Day 1 ARC Europe

Sun 9 May 2021 05:13
The ARC Europe Rally, despite all the challenges of Covid is underway. A reasonably competitive start with Nick and Matt’s combined racing skills, occasionally working in unison, pitted against 11 other boats. We weren’t quite first over the line but had a good angle up to the first, and only mark slipping past 1 or 2 boats. Then on to the West end of St Maarten past a lovely beach bringing great memories for me from early 2019; a great afternoon with Nic, Annie and Josh.

Most boats jibed but a late wind shift sneaked us round the last point and a small right turn for Bermuda, in the lead. A good feeling. Some confusion then set in with Rally Control reminding boat’s that they had to pass West of Anguilla and nearby Dog Island. This was our plan but a French boat decided there wasn’t that much difference between West and Est so why not cut the corner. A few other boats took their lead and decided the shorter route was a great idea too.

We have a very good weather forecast and are making great progress, already over 65Nm done after only 8 hours. Amazingly there is another ARC boat right alongside us. We just had a radio chat. Bougainvillea is from the BVIs but has a Chilean crew on board. Their Beneteau Fast 49 is a little bigger than us but we really are doing exactly the same speed and this looks likely to stay the case all night. It will keep the night watch awake and concentrating! Matt is making Sail adjustments every few minutes! I may be less energetic when I join him at 2100

It’s been a great first day. Strictly not racing!

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