The VOR 60 Spirit, with YW Feature Writer Mike Kopman on board, crossed the finish line in Rodney Bay at 0152 on December 5, breaking the existing record by over 10 hours

We did it. At 01h51m30s UTC we crossed the finishing line in Rodney Bay. We’ re first across the line in St Lucia, and we’ve broken the record too. The last day’s sailing was absolutely superb. We’ve had magnificent sailing conditions: 20 knot winds on the quarter and a sweet following sea.

We’re just dropping the hook in Rodney Bay. Unfortunately at 3.8m Spirit draws a little too much to get into the marina. But we’ve organised a water taxi that will be taking us to the land of plenty in a few minutes. And then there’s the official welcome at 11h00 local time tomorrow.

Crossing the line was fantastic. Even Lawrence, half-man-half-mattress from the B watch, managed to rouse himself from his earplug and sleeping mask assisted sleep. For the last 24 hours we’ve had absolutely awesome sailing conditions: good breeze and steep surfable waves. All the despondency of the last few days had simply evaporated as we stormed into Rodney Bay from the north at a steady 16 to 18 knots, under Code 4 spinnaker, staysail and main. After four or five gybes we hoisted a jib, dropped the kite and hardened up for the line. There were three boats to meet us. As we carved upwind towards the finish we were dazzled by flash bulbs and spot lights. No sooner were we over the line than Hamish our skip was whisked off for an interview as rum punches and fresh fruit were handed across to us. There was barely time to reflect on the highs and lows of the last ten days as we started celebrating. Who cares if the ARC is a race or not, it feels great finishing first! This may be the last report for a while..