With just over a week to go until the start of the ARC, the marina is really filling up with over 120 boats already here in Las Palmas marina. Crews are continuing to fly in to join their boats and the excitement is building as we gear up to the start on Sunday 21st November. The docks are busy and full of activity as the local services deliver food and drink, space is made on board to stow all the provisions for a 18-21 day passage, and the endless jobs list is slowly being ticked off. The ARC safety team continue with their safety equipment checks and visits to each boat and the check-in team have seen a flow of new arrivals; giving out skippers briefcases with all the information needed for the week ahead.
The ARC programme continues and yesterday around 50 crews, including many ARC children joined a trip to the ARC Forest to help plant over 200 native trees with Fundación Foresta. “It was so amazing to get our hands in the earth and give back and help offset our carbon footprint,” said Katie Burgess from Sun Powered Yachts, sailing on their Dufour 382 Blake with husband Lyall and their two children aged 8 and 6.
On Saturday afternoon the younger ARC participants gathered to enjoy a fun afternoon of face painting (with yellowshirt Suzana) on the ARC platform and then games on the beach where they also met the Federación de Vela staff who will be running the ARC Kids Club next week. With 36 children from nearly 2 to 14 years old in the rally, many have already made firm friends on the dock where most of the family boats are moored. It’s a delight to see friendships forged, despite any language barriers.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, the official ARC Flag Raising Ceremony will take place, celebrating the different nationalities taking part in the 36th event. Whilst the fanfare of a parade around the marina is not possible, the international flavour of the ARC here in Las Palmas will be celebrated nonetheless as flags representing the 29 nations are raised on poles along the main marina wall.