It has been a fun packed weekend for ARC Europe in St George’s Bay, Bermuda. Hosting all the evening events, St Georges Dingy and Sports Club was a fitting venue for the fleet. Overlooking the harbour, the wraparound balcony provides the perfect spot to enjoy chilled refreshments as the sun sets behind the town centre.
As the fleet began to gather in St Georges Bay either from the rally start in St Maarten or joiners from mainland USA, participants were able to enjoy Friday night happy hour dinks together at the Club bar. Included was a delicious spread of warm snacks kindly sponsored by Bermuda Tourism Authority. The evening enabled crews who had just arrived to meet with each other and chat about their sailing adventures to the island.
Saturday evening saw a spectacular and hugely energetic display of traditional dance. Known as the Gombeys, they are an iconic symbol of Bermuda, reflecting tradition through masquerade, dance and drumming. Blending cultures from Africa, the Caribbean and Britain, participants were thrilled by their performance which was kindly organised by Bermuda Tourism Authority. After the entertainment the BBQ was lit, and everyone tucked into delicious meats and salads organised by the Club.
The grand finale on the programme was on Sunday evening. Starting the evening’s entertainment, there was a talk on Goslings rum followed by a tasting. Listening with great enthusiasm, the audience were given a short history of this family-owned business and how the rum was founded. Special thanks to the highly experienced Andrew Holmes, Brand Director of Goslings, for supporting ARC Europe again. Andrew not only provided a variety of rum for all the participants to sample, Goslings were also the sponsors of the many bottles of rum given out to the prize-winners for Leg 1.
After the tasting, everyone was invited to make their way to the dockside where a group photo was taken followed by the announcement of winners for the leg from St Maarten to Bermuda. The Multihull class was won by Fountaine Pajot Helia 44, Abundance from the USA. Division 1 for the Monohull Class B was won by Paul Wade on Blond Moment and Class A was taken by Alize, a Jeanneau 57 also from the USA. There was an additional award called the Special Expedition Award which was presented to Reberth who has cruised the Caribbean waters for the last 20 years and now returns home to the USA to be retired. Congratulations to all the fleet on a great start to the Rally.
Camaraderie between any ARC fleet becomes very special, this fleet have certainly created some very special bonds which they will carry on to the Azores after the start to Leg 2 on Wednesday 17 May.