The majority of the ARC+ fleet are now safely docked at Marina Mindelo and are enjoying their time in the Cape Verde Islands following the completion of the first leg of the rally. As of this morning (Mon 15 Nov), three boats are still to arrive after departing late from Las Palmas: Orion, Sandy Cay and Makara of Southampton.
In the early hours of the morning, the Rustler 36 Restless of Stornaway finished and at 0240 were very grateful to see an ARC+ team member on the dock to greet them and help with their lines. Sailing the 865nm double handed, Anne Macneill and Tim Wright said: “We are a little tired but so happy to be here in Mindelo and grateful to be welcomed by the yellowshirts as we crossed the line and on the docks so early in the morning.”
For those already in Mindelo, Welcome Drinks were held on the concrete pier outside Marina Mindelo, under the guidance of local authorities. There was a super atmosphere at the event and happy rally participants were treated to some amazing tunes played by a local drum band. The CEO and owner of Marina Mindelo, Lutz Meyer-Scheel warmly welcomed everyone in the ARC+ fleet and gave a little history about Mindelo and the marina itself, which was founded in 2005.
ARC Yellowshirt and Event Manager, Mark Burton gave a welcome speech of thanks to Lutz, the local authorities, Kai Brossman, and of course the staff at Marina Mindelo for their support and assistance during their stay. Although dancing was not allowed, due to social distancing, participants watched a dance performance by a local couple and everyone had a great time. It was then time to retire to the floating bar in the marina, which was a repeat of the previous evening. “Everyone is really happy and grateful for all the effort that’s been done so far and it was a lovely, lively evening,” said Mark Burton.
Some boats had breakages en route from Las Palmas and all repairs are in hand, allowing skippers and crews to join in the ARC+ programme which included a full day tour of Santo Antão and São Vicente. The first one of these took place yesterday when the group went by ferry to Santo Antão, the westernmost and second largest island of Cape Verde. Santo Antão is home to some of the most spectacular scenery. Its towering green peaks and fertile craters meet cliff-hanging towns and is relatively untouched by tourism.
Little Allegra Rous, sailing with her parents and sister on their Dufour 44 Luna celebrated her 8th birthday yesterday with a strings of balloons on board boat and plenty of fun on the dock with many of her new ARC+ friends. Dad Richard was busy meanwhile, making good repairs on the boat!
Tonight, the ARC+ 2021 prizegiving from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Mindelo, Cape Verde will take place at the old fish market where prizes will be awarded for the first leg of the rally.