Happy times in Horta

01 June 2016

It has been five days since the first arrival and a lot has happened since then in the Azores. We have a total of 29 boats in with 2 still out at sea. Horta's weather has been a ecclectic mix of rain/sun/wind/calm, much like the conditions on the leg from Bermuda, but fleet is happy and a great program of events is lined up for them in the Azores.

The first boat to arrive into Horta was Testarossa. George Gamble, the owner and skipper, is a serious racer and the current J111 World Champion. He and his crew completed the trip in just under 10 days. This is one of the fastest Bermuda-Azores passages the ARC Europe has seen. The passage was not without troubles though, as his boom was broken into two pieces a few days into the trip. That did not stop George and his crew from using their mainsail though. They continued the rest of the trip using it without the boom. 

On Monday, the early arrivals enjoyed a dinner at Canto da Doca. At this restaurant, you are provided with a hot volcanic stone which you then cook your own meat and fish on. Many people wandered on to Peter’s Cafe Sport after to continue the party late into the night.


Last night, the fun continued with a happy hour at the Clube Naval da Horta. Over 60 participants gathered to enjoy finger food, drinks and music.

Natalie 2 is due to arrive this evening, leaving Blue Mist as the only boat still at sea; the Pearson Vanguard 32 has been sailing straight from Portsmouth, VA and everyone is looking forward to meeting them when they reach the islands.They can be assure that they will be greeted with lots of cheers, fog horns, and happy hour drinks - whatever time the arrive!

The programme in Horta continues this week with the opportunity for crews to try sailing on a traditional wooden whaling boat on Thursday and a half day tour to explore the island of Faial with a guide. The prizegiving for Leg 2 (Bermuda to Horta) takes place on Friday evening before the fleet head off to cruise through the islands of the Azores.