Bringing to a close the 11th edition of World Cruising Club’s ARC+ cruising rally, over 400 participants, from a record breaking 95 boats and 24 different nationalities, celebrated their transatlantic achievement at a spectacular prizegiving ceremony held at Prickly Bay Marina, Grenada.
Joined by Hon. Minister, Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism and Creative, Paul Tetlow, Managing Director of World Cruising Club opened proceedings by thanking Grenada on behalf of the World Cruising Club and participants: “The reception we have received here in Grenada has been second to none, and we already have fond feelings for our landfall island in the Caribbean.” 2023 marks the 3rd year ARC+ has finished in Grenada.
Paul continued, “I would also like to thank those who are an important part of ARC+ in Grenada: Nikoyan Roberts, Nautical Development Manager & Marketing Manager of the Grenada Tourism Authority, who has been responsible for the GTA input into the planning, along with Chinel Sandy. Zara Tremlett, General Manager of Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, who with her team have gone out of their way to make us all feel at home and have welcomed all the boats into Grenada. We know events like this don’t happen without a lot of hard work. The student volunteers of TAM Community College who welcomed everyone as they arrived, and finally, I’d like to thank ‘you’ - the wonderful participants of ARC+ and your friends and families.”
Hon. Minister, Lennox Andrews
The Hon. Minister, Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism & Creative applauded the ARC+ sailors on their accomplishment: “I extend a warm welcome to you all. We celebrate your remarkable achievements, your resilience and passion for sailing the oceans, and for contributing to the success of this rally, marking the third edition to finish in Grenada. Thank you for gracing our shores and confirming our tri-island state as a premier destination for adventure and sports sailing”
Although the ARC+ is a rally for cruising boats and there is no racing class, many of the participants were keen to make the most of their boats’ capabilities. As the saying goes, ‘two boats going in the same direction is a race’, and a third of the boats sailed every one of the 2,270 nautical miles, declaring no motoring hours.Line honours for first finishers with no motoring were awarded to Andrea Nevi and the crew of Nessun Dorma (ITA) with an elapsed time of 11d 18h, 01m 49s and to Norbert and Francoise Paproki who sailed Outremer 55-2 XIII Treize (FRA) to multihull line honours in 12d 02h 14m 01s.
Taking ratings and motoring penalties into account, prizes were awarded to the first three in each class. Winners in Division1 for cruisers were Class A, Nessun Dorma (ITA) Italia Yachts 15.98; Class B, Imi Makani (CAN) X-Yachts X4.6; Class C, Sassicaia (DNK) Luffe 48; Class D, Cupid (GBR) Bowman 40. “That is an amazing validation, winning this prize. We loved it. It was awesome. It’s been the hardest endurance event I’ve ever done in my life,” said the crew of Canadian yacht Imi Makani on their class win.
2023 was a record year for multihull entries, the class winners were in Class A Outremer 51 Maracuja (FRA) Outremer 51 and in Class B, Manaia (DEU) a Lagoon 421. “It's unbelievable, with just the two of us on our boat. We never imagined that we could be the winners, with our small Lagoon catamaran,” said Stephen and Silva from Manaia.
The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is about more than sailing across the Atlantic; the spirit of the rally is demonstrated by the ways in which crews come together to help each other, ashore and at sea. Rally participants nominated Aequitas (GBR), Northern Light II (GBR) and Aratui (NZL) for offering support to Hilma (SWE) when the boat was dismasted. Hilma was able to motor safely back to Cape Verde.
Henrik and Lotta on Hilma explained: "Aequitas came very quickly and stayed by our side when we cut the mast free, a great security and support. They handed over jerry cans and a jocky pole to us. Mary and Paul, we cannot express how grateful we are. Soon after Northern Lights II (who it should be mentioned immediate motored upwind in response the distress call) and Aratui arrived and in a fast and efficient manner handed over Jerry cans with diesel that helped Hilma return back to Mindelo."
Lost Abbey (CYM) was recognised for the moral support offered to Aegle (GBR) when the latter suffered a damaged gooseneck and had to motor for 215 hours (winning the most motoring prize!).
Nominated by fellow participants, the Spirit of the ARC+ Rally Award goes to the crew who approach and support to the rally and their fellow participants has been much admired and commented on. his year there were several nominations who would be worthy of this award, but through participants nominations there was one stand out boat, who the fleet of ARC+ wanted to recognize: the Griffiths family on Rapier 550 Blue Wonder (GBR).
World Cruising Club’s Paul Tetlow introduced the award: “Despite having a busy time looking after their own young children, Ryan and Audrey have shown time for others, shared advice and knowledge and enthusiastically participated in shoreside events. As a family, they have demonstrated the spirit of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers – safer and more enjoyable long-distance cruising in the great company of others.”
Receiving the award, Audrey Griffith said: “I feel like it’s not deserved, but it’s so amazing, thank you. We certainly didn’t expect this. I reckon that’s the best prize of all. We will do it again 100%, it is the best event ever, it’s so good. Thank you so much.” A range of additional awards recognised people and boats.
The closest finish was won by Vivace (NDL) and Enja (AUT) who finished just 3 minutes 4 seconds apart on 2 December.
Most beautiful yacht, nominated by fellow ARC+ participants, was awarded to Rustler 44 Galatea of Aune
(GBR). “She’s gorgeous; a classic and she’s a pretty boat, we just love it. We bought her after lockdown in 2020 and after sailing around the UK, we thought, let’s go across the Atlantic with ARC+” explained Andrew Norton of his yacht.
Galatea of Aune
Blue Pearl (GBR) and Nuvem Magica (FRA) were recognised for running the SSB net and WhatsApp at sea, social glue that maintains the fleet camaraderie. The best boat log submitted to the ARC+ website was won by Aqualuna (GBR), best blog photos by Blue Wonder (GBR) and best social media by Pinnacle (JJY).
91 yachts finished the rally before the prizegiving, with the last arrival, Bavaria 37 Paikea
(SWE) arriving in Granada in the early hours of the morning on the day of the ceremony - 19 days after departing from Cape Verde. Alskada
(GBR) is still at sea following a delayed departure from Cape Verde and is due to finish on 15 December, but will still receive the traditional ARC+ dockside welcome (including a basket of Grenadian goodies) when she arrives in Port Louis Marina. Two yachts have diverted to other Caribbean islands, and Hilma
(SWE) returned to Cape Verde after dismasting.
Paul Tetlow closed the formal element of the prize giving by saying: "The last thanks, congratulations and applause of the evening is to you, ALL the participants of ARC+ 2023 for choosing the cross the Atlantic with this event. Please spread the good word. We hope that our sailing paths cross again. We wish you a great Christmas and New Year and wish you the ARC+ fleet of 2023, all the very best with your future cruising plans. Thank you and Congratulations!"