May brought the annual exodus of visiting yachts returning to the United States and Europe. The Nanny Cay resort and marina hosted two cruising rallies: ARC Europe, which left for Bermuda and ultimately Portugal, on May 7, and the Atlantic Cup which left for the US and Chesapeake Bay, also via Bermuda, on May 3. Both events visited Nanny Cay for the first time.
Miles Sutherland-Pilch, general manager of Nanny Cay said: "We were very proud to host these two events which between them brought forty yachts to the British Virgin Islands before they left the Caribbean.”
The World Cruising Club brought the ARC Europe rally to the British Virgin Islands for the first time this year. ARC Europe is based on the format of the world famous ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) which brings participants from Europe to St. Lucia in November. The 2009 ARC Europe was the largest ever, with 28 yachts from 12 different countries taking part. Amongst them, eight are double-handers.
Yachts started gathering at Nanny Cay Marina from late April for the May 7 departure. The rally spanned about six weeks, calling at Bermuda and exploring the Azores Archipelago before reaching the European continent at the end of June.
World Cruising Club director Andrew Bishop said, "We were very pleased with Nanny Cay as the host and departure point for ARC Europe 2009. Having a full-service boatyard and marina mixed with a resort environment—including a beach—really made the last minute preparations that much easier and fun for our participants. From an organisational point of view, it has been a pleasure to work with…Nanny Cay Marina. I certainly see this becoming the home of the start of ARC Europe for the foreseeable future."
The Atlantic Cup rally left four days earlier on May 3. The Atlantic Cup is the companion rally to November’s Caribbean 1500 and offers the opportunity for returning cruisers to enjoy the camaraderie, competition, and adventure of an 850-mile rally. Pre-start festivities and skipper briefings began on May 1 at Nanny Cay.
Atlantic Cup and Caribbean 1500 organiser Steve Black commented, "We are extremely happy to be here with the Atlantic Cup Rally. An awful lot of our participants have visited Nanny Cay during the course of the winter and enjoyed it so much and we are happy to have our event hosted here. One of the great additions to Nanny Cay has been the beach. The wonderful service and hard working team here at Nanny Cay have made it very easy for participants that are under a lot of stress getting ready for the long passage. They’ve needed a lot of repairs and equipment adjusted. Rigs tuned and that sort of thing and the fact that Nanny Cay has a lot of skilled tradesmen makes it all much easier."
The Cruising Rally Association returns to Nanny Cay later this year with the Caribbean 1500, slated to start from the U.S. November 2, 2009. The 2009 Caribbean 1500 Rally will be the 20th annual running of this event making it the largest and longest-running offshore cruising event in the Americas. Steve Black, president and founder of the Cruising Rally Association, anticipates a record entry of returning ralliers for the anniversary activities.
Report and photos submitted by Nanny Cay Resort and Marina