ARC Europe 2022 has set off towards Bermuda! Yesterday morning, 7 May, excitement was buzzing around the docks of IGY Simpson Bay Marina as crews made final preparations for their west-to-east multi-stage Atlantic crossing.
Lines and fenders stowed and following final farewells to fellow ralliers and their marina hosts, 19 yachts passed through the road bridge from lagoon to bay in Sint Maarten in a steady procession. Featuring in the fleet this year are a great mix of boats and crews, from the smallest Fantasi 37 Vorona hailing from Sweden, to Dumia, a CNB 60 returning to Europe with her German crew after arriving in the Caribbean with ARC 2021. A good crowd was gathered in the yacht club next to bridge to see the fleet leave the lagoon, before they too headed out in a dinghy to watch the start.
With a fresh SE blowing the fleet prepared themselves for the start in Simpson Bay under the watchful eye of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and World Cruising team on board the Committee vessel Sea Glass, kindly provided by the club.
A downwind start saw Mowgli an Akilaria 40 and Minimole a Neel 47 jostling for the first over the line spot. Taking part in ARC Europe for a second time, experience paid off for Aldo Fumagalli and his crew on the Neel 47 and as the horn blew Minimole was fractionally ahead of Mowgli, with Dumia a close third. The fleet then headed south west before passing the rounding mark to starboard before heading north towards Bermuda.
All ARC Europe boats are fitted with YB Tracking satellite trackers, allowing family and friends to follow the fleet from the comfort of home. Click here for the online Fleet Viewer
The 875nm journey will take between 5 and 7 days and on arrival they can look forward to an entertaining programme of events, including the third edition of the 2022 Sail GP circuit, before re-supplying and departing for Azores in the middle of the month.