World ARC 2020/21 Las Perlas to Galapagos leg starts at scenic Contadora Island

12 February 2020

After a few days exploring the Las Perlas islands and relaxing after the Panama Canal transit, participants enjoyed a sundowner, prize-giving and beach barbecue at Contadora island on Monday evening.

Sundowners at the villa, overlooking the dinghy hub, the World ARC’s answer to a “car park”, was a tranquil experience, all the participants having a chance to catch up altogether again about their adventures on the Canal Transit, in Panama City and Las Perlas.

Prize winners for the previous leg were Ariel for Division 1 Cruising Class A, Milanto for Division 1 Cruising Class B and Deo Juvante for Multihall Class IV Division. The ARC Panama Prize went to Barracuda of Islay, and we hope we gave them a great send off as part of the ARC Panama group at the barbecue. Island Wanderer won the ETA closest time again, with just 27 seconds off their arrival time this time. The jury is in as to whether they will make it a hat trick upon arriving at the Galapagos… The bonus question this leg was, what is the total age of all crew members on board all the WARC yachts departing Santa Marta Colombia for San Blas? The winner was Ngahue IV with 6325 (Only 105 off the total age.)

Whilst anchoring off Contadora island, many have taken the opportunity to hire little golf buggies to navigate the tiny island, enjoy a nice breakfast or sundowner at the Mar y Oro Hotel, and fill up on gasoline on the beach before the next leg. A few got together to enjoy some beach yoga sessions on a neighbouring island over the weekend.

The skippers briefing took place in a picturesque beach hut, this time with very specific instructions regarding waste disposal and required documentation for inspection upon entry to the Galapagos islands. Rules and regulations are very strict in the region, even about which products can enter the country, and leaving dinghies on the beach is strictly prohibited – drop off only!

Earlier today at 11am, participants departed the next leg to the Galapagos islands. Another picturesque warm sunny day in Contadora, the wind just under 10 knots, it was certainly a calm and scenic start. 

It was a close start, with Saorsa and Tri II Fly fighting for first over the line, closely followed by Next Step, Milanto, Skyelark of London and Marja II. Colourful kites and chutes flew high as they set off towards the next destination on their circumnavigation adventure, whilst the World ARC team looked on from the start boat and waved them off.

The yellow shirts team fly to the Galapagos islands tomorrow where they will set up Rally Control base on San Cristobal island and welcome the fleet for immigration clearances in around 5 days time.