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World ARC Yachts Complete their Circumnavigation

By Sue Richards last modified Mar 30, 2009 02:16 PM

Published: 2009-03-30 14:16:16
Topics: Rallies

WORLD ARC Round the World Rally
NEWS UPDATE

Rodney Bay, St.Lucia: 30 March 2009

Parade to the Finish at Rodney Bay, St.Lucia

It was a case of "follow my leader" as the World ARC fleet gathered together for one last time for the journey from Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay, St . Lucia, for the official finish of World ARC 2008/09. Having cruised up through the southern Caribbean to rendezvous at St.Lucia's Marigot Bay last week, the final 10 nautical miles of their 23,000nm round the world voyage were covered in a spirit of festive fun with a Parade of Sail taking the yachts to their final destination at Rodney Bay Marina, where this incredible adventure began back in January 2008.

Falling in line-astern, the 17 circumnavigators were joined by local yachts from the St.Lucia Yacht Club to shepherd the fleet around Castries Harbour and then across a symbolic finish line laid in Rodney Bay. Each yacht was greeted by loud hoots and cheers from well wishers, signifying the end of their round the world voyage.

Since leaving St.Lucia at the start of the rally, the World ARC yachts have visited 16 countries and several off-lying dependencies, 33 official stop-over ports and many more islands and anchorages around the globe. Crews have benefited from the safety net and camaraderie of the rally on open ocean crossings, whilst being able to independently explore some of the world's best cruising areas. A team from event organisers World Cruising Club have been with the rally in each stopover, providing help and assistance to the cruisers.

As the sun set over Rodney Bay, and with the sound of surf breaking on sand, the crews gathered at the beachside Royal St. Lucian Hotel to mark the end of the rally in style. Guests of Honour at the celebration included Mr Laurie Barnard, Chairman of St.Lucia Tourist Board, and Dr James Hepple, Consultant to the Tourist Board. After a delicious Caribbean dinner, Dr Hepple spoke on behalf of the Tourist Board, thanking the skippers and crews for helping to make St.Lucia a premier centre for yachting tourism, and congratulating them on their achievement since leaving St. Lucia in January 2008.

The circumnavigating skippers and crew were then welcomed on stage by Mr Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club, who presented each with a commemorative plaque, a trophy and certificate of achievement to mark their voyage around the world. The final prize of the evening was awarded to David Holliday of Kealoha 8 (Oyster 72), for winning the overall competition within the rally.

Speaking of behalf of the participants, David Holliday said: "World ARC has been a wonderful experience and I would not have done this voyage without being a part of the rally. I want to thank World Cruising Club for helping me achieve my dream."

World ARC 2010
The next World ARC will set sail from St.Lucia in January 2010 and it already has 33 yachts from 12 nations entered. World ARC 2010 will follow a similar route to 2008, circumnavigating via Panama, Australia, South Africa and Brazil, avoiding South East Asia and the dangerous Red Sea region. Routing and weather advice is provided for yachts at sea and daily positions are tracked via the rally website. World ARC yachts are also eligible for free entry in World Cruising Club's ARC and ARC Europe transatlantic rallies for those wishing to start and finish in Europe.

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