The busy week for ARC+ participants has almost come to an end in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as crews have been making the most of lectures, demonstrations, excursions and social activities during their time here. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the seminar programme proved extremely popular with the lecture room filled with eager crews being briefed on useful topics for their crossing – from provisioning to rigging and communications to first aid.
The Safety Team has now visited every boat to ensure they are well prepared, and on Thursday they led a day of demonstrations offering a useful refresher on using flares and launching a liferaft.
The day began with the much anticipated air-sea helicopter rescue demo. Crews lined the breakwater as ARC+ yacht Clarelsa volunteered to play the ‘victim’ yacht as the pilot skilfully hovered over for the high-line transfer.
Crews were then encouraged to bring along swimming costumes for the practical session in the Varadero pool where they learnt about emergency evacuation and could try boarding a liferaft themselves. Not an easy task even in the calm conditions of a sheltered pool!
Wednesday’s “Under the Sea” Fancy Dress programme has undoubtedly been a highlight of the social programme so far with some spectacular costumes from the crews. Other evenings, crews have come together for sundowners sponsored by local suppliers and for the Crew Supper at the Restaurant Embarcadero in the marina.
This evening, all the crews sailing on the rally will come together for the combined ARC+ Farewell and ARC Welcome Party at TAO, hosted by the Las Palmas City Council. It promises to be a fun-filled evening to wish ‘bon voyage’ to the ARC+ boats who will depart on Sunday, and ‘Bienvenido’ to the ARC crews who are just beginning their own exciting programme in Las Palmas.