The 10th edition of World Cruising Club’s popular ARC+ rally concluded last night with a spectacular prizegiving ceremony held for the 400+ crews from 91 boats taking part in the second 2022 ARC+ to finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.
With the Fra Diavolo (
ITA) finishing 12 days previously and Earendel
(GBR), the only motorboat in the rally (a late starter from Mindelo), arriving just as the final prizegiving was starting, it was time to applaud everyone in this ocean-crossing community with awards for sailing performance and contributions to the amazing rally spirit that has developed over the past six weeks. With the sun setting and a steel pan playing, Prickly Bay Marina was the perfect setting for the final coming together of crew members, including the many children in the fleet; all there to celebrate crossing the Atlantic Ocean and their terrific achievements in the 2022 ARC+ event.
Paul Tetlow, Managing Director World Cruising Club (Designate) was assisted by Nikoyan Roberts, Nautical Development Manager at Grenada Tourism Authority, also presenting prizes on behalf of the Hon. Lennox Andrews; Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism and CEO Petra Roach, who were unable to attend. Zara Tremlett, General Manager at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina also helped hand out an array of silverware, plaques, Grenadian gift baskets, and a whole host of special prizes and vouchers to the worthy winners.
Proceedings began with a sincere recognition of the teams and people in Grenada who play an important part in the rally, and who have put so much into organising ARC+ 2022 once again. All were thanked for their invaluable day-to-day support in the seamless delivery of the rally: Grenada Tourism Authority; especially Nikoyan Roberts, who had been responsible for the GTA input into planning; Zara Tremlett, General Manager, and all her staff at Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina who have worked tirelessly to accommodate the ARC+ fleet; the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG); and last but not least, the amazing participants of ARC+ and their friends and families, some of whom joined them at the awards.
The ARC+ is a rally and not a race, but this does not mean that the crews do not want to make good speed and get the most out of their boat and team’s capabilities as they head across on the long ocean passage. Recognition in the form of prizes and applause was given to the winners in the various divisions and included the first to cross the finish line in the Cruising Division, Vincenzo Addessi’s Mylius 60 Fra Diavolo (ITA). The team sailed a course of 2440NM in 9 days 5h 46m 49s.
Moving on to the results based on WCC handicaps, with a motoring penalty applied, it was time to award those in the Multihull Division. Once again, it was Pierre De Saint-Vincent’s French Outremer 51 Piment Rouge (FRA), who took Multihull Line Honours, and was also first on corrected time for the second year running. Their elapsed time of 11 days 12hrs 20mins 06secs bettered their 2021 time by over 3 ½ days, thus setting a new record for ARC+ multihulls going forward. “Piment Rouge, you and your crew provided so much energy to the ARC+ Rally and were happily up at whatever time in the morning to welcome in several other crews and to get the party started. Thank you for being such fantastic participants,” said Paul Tetlow. In 2nd place, was sister ship, Helia2 (USA), Rob & Ginny Beams’ Outremer 51, followed in 3rd by the Lagoon 42-2 Balance3 (FIN).
The ARC+ Cruising Division was split into four classes based on handicaps; with Hallberg-Rassy 48 MK II Blonde Moment (GBR) topping Class D, Amel Super Maramu 2000 Simoussi (BEL) 1st in Class C, Baltic 51 Alexandra (SWE) 1st in Class B and Mylius 60 Fra Diavolo (ITA) winning Class A. Prizes were also awarded to those in 2nd and 3rd places in all Cruising Divisions; Class D: 2nd Moon & Stars (GBR), 3rd Caledonia (GBR); Class C: 2nd Evangeline (GBR), 3rd Robin Leigh (GBR); Class B: 2nd Pacific Pearl (GBR), 3rd Blue Dream (FIN); Class A: 2nd A Plus 2 (GBR), 3rd Charlotte av Skaerhamn (SWE). Full results for all the classes can be found HERE.
It was not just the crews who were successful in the competitive side of the rally who received prizes; there were many other awards given out for happenings at sea, the closest finish and longest distance sailed, most beautiful boat, as well as recognising double-handed crews who took part, plus the SSB Net controllers for their great work and assistance during the crossing: Blonde Moment, A Plus 2, Wethomi, Mistral of Portsmouth, Nikitoo, Elsie 1, Free Spirit, Swn y Mor.
Chosen by participants in the rally for what they considered to be the Most Beautiful Yacht, there was an overwhelming number of votes for Ros Preston’s exquisite One-off Dixon Sweet Dreams (GBR); a stunning yacht built in cedar, mahogany and fibreglass, with teak decks. “Congratulations to Roz and whoever varnishes her!” laughed Paul Tetlow as Ros jokingly received a tin of boat varnish alongside a silver salver and gift voucher.
Sailing a distance of 2166NM, Amokura (GBR) won the Rhumb Line Route award for the yacht sailing the shortest distance according to the YB trackers, whilst the longest distance sailed was 2,379NM by Javier Bereincua’s Quiviana Primero (ESP). After sailing almost 2,1500NM from Mindelo, it still seems remarkable that boats could cross the finish line so close to each other, but the award for this went to yachts Melee and Lomvi who were separated by just 2m 16s when they arrived on 5th December at 11:21:29 and 11:23:45 respectively! Six other boats were also very close: Carinya 2 and Summer Star (11m 43s apart), Helga and Infinity (9m 8s apart) and Fortuna and One Piece (4m 21s apart).
