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ARC+ update - Kids Fun Day - Doublehanders - Buzz the social media favourite arrives!

by World Cruising Club 5 Dec 2023 19:03 UTC
2023 ARC Plus - Topaz Rival © Arthur Daniel

Since sunset on Monday, 4 December, four more ARC+ boats have crossed the finish line in Grenada: The doublehanded Swedish couples; Roger & Maria Seger on their Arcona 40 Aurora, followed by Kent & Gunilla Haglund on Aliara, a Malo 36. Both teams were tired but elated to be welcomed on the dock after 15 days of ocean sailing to reach their final destination of the Spice Island of Grenada. This is the second ARC+ crossing for Aliara, as the experienced cruisers, who have owned their boat since 2012, also took part in the 2019 rally.

Next to finish was the much-anticipated arrival of Buzz, the 10-year-old rescue dog on the third smallest boat in the rally. He has captured the hearts of participants, as well as those following the 11th edition of the ARC+ on social media. Having sailed over 20,000nm in the 2015 ARC and 2016 ARC USA, Buzz is already a bluewater veteran, sailing with his British owner Martin Whitfield on his Rival 35 Topaz Rival, along with crew members Jessie and Ian: "He was very happy on the crossing and is the perfect boat dog," explained Martin as they docked at Port Louis Marina. Buzz was barking excitedly from the bow of the boat as the crew threw the lines ashore before they docked and were greeted by well-wishers after 15 days 22 hours at sea. He soon jumped back on board and started barking for his breakfast. After all it was past 8am!

For the younger Atlantic sailors among the fleet, today has been an exhausting but exciting one, with the ARC+ Kids Fun Day taking place in the marina. There was plenty of time to have some fun with their ARC+ friends; enjoying organised activities such as face painting; hair braiding; musical chairs; games; circus acts - with amazing acrobatic performers; a chance to watch and join in with the lively Conception Belle Dance Group, as well as doing some drumming. Their parents are pretty sure they will sleep well tonight, especially after a full day which will be followed by the Marina Manager's Welcome party this evening at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis.

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