Ideal conditions helped the World ARC fleet get well underway on Leg Seven of their circumnavigation as they leave astern the Island of Efate in Vanuatu. Moderate easterly winds made for a downwind start across the entrance to Port Vila Bay. A few yachts were encouraged by the light conditions to fly their coloured sails making for a beautiful sight. The line was positioned between the port and starboard entrance markers to the bay pressing the yachts into a tight group as they crossed.
The first yacht across the start line was Italian yacht, Festina Lente, an Amel 54 sporting their double headsail rig. Next was the family-crewed Lagoon 38, Folie a Deux flying their bright pink and black spinnaker closely followed by American yacht, American Spirit, a Beneteau 40 with their white sails. A couple more yachts opened their cruising chutes shortly after crossing the line.
The fleet now head west towards Mackay, Australia. The course directs the boats to a waypoint north of New Caledonia to keep clear of the D’Entrecasteaux atoll and then onto the finish line which is at the entrance to the Hydrographers Passage. This is a big shipping lane which provides a safe way through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to make landfall in Mackay.
The committee boat 'Lisa Louise' was kindly provided by Elsie and Bryan Stoneham, owners of Yachting World Vanuatu which was where the fleet was based for their stop in Port Vila. Thanks to everyone involved and bon voyage to the World ARC fleet!