Thoughts from some of the crews in the 36th ARC, with less than 48 hours to go. On board almost every boat, there’s a bustle of activity and we caught up this afternoon with a few participants who were busy doing jobs.
Tina Bååth and her husband Ingmar Ravudd are sailing on their Swedish Arcona 460 IdaLina with his two sons, one other female crew and young J109 sailor, Sanna Moliis. Both were on the dock carefully washing and preparing a huge pile of fruit and vegetables that they’d just bought from the market and spoke about how they were feeling: “There’s so much to do right now that you don’t have time to work out what you are feeling,” said Tina. “The main problem is where are we going to put all this food? I want to know how I will feel when I am out there in the middle of the ocean, with the night sky and probably feeling so small. I wonder what will happen to my thoughts when I don’t have the TV and all the normal information, but I am absolutely looking forward to start day now.”
Neil Maher, skipper of Global Yacht Racing’s Beneteau First 47.7 EH01, one of the ARC’s regular race charter boats, said he just wants to get going. “Once we get all the Covid stuff done and get to the sailing side of things, I know we will be having a blast! I can’t wait. It’s my second time in the ARC and fifth time across. We will do several regattas in the Caribbean and for the first time take part in Grenada Sailing Week.” They were out training earlier today and the crew of nine will take part in the ARC Racing Division. “We’ve been pouring over weather forecasts for days now and it’s looking light conditions, but it makes it all the more interesting,” said Neil with a smile.
Lars Karlsson sailing on the Hallberg-Rassy 44 Pleasure, agrees with Neil. “It might be light winds for the start, but that’s part of the sailing game. I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Las Palmas though and like it very much but, of course we are all looking forward to the start.”
Anders Hjorst on yacht Ella from Karlstad, Sweden had just returned from his daily jog; something he likes to do to keep fit. Although this will be his and his wife Berit’s first Atlantic crossing, the double handers have been sailing for decades. “We are definitely looking forward to this and to the start. We should have gone last year and just want to do it now.”
Owner of the racy-looking Cookson 50 Furiosa, Rolf Relander has owned his boat for five years now and it’s usually raced in the Gulf of Finland from Estonia. “It’s a bit colder there, even in the summer,” he said, as the crew of eight were busy making final tweaks to the boat this afternoon. “We still have a few very small things to do before the start, but it’s always a never-ending list. We were hoping to do the crossing to Saint Lucia in 11-12 days, but it’s looking more like 14 days as it’s a very light forecast at the moment. It’s going to be a nice start and a good experience as it’ll be the first time for the whole crew. We will fly back and the boat will go on to Antigua we will then race at the St Maarten Heineken Regatta.