On Wednesday morning the ARC Portugal fleet gathered on the start line in Oeiras ready for their 50nm passage down to Sines.
After one of the best sailing legs of the whole trip, the fleet were all in good spirits, having really enjoyed a fast 50-mile sail down the coast from Oeiras. Once again, only minutes of engine hours were logged by most of the fleet as constant winds from behind pushed them along in the warm sunshine.
Sines is a hidden gem along the Portuguese coastline and remains a long way off the tourist trail. Participants spent their first night exploring the quaint town nestled in to the hillside where restaurant menus are written on small chalk boards with usually one or two options cooked extremely well.
Yesterday started with a welcome from a representative of the Mayor who welcomed ARC Portugal back to Sines. Participants then took a tour of the local castle that was once home to Vasco de Gema. After the tour the rally gathered on the terrace where Andrew Bishop presented the prize giving for leg 7. First place went to Blonde Moment from class A, and Serafina Of Maldon for class B. Second place was awarded to Mischief in class A, and Sweet Harmony in class B. Third place was won by Wiki Wiki in class A, and Le Soleil in class B. The ETA competition guessing only 1 minute 53 seconds out of their arrival time was won by Sweet Harmony. For the Smiley Miley competition Grey Goose managed (with a little bit of insider knowledge) to guess the exact distance the rally control team had driven.
During their time in Oeiras participants had the opportunity to paint their mural on the outer breakwater wall. The paintings were judged by the rally control team and special prizes were awarded to those that stood out. Blonde Moment took the prize for continuity of theme, Serafina for artistic merit and sweet harmony for content imaginative.
This morning the fleet set off at 6am for their longest and last coastal leg from Sines to Lagos, where they are expected to arrive in the late afternoon and early evening.