ARC - exciting and crowded start

Espen Aalstad
Sun 16 Dec 2007 13:13
Sunday November 25th. All 240 boats are more (or less ready) to leave Las Palmas.
Some have done the ARC before (up to 7 times), but most of us are for the first time heading into the big blue & unknown.
At Pontoon 17, there is hectic activity. Last minute phone calls to friends, pictures, packing flags/cables away and watching others.
The ARC is an important event in Las Palmas and locals come out to cheer us on.
ARC participants also created a great spirit!
Everybody wants to make the start on time.  From our spot we could watch and leave late as we had an easy exit.
See all the people cheering on the pier!
Almost by the start and waiting for the signal. Mainsail up and we are all watching out for others in the heavy wind.
Which will be the fastest course? SW, but into the wind acceleration zone at G. Canaria?
or go a little East, out to sea and then South. Our friends on Hartbeat right on our side.
These decisions proved to be quite important in the end.