The World ARC Pacific fleet have reached their final destination of Mackay on the Eastern coast of Australia. This is a huge achievement and has been a journey of over 7 months having started in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean on 18th February and the final boat reaching Australia on the 25th September.
The journey has included 10 countries and a distance of over 10,000 nautical miles with the longest passage being the journey between Galapagos and Marquesas, around 3000nm taking the boats around 20 days.
There are always a mixture of boats, nationalities and ages onboard and this rally has been no exception with 30 boats joining between the Caribbean and Australia. The smallest of the fleet was Zissou, a Lagoon 400 skippered by Sam Weber. The largest of the fleet was Szel, a Sundeer 64, skippered by Jamie Abdy Collins.
The boats have visited some incredible places on their journey across the Pacific, some highlights include transiting the Panama Canal in March where they went through in two groups in a special lockage arrangement, the Galapagos where everywhere you looked was amazing wildlife, giant tortoises, marine iguanas and the famous sealions lazing about in the sun. Also on the agenda were stunning volcanic islands and beautiful white sand beaches in French Polynesia, whale watching in Tonga and standing on the edge of the crater looking down into an active volcano in Vanuatu.
In total 13 different countries flagged boats took part with the top nationalities being UK with 11 boats followed by the USA with 4 boats. The fleet included 20 monohulls, 9 catamarans and 1 trimaran, Chica.3 a Neel 51. The average age of the boats taking part was 11 years old with the oldest two boats, Manuia and Szel both built in 1993 while the newest boats were built in 2022.
Over the 10 legs of the rally 212 crew have participated in part or all of the journey, from 17 different countries. The nationalities with the most participants were UK at 25% of participants, USA with 22% and Australia with 8%. It is a rally for all ages, the oldest participant was Mr Kim, 76, on Berlinetta, a Korean boat who left in Fiji to sail back to Korea while the youngest participant was Johnny on Kaimin, 17 years old and sailing with his family. The award for most crew members throughout the rally though has to go to Brainwave, skipper Nicolas Rouge had a total of 20 people on Brainwave throughout the journey, almost 10% of all participants on the rally!
Their arrival in Australia will be the culmination of 7 months of sailing, 10 countries and 10,000nm, definitely a cause for celebration. The crews will have made friends for life with people they have shared the experience with and will likely meet up around the world as they continue their journeys. Congratulations to All!