It has been an unusually long time since the World ARC yachts and crews were together as a whole fleet, but the boats are slowly coming back together in the Vava’u group of islands in Tonga, following the multistage passage from Bora Bora. The fleet was deliberately divided into two groups so there were sufficiently few boats to peacefully enjoy the quiet anchorage of Suwarrow and enough moorings available for each yacht off the island rock of Niue. However, the weather and a few other events conspired to fragment the fleet more than intended. But that’s sailing!
However, things are now getting back to normal in the pleasant anchorage of Port Refuge, Tonga. Crews have been busy exploring ashore in the convenient town of Neiafu, which boast a nice selection of bars and restaurants, and provisioning options. Those who have been here a bit longer have also managed to explore some of the anchorages in the Vava’u group too.
The World ARC programme in Vava’u has been flexible to the changing situation but the Skippers Breifing on the free cruising period in Tonga and Fiji went ahead last night, bringing 17 skippers together for the first time in many weeks. This will be followed by a prize giving party meal this evening for all the crews.
Several of the World ARC fleet are in American Samoa, having arrived there at the weekend. They sailed a shorter route from Suwarrow for various reasons but chiefly to escort the Rally catamaran Ensemble, who needed to be hauled out for repairs, following hull damage. Hopefully the fleet will regroup during their time in Fiji.
A prize giving party takes places this evening and the crews are honoured that the Governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai, will be in attendance to welcome the fleet and help present the prizes.