With nearly all the fleet moored up in the IGY Rodney Bay Marina there is great excitement in the air as crews begin to gather and get to know each other.
There was a full programme of events yesterday to include the start of the seminars and the IGY Rodney Bay Marina Managers Welcome Party.
The first seminar, Rally Route, was given by Andrew Bishop, MD of World Cruising Club. The room was almost full with participants eagerly poised with notebooks and pens in hand awaiting detailed information on their exciting journey ahead. A full description of each stopover location around the world was given as well as a full brief on the transit through the Panama Canal – a bucket-list highlight for any circumnavigator.
The second seminar of the day was presented by meteorologist and round-the-world sailor Chris Tibbs, who covered the expected weather patterns during the circumnavigation. With the weather being a crucial element to the World ARC Rally, Chris’s experience and advice is invaluable to all members of the fleet. There is a huge amount of work based on experience that goes into preparing a rally such as the World ARC and timing also has to be factored in when planning the ideal route. Chis said, “The World ARC itinerary works well to optimise the trade winds. These timings are also important to avoid tropical cyclones around the world.”
After a morning taking in lots of information and for many an afternoon spent checking off a few final boat jobs, it was time for everyone to down tools for the evening and enjoy a rum cocktail at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina Managers Welcome Party. There was a lively atmosphere as crews mingled and enjoyed drinks and food provided by La Mesa Restaurant.
Speeches were kept short so guests could continue to get to know one another over a customary rum punch and local Piton beer. They were firstly welcomed to Rodney Bay by Shane Macauldy, Marketing Manager of IGY Rodney Bay Marina. Andrew Bishop followed by welcoming all the boats who have arrived this week and wished the fleet all the best for the run up to the start of the rally on Saturday. General Manager of IGY Rodney Bay Marina, Sean Deveaux concluded the speeches and thanked all the key organisers of the rally including the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the Events Company Saint Lucia, the team of smiling yellow shirts and Andrew Bishop and all the team at World Cruising Club. Much to the interest of everyone he also thanked La Mesa for hosting the event and advised the participants that for those wish to stay for dinner could enjoy a bottle of wine on the house. All participants of World ARC will also receive a 10% discount on their bill when dining in the restaurant up to the start of the rally.
This morning started with the Rally Operations Briefing where the World ARC Event Manager, Stefano Palumbo, along with Andrew Bishop ran through details such as the protocol for SSB communication, safety, cultural and community considerations. After which all the participants were invited to make their way to the marina where the official World ARC 2019-20 rally photo was taken.