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World ARC invited back to St Helena

World ARC invited back to St Helena

The Deputy Governor Mr Andrew Wells formally invited the World ARC fleet back to St Helena last night. At a cocktail party held at Plantation House to welcome participants in the Governor's Cup Race from Simonstown Mr Wells also spoke of the hope that the World ARC Fleet would return in 2011 and presented Event Manger, Mandy Parker with a gift. Mandy then took the opportunity to thank the Immigration and Customs staff, Tourist Office and Yacht Club members as well as many prominent Saints present for the overwhelming welcome to the Island and presented the Deputy Governor with a plaque commemorating the World ARC visit.

Meanwhile the crews have been exploring the island, in vehicles ranging from a charabanc built in 1921 to pick-ups with bench seating and modern minibuses. This caused a return of the competitive spirit as the crew of Windflower travelling in air-conditioned comfort sped past the sedate but elegant progress of the Cleones, Northern Skys and Annemares in the charabanc on the steep hill out of Jamestown. Further vehicles with crew from Andante, Quasar and Kasuge were encountered throughout the day as sites such as Longwood House the site of Napoleon's exile and the Governor's Residence were visited. On the lawn of Plantation House regards were passed on to Jonathan the Giant Tortoise, rumoured to be 250 years old from his distant cousin 'Lonesome George' whom the World ARC participants met last February in the Galapagos Islands.

The Saints are very disappointed about the recent news that the plans to build an airport here have been delayed: this does emphasise how privileged the World ARC participants have been to visit this special and remote place in the middle of the South Atlantic that remains for the time being one of the most elusive destinations in the world.

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