The past twenty four hours in Las Palmas have been a busy one for both participants and yellow shirts alike. Last night a Raymarine sponsored sundowner led perfectly into the (in)famous ARC costume party, which saw hundreds of attendees festively clad in the theme of ‘once upon a time’ (some artistic license required). The yellows shirts, as is tradition also, got into the spirit of things and came dressed as Charlie and Chocolate factory characters Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas, with WCC Managing Director Andrew Bishop as Wonka himself.
Drinking and dancing ensued and eventually the annual costume contest got underway, with prizes for best man, best woman, best family and the highly coveted best crew. Best man was picked up by the mad hatter, while a crew member from Dark Vador dressed up as such a convincing princess Leia that we had no choice but to award him best woman. Best family was a difficult choice this year thanks to the high turnout of family boats however in the end a very convincing Wizard of Oz cast including the tin man, lion, scarecrow, Dorothy and both a good and wicked witch. The best crew was narrowed down to two boats so naturally a dance off was the only option to settle the title for good. With the crowd cheering on the vikings of Scarlet Oyster and the costume safety team from Soulmate duked it out on the stage. In the end it was a victory for the costume safety team whose moves riled up the crowd far more.
The party carried on into the wee hours following the contest and it was evident Thursday morning how fun it had been as many donned sunglasses for a rather cloudy safety demonstration.
The ARC safety demos continued to be popular this year despite the late night beforehand. Hundreds lined the breakwater just after nine this morning to watch a live helicopter rescue demonstration on ARC yacht EH01. After a low fly by the helicopter approached and the hovered in place as a rescue swimmer was lowered from the hi-line on board the vessel. The vessel then turned onto a course given by the helicopter and as they two craft moved slowly south a dummy was winched from the boat in a rescue basket. With the pretend victim aboard the swimmer was picked up and the demonstration came to an end with a brilliant low flyby.
As the sound of the rotors faded into the distance the crowd moved down to the flare demonstration area. ARC safety chief Roger Seymour with help from Vicky Ellis and Chris Tibbs walked the crowd through the deployment of various flares before going through the motions for real. First off were hand held red flares followed by smoke and then the opportunity for participants to set off some of their own.
After that it was up to the swimming pool for a sea safety demo. Two life rafts, provided by yacht Nizuc, were set off and after a walk through from the yellow shirt safety team everyone was encouraged to get in and practice boarding, check out the rafts and perform some basic sea survival manoeuvres. As always the children got to have their own raft and a few swimming yellow shirts made sure that fun was had all around.