With the start of World ARC 2019-20 only one day away participants had the chance to relax and enjoy another fun evening together at The Bay Gardens Beach Resort at the Farewell Party was hosted by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. Arriving in their ‘smart barefoot’ attire, participants were welcomed with rum cocktails and drinks from the beach bar and a variety of finger food accompanied by the sounds of a steel pan band.
During the evening Tessa Joseph from the Events Company of Saint Lucia welcomed the participants and introduced the speakers for the evening. She firstly welcomed MD of World Cruising Club, Andrew Bishop, who expressed there was a really relaxed atmosphere amongst the fleet and made a special welcome to the younger World ARC participants (who by coincidence are mostly at a similar age) and all seem to be getting on incredibly well. In fact, the kids of World ARC all seem so eager to get on their way to Australia, they gathered in front of the stage to try and dig their way their through the sand!
Andrew also thanked partners, IGY Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and the Events Company of Saint Lucia of which all the events could not happen without their support. He also thanked the World Cruising yellow shirt team who will continue to support the rally as they circumnavigate the world and will be at every stopover to welcome and assist the fleet. He finished his speech by hoping the barefoot beach theme for the evening sets the scene for the rest of everyone’s adventure and he wished the fleet all the very best for the world rally.
The Events Company of Saint Lucia was represented by the CEO, Thomas Leonce, who expressed his great admiration of all the participants for their enthusiasm to sail around the world. He hoped everyone had enjoyed their stay here in Saint Lucia and that they were looking forward to welcoming the fleet back to the island in 2020. He wished everyone a safe journey.
The final speech was conducted by Tiffany Howard from the Saint. Lucia Tourism Authority who highlighted how much they enjoyed being a partner to the ARC rallies and how excited they were for everyone taking part in this particular rally. She also said to the participants, “We are always here to serve you and we look forward to welcoming you back in Saint. Lucia in 2020”.
In recognition of their help, Andrew Bishop presented a poster of the world signed by all the skippers in the World ARC 2019-20 fleet to both Tiffany and Thomas.
The night continued with music, dancing, a blazing fire pit, and of course the rum kept flowing as new friendships grew amongst the fleet.
This morning saw the final seminar take place, Emergencies at Sea, which was conducted by meteorologist and round-the-world sailor Chris Tibbs who covered a variety of topics including rig failures and solutions, water ingress, man overboard, rudder loss, injuries to crew and heavy weather issues. Participants found the information fascinating and there were plenty of useful reminders of how to come should incidents arise at sea.
The all-important Skipper’s Briefing took place after Chris’s seminar where the World ARC team provided information for Leg 1 covering the start line procedures, communications, weather forecast, and arrival in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Now all the seminars and briefings are complete the fleet is keen to start their adventurous journey.
Emma on Aurora B has greatly appreciated the support and excitement during the lead up to the start and said “we are all raring to go”. Equally, George on Cabana, said “they have had an absolutely fantastic week and there was a good balance of events in the programme”.
Lars on Sweet Dream said “thanks for last night’s party, it was really good fun”.
Now the programme here in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, comes to a close, everyone involved is focusing on the start of the rally at midday tomorrow, Saturday 12 January 2019.