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ARC Europe 2024 Leg 3 start in Ponta Delgada

by World Cruising Club 15 Jun 09:53 UTC

It was start day today for ARC Europe 2024 in Ponta Delgada. This is the third and final leg for the rally which will take them from the Azores to Lagos in southern Portugal covering a route of 875 NM.

21 boats crossed the line at midday, 14 June 2024. With ideal sea and wind conditions, 12-15 kts, the fleet were keen to make passage eastward. On a port tack, it was the sleek bow of Hanse 531, White Night, skippered by Ville Tikkanen who crossed the line first. There were several bows looming behind, but it was Sea Hayes, a Rustler 44 who picked up the pace and took second place over the start. They were very closely followed by Nonno and the super-fast Outremer 51, Moxie. The fleet formed a spectacular sight as they headed east around the volcanic backdrop of Caloura.

ARC Europe have had quite an experience during their stopover in the Azores. Many of the crews visited these remote Atlantic islands for the first time and expectations have not disappointed. Annie on Mistress Moon has been overwhelmed by the beauty of all three islands visited within the rally programme stating, "this is the best place in the world I have ever visited."

Having reached the European side of the Atlantic and because of best routing plans, the rally sees some of the fleet split off and head towards northern Europe. One of the vessels departing the Azores independently is SeaDweller. Skipper Klaus Dieter has had the best of times and left saying "I joined the rally for safety reasons, but I did not expect to have such a good time! I have met so many new friends and really enjoyed being part of a wonderful community and thank you for all the amazing support." Klaus didn't want to leave but his commitments mean he departs ahead of the fleet.

The fleet's enjoyment and experience in the Azores would not be possible without the support of marinas, venues and yacht Clubs. World Cruising Club would like to firstly thank Marina de Horta. It was with the support of Armando Castro, Director and his team; Bruno, Jose and Ricado who welcomed the fleet into the Azores on the island of Faial.

During their stay in Horta the fleet were offered welcome drinks in the famous Peter Sport Café. On behalf of the fleet thank you to all the team at the bar for looking after everyone.

It was on to Terceira where the fleet stayed at Marina de Angra do Heroismo and were made to feel very welcome. The fleet toughly enjoyed their time in Terceira taking away some very special memories of this beautiful island.

The final stop for the rally was on the island of São Miguel where the fleet gathered in Marina de Ponta Delgada. Managed by Victoria Nunes and her colleagues Isabel, Carlos and Pedro, they have been hugely welcoming and supportive of the fleet answering many questions and helping with various tasks.

The skippers briefing was held at Clube Naval De Ponta Delgada who kindly provide a suitable room to present the all-important sailing instructions and route brief. Our special thanks to the President Carlos Carreiro for allowing us to use his club. Additionally, they also provide the committee vessel for the start and by way of appreciation a World Cruising Club Burgee was presented to Alexandra Pimentel General Coordinator of Clube Naval De Ponta Delgada.

Thank you to everyone in the Azores for another successful visit and for making the participants feels so welcome.

With favourable weather conditions, the fleet are expected to take between 4-6 days to reach Lagos where the yellow shirts will be waiting to take their lines. Fair winds ARC Europe!

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