ARC yacht stood by crippled boat for 2000NM

Celebrating the official end of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers at Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia, before Christmas, prizes were awarded in many categories, including 1st through 4th place trophies for each class.

But not unsurprisingly there was a standing ovation for the crew of Silver Bear for their shadowing of another yacht, Star Fire, for a distance of some 2,000 nautical miles following the latter’s rudder loss. Their selfless assistance, delaying their own arrival by several days, was a fine example of the comradeship of the sea, and earned them the much coveted “Spirit of the ARC” award for 2009.

The closest competition was among the racing yachts, but, as the ARC was designed over 24 years ago with the cruising sailor in mind, the evening was not all about competing. Other, less traditional categories included ‘Best Cruising Log,’ ‘Best Fishing Story,’ ‘Oldest / Youngest Skipper,’ and more bizarrely, ‘Best basil plant to survive a transat.’

Over 200 yachts completed the crossing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia, departing the Canaries on 22 November.

The celebration on 19 December, marked the close of the 2009 Rally with upwards of 600 participants and their families attended the prizegiving ceremony at the Gaiety Nightclub, just outside the Rodney Bay Marina in Gros Islet, to applaud the winners and mark the achievements of all the crews.

The full list of ARC 2009 results and prize winners is available via the ARC website at: .The entry list is open for 2010 and already over 70 yachts have registered for what will be a very special year, marking the 25th edition of the ARC.