The 25th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) finished in fine style on Saturday 18 December with a spectacular awards ceremony at the Gaiety Nightclub in Gros Islet, near Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia. After a slow start, 217 yachts had finished by the prize giving, with the remainder due to arrive over the next few days.
The Spirit of the ARC Award was won by father and son Peter and Will Nelson from Time Warp (USA). Peter and Will were selected for their unfailing enthusiasm and willingness to join in all activities, from planting the ARC Forest to singing on the radio net. The Spirit of the ARC Award has been presented since the second ARC in 1997 to the individuals or crew which most embody the camaraderie of the ARC.
As always, the camaraderie of the ARC was seen during the crossing as crews came to each other's aid by offering spare parts and fuel. Among the many acts of kindness were Duale (ITA) lending dive tanks to Zara (GER) so they could clear a fouled propeller; Summer Song (GBR) giving Honningpupp II (NOR) a spare fuel filter; Wind of Gothenburg (SWE) giving Let It Be (GBR) an alternator; and Hydrocarbon (GBR) receiving generator oil from Bluewater Mooney (GER), all under sail.
A range of prizes are offered in the ARC, from the usual fastest in class to prizes for the best account of life at sea, the most fish tails on display and the best wall paintings. The ARC prize giving is about celebrating the achievement of an Atlantic crossing in all its facets.
The Yachting World Trophy was awarded to Alan Brook's Oyster 56 Sulana (GBR), for line honours (no motoring) in the Cruising Division. The overall winner on handicap of the Cruising Division was Cosimo (FRA), Marco Rasimelli's Hallberg Rassy 42F, which won the Jimmy Cornell Trophy.
Line honours in the RORC Racing Division (no motoring) was won by Christof Petter's Akilaria 40 Wesailforthewhale (AUT), and the overall winner was Global Yacht Racing's Beneteau 47.7 EH01 (GBR). A full list of winners is available on the website www.worldcruising.com/arc/results.aspx
Of the 233 yachts that started in Las Palmas, 223 have arrived or are expected to arrive in Saint Lucia. One yacht was dismasted on Saturday approximately 100 miles out, and is motoring to Barbados without requiring assistance. Four yachts retired to the Canaries, and five retired to the Cape Verdes and will make the crossing at a later date. Of the retirees one retired with rig problems, one with contaminated fuel, and two with mechanical problems. The others retired due to crew commitments and time considerations.
ARC 2010 departed from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 21 November; the finish destination was Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia, a distance of 2,700 nautical miles from Las Palmas and it is a passage that typicall takes most of the yachts between 18 and 21 days. This was one of the slowest crossings, as the lead yacht did not arrive for 14 days, much slower than the usual 11 days.
The ARC is one of the most consistently popular rallies in the world. The entry list is open for ARC 2011 with 115 bookings already received.