The lead yachts in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers are now arriving in St Lucia

The lead yachts in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers are now arriving in St Lucia, with 50ft multihull, Hallucine, being the first to cross the line on Friday 06 December. Led by experienced ocean sailor Régis Guillemot, the four crew had a blast across the Atlantic, clocking up a record day of 385NM, an average speed of 15.2 knots, and sailing under main and asymmetric the whole way.

“Our tactic was to head very far south, passing the Cape Verde islands close enough to see the crabs on shore, and once we found the trades we really took off,” said Guillemot. “These winds carried us all the way to the finish line.”

The crew of Hallucine. Photo: Claire Wright/ WCC

The crew received a traditional steel pan welcome and obligatory rum punch – their arrival marking a special moment for organisers World Cruising Club as 2019 is the 30th year of the ARC arriving to Rodney Bay. Following some time to sleep and tidy the boat, they were officially welcomed by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and representatives from the Events Company of Saint Lucia.

Photo: Claire Wright/WCC

The French crew have all lived on the neighbouring island of Martinique, so arriving to see the familiar silhouette of Pigeon Island was a welcome sight.

“We are from the islands so it is wonderful to arrive somewhere we feel like home. We are delighted to be here in Saint Lucia and are looking forward to enjoy the time on shore here.”

The next ARC arrival was Sisi, a Volvo 65 and part of the Austrian Ocean Racing Project. The first monohull and leaders of the ARC Racing fleet, they crossed the line just under 10 hours behind Hallucine, and the crew were eager to welcome them and compare notes from their very different ocean crossing experiences.

As an out-and-out race boat, life has been basic on board Sisi, with little luxury compared to Hallucine, a Marsaudon TS5 – more freeze-dried food than filet mignon, and a great example of the diversity of the ARC fleet, whose competitors this year range from 34ft to 105ft.

Find out more about this year’s ARC participants in the February edition of PBO. You can follow the yachts at the World Cruising Club website and ARC Rally Facebook Page. PBO will be heading to St Lucia this week to find out more about the crews’ adventures. Keep up-to-date on our Facebook page.