Light conditions can't halt the ARC, as more yachts arrive in St. Lucia

The crew of X-612 ‘Nix’ was in a celebratory mood upon their arrival in Rodney Bay Marina early this morning. And rightly so. Only a few minutes earlier, they had out-sailed the larger Swan 82 Acool Turabi in the run up to the finish line, besting them by less than two minutes.

“It was pretty light conditions out there approaching St. Lucia,” said crewmember Victoria Allner, a comment several of the early arrivals have echoed. Despite the consistent conditions most of the way across the Atlantic, there seems to be a bit of a wind hole as the yachts approach the Caribbean.

Nonetheless, skipper Nico Cortlever, an ARC veteran, was pleased with their performance this year, besting their previous fastest time and completing the course in under 14 days.

“We only lost one spinnaker this year,” said Cortlever. “The ARC usually costs us three!” That one spinnaker is now at the bottom of the Atlantic, somewhere east of St. Lucia.

Nix’s crew was delighted to be on solid ground for the first time in almost two weeks, standing and jumping on the concrete dock if only to remind themselves what it feels like.

“We’re going to have a tough time sleeping tonight,” Victoria Allner suggested, implying that without the constant motion of the boat for the past 13 days, the feeling of stillness might actually be strange. After the congratulatory rum punch and Heineken on offer from the St. Lucia tourism board, they likely won’t have any trouble.

While ‘Nix’ was celebrating on the end of I-dock in the marina, Acool Turabi was debating whether or not to attempt the entrance at all. The Swan 82 draws upwards of four meters, and was concerned about the draft in the channel. As it was, low tide was approaching just as they crossed the finish line, so they wisely decided to anchor off for the night, making what must have been a very difficult, but ultimately seamanlike decision. We expect they will be able to enter safely on the rising tide sometime around 1000 this morning, and will be awaiting their arrival.