And they’re off! The World ARC Pacific 2023 fleet left Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia for the first leg of their journey to Santa Marta in Colombia this afternoon. After a week of preparations, seminars and parties in Rodney Bay they were ready and raring to get going for the start of their adventure. The docks were buzzing and excitement was in the air as everyone got ready to set sail and said their goodbyes until they reconvene in Santa Marta.
It was a spectacular sight as the fleet of 28 boats crossed the start line at 1200 local time with the bay dotted with sails as they made their way along the coast of the island and around the turning buoy before disappearing over the horizon. The mood at the start was jubilant with horns tooting and crews waving to their fellow boats and the World ARC team who had joined them on the water as they prepared to start. Over 30 people went out on the water to support the start of the rally including local media, representatives from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Events Company Saint Lucia and members of the Ministry of Tourism. They were accompanied on the start line by the Marine Police on their vessel ‘Protector’, with the Race Committee onboard.
Leading the fleet across the line was Jadamama, a Nautitech 46 Open in the Multihull division skippered by Maurice Mason. They were closely followed by Szel, a Sundeer 64 from the UK and Seaside, a German flagged Hanse 575 in the Cruising division.
The boats will now sail west towards Colombia heading for Santa Marta on the South American coast, a distance of around 815NM which should take them between 4-5 days. Life at sea will be quite a change of pace from the last week before departure and they will be hoping for good trade wind conditions to send them on their way.
Their progress can followed on the YB Races App and Fleet Viewer page of the World Cruising Club website.