The first ever ARC + has turned out to be a major plus for the St Lucia Tourist Board and by extension this country. ARC + involves an additional 43 boats who for some reason or the another, were not able to take part in this year’s ARC which set sail from Las Palmas, de Gran Canaria on November 24 headed for St Lucia.
St Lucia Tourist Board Public Relations Manager, John Emmanuel was among the welcoming party which included officials with World Cruising Club, along to greet the crew
on board Malisi which arrived here just before 7:00 am Saturday morning. A refreshing rain shower early in the morning was also an added treat.
After greeting the crew Emmanuel said: Things have gone very well with the Arc Plus which got underway two weeks before the ARC. We had the first arrival Malisi, which is a craft with a rather mixed bag in terms of nationalities who are on board. It is an eight member crew and we are delighted to receive them here in St Lucia. The Arc Plus is an additional activity put on by World Cruising Club along with the IGY Rodney Bay Marina and the St Lucia Tourist Board.”
Emmanuel went on to say “The ARC Plus is different from the ARC in that the regular ARC has just about 235 vessels and because of the heavy nature of persons who want to take part in it, organizers thought why not develop a pre event and so the ARC Plus came about.”
Emmanuel pointed out that the inclusion of the ARC Plus translates to several economic benefits for St Lucia, because the vessels need to be provided for in terms of water, food, and various other supplies.
Describing the 2,700 nautical mile trip from Las Palmas to St Lucia,Skipper Rainer Holtorff said: “The crossing was easier than expected. It was smooth, we did not have a lot of squalls or rain showers in the night. It was mostly full sail all the time. There were no major technical incidents or issues and the crew was in harmony.”
The boat, which was made in France in 2007 and built for speed, consists of a crew made up of two Russians, three Austrians and three Germans.
Despite coming from different countries for the most part they got along quite well. However, the skipper did tell say “there were some misunderstandings but we overcame them and it was my job to head off the conflicts.”
The crew included one female which was a major plus. Referring to the young lady who is Russian Holtorff, said “we were very lucky to get her on at the last minute. She was very important because she influenced and curbed our behaviour on board the boat.