On Friday the ARC Portugal fleet completed their final leg from Sines to Lagos. Departing early in the morning, it was an incredible spectacle as the sun started to rise over the hill tops of Sinnes and the horizon was scatteredwith cruising chutes and spinnakers. A strong northerly breeze stayed with the fleet for their 75nm passage and once again the fleet were able to sail in the company of dolphins and whales. The first of the yachts started to arrive from 3pm and were greeted on the holding pontoon by marina manager Ingrid and the rally control team.
Yesterday participants were free to explore Lagos. Marina de Lagos do a fantastic job of welcoming the ARC Portugal fleet and each participant receives a goody bag filled with useful information and a self-guided walking tour that takes in the history and highlights of Lagos.
Last night Marina de Lagos hosted the final prize giving. Participants were treated to welcome drinks on the terrace followed by a delicious three course dinner. World Cruising Club team member Charlie Pierce started the night by thanking all the participants for an incredible rally and then proceeded to summarise the memorable moments and recalling some anecdotes from the past few weeks. The fleet were presented with two specially engraved plaques, one from World Cruising Club, and one from Marina de Lagos. Each yacht was called up individually and participants took the opportunity to say a few words to their new found friends and to sum up their Rally experience.
Colin from Serafina of Maldon
“I can’t express enough how incredible this experience has been we have made friends and memories that will last a lifetime”
The winners of the final leg were Blonde moment in class A, and Sweet Harmony in class B. It was incredibly close on the final ETA guess with 1 minute 20 Sweet Harmony, 1 minute 30 WikiWiki, and Mischief taking the win with just 1 minute off their arrival time. The final smiley Miley was won be Le Soleil who guessed just 1.2 km away from the distance driven by the rally control team.
The friendships, memories, and experiences shared on this year’s rally will no doubt continue long after ARC Portugal. Many of the fleet are planning to cruise the Mediterranean together over the coming months and others will be crossing the Atlantic together and joining World ARC.
The night finished off at Spinnakers bar where Mike and Marty two professional musicians from Sweet Harmony
and Collin an incredibly skilled musician from Serafina
joined together on the guitar, accordion, and vocals, for one last singalong and dance.