Saint Lucia: Italian Yacht Claims Line Honours in ARC 2021

The Italian flagged yacht 12 Nacira 69 crossed the finish line off Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia on Friday 3 December, claiming line honours as the first arrival of the 36th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) fleet, which set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands on Sunday 21 November.

Published 3 years ago

Source:  World Cruising Club

Claiming the coveted award of line honours at 03:16:45 local time and kick-starting the celebrations after an exciting Atlantic Crossing, the crew of nine sailors were ecstatic to make landfall.

The past few days have seen a thrilling race to the line with their closest rivals on Guyader Saveol and the crew of the stunning Vismara carbon racer receiving the warmest of welcomes to Saint Lucia despite the early hour.

Calm winds at the Start

Calm winds at the start of the rally, which departed from Las Palmas on Sunday 21 November, were not on the wish list for this sleek 23 meter monohull but as the trade winds finally picked up they made good time during the second half of their 3,188 NM route reaching up to incredible speeds of 28kts. Spokesperson for the crew, Matteo Grassi said, “Most of the crew have experienced the crossing before but we didn’t expect to get so much wind in the last few days and we did almost 400 NM in one day, the boat is just a missile.”

12 Nacira 69 is owned by Diego Paternò Castello di San Giuliano and Federico Marchi, and skippered for the ARC by Federico Dosso. The crew includes Italian mini-transat sailor Ambrogio Beccaria who was designated navigator during the crossing and was praised by his fellow crew mates for making the right call to take a southerly route skirting the Cape Verdes. “We didn’t make the decision until the morning of the start and felt the northern route looked uncomfortable and too unstable. We felt we could push the boat more in the steady trade winds.”

In jovial spirits and delighted to set foot onto the pontoon in IGY Rodney Bay Marina, the nine crew from Italy, France and the USA, were met by the ARC welcoming team who took their lines and in traditional fashion, provided a basket of local fruits, goodies from Saint Lucia and the all-important celebratory rum punch.

French Yacht Close Behind

Close on their heels and in fact in the lead during the latter part of the crossing, the French flagged Marsaudon TS5, Guyader Saveol crossed the line just 1.5 hours after 12 Nacira 69. In the past two editions of the ARC it has been the mighty quick multihulls that have reached Rodney Bay first and in 2019 Gwenaël Chapalain and the Guyader crew took line honours.

Despite a remarkably quick sail for the TS5 once again this year, it could not hold off the final charge of 12 Nacira 69, built on a new generation hull derived from the Imoca 60. As Guyader Saveol crossed the finish line at 04:42:09 local time, Gwenaël thanked everyone for all the organisation, and they were delighted to have taken part in the ARC for a second time, even if they did miss out on line honours this time around.

Adhering to the local restrictions in place, a fitting arrival ceremony was held at IGY Rodney Bay Marina at 16:00 on Friday 3rd December, where the sponsors of ARC 2021 formally welcomed the victorious crew.

Docks fill with ARC Arrivals

The first arrival is a special moment as it officially kicks off a fortnight of celebrations as the docks of IGY Rodney Bay Marina steadily fill with ARC arrivals. Approximately 140 yachts sailing on the traditional ARC route are set to receive a magnificent welcome, and 800 sailors will come ashore to enjoy the island paradise.

Compliant with local protocols, the ARC programme has been adapted to include virtual events and limited gatherings facilitated by World Cruising Club, Events St Lucia and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. Following negative PCR tests prior to departure, all arrivals complete the necessary screening with Port Health upon reaching Rodney Bay and can then find their ‘land legs’ exploring the island.

ARC 2021 will conclude with the final Prizegiving Ceremony on Friday 17 December, but in the meantime, there’s plenty more excitement and celebrations to come in simply beautiful Saint Lucia.

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  • To find out about participating in the ARC or other World Cruising Club rallies, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0)1983 296060

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