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Start Day for Bermuda to Azores

The ARC Europe 2024 fleet created a spectacular sight in St. George’s Harbour this afternoon, Wednesday 22 May, as 30 yachts gathered for the beginning of Leg2, Bermuda to Azores. With high pressure hanging over the island, it meant very light winds on the start line, so it was more of a motor parade for the fleet as they made their way out of the harbour and through “the cut”. Despite the lack of wind in their sails, it’s always a spectacular sight to see the fleet bunch together as they sped across the start line under engine and headed out eastward.   

First over the line and quite near to the committee vessel was Ville Tikkanen and his crew on Hanse 531, White Night. They were closely followed by Wolfgang and his family on Gian who were hovering at the outer distance mark. It was the USA flagged Outremer 51, Moxie, next skippered by Anthony Thorpe who motored up to the line and then sailed across, so they gain brownie points for sailing over the start. The rest of the fleet sped over the line in quick succession as the “metal sails” were put to good use.

It has been a jam packed but very fun stopover in Bermuda and all the crews leave in good spirits. Enjoying happy hours, rum tasting, BBQ dinners, Gombey masquerade dances, prizegiving and local fish and chips. Everyone leaves this colourful island having had a great experience. Matt North on Epiphany summed up his stay on the island “Thank you for a lovely time in Bermuda and all the help and organising you did. Everything was super well prepared and such a relaxing experience for us skippers. We had a wonderful time, sad to leave but excited for the journey ahead. See you in Horta”.   

During every stop World Cruising work with clubs, establishments, and local businesses. Once again, the support of the local area contributes greatly to the fleet’s experience. From technical support to great food, we would like mention some of those who welcome us back each year.

Steve Hollis from Ocean Sails has been up several masts to conduct rig checks while his team lead by Suzzane have been busy on the sewing machines repairing many sails. His speedy efforts and willingness to fix as much as he possibly can are hugely appreciated.

St George’s Dingy and Sports Club not only provided a home for some of the fleet to moor, but they hosted both a fabulous BBQ evening and a spectacular prizegiving dinner. Volunteering and giving up precious time to ensure we have a wonderful experience, we thank the Commodore, Lacey Rance and her dedicated Committee, in boat loads of appreciation for all that you do for the Rally year on year. We already look forward to returning next year.

Thank you to the wonderful Johnathan, Janice and Mark at St. Georges Marina. You not only provide a base for the ARC Europe office throughout the stopover, but you also solve challenges, moor up boats and answer literally hundreds of questions. You have also become good friends to the yellow shirt team. It’s a pleasure to return to what feels like our “Bermuda home”.

And finally, we wish to acknowledge and thank Mr E Michael Jones the Town Crier of St. George’s. He very kindly offered to ring out the fleet which was quite special. Locating himself at the entrance to “the cut”, he was only a matter of meters away from the passing fleet and was able to send good wishes and fair winds from the island of Bermuda.

With a route covering 1800NM and a forecast of light winds, the fleet are predicted to take between 12-15 days to reach the shores of the Azores. Whatever the date they make landfall, the yellow shirts will be waiting to take their lines and continue the fun in Horta.


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