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The cruisers that didn't mean to race...

ARC+ is a rally, not a race, however, some boats just can't help themselves...

Having taken line honours in leg one, from Las Palma to Cape Verde, John Bronger and team of four on board Sydney Rock, named after the famous Aussie oysters, crossed the finish line in 8th place overall and 2nd monohull. 

Sydney Rock only carries 'white sails' so no spinnaker or cruising shoot onboard, choosing to sail with twin headsails. After the start they slowly worked their way through the fleet to be the 2nd monohull. John said:

"we weren't going to race or be competitive, but we couldn't help ourselves."

Over the past 5 days, the Oyster 595 Sydney Rock and Oyster 575 Ahlam, have been in a close 'battle' to take 2nd place, ultimately finishing just 40 minutes apart after 2200 miles at sea!

Skipper of Ahlam, Toni Salame, spoke of the 'battle':

"It was really fantastic, we enjoyed it a lot! Over the past 4 or 5 days it was very close with Sydney Rock, so we had to defend our second position, but we lost. it was a very good, but nice, fight between both of us, so the sail was really enjoyable. We loved it."

Their YB tracker log shows how often they exchanged the lead over the leg!


Even the most relaxed of sailors can sometimes be switched into 'Race Mode'...

Doreen onboard Vitamin Sea, completing the ARC in the cruising division wrote in her daily blog on Wednesday (Day 10):

"...the boat, which had been accompanying us on a parallel course for days, suddenly caught up. I have to admit, I didn't like that at all. ...By morning they were already more than 5 miles ahead of us... The question was, did our neighbouring boat turn on the engine or choose different sails? Lots of question marks. ...Peter reminded me that we weren't in race mode and our goal wasn't to get to the finish line as quickly as possible or to beat other boats. He was right about that. We want to experience the journey, the adventure – nothing more and nothing less."

Having said that, they did still check all the sails and systems onboard, and then continued on a slightly more southerly route hoping for more wind...

The great thing about the ARC Rallies, is they are just that... you can choose to enter the Racing Division in the ARC, but the vast majority sail in the cruising fleet, taking the crossing at their own pace...