Swan 80 arrives in St Lucia: was beaten by a motorboat!

After a struggle with unseasonal winds, the first sailing yacht in ARC 2010 arrived into Rodney Bay Marina yesterday (Sunday 5th December 2010), crossing the line at 09:57:06 local time, a little over 14 days since the start from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Berenice, the Italian crewed Swan 80, made an impressive sight as she rounded the northwest corner of Saint Lucia under full main and spinnaker.

After their enthusiastic dockside reception skipper Marco Rodolfi spoke about the crossing: “We had some tough conditions, with 6 hours of headwinds blowing 35 to 40 knots early on in the trip, but the last three days have been fantastic down wind sailing. We are all very pleased to be here in Saint Lucia.” Now safely docked, the crew can look forward to the parties and activities on the island of St Lucia.

Power Beats Sail This Year

Berenice‘s time of 14 days, 1 hour and 17 minutes reflects the difficult weather conditions this year. Wind Horse, the only motorboat in this year’s ARC was untroubled by the light winds that have dogged the sailing yachts.

Steve  Linda Dashew’s FMB83 powerboat, which was the first ARC arrival, finished on 1 December. Light winds had no impact on the revolutionary long distance motor cruiser, which crossed the Atlantic in 10 days and 8 hours, establishing a new ARC record for motorboats.

Slow start for ARC 2010 yachts

Unseasonal weather patterns have dominated the crossing this year, with the much awaited trade winds only now becoming established. The next ARC yacht is expected to arrive on Tuesday 7 December (day 16), with further arrivals during the course of the week, before a constant stream starts closer to the weekend. Crossing times this year will be 3 to 4 days slower than normal.

Around 50 of the Cruising Division yachts put into the Cape Verde islands to take on more fuel, and are now on their way to Saint Lucia. One yacht has retired in the Cape Verdes due to contaminated fuel, whilst Racing Division yacht British Soldier, an Archambault 40, damaged their rig and have also retired in the Cape Verdes.

Follow the rest of the fleet at www.worldcruising.com/arc