ARC Portugal 2023 has opened amid bright summer sunshine and plenty of excitement. The rally this year has attracted a diverse fleet, with 19 boats now checked in with us in Mayflower Marina, Plymouth. One further boat will join us in Bayona.
The office opened at 09.00 on Thursday morning and the Yellow shirt team were greeted by a queue of skippers eager to check in, some of whom had been in the marina for several days and others that had just arrived. Some were arriving from home ports as close as Saltash, and others had sailed from ports as far afield as Scotland and the Netherlands. After collection of their ARC Portugal briefcase, programme of events, YB tracker and ARC Portugal 2023 T-shirts, participants were eager to begin their final preparations. Before long, boats were dressed and ARC Portugal 2023 flags were proudly hoisted aloft and billowing in the wind.
The safety team have been busy confirming all boats are safely equipped for their passage to Portugal, offering plenty of support and advice to skippers, who in return are offering copious mugs of tea. The team have been pleased to see so many skippers ready with the required safety equipment for the rally.
Night one saw participants enjoying ‘Welcome Drinks’ at ‘ Jolly Jacks’, having their first opportunity to meet as a group and share stories of their preparations for the rally, which for some had been long and for others perhaps challenging. There was an air of excitement and perhaps a little apprehension, as at last the adventure for which they have been preparing, was only three days away.
Last night, participants gathered at ‘ The Duke of Cornwall Hotel’ for the ‘Rally Introduction and Briefing’, followed by dinner. Today began with the skippers’ briefing for Leg 1 to Bayona and the pontoons are busy with crews provisioning and completing last minute preparations before the start of ARC Portugal 2023 on Sunday at 09.00