The last 24-hours have seen the first big burst of arrivals in St Lucia

The last 24 hours have seen the first big burst of arrivals in Rodney Bay, St Lucia – 20 yachts have arrived in the period, with at least 30 new arrivals expected each day through to Monday.

The strong winds on the last 400 nautical miles – roaring trade winds around 30 knots, have caused a surge of speed throughout the fleet and a wave of arrivals in St Lucia. However, the weather front is beginning to die, which should bring an end to the relentless squalls.

The testing conditions have come as a rude awakening to some, after the ‘Champagne sailing’ of mid-passage. Breaking waves now find their way through hatches left open for ventilation