This years’ annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) welcomed 177 vessels and record race times from the famous transatlantic race, ARC+ 2014, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.
Eleonora 2, the 49.5m replica schooner Westward sailing yacht, was the first to cross the finish line for ARC+ after a fast final passage back to St. Lucia from a stopover in Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands, 2,100nm away.
The 50 ARC+ 2014 participants departed from Mindelo, Cape Verde on 19th November before taking up their berths within the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia where IGY general manager Simon Bryan, IGY operational manager Sean Devaux, IGY events manager Alana Williams and Marie-Ange Williams from the St. Lucia Tourist Board welcomed them to the dock with a glass of ice-cold St. Lucian-style rum punch.
Amadeo Sorrentino, a crew member of Eleonora 2 said, “I was in St. Lucia 22 years ago for the first Europa round the world rally and it is really special to have returned here and even better to be the first boat to arrive! All the other crew members have also been to St. Lucia before and so we all have the feeling of coming back home.”
Leopard by Finland, the 30.48m canting keel maxi, finished ARC 2014 (IRC Racing Division) in eight days 14 hours 39 minutes and 51 seconds, a course record following ideal trade sailing winds for the largest transoceanic rally. As the second consecutive year for record times, Leopard smashed the ARC course record by two days six hours 45 minutes and 19 seconds.
Upon arrival in the Caribbean, ARC crews enjoyed a range of activities and visits to historic cultural sites, as well as the various street festivals on offer, including Friday Night Gros Islet, Anse La Raye and the Dennery Fish Fry.
After the event, all 177 vessels also took part in an arranged recycling programme for the first time, collecting a significant amount of recyclable waste from the on average 21-day transoceanic trip.
Located on the northern side of stunning St. Lucia, IGY Marina’s Rodney Bay Marina offers excellent accommodation for yachts and superyachts up to 86.86m. It is a yachting and sport-fishing hub, with a 4.5 acre full-service boatyard on-site.
For more information, visit Rodney Bay Marina.