Saint Lucia: ARC New Year Transatlantic Rally Concludes with Prizegiving

ARC January 2023 came to a close at Gros Islet in Saint Lucia with the Prizegiving Ceremony marking the end of the second edition of the New Year’s running of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

Published 1 year ago

Held at the Golf and Country Club on February 11, 2023, the evening concluded the programme of events in Saint Lucia, marking the end of the rally that began five weeks ago on the other side of the Atlantic in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

For the small fleet of 28 boats and some 130 crew, a wonderful community with a great sense of camaraderie has formed through their pre-departure preparations, shared at-sea experiences and celebrations on reaching the Caribbean. Many of the crews have plans to cruise together or rendezvous on other islands and some will remain friends for life.

Multihulls leaving Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for their Atlantic crossing.

Steady Winds for the Start

Crossing the Atlantic later in the season in January it was hoped would bring more established reliable trade winds for the 2,700nm ocean sail. Whilst the fleet started from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 15 January with steady winds and consistent conditions for the first week, the second week brought challenges of light winds for some and few options for the navigators of the fleet other than to wait it out and enjoy the extra days on the ocean.

The first arrival, Finiens, a German flagged Hanse 675 skippered by Timmy Bon arrived in Saint Lucia on 31 January with the warmest of welcomes at sunrise and the crew thoroughly enjoyed their first breakfast on land after their 15-day crossing. Following the first arrival, the docks of IGY Rodney Bay Marina played host to friends reunited, and all boats arrived ahead of the prizegiving with the last boat to come in, Dena tying up on 9th February at around 6am. 

At the Prizegiving Ceremony, World Cruising Club Managing Director Paul Tetlow, led the evening welcoming the crews up to the presentation area to receive awards and be recognised for their ocean-crossing achievements. There was no shortage of celebration as every award was met by thunderous applause and cheers showing the friendships and support for fellow crews that have developed over the last few weeks.

Celebrating a successful Atlantic Crossing.

Awards were presented for each division and class, with Te Reva (FRA) taking home first prize in the Multihull Division, Finiens (DEU) winning Class A for the Cruising Division and Dubbel Zout (USA) first in the Class B for the Cruising Division, also the only boat to record no motoring hours throughout the crossing.

This year, two boats crossed double-handed, Serendipity IV (CHE) and Pantiki (AUS) and were recognised for their achievement, with Serendipity IV also taking home the Safety Award, decided by the safety team in Las Palmas for being so well prepared ahead of the crossing. The Most Beautiful Yacht, voted for by fellow crews in the ARC January fleet, was won by Falcon Spirit (GBR), a Bestevaer 56ST.

Awards Celebrate a Unique Experience

As ARC January is a cruising rally, awards were also presented for categories celebrating the unique experience of a shared ocean crossing. Biggest fish, oldest and youngest skipper and crew and shortest distance sailed were among the many prizes, not to mention Most Celebratory Crew presented to Pickle 2 for their consistency and commitment to partying, both departing Las Palmas and arriving in Saint Lucia to music and dancing.

Also recognised were the children who crossed this year – five young sailors, aged from six months to 15 years old sailing on four boats in the rally and those who sent in blogs and photos from at sea for family and followers to enjoy. Each one received an award to recognise their achievements.

Full Programme of Events in Saint Lucia

Participants have been welcomed to Saint Lucia with a full programme of events organised by World Cruising Club, the Events Company Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and IGY Rodney Bay Marina. The prizegiving ceremony also gave the opportunity to thank the many local supporters of the ARC January rally.

Local entertainers at the ARC January Prizegiving.

The Right Honourable Ernest Hilaire, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, IGY Rodney Bay Marina General Manager Sean Deveaux and Paul Collymore from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority gave speeches. Mineva Ross from Events Company Saint Lucia gave the vote of thanks and emphasised that the crews will forever be welcome in Saint Lucia and encouraged them to return soon.

As the prizegiving came to an end Paul Tetlow wrapped up the ceremony, thanking everyone who has contributed to making the event such a success – from the crews without whom there wouldn’t be an ARC January to the Yellow Shirts and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Events Company Saint Lucia and partners who gave the crews such a warm welcome to their island. The ceremony was followed by local entertainment, drinks and food rounding off the participants’ time in Saint Lucia and concluding the ARC January programme.

ARC January 2023 Full Results

For information about participating in World ARC or other World Cruising Club rallies, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0)1983 296060
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