ARC Europe 2022 concluded in style with a final prizegiving dinner at the Restaurant Sunset in Marina de Lagos. Crews enjoyed a celebratory end to a memorable rally that has seen them sail west to east across the Atlantic on this multistage event and created a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie amongst the mix of international crews. Stories and experiences have been shared throughout the rally, and the participants have got to know each other very well, thanks in part to the different activities on the social programmes at each port.
Six weeks ago, boats set off from the island of St Maarten on a stormy ride to Bermuda where everyone soak up the atmosphere whilst berthed in the heart of the town of St George’s.
The weather on passage from the Bermuda to the Azores was quite challenging. The fleet experienced three low weather systems as the 3rd system caught up with the faster boats whilst at anchor in Horta, where some well deserved G&Ts were waiting at Peter's Sports Cafe!
Sadly we had to say some early farewell to the ones leaving in the Azores to explore this cruising grounds and others sailing back to their home ports in northern Europe.
Ingrid and Martinho Fortunato, directors of Marina de Lagos, were our hosts and delivered a memento to each boat. Alongside, there were some other mentions and prizes given away to recognise special achievements and contributions to the Rally.
On the competitive side of the Rally, the Croatian flagged Mowgli won the cruising division followed by Pinta and Arusha; Minimole led the multihulls division, and Blue Orchid and Lickety got 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Whilst all those involved with ARC Europe in 2022 will be sad that this year's rally has come to an end, crews will no doubt keep in touch for their onwards cruising adventures. Exciting times are ahead for the crews of boats exploring Europe for the first time, and for others it marks a new chapter cruising back in familiar home waters. Several of the yachts will join previous rally participants and make Marina de Lagos their home for the summer cruising, taking advantage of the great local cruising grounds, easy flight connections and excellent facilities.