It’s start day for ARC Europe! Having departed IGY Simpson Bay Marina in an orderly fashion managed by the dock hands early on this morning, all 19 of the ARC Europe 2023 fleet hovered gracefully in Simpson Harbour awaiting the bridge to raise.
At exactly 1030 hrs the bridge opened and farewell cheers could be heard from the terrace at St Maarten Yacht Club as the fleet motored through into Simpson Bay and onward to greet the awaiting committee vessel.
With a steady easterly breeze of 10 knots, and clear blue skies, the conditions were good on the start line. First over the line was Wethomi skippered by Michael von Pilchau closely followed by the Italian flagged Grand Soleil 45 Avventura and the rest of the fleet.
Having enjoyed a full programme of events and briefings, and successfully completing many boat preparations, the island of St Maarten and all the supporters of ARC Europe have provided the fleet with a very successful and fun start to their rally.
The start could not have happened so smoothly without the support of Ian, Lucy, Sam, Saskia and Garth from St Maarten Yacht Club. Special thanks to the team for supporting the rally one again by providing the committee vessel and all the necessary buoyage for the start.
The journey to Bermuda will take approximately 5 to 6 days whereupon the trusty yellow shirt team will be in place to welcome the fleet to the second stopover of their passage.