The curtain’s come down on one of the best ARC Europe’s in recent years, but not without the traditional closing party at Marina de Lagos. Beginning with regional wine-tasting and sun-downers at the swimming pool bar, the crews moved inside to take their seats in the stylish Waypoint restaurant for a delicious series of perfectly cooked dishes, accompanied by just a little more of those regional wines. And it was all served with care and attention by a small army of charming staff.
Martinho Fortunato, Director of Marina de Lagos, welcomed the fleet and presented each skipper with a hefty hard-back book filled with work from local artists – a superb keep-sake to remind crew of the wonderful hospitality that continues to be received and enjoyed.
Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club arrived in Lagos earlier on in the afternoon, as the vanguard of the Rally Portugal fleet, due into Lagos on Monday 22nd in the afternoon. The ARC Europe fleet last saw Andrew during the build-up programme at Nanny Cay some six weeks ago, and he praised the crews for dealing with the complex weather patterns and enjoying to the full each of the five stopovers. The evening was also gave Andrew the chance to meet the sailors from the three American yachts that joined the event in Bermuda.
And so, with Yachting TV’s camera rolling, it was onto the results for Leg 3A, the 820nm passage from Ponta Delgada to Lagos. In the multihulls, although competition was light, the crew of La Gaviota Chiflada took first place as much for getting into the spirit of their first rally with World Cruising Club as for their placing.
In Division B, third place went to another newcomer to rallies that has been gradually rising up through the ranks, with a crew that have become a fleet favourite, The Last of the Normal People with their 1979 Swan 47. Island Packet 485, Andante of Mersey second, and in the first of two poetic moments in the evening, the Hylas 45 Solferino, whose homeport is Marina de Lagos, picked up first place. Did the yacht know how to find it’s way back?
In Division A, the usual order had been upset after Nix lost her genoa and racked up forty-eight hours of motoring. Opening up a new spot for third then, it was the Italian crewed Amel Super Maramu, Refola who came up for their well-deserved prize.
Second place went to Carpe Diem, the Dufour 44 skippered by Stefan Shollmayer, whilst both line-honours and first place was picked up by the second of the two yachts whose homeport is Marina de Lagos, the Beneteau 57, Spirit of Lusitania, owned by Joaquim Fortunato.
As finales go, it was an evening to be remembered, though perhaps not quite so clearly until a few days later. The rally is as much, if not more so, about friendship, companionship and camaraderie as it is about the sailing. In any event, it’s all done together.
The event website will stay live until ARC Europe 2010 which is already receiving bookings. Next on the calendar for World Cruising Club is the Classic Malts Cruise, a 200 mile voyage around the stunning Inner Hebrides, combined with tutored single-malt whisky tastings, and three evenings of full hospitality at distilleries in Oban, Skye, and Islay.
ARC 2009 is now full, but a waiting list is in place and anyone still keen to sail with this year’s ARC is encouraged to register their interest as places do become available. World ARC 2010 is still open to entries. If you have any questions about any of the events or seminars run by World Cruising Club, please feel free to contact us. We’re here for you.