With the majority of the fleet now safely in Grenada, the informal ARC+ welcome party was held yesterday evening at Grenada Yacht Club, overlooking the historic colourful Carenage area of the capital St George’s, just across from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. With 82 boats now here in Grenada, the welcome party kicked off the ARC+ programme. Watching the sun go down, it was time for a fun photo opportunity using the ARC+ selfie board, and to enjoy the first of several gatherings with fellow participants. Greeted with an obligatory rum punch or glass of wine on arrival, everyone enjoyed getting out of their shorts and t-shirts after a long, hot and rainy day of touring the island, cleaning up the boat and doing all the necessary chores, such as washing clothes and tidying up after their long ocean crossing. It was now time for some ‘liming’ (hanging out and socialising) with new-found rally friends.
“Welcome to Grenada. Give yourselves a round of applause, and we trust you are rightly proud of your achievement in crossing the Atlantic,” said Paul Tetlow, managing the ARC+ event.
“It has been a quick crossing this year, and we now have over 80 boats here, but we certainly don’t forget those boats that are still at sea. We hope they will arrive in the next 48 hours before the finish line closes. The three boats that were delayed in Mindelo are now on their way, and the crew of Alika have arrived in Antigua and have found professional medical care ashore. So, we are almost complete here in Grenada and we look forward to seeing the last boats arrive," continued Paul.
“It has been quite a busy year; we know that from managing the Rally Control, reading the boat logs and from chatting to you after arriving in Grenada. Things have broken, things have gone wrong, but it’s times like these that we see the value of the rally, and you as participants supporting one another to help each other across the Atlantic. It’s the people who make the rally and thank you very much for your help and participation to other boats at sea.
"The island has an awful lot to offer and I’d like to introduce you to Petra Roach, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority, who would like to say a few words of welcome.”
“On behalf of the Government of Grenada, the team and Board of Directors of the Grenada Tourism Authority, I’d like to say a really, warm welcome to the beautiful spice island of Grenada. Also here is our Chairman, Randall Dolland and Nikoyan Roberts, GTA Nautical Development Manager, who has taken great care of you all so far. This year we also have a much broader team which includes some of the youngsters who are studying tourism at T. A. Marryshow Community College. We believe that any event we host has to be a developmental opportunity, and therefore we want to see the students understanding what tourism actually brings to the island.
“We have 45% of the GDP which comes from tourism and we recognise that sailing is one of the anchors that we will be building on, so we really want to say a big thank you to World Cruising Club and to the team at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, and everyone who made this journey. This year the event is even bigger, with 411 crews making the crossing. I have met people from the UK, the USA, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and many more countries - we have the United Nations right here; we can save the world and can have world peace,” laughs, Peta Roach, CEO Grenada Tourism Authority.
“We are very appreciative of you coming to our island. One of the important things is when our local stakeholders are saying ‘yes’, we are seeing these guys come into our shops and going to our attractions. I was talking to one of the chocolate factories today and he had six ARC+ families coming through. The people of Grenada really do welcome you and are very appreciative of your support.
"Seeing that you’ve come such a long way I think it would be an absolute travesty if you did not experience the warmth, the excitement and plethora of activities that we’ve got here. I hear you’ve drunk the rum factories dry (applause from the crowd), but we’ve got many great places to visit, such as the plantations, six chocolate factories, Grand Anse spice and craft market, beautiful waterfalls, hiking in nature and dive sites, and so many wonderful things to explore. Please send a note to someone you care about and say to them, if you haven’t thought about where you are going on holiday next year, choose Grenada!," exclaimed Petra Roach.
Thanking Petra Roach for her kind words, WCC's Paul Tetlow wrapped up the speeches and then it was time to enjoy the wonderful evening and more liming.....“On behalf of the ARC+ fleet I would like to say thank you very much for the warm welcome we have received here in Grenada, for the kind assistance of the TAMCC students, who even in the pouring rain have been on the docks welcoming the crews of ARC+, and to your support of our wider programme, we really appreciate it. Thank you. This evening kicks off the rally events here in Grenada, but with two talks on sailing the Grenadines, the Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina General Manager’s party, and then the last hurrah, the ARC+ prizegiving on Thursday, it’s a really full programme and we hope you enjoy what it has to offer. We wish you a wonderful evening.”