ARC Europe 2024 Start Day

11 May 2024

ARC Europe 2024 are on their way to Bermuda! Under beautiful blue skies the fleet of 18 yachts, 63 crew and 4 dogs, had ideal wind conditions of 12 KTS coming from the Southeast as they set off towards Bermuda.

Good conditions saw the fleet favour the committee boat end of the line creating quite a lively gathering on the start line. It was however Galatea of Aune a Rustler 42, who chose to start at the outer distance mark, who pipped the fleet to first over the line. Andrew and his crew were closely followed by Sea Hayes and New L’attitude with Mojito, White Night and Ariel tightly bunched together. The rest of the fleet were right behind with Venture and LEMA bringing up the rear. It was a spectacular sight to see all 18 yachts sailing close-hauled towards the turning point and onwards around the West of the island and eventually heading out into the North Atlantic.

It has been a successful week in St Maarten with ARC Europe participants enjoying a busy programme of events and completing boat preparations. Managing any event of course takes several people, not only to make the itinerary run smoothly but also all our supporters in St Maarten have gone the extra mile to make the fleet feel very welcome. We wish to thank all the staff at IGY Simpson Bay Marina for looking after the boats on the dock and for your smiles and willingness to help skippers and participants with all their needs whilst in the marina.

The fleet have certainly been entertained to the full and this would not have been possible without the wonderful efforts of St Maarten Tourism Bureau. Thank you for providing delicious food, refreshing drinks, and exciting entertainment during our stay.

St Maarten Yacht Club continue to support ARC Europe and we thank them greatly for the warm welcome once again to the Club. We would also like to thank the Club and the team from the Maritime School of the West Indies for their time and support with the start.

St Maarten Marine Trade Association provided the drinks at the Welcome Party and put on the life raft demonstration, which were both well attended and hugely appreciated. Thank you for your continued support with the Rally.

Participants were full of excitement on departure this morning with big hugs on the docks and even bigger thanks to the yellow shirt team and marina staff. Lynn on Bistari was full of praise and commented “I have learned so much about the island and had so much fun with the ARC.”

Thank you St Maarten for having us as we look forward to welcoming the fleet into St George’s Harbour, Bermuda in around 5 days.