Leg 6 from Oeiras to Lagos was a long one, with some crews deciding to anchor overnight on the way. Tensions were high, due to recent orca activity in the area, and crews made their passage together in pairs or small groups, sharing good communication between the fleet. One boat did experience an interaction with orcas, but thankfully, crew and boat arrived safely in Lagos, as with the rest of the fleet. Ingrid Fortunato, representing the management team of Marina de Lagos, gave crews a very warm and personal welcome along with the yellow shirt team on the welcome pontoon, before boats entered the marina under the lifting bridge. Marina staff were then on hand to help each boat with berthing.
Family and friends have been following the rally online through the fleet tracker, social media and the website throughout June. Boats and crews in the rally have sailed over 900 nautical miles from Plymouth, UK to Lagos in southern Portugal. It was good to see some of the friends and family that joined us at the start of the rally at The Hoe Canons, Plymouth to wave the fleet off, were also able to join us at the end of the rally in Lagos, for the final ARC Portugal 2023 celebrations and Prize Giving. Gathering for welcome drinks, it was good to hear participants reflecting on their experiences of the rally and sharing their challenges and achievements. Many agreed that not only had they made many new good friends, but they had learned so much together; with others commenting that they felt so much more confident as sailors, than they had at the beginning of the rally.
After a tasty three course meal, Paul Tetlow, Managing Director of World Cruising, welcomed rally participants and guests. He thanked Ingrid and Martinho, for the lasting special relationship with World Cruising and for once again welcoming the rally in this its 29th year. Many prizes were awarded, ranging from the best on corrected time for Leg 6, to the nearest guess of the average age of the crew for this leg – 56 years 4 months! As the evening drew to a close, Paul thanked everyone for their part in making the rally a huge success and wished everyone well for their cruising plans, which for some would be with their new ARC Portugal friends. Some participants planned to head for the Mediterranean and others were planning a longer stay in Lagos; and for those participants, planning to cross the Atlantic with ARC or ARC+ 2023 and perhaps go even further with WORLD ARC, it was. ‘see you in Las Palmas, Grand Canaria, in November!’
Fair winds to the ARC Portugal fleet of 2023 – It’s been such fun and thank you for joining us!