The planning for many of the World ARC fleet has been in the making for years. For one boat, Laura IV, the skipper Pino has been “dreaming about this voyage since he was a kid.” So today, Saturday 11 January 2020, brought a huge amount of excitement for all participants as they crossed the start line in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, at 1200 hours.
The fleet this year is made up of 33 boats with more to join the Rally over the next couple of stopovers. There was a strong breeze over the bay at the start with wind speed of circa 20kts providing a good run down to the first mark at Barrel of Beef Island. Leaving this to starboard, they had a quick jibe down to Castries and on to the first stopover in the World ARC programme, Santa Marta, Columbia.
With a closely fought start, first over the line was Finnish boat Marja II a Malo 46 Classic followed by the Swan 46, Milanto. Tightly grouped together, next over the line was Zarya an Amel 55 along with Next Step, a Bavaria 46. Despite being a rally not a race, skippers and crews were certainly enthusiastic to cross the start line with the remaining boats quickly following on behind.
This year World Cruising Club are immensely proud to be starting the 10th edition of World ARC. Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club, has enjoyed welcoming and meeting the fleet during their preparations for their round the world adventure. Andrew remarked “it's always an amazing sight to see the World ARC fleet setting off on their circumnavigation from Rodney Bay, after a week of preparations in Saint Lucia. Being the start of the 10th edition of the rally was definitely a special moment.”
The World ARC programme would not be possible without the support of several local organisations. World Cruising Club and the World ARC participants would like to thank the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, The Events Company of Saint Lucia, IGY Rodney Bay Marina and the Saint Lucia Yacht Club for all their generous assistance.
Special thanks go to Bernard Johnson for providing the committee vessel, Reel Extreme which entertained the Minister of Tourism, Dominic Fedee, CEO of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Beverly Nicholson Doty, Lorraine Sidonie, CEO of The Events Company of Saint Lucia, Keats Compton, Head of Marine Association of Saint Lucia and Andrew Bishop.
We wish the fleet safe sailing and fair winds for the first leg and we look forward to welcoming the first boats in Santa Marta as soon as Wednesday 15 January.