It has been a ‘downhill’ charge to the finish for all the boats sailing in Leg 1 of ARC Plus 2023. In the leading pack of ‘carbon-cats’, the positions from the onboard YB trackers show an impressive 255NM daily run for lead boat Manta Jo today, with a predicted arrival into Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente at around 09:00UTC tomorrow (Thursday 09/11). The tradewinds, which have delivered such a fast passage for all the boats, are now easing a little, making life onboard more comfortable for crews.
Skipper Will Collins of Valent, an Oyster 55, one of twenty family boats sailing with young crew, spoke about the change in sailing conditions in his blog today. “Crew very happy and enjoying the fresh bread each morning. Next cake about to be baked. Mike and Neil doing their morning crossword.” Aboard the Broadblue Rapier 550 Blue Wonder, the rally mascot ‘Ed the Iguana’ also got in on the change of mood, posting an iguana-selfie of himself relaxing, feet upwards, on saloon seats, recovering from this hardest passage to date. Ed is a veteran of more than thirty ARC transats as a never complaining crew member onboard one of the family boats, specially selected each year.
The speed of the passage so far has impressed those sailing the route for second time. Aboard Moody 54, Blue Pearl, the Smith Family blog had this to say: “Hard to believe we have had two nights at sea already and covered over 330 nautical miles, the miles keep flying by.”
Calmer seas have made spotting marine life easier. “We have had a couple of dolphin encounters so far” wrote Chloe on Blue Pearl “of course happening just as I am off watch. This morning Henry captured some great footage of two dolphins jumping out of the water near the bow.”
Leading the charge into Mindelo will be Manta Jo, XIII TREIZE, Maracuja and Mongoose. Around seven or eight boats should be in by midnight Thursday, with almost all the fleet, bar the late restarters, in by Sunday, just seven days after departing Las Palmas.