On 19 November the ARC+ 2021 fleet left Mindelo, Cape Verde bound for Grenada’s shores just over 2000nm miles away. Ten days on, the ARC Yellow Shirts are ready and waiting in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. The flags are flying, and the office is buzzing with talks of welcome parties, berthing plans and paperwork - There is not a day goes by without someone asking “when does the first boat arrive?” as the marina gears up to roll out the red carpet for the first edition of ARC+ to arrive in Grenada.
Year after year, it is the welcome that boats sailing with ARC+ and ARC receive that sets sailing with the rally apart from other ocean adventures. For this year, a virtual finish line is in place located off St. Georges, and once sails are stowed, and fenders are found, each boat contacts ARC+ Berthing for directions to enter the marina. Once brought safely alongside the quarantine superyacht dock and health clearance procedures are followed, the crew are then met at their berth by a smiling ARC Yellow Shirt to take their lines. Then it’s time to celebrate making landfall in the Caribbean with a rum punch and basket of island produce presented by a representative from the Grenada Tourism Authority.
The ARC+ fleet have made gentle progress across the Atlantic this year with light airs and the need to venture further south than ever before - wind hunting is a great game to play offshore. Weather Routing International (WRI) have been providing daily forecasts for the fleet and even had to add more areas to the mapping grid to cover the southerly extremes that some of the fleet have ventured to.
The Yellow Shirt Team in Grenada have been watching and waiting for a few days now, and thankfully the wind has finally arrived and will bring the first yacht in on or around the 2nd December in the early hours of the morning. “Despite the curfew here, we will be permitted to welcome them in on the superyacht dock where they will have to await the health clearance prior to a presentation of local produce and our best Caribbean welcome,” said Mark Burton from the Yellow Shirt Team. “We expect Piment Rouge to cross the finish line first although BigBird are currently flying along to try and surge past so it could be a nail-biting finish!”
For those still enjoying their crossing, they can expect trade wind conditions to increase as they Grenada with a surge of arrivals expected over the weekend.
Whenever they arrive, a warm welcome to the ‘Spice Island’ awaits…