The 2nd ARC Flotilla set sail from Castries harbour for Rodney Bay Marina on Sunday, November 25 at 1200 hrs. With forecast gusts of 25 knots, it promised to be an interesting day for the smaller boats, but more so for the 16ft Hobie Cat, which decided to join the fun.
The 25-boat local flotilla set sail to mark the same-day start of the main event from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to St. Lucia (2700 nautical miles), with about 235 yachts, but no Hobie Cats!
The starting flare was fired from a Marine Police RHIB, and the 70ft Hinckley Allegiance led the collection of cats, mono hulls and power boats out. Once out of the relative shelter of the harbour, the flotilla ran smack into 30 knot gusts, which veterans like Ted Bull thoroughly enjoyed on Julia, a 50ft Bavaria, but which eventually took its toll – the Hobie Cat Get Away broke its forward beam and ripped a sail, and had to be rescued by the Marine Police Unit; Jennifer Bess, a 30ft Catalina lost her BoB stay; Lucia, a 21ft Impulse, flipped.
There was no personal injury, and once all the participants arrived safely at Rodney Bay Marina, they joined ongoing festivities, and were presented with certificates of participation by Martin Lucas, Customer Services manager of IGY Rodney Bay. The Marine Industries Association of St Lucia and the St. Lucia Yacht Club look forward to staging an even bigger event for ARC 2008.