Just before 10am today the last ARC boat, Milena Bonatti crossed the line and sailed into Rodney Bay Marina. Despite being plagued by pesky engine issue that delayed their start and required them to be towed in on arrival, the double handers sailed well and arrived well in time for the ARC prizegiving this evening.
Horns blared and applause roared around the marina as they were towed in. From every dock participants gathered and cheered to welcome the boat, whose berth on C pontoon placed them right in the centre of the marina. Expert local water taxi operators Quincy and Shaka piloted the vessel in, and with many hands on the dock – including every yellow shirt and marina hand - the boat was docked and tied up in seconds. With more cheers and an incredible warm welcome, the final participants stepped onto the dock, greeted by an endless stream of friends.
A St Lucia representative poured out some rum punch and an epic group shot was taken before the crowd began to wind down, leaving the new arrivals to get comfortable and relax in peace – much needed after such a crossing.
With the last boat in the stage is now set for the ARC prizegiving tonight at Beausejour sports ground. Beginning at 5pm (with shuttles running from 4:15pm at the marina) drinks will be served and over 90 prizes handed out over an exciting night. Andrew Bishop will lead the presentation which is split in two parts with an intermission for drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
As the ceremony comes to a close so too does the ARC 2019 itself. Over 192 boats and 1300+ people from 32 countries participated in this year’s ARC, with 188 boats going on to arrive in St Lucia. We hope to see as many as possible at the prizegiving ceremony and wish everyone happy holidays.