After a day of final preparations at Mayflower Marina on Saturday, busy provisioning and settling in new crew, the afternoon ended with the skippers briefing for the first leg of the rally to Bayona. The Andrews (Bishop and Pickersgill) delivered the briefing with the eagerly awaited weather section being presented by Simon Rowell. Simon’s forecast of almost ideal conditions for the Biscay crossing was very well received and Skippers returned to their boats in high spirits.
Sunday dawned, and it was time for the off! Sunshine and clouds, with no wind developed into near perfect start conditions as the boats gathered between Plymouth Hoe and the Mountbatten Breakwater. With favourable winds forecast for the rest of the day the fleet were looking forward to an excellent sail out of Plymouth Sound and on into the Channel. Four yachts tussled for first over the line and Blue Pearl a First 40.7,came out on top followed by Bolero a Swan 47 and then one of the smallest in the fleet, Via Mio a Sirius 36DS. The ARC Portugal yachts have 550 miles to enjoy ahead of them, with the first yachts expected to make landfall in Bayona late on Wednesday or early Thursday.
A big thank you to Mayflower Marina and the Albion Rugby Club for hosting the ARC Portugal Fleet during the run up to the start.