With most of the fleet now pleased to be ashore since starting from Bermuda last Monday we are starting to receive reports that it was a tough leg for everyone. There wasn't much of the usual blogging from the boats at sea, giving updates along the way as crews were too busy & tired from the weather conditions at sea. Vin, skipper of the Lagoon 450 'GEM', put it quite simply, "Gulf Stream was tough. Glad to be home."
After being delayed by one day in Bermuda the 16 ARC USA yachts slipped out from St. George's Harbour and had light winds for the first few days. An area of low pressure had then developed just East of Cape Hatteras late on the 21st May and yachts were given warning from rally weather forecasters WRI (Weather Routing Inc.) to expect a period of near gale force conditions. As the low was set to move off north-eastward it would likely effect a lot of the rally boats. As you can see from the snapshot on the 22nd May, many took the opportunity to duck back south and/or west to avoid the centre of the low, and the catamarans 'Alia Vita' and 'Zoom' returned to Bermuda.
'Doppelbock' (GER) who were the first boat to arrive in Portsmouth, VA reported that, "the trip to Portsmouth was o.k. despite we had to struggle hard in the gale with constantly more then 40 knots." and Chris from 'Tom Tom' who sailed to Newport reported, "We were glad we went well
West, as we saw nothing over mid 30s. It did mean we sailed a greater
distance than the first leg though. No injuries and no boat damage, so
all is well."
It has been a record year for ARC USA and we would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have sailed via Bermuda and those that sailed direct to Ft Lauderdale for taking part. All of us at World Cruising Club wish you fair winds and safe sailing as you return home/explore the eastern seaboard and hope to see you again soon, maybe this fall for the ARC Caribbean 1500.