“We like to recognise double handers on the crossing, said” Paul Tetlow. “As I’m sure, everyone here appreciates the difference between dividing the hours by two rather than all crew. We also include in this category just parents who are sailing with their children.” Beautiful baskets of Grenadian goodies were then presented by the GTA’s Nikoyan Roberts to the shorthanded crews of: A Plus 2, eXite, Fortuna, Kaizen, Melee, Pacific Pearl, Polly, Zola.
ARC+ always attracts many families and this year is no exception, with 36 children under the age of 16 sailing on 18 different boats; with the youngest, 3‐year‐old Herman Habenicht on Ballerina. It was to raucous applause that the young sailors in the fleet took to the stage to collect their certificates and special ARC+ branded Grenadian chocolates. “Crossing the Atlantic is an impressive feat at any age, but these children have achieved it very early on in their lives!”, said Paul Tetlow.
Over the past six weeks, visitors to the World Cruising Club website have been reading the latest news and blogs sent in from boats at sea, and also following the ARC on social media. Best Photos from the crossing went to: Yacht Falcon (GBR). Well written logs telling readers of their life at sea were also received from: Bolero, Lomvi, Disa, Fly the Coop, Maroro, Amokura, Attitude, but it was Disa and eXite who were highly commended. Best Log Overall went to Mavi and the crew on Xenial who found the time to send in daily updates, including one log being submitted entirely in rhyme, and others a joy to read!
“Just arriving in Grenada is a huge achievement but we appreciate that it is not always easy, things can go wrong and things don’t go to plan, but you all got here. Along the way, things happened and the spirit of this rally is how people deal with those adversities,” said Paul Tetlow who explained that crews nominate recipients of the next awards to recognise their personal reflections of extraordinary things that were carried out at sea.
The crew of Swn y Mor nominated and presented Karen on Mistral of Portsmouth for the Bravery at Sea Award after she went up the mast to cut away the Super Zero caught around the forestay in rough conditions, shortly after leaving Mindelo. Deserving more than just bruises in recognition of her heroic work, she was invited to the stage and received a basket filled with Grenadian goodies. The Facing Adversity Award went to the crew of Hanuman (USA), as nominated by Helia2. On the first leg, on their third night at sea, hit a submerged object. The crew calmly informed Rally Control of their situation that their port hull had been hit and the starboard rudder smashed off. Managing to plug the leaks and later jump into the water to confirm there was no further damage to their saildrive, the crew sailed on to Mindelo. They maintained positivity and good humour, and made started leg 2 with the rest of the fleet to Grenada.
Two ‘Standing By’ Awards were presented. The first was presented to Infinity for shadowing Helga all the way to the finish when they reported concerns about excessive movement in their rudder post, as well as a leakage of water into their machinery space. The second Standing By Award went to Alexandra, recognising the seamanship and assistance provided by the crew to Alika following their serious incident on board their Oyster 675, which was the beginning of a 10-day ordeal for the crew. “Alexandra saw the vessel in distress and made several calls by Sat phone to Rally Control which in turn allowed us to inform the MRCCs of the unfolding incident. The crew stood by Alika and transferred medical supplies before being released to continue their crossing to Grenada. They received the second Standing By Award of the evening, recognising the seamanship and assistance provided by the crew,” said Paul Tetlow as the crew accepted the award on stage.
The last, but not least, award of the prizegiving evening was the Spirit of ARC+ awarded to the crew of Outremer 45 One Piece in recognition of their standby support and great seamanship.
“One Piece demonstrated the highest levels of support that sailors are willing to give,” said Paul Tetlow. “They diverted their course to rendezvous with Alika in difficult conditions. The crew provided frequent Satcom updates to Rally Control and email updates. They stood by Alika and gave support and attention on the VHF so that they could help run the boats. They left them when arrangements to sail north to better conditions with a motor vessel had been established. However, that was not the end of their story as they had a drama to contend with of their own. They lost the starboard rudder, suffered ingress of water and kept Rally Control informed so we could alert the MRCCs. They displayed a great amount of seamanship in their time with Alika and also in getting themselves to safe port. It was a fantastic and well-deserved welcome on the docks when they finally arrived in Grenada.”
Skipper of Alika, Ross Allonby sent a heart-felt message to read out at the prizegiving, highlighting seamanship at the highest level and selfless kindness demonstrated by fellow ARC+ participants: “We are sorry not to be with you at the prizegiving. ARC+ has been a memorable event for us all and we will have more sailing stories. I personally look forward to less stressful passages in the future. The camaraderie, friendship and shared passion for the sea has been a reminder of the goodwill and fortitude of fellow sailors. We thank you all for your warm wishes and wish you safe and happy sailing in the future. Fair winds from Team Alika.”
Wrapping up and saying on behalf of the team, Paul Tetlow said: “Thank you very much for being such fantastic participants on ARC+. As we’ve said before, it’s the participants that make the rally and we have felt that warmth in the gatherings we’ve had in Grenada. For many of you arriving here in Grenada is not the end of your journey, but the beginning of it, on behalf of the whole team here in Grenada and those in the office in Cowes, I would like to wish you well with your sailing plans and thank you once again for your participation this year.
The rally this year has been one of great seamanship, unique friendships have been formed, special memories have been made and the ocean sailors of ARC+ 2022 can all feel rightly proud of their achievements to reach the shores of Pure Grenada, the spice island.