means crew are briefed on procedures prior to arrival as they reach land in a very different world from when they left the Galapagos almost three weeks ago.

Strict regulations are now in force throughout the region, with applications for the special circumstances of World ARC yachts being considered at the highest level. Ensuring the safe arrival, coordinating requests for maintenance, fuel and provisions for the yachts, and working on the logistics of storage of boats and repatriation of crews continues to the be the constant focus for the World Cruising Club team, operating, as is the rest of the world, with a series of unprecedented scenarios.

Several yachts have chosen to sail to Nuku Hiva, where the anchorage will provide a place for rest and repairs following the long ocean passage. As they arrive, crews remain under the same 'lockdown' restrictions as residents, but access to fuel and provisions is available following clearances. Yachts are not permitted to move within French Polynesian waters after making landfall under current directives, but may to leave to sail to alternative destinations which are currently accepting yachts, such as Hawaii.

The first arrival of those sailing to Pape'ete, the capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti, is expected later today, 25th March. As in Nuku Hiva, La Direction polynésienne des affaires maritimes (DPAM) together with JRCC Tahiti coordinate each arrival. Information about the yachts and crews has been supplied to the authorities in advance to assist with the formalities and help ensure a smooth landfall.

World Cruising Club continue to gather information direct from each yacht to assist with the process of repatriation where possible which is being co-ordinated by the French Polynesia High Commission.

World ARC 2019/20 Update

Yesterday, the ninth edition of World ARC concluded in Grenada, as the Caribbean islands implemented restrictions curtailing the planned cruising period and rally finale. World ARC Event Manager Stefano Palumbo visited each yacht to present their end of rally certificates and congratulatory messages were shared online from fellow participants and rally supporters, in the absence of being able to hold a formal end of rally celebration under the current conditions.

For now, crews of the World ARC 2019/20 have many treasured memories of their successful circumnavigation to take with them despite the unpredictable end. All participants have been invited to return to Saint Lucia to join the next World ARC final dinner once the crisis has passed and we cruising sailors can return to our love of sailing the world oceans once again.

Click here to read more from World ARC 2019.

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