With much excitement, the first boat to arrive into Mindelo was welcomed just before midnight local time on Thursday 12th November, after reaching the finish of the first leg of ARC+ in Sao Vicente. ARC yellowshirts were ready and waiting to congratulate Donato Paradiso’s 16.5m G-Force 1500C Immagina into Marina Mindelo after completing the 850nm leg from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Sao Vicente. The unusually fast passage of 4 days 10 hours saw the Jamaican-flagged multihull, sailed by Donato and three Italian friends, lead the way for the 24-boat fleet which departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 8th November.
Immagina was largest boat in the ARC+ fleet and one of six multihulls taking part. The French-flagged Outremer 45 Ningyo was under 90nm (at 1200 UTC on 13thNov) off the finish line and looking set to be the second multihull to complete the rally.
Jorn Aalefjær’s Norwegian Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 Ticora and two doublehanded boats; Florian Grassl & Vicky Weichsler’s Austrian Sunbeam 42.1 Ibex and Kjersti Marie Lauritzen & Dann Knarbakk’s Norwegian Dufour 460 Grand Large DamaSi II are both enjoying fairly close sailing after all these miles and are likely to be the first monohulls and next into Mindelo.
Over the coming days the World Cruising Club team will be greeting the remainder of the yachts still a sea who have enjoyed good sailing conditions. By Sunday 15th November, the whole fleet should be safely docked in the marina and participants will then be able enjoy the island of Sao Vicente and the surroundings.
Included in the ARC+ programme is a half-day guided tour of São Vicente and a chance to explore this magnificent island and view the spectacular sights from Monte Verde, some 747 metres high. As an optional tour, there is also a full-day visit to the island of Santo Antão to tour around this green paradise and sample its beauty, magnificent valleys and breath-taking views. The programme for the rest of the week includes a Welcome Ceremony hosted by Marina Mindelo which will be attended by several local authorities, including Paulo Veiga, Secretary of State for Maritime Economy, before the a Skippers Briefing before the start of the Leg 2 to Saint Lucia and the final destination in the Caribbean.
The ARC+ programme in Mindelo has been tailored to comply with the local Covid19 restrictions, including the mandatory use of masks, limited number on gatherings and the social distancing.
Follow the event here: https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/eventfleetviewer.aspx