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World ARC Rally concludes in Saint Lucia


World ARC 2017-18 ended on Saturday, April 7, back where it all began in Saint Lucia with jubilant crews celebrating the achievement of sailing around the world.

The Parade of Sail and a special end of rally dinner provided a fitting finish to the adventure. Excitement swept through the docks of Capella Marina in Marigot Bay as each crew prepared for the ceremonial last leg to cross the line in Rodney Bay. It would be a special moment for all 14 yachts to complete a circumnavigation from Saint Lucia to Saint Lucia, eleven of whom had started in January 2017, whilst three had left a year earlier and took a break on reaching Australia before re-joining.

Leaving Capella Marina behind, the flotilla of yachts formed a line to follow the coast of Saint Lucia to IGY Rodney Bay Marina, with an escort craft, aboard which were a number of local dignitaries including Hon. Dominic Fedee,  Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting; Agnes Frances, Director of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority; Sean Deveaux, General Manager of IGY Rodney Bay Marina; Tessa Joseph from Events Company Saint Lucia, and Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club.

Saint Lucia holds the significance of a ‘second home’ for crews on their return. Being the only place on the route of World ARC that the fleet visit twice, the arrival back into familiar surroundings is always enjoyed by participants.

Remarked World Cruising’s Managing Director Andrew Bishop, “For them it feels like coming home. The rendezvous at Marigot Bay, and the Parade of Sail to Rodney Bay, are a special way to end the trip.”

The final dinner of World ARC 2017-18 was held at the Royal by Rex Hotel in Rodney Bay, where the participants were greeted with steel pan music and rum punch, before sitting down for a delicious dinner, interspersed with welcome speeches from Dominic Fedee, Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, and Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club. The grand finale was an entertaining recount of happenings over the past six months of the second half of the rally, and a short story about each boat before they came forward to receive their World ARC plaque, certificates for circumnavigators, and an evocative commemorative photo book full of memories from their adventure.

World ARC starts from Saint Lucia (January) and Australia (September) each year, with a multi-national fleet sailing the world’s oceans. Cruising sailors looking to fulfil their dream are encouraged to start planning early, with a wealth of advice available from rally experts of the World Cruising Club.

For more information about future editions of World ARC, international seminars and cruising advice visit www.worldcruising.com 

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