There was plenty of activity at the Port de Plaisance in Le Port very early this morning, as the World ARC fleet arrived at their new home on the island of La Réunion. The first yacht to arrive was the X-55, Gunvor XL who were rewarded at the prizegiving at the end of the day with the first place in Class A or overall. The majority of the fleet arrived in steady succession until midday with Bronwyn being towed in at around 2100 hours to complete the fleet. And following an afternoon relaxing for most of the crews, it was time prepare for the Welcome and Prize Giving Party. The Marie du Port, Le Chambre de Commerce et Industrie and the Ile de Réunion Tourisme had collaborated to host a splendid welcome function for the fleet, to begin their stay on the island in great style.
The evening began with local folk and contemporary music and dance before several welcome speeches from those responsible for supporting the fleet’s stay in the island. Following the speeches, the participants and local families were entertained by local danse group, whilst enjoying a splendid buffet. The fleet also received gifts of rum, chocolate, vanilla and locally produced products from Reunion Tourisme which were much appreciated.
It was absolutely fantastic for the fleet to arrive and enjoy such a superb evening right on the quayside at Le Port. The fleet have been warmly welcomed to La Réunion and very much look forward to the remainder of their stay on the island. Many crews took advantage of the provision of infomation from the staff of the Tourist Office of La Possession to get some good ideas about exploring the island later in the week.
The next item on the Rally programme is the World ARC Tour, on Monday, to the Piton de la Fornaise volcano in the south of the island.