With pearls in their pockets, colorful fishes filling the camera roll and hearts bursting with lovely Polynesian experiences, the World ARC 2018/19 fleet is now officially underway, continuing the journey west across the deep blue of the vast Pacific Ocean. Thank you French Polynesia for a fabulous few months cruising your beautiful waters, and experiencing first hand the lure of your special culture.
On Thursday 10 May, at 12 noon, the first group of the fleet departed the turquoise waters of Bora Bora’s lagoon. There was excitement at the start line as Aranui and Smoke & Roses were closely jockeying for position to be the first to cross. As you would have it, Christine threw up her colorful sail and zoomed past everyone to cross the line first, followed by Callisto and Cayuse third. Special thank you to Freddy of Lunatix, who skippered the start line Committee Vessel.
As the first group began their sail to Tonga, via Suwarrow and Niue, group two reunited for farewell festivities before their official start Tuesday 15 May, at 12 noon. Once again, the energy on the start line was contagious. With blue skies and fresh winds, LUNATIX was first across the start line, followed by MISCHIEF and MAD MONKEY. As former racers, who are now enjoying cruising, Madrigal volunteered to serve as the group 2 Rally Control Committee Vessel and sailed off with the fleet soon after the start.
Thank you to the Bora Bora Yacht Club who provided a perfect setting for the Rally Control offices and rendevouz headquarters. Yesterday in preparation for their departure, skippers and crew participated in the morning Skippers Briefing, cleared French Polynesia customs and immigration and finalized last provisioning.
The Bora Bora Yacht Club went above and beyond once again for group 2 participants providing a fantastic cocktail reception overlooking the lagoon, followed by a delicious three course meal. Steve of Alora offered a special blessing before the meal and the fleet enjoyed the final evening in Bora Bora together.
It is with mixed emotions the Wold ARC 2018/19 fleet say “mauruuru” to these amazing islands. The scents of gardenia and vanilla in the air will follow the boats as they make their way west stopping in the remote islands of Suwarrow and Niue before reaching the finish line of Leg 5 in Vava’u, Tonga.