As the curtains came down on the 31st edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers over the weekend, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board in collaboration with the World Cruising Club and the IGY Rodney Bay Marina are happy with what by all accounts has been another successful year.
An evening of celebration, held on Saturday at the Beausejour Indoor Sporting Facility, recognized the overall achievements of the 202 yachts and their crews who made the trans-oceanic journey. Prizes were awarded to the fastest and the slowest, the youngest and the oldest, and a number of other categories highlighting some of the race’s most exceptional participants.
The most coveted prize, the Spirit of the ARC Award, went to Swedish Skipper Michael Ryking. His efforts to rescue a stranded crew in Antigua and help them cross the finish line in St Lucia best embodied the spirit of goodwill and enthusiasm that is ARC and rightfully earned him the noteworthy recognition.
The overall winner of the Racing Division, Skipper George David and his Rambler 88 crew received a rousing applause from their sailor counterparts for shaving 1 hour 10 minutes and 15 seconds off the course record.
In his closing remarks Tourism Minister, Hon. Dominic Fedee, congratulated the 2016 winners and spoke emphatically of his commitment to ensuring the growth of the yachting sector.
The 2016 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and the ARC+ welcomed over 300 yachts to the island over the last two weeks. Through collaboration with many private sector partners, participants were treated to the best of the island; including a street party in Anse La Raye, tree planting in Dennery and daily shopping trips to the City.
The completion of the 2016 ARC race has now set in motion the commencement of the World ARC in January 2017. Saint Lucia will serve as the starting and finish point for crews who will make the ambitious nautical voyage around the world in one year.
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is proud to have partnered with the World Cruising Club for the 27th consecutive year and so to have now welcomed thousands of sailors to Saint Lucia. The SLTB looks forward to many more years of cooperation as the destination continues to grow its maritime sector from strength to strength.