It has been a successful and fun week for the start of ARC Europe in St Maarten. Having wrapped up the check-ins and safety inspections in good time the fleet have had time to relax and enjoy some of the island’s hospitality.
Kindly sponsored by IGY Simpson Bay Marina and St Maarten Marine Trade Association (SMTA), a delicious BBQ evening was held at Isle de Sol Marina. Greeted with complimentary drinks by the pool bar the fleet were welcomed by Ralf Chianese, Trident Club Supervisor, IGY Marina and President of St Maarten Marine Trade Association Chris Marshall. Both welcomed the participants to their island and stated, “our home is your home”. A fine feast of locally sourced meats and salads were enjoyed by all as the sun set and the pool lights began to glow.
Safety being at the forefront of all sailors’ minds, participants had the opportunity to partake in a life raft demonstration. Deploying an actual life raft in the pool at Isle de Sole Marina, crews donned lifesaving suits and equipment and had the opportunity to experience being in the water under a rescue situation. Big thanks to Ian Mobbs from St Maarten School of West Indies for delivering an informative demonstration which was well received by those in attendance.
Continuing with the entertainment programme, participants were “all white” at Buccaneers last night. Coming dressed in white, the theme for the event, they enjoyed rum cocktails from the beach bar overlooking Kim Sha Beach which is just a short walk from the Marina. Large pizzas were served as the sun set and everyone enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere after a day of busy boat preparations.
Now the fleet begin to focus on their departure. Final provisioning and last-minute tasks are on today’s jolly jobs lists. Event Manager Andrew Pickersgill will be providing skippers with a comprehensive brief later today. This covers step by step details of their departure from the harbour in St Maarten through to the arrival in St Georges in Bermuda. Providing the fleet with weather, communications and local information, the fleet will be in great shape for their departure tomorrow, Saturday 6 May.