At the beginning of September eager crews gathered for World ARC 2022 - the re-start of a round the world journey
for participants from the 2019/2020 & 2021 editions of the rally along with 1 new joiner here in Darwin, Australia.
A family feel quickly developed amongst the intimate group, with 6 yachts and 23 crew looking forward to rallying on the ocean waves. Whilst a smaller fleet than in a typical edition of World ARC, the
pre-start buzz around Tipperary Waters Marina was still filled with excitement, perhaps even more so as crews were reunited and were pleased to join the organised programme arranged by the World Cruising Club Yellow Shirt Team following the suspension of community cruising during the pandemic.
Friday 2 September saw a welcome drinks gathering held on the marina's boardwalk
giving crew an opportunity to continue to get to know each other after the
impromptu pontoon party the night before.
The fun continued the following evening when the
fleet were entertained with dinner at the Dina Beach Yacht Cruisers Association,
the local yacht club. A friendly venue with the fleet being welcomed by staff
and members, exchanging stories and advice.
Crews were then up early the next day for one of the highlights of the programme, a visit the Jumpin' Crocs on the Adelaide
River. Jake the driver entertained the fleet on the bus journey to the river, stopping at the Boxing Croc in Humpty Doo for a quick break and photos. Story
has it that the Croc, standing at 6m was
built to commemorate Australia beating the USA in the America's Cup.
The river trip left all in no doubt about the power of
these mighty creatures. With some trepidation participants were introduce to Dominator an
80 year old male coming in at 6.5m in length. Others followed and crews all had the
opportunity to experience a truly 'up-close and personal' trip with a number of
the crocs in the river, from the safety of the aluminium boat.
"The Adelaide River is well know for crocodiles and with
almost 1 every 100m," The guide pointed out, "While you might not be able
to see them, it doesn't mean they aren't there!"
By Monday, the day before the start for the leg to Medana Bay, attentions turned to final preparations generating a
busy atmosphere in the marina. The whole fleet attended the skippers briefing
for the journey which covered the weather for the route, schedule for the SSB Radio Net, advice for the approaching Lombok and protocols on arrival. A farewell drinks followed the briefing, kindly hosted by the Tipperary Waters Marina
Lock master Pete. Another fun evening slightly tempered by the impending
departure for Lombok the next day.
Start Day - With the team from the Australian Border Force flying
through their departure checks on Tuesday morning, the yachts were ready to leave
the marina locking out one by one at high tide before making their way south to
Stokes Hill Wharf and the start line.
The weather, while light, provided a good breeze for a
'competitive' start with the line being keenly challenge by all. Celtic Star
(Oceanis 461) crossed first closely followed by Jubilate Mare (Oyster 47) and
new to the fleet, Ko Tangaroa (Oyster 545) powering across the line to go on to
take the lead shortly thereafter.
Lombok awaits the fleet and the Yellow Shirt team fly ahead to greet
them in Medana Marina. Their progress can be followed on the Fleet Viewer and free YB Races app for mobiles and tablets.