The World ARC Pacific programme is in full swing in Rodney Bay Saint Lucia and it's been a busy week of preparations and events. Participants have all checked in, the safety inspectors have been busy visiting the boats and crews have had many opportunities to meet and get to know each other with a full programme of events including drinks, seminars and parties giving them the chance to meet the other boats and the yellow shirt team who will be supporting the rally and get to know the people who will be sharing their adventure and meeting up in each stopover.
As part of the preparations crews have attended seminars included in the programme including a briefing on rally operations, a summary of the route taken to Australia, a weather overview and tips on how to prepare for emergencies at sea. Skippers also joined the briefing this morning which covered a range of topics including communications at sea, sailing instructions, information on the next stopover on the rally, weather forecasts and much more to assist on the first leg of their journey.
Amongst all the preparations, crews have also found time to explore the island and a group took a trip to Dennerys on Thursday to go zip-lining in the rainforest. After a tour on the way down with lots of local information provided by the cheery tour guide 'Sunshine' the group got kitted out with harnesses, helmets and gloves and climbed the steps to the first line. With a total of 12 zip-lines, the fastest reaching speeds of 30km/h and the longest over 800ft long the group whizzed through the rainforest over a total length of 5,100 ft and reaching heights of 150ft above the forest. Breaking up the exhilarating ride through the treetops were net bridges and walkways to cross allowing plenty of time to take in the panoramic views and even spot some local wildlife.
In the evening crews gathered at the farewell party, held at Sea Grapes Restaurant overlooking Reduit beach and Rodney Bay at sunset. They were welcomed with drinks and food along with music from a steel pan. The evening was rounded off with plenty of music and dancing to celebrate their final get together before they meet on the start line on Saturday and then in the first stopover, Santa Marta, Colombia.