With less than 24 hours to go until the start of their Atlantic adventure with ARC+ 2020, the final countdown to departure from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is on. Skippers and crews from 24 boats representing 11 different countries have completed the final check-out and will enjoy their last night on shore before the first leg of their two stage crossing to Mindelo, Cape Verdes.
Today has been a very busy day for skippers and crews with the formal passport check out by ARC yellowshirts and the all-important Skippers’ Briefing taking place online via Zoom. Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club welcomed skippers to the webinar and together with Event Manager Suzana Tetlow summarised the sailing instructions, including course, at-sea communications and local information for arrival in their next port of Mindelo. There was a chance for skippers to put forward any questions they might have for the 850nm cruise ahead of them.
ARC meteorologist Chris Tibbs gave the all-important weather forecast, running through the conditions that crews can expect for the first few days at sea. It’s looking like a near-perfect forecast with light to moderate tradewinds and a great sail to the Cape Verdes for the diverse fleet, ranging in size from Holger Aulrich’s Parker 35 (10.21m) Tohuwabohu to Donato Paradiso’s G-Force 1500c Immagina.
With deliveries of last minute provisions such as fresh fruit and vegetables, collection of washing and making sure everything is properly stowed on board, there’s a lively atmosphere and buzz around the dock.
“The atmosphere is brilliant,” commented Roger Seymour, ARC Safety Officer who has got to know many of crews in ARC+ during their time here in Las Palmas. “With lots of families in ARC+ everyone has been so supportive of each other and they’ve enjoyed their time here. Today has been a very busy one, and with final preparations being made, everyone is excited and ready to leave - if a little apprehensive. That’s normal.”
The start time is 13:00 Local Time on Sunday 8 November.
The best spot on shore to watch the boats departure is from the seafront promenade (Avenida Marítima) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where the required social distancing can take place easily.
The fleet can be tracked on the YB Races app and Fleet Viewer page, plus many boats will use their YB Trackers to keep in touch with those at home by sending messages, and posts to social media via the YB Connect app.