Congratulations to the crew of Italian flagged yacht 12 Nacira 69 for taking ARC 2021 line honours in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, arriving in the early hours of Friday 3 December 2021. Crossing the line at 03:16:45 local time, following an exciting race to the line with their closest rivals on Guyader Saveol , the crew of the stunning Vismara carbon racer received the warmest of welcomes to Saint Lucia despite the early hour.
Calm winds at the start of the rally, which departed from Las Palmas on Sunday 21 November, were not on the wish list for this sleek 23 meter monohull but as the trade winds finally picked up they made good time during the second half of their 3,188 NM route reaching up to incredible speeds of 28kts. Spokesperson for the crew, Matteo Grassi, said “Most of the crew have experienced the crossing before but we didn’t expect to get so much wind in the last few days and we did almost 400 NM in one day, the boat is just a missile.”
12 Nacira 69 is owned by Diego Paternò Castello di San Giuliano and Federico Marchi, and skippered on the ARC by Federico Dosso. The crew includes Italian mini-transat sailor Ambrogio Beccaria and yacht designers Matteo Tognetti, Edoardo Mazzucco, and Bernardo Zin.
In jovial spirits and delighted to set foot onto the pontoon in IGY Rodney Bay Marina, the nine crew from Italy, France and the USA, were met by the ARC welcoming team who took their lines and in traditional fashion, provided a basket of local fruits, goodies from Saint Lucia and the all-important celebratory rum punch. Thanks to Events Company of St Lucia for their support and for making the fleet feel so welcome as they arrive on this beautiful island.
With some boats opting for a more northerly route at the start as it turned out the more traditional southerly course benefitted the leaders in the final stages of the rally. Interestingly, only on the morning of the start the crew on 12 Narcia 69 predicted the northern route to be too unstable and decided to choose the southern path taking them near to Cape Verde.
Close on their heels and in fact in the lead during the latter part of the crossing, the French flagged Marsaudon TS5, Guyader Saveol crossed the line just 1.5 hours after 12 Nacira 69. In the past two editions of the ARC it has been the mighty quick multihulls which have reached Rodney Bay first, and in 2019 Gwenael Chapalain and the Guyader crew took Line Honours. Despite a remarkably quick sail for the TS5, it could not hold off the final charge of 12 Nacira 69, built on a new generation hull derived from the Imoca 60. As they crossed the finish line, Gwenael thanked everyone for all the organisation, and they were delighted to have taken part in the ARC for a second time, even if they did miss out on line honours this time around.
Adhering to the local restrictions in place, once the fleet makes landfall in Saint Lucia there is much to see and do on the island. A fun programme awaits the crews' arrival to include Welcome Drinks at the Golf & Country Club, the IGY Marina Managers Welcome, live cooking demonstrations, talks on the Caribbean by Chris Doyle and of course the keenly awaited prizegiving which celebrates the end of ARC 2021 on Friday 17 December.
This year has seen challenges on both land and at sea, however, as we start to see the first boats arrive under the sunny Caribbean skies, it is a great reminder of each crew’s momentous achievements, and we acknowledge their accomplishments with great cheer and admiration.