Bye Bye Bermuda:(

17 May 2016

It is always sad to be leaving Bermuda, this place has a great charm and stunning beauty to it - especially when the sun is shining as it was for today's start of ARC Europe. Boats made their final preparations and started to slip lines from the Dinghy Club dock around 10am ready for the start at 1100 local time. 

The ARC USA leg back to the US is a non competitive leg and some of the boats departed yesterday and some early this morning to get a head start on the 650NM trip.  Weather conditions were good for setting off but a low is expected to pass through on the 19th with some rain and wind associated with it and boats hoping to be into the Chesapeake Bay by the weekend.

The north east winds meant a bit of tacking to windward from the start line up the harbour before a little motoring out through the Town Cut and again into those headwinds.  From the image below you can see that boats had to put in a little south east before the winds shifted and they were able to head in a more north east direction.


At the top of the image you may pick up on 'Blue Mist', the smallest boat in ARC Europe (Pearson Vanguard 32) who set off from Portsmouth, VA and decided to sail direct to the Azores in order to keep with the fleet.  David got a great cheer at the prizegiving on Sunday when the rest of the crews were informed of their plans and they will no doubt receive a great welcome when they arrive in Horta. 

There is always a good crowd watching from the Town Cut as the boats set off on their 1800NM trip to the Azores and the local news network Bernews got some great footage and photos click here to check it out.


The boats were set off in smaller groups to ensure that everyone made it out safely and Mimosa was the first of the catamarans to take the start line powered up on starboard tack.  With starts just 5 minutes apart it wasn't long before all of the boats were sailing across the start line and underway.  I say all of the boats but there was in fact one, 'Ximera', who in an interesting manoeuvre took the start in reverse with no sails up - we shall see what prize we can present them in Horta!

The boats can expect around a 12-14 day passage and winds are looking good and boats should be able to sail close to the rhumb line rather than taking a more northerly route.  A low in a couple of days should develop to the north of the fleet and bring some strong south westerlies that hopefully the boats can ride on the tail of for as long as possible.

Safe sailing to all of our ARC rally boats, Bermuda has been a lot of fun, a little Dark n'Stormy at times, but now time for some sailing.  Rally Control standing by on 77:)