Following the first arrival on Immagina just before midnight local time on Thursday 12th November, Marina Mindelo steadily welcomed the ARC+ fleet over the following 48 hours. Despite the light-wind start, the breeze filled in once the fleet cleared the lee of Gran Canaria, with some nice tradewind sailing enjoyed by the cruisers. By Sunday evening the fleet was complete, with the crews of 24 boats excited to arrive and explore Mindelo and its surroundings.
In the town behind the marina, the streets are lined with quaint shops and traditional restaurants for crews to explore. The floating marina bar has also been a popular hang-out for participants and a place to reflect on their passage from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Beyond Mindelo, all the crews joined an organised half day tour to explore Sao Vicente, taking a break from the boat jobs and reprovisioning after the first leg of the crossing to see some of the island.
Compliant with local restrictions, 70 crew joined the all day tour to the neighbouring island of Santo Antão, with valleys full of lush vegetation and the large volcanic craters. It was a great way for crews to stretch their land legs and visit this unique place, unlike any of the other Cape Verdes Islands.
The ARC+ Leg 1 Prizegiving was held yesterday, Tuesday, evening at the floating Bar at the Marina Mindelo. Claiming the top spot for the Cruising Division was Ibex followed by Damasi II and Piano; on the Multihull division the first was Immagina who also claimed Line Honours as first boat to arrive in Mindelo overall. Completing the Multihull top three Ningyo and Aria. To view all the results for ARC+ Leg 1 please go to the Results Page
Awards were not just presented for sailing performance, but also recognising other contributions to the rally. During the first leg, a PAN PAN was issued by Weyve after they began taking on water. The situation was brought under control with the use of electric pumps, but fellow ARC yacht Aria sailed back to Weyve to standby and offer additional assistance if needed. In recognition of their support, the crew of Aria were presented with the ‘Spirit of the Rally’ award for Leg 1. Complying with local restrictions, crews were unable to gather at the bar or dance, but everyone was served at the table and ambiance was fun and relaxed.
As a requirement for entry to Saint Lucia, every ARC+ crew member underwent PCR testing on Monday in Mindelo Marina, conducted by the Health Department. With the results expected to be issued in the morning of Thursday 19th November, the scheduled departure date of ARC+ Leg 2, the decision was made by Rally Control to delay the start by 24 hours, to give more time for the administration to check out. The start of Leg 2, Cape Verde to Saint Lucia is now scheduled for 12:00 midday on Friday 20th November.
Details of the start, updated weather information and details of what to expect on arrival in the Caribbean will all be delivered later in today’s Skippers Briefing.