Last night was unexpectedly emotional at the Farewell Party and Prize-giving. They played a video of us all in Las Palmas, the preparations and start and thinking back 4 weeks I got quite choked up! We were one of those yachts in the fleet heading off, not knowing what we would encounter, on the most amazing voyage of our lives. The shots of the spectators was the first time we had seen the scene on shore – it certainly lived up to being the world’s largest Atlantic sailing event.
There were lots of prizes, thanks to sponsors, tourist boards and the World Cruising Club staff, again with much appreciation and emotion. It really has been a fantastic event, well organised and just brilliant fun.
Our friend Jon Dutton won the line honours for a skipper over 60 years old and John Simpson and his crew on Chiscos won the well deserved award for Contribution to the ARC, having organised parties, the radio net etc. They were great friends throughout our time in Las Palmas and here and we hope to stay in touch via the SSB net until they return to the UK in May.
Many of the prize winners had already left St Lucia, mostly charter boats with immediate bookings I guess but apart from the racing and cruising division awards, there were prizes for youngest and oldest sailors, fish catches, photos, logs and countless others. Also a photo of a catamaran doing 20 knots as it flew past one of the ARC boats! It was a great end to the 26th ARC.