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2004 ARC Wraps Up In Style

There was an air of celebration at the Gaiety Nightclub for the ARC
2004 prize giving which marked the close of the 2004 ARC. Sponsored by Cable
& Wireless and the Bank of St.Lucia International, participants were
welcomed with Pusser’s Rum Cocktails and a chak chak band.

The first half of the evening
saw awards for yachts placed second, third and fourth in class, as well as
special Pusser’s Rum Survival Kit for the last yacht to cross the finish line
in each cruising class. Robert Holbrook of Admiral Marine Insurance presented
ARC certificates and medals to all the ARC junior participants, and Pusser’s
Rum presented rum hipflasks flagons to all yachts that came 2nd and 3rd in
their class.

During the Prize Giving,
US$3,000 was raised at a charity auction for a Pusser’s Rum marine chronometer,
bought by Claus Heinrich, owner of the yacht Amoenitas. The auction
proceeds will go to buy equipment for the St.Lucia Yacht Club Youth Sailing
Project, which aims to introduce young people from all backgrounds to the sport
of sailing.

Special guests for the
evening were the Hon. Phillip J.Pierre, Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Mario
Michelle, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, the Parliamentary
Representative for Gros Islet, and Mr Costello Michelle, Chairman of the
St.Lucia Tourist Board. The VIP’s joined representatives of sponsors Cable
& Wireless and the Bank of St.Lucia International to present prizes to the
crews of the first placed yachts in each class.

The overall winners in each division on corrected time were:

Division I – Cruising, Jakima,
Mario Codeca, Italy

Division II – Racing, Antares,
Franciscus Winterswijk, Netherlands

Division IV – Multihulls, Girolata,
Christian Martin, France

However, the highlight of the evening, and the most prestigious award
in the ARC, is the coveted Spirit of the ARC prize. This goes to the
crew, which in the opinion of the organisers, most encompasses the unique
spirit of the rally. This year’s winner, a popular choice, was double handed father
and daughter team, Peter and Sally-Ann Turner of Asolare.

The last two yachts to finish, Lady Menai and Autumn Breeze, arrived in Rodney
Bay Marina just after 12 noon on the 19 December, too late for the prize
giving, but not too late for a tremendous welcome on the dockside from their
fellow participants.

The 2004 ARC in brief…

This year’s
2,700-mile jaunt from Gran Canaria to St Lucia packed 190 entries. Light winds
might have put a bit of a damper on things, although one couple from the smallest
boat in the fleet, a Norwegian Comfort 30, got engaged despite losing their
boom twice and being forced to complete the trip with little more than a
headsail.

Locally familiar entrants included Kings
Legend
, Marina Fort Louis St Martin, Volvo 60 Spirit, Leopard
of London
and Sojana.

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