Six weeks ago 27 yachts arrived in Kiel, Germany for the start ARC Baltic 2014, the World Cruising Clubs inaugural sailing event cruising the Baltic Sea. Having completed the six week adventure sailing to six countries and six capitals, the event came to an end last weekend in Klintholm Havn on the picturesque island of Mӧn, Denmark.
After the fleets departure on the 6 July from Kiel, yachts have sailed close to 1800 nautical miles visiting Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Russia, and Finland allowing crews to explore their historic capitals including Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
For many, the beauty of the Baltic, particularly the Swedish Archipelago and the sailing grounds which surrounded the fleet resulted in many of the skippers deciding to winter their yachts in the Baltic with plans to spend further seasons sailing and exploring what the region has to offer. Following four weeks of excellent weather, the last sail of the rally was forecasted strong south westerly winds and for those not needing to travel further west, goodbyes and contacts were exchanged before the majority of the fleet left Kalmar for their final destination of the rally to the small island of Mӧn, Denmark.
The crossing from Sweden to Denmark was for many a challenging sail. The strong winds, lightning storms and heavy rain showers meant arrival in the protected harbour of Klintholm Havn was most welcome. After a restful day in port, the following evening marked the final crew BBQ of the rally. Despite being a windy evening, spirits were extremely high as stories from the last six weeks were shared during their penultimate evening together as a fleet.
The weather for the final day of ARC Baltic 2014 was unfortunately a rainy one, however a guided bus tour of Copenhagen didn't disappoint allowing crews to complete their six capitals in six weeks. Visits including the famous bronze statue depicting a mermaid, a selection lunch and time to explore what the city has to offer made for a memorable day before returning to Klintholm Havn for the farewell dinner at a smokehouse in the marina.
Providing an excellent wide spread buffet, the farewell dinner gave chance to remember some of the many highlights that the rally has had. The camaraderie, support and friendships made sailing as part of a group were evident from start to finish of the rally. Assistance with towing fellow rally boats into harbour, help mooring yachts, radio contact whilst at sea and invitations for sundowners and meals are only some of the examples of what the 27 yachts have experienced through their time together cruising the Baltic.
During the evening, all crews were remembered for their various contributions to the rally through a fun presentation with small prizes and words of thanks. After sailing in the company of each other for over six weeks, the evening was a fitting way for crews to say their farewells and exchange contacts before moving on to their next sailing adventures. World Cruising website