The World ARC fleet restarted from Bali at midday today, after what has been an enjoyable cultural experience ashore in Indonesia. The next leg of their journey takes them into the Indian Ocean for the first time, first heading 580nm towards Christmas Island for a 48 hour stopover, then on a further 525nm to the stunning coral atolls of Cocos Keeling Islands. From Cocos, the fleet will head out in about two week’s time on a longer leg towards Reunion and Mauritius.
The 17 boats which started today will be joined by the other 7 boats in the fleet, who are currently finishing off small repairs onboard and hope to depart Bali in the next day or two. The stopovers in Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands allow for these boats to easily catch up again before the entire fleet set off together across the Indian Ocean.
The conditions at the start today were good, with SE to E breezes filling the boat’s sails and providing a great spectacle to mark the end of a very enjoyable time in Bali. The Balinese Maritime Police had provided the Committee Boat for the startline.
The first boats across the line were Slovenian newcomers Ciao, and Swedish boat Working on a Dream, both double handed. World ARC’s largest boat, the Oyster 61 Royal Leopard, weren’t far behind, with the rest of the fleet soon following along in the warm Indonesian sun.
Once clear of the southern shores of the island, the fleet turn west and make a course for Christmas Island, sailing more or less parallel to the southern islands of Indonesia. The forecast for the route predicts lighter winds of 6-12 knots for the first few days, picking up to 9-17 knots for the latter part of the trip.