The shortest passage for the World ARC fleets circumnavigation is only 132 nautical miles from Mauritius to Reunion and this year provided exciting sailing conditions. Hal Haltom, Skipper of the American yacht Cayuse, (second to arrive the French Island), described the passage as "a sporty overnight sail from Mauritius."
Influencer, an Australia yacht skippered by Matt Hayes, was the first to arrive on Friday morning just after sunrise. The fleet quickly filled the wall at the marina in Le Port with last arrivals in the early afternoon.That evening, a welcome reception was hosted by the Office de Tourisme de l'Ouest and the prizes for Leg 12 were awarded by Rally Control. Influencer took first place in Division A. Blue Pearl, led by Skipper Ruud Bosman won Division B and Misto, skippered by Ros Cheetham took the top spot in the multihull division. The ETA and fun question prizes were awarded to Mischief and Air Power, respectively. The festive evening ended with local dancing, live music and drinks with finger food offered by the Dodo Palme Restaurant.
On Sunday, the Ile de La Reunion Tourisme group introduced the fleet to some of the spectacular sights of the island with an all day tour that included the Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano which last erupted in 2017 and a luncheon featuring local creole cuisine. With a week free before the official start to South Africa, participants now have plenty of time to explore the beautiful landscape of Reunion's lush interior. Hiking is the number one activity in this dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but canyoning, horse riding, paragliding and diving are all also on the agenda for WARC 2018-19 participants.