Over the last few days, the remaining skippers and crews arrived in Cape Town to prepare for the next leg of their circumnavigation; Cape Town, South Africa to Salvador, Brazil via St. Helena. Participants have loved the hospitality and sights that South Africa has offered, however this morning the fleet departed Cape Town embarking on their South Atlantic crossing.
"Coming back to the Marina was yet another demonstration of the ‘family’ nature of the World ARC fleet. The short walk to the showers took hours as we ran through the gauntlet of boat crews all beaming big smiles and rushing over to shake hands and wish us Happy New Year" - Free & BrEasy
Thursday night was the first opportunity after the break for the fleet to be reunited. A farewell party in the V&A waterfront with canapés, bar and music on the terrace made for an entertaining night whilst discussing tactics for the next leg. Following a skipper’s briefing yesterday where the rally unfortunately had to say goodbye to Tom, Sandra and Alejandro on Sweet Pearl before their sail to Europe, the fleet had one more night to enjoy South African hospitality.
At 1045 this morning, the first time check was announced in readiness for the 1100 start. With help from the Royal Cape Yacht Club hosting the start, the varying winds within the bay steadied enough for a race start. Finding themselves in a wind lull across the line for the start, Polaris made a round turn joining the back of the fleet as Festina Lente took to the line first. Saphir closely followed and Folie a Deux stormed through the fleet to take third across the line.
For the fleet, they are likely to experiences variable winds over next 48 hours and with the trades forecast to weaken, it’s likely many will stay close to the coast utilising the land effect for stronger sailing conditions before heading west to St. Helena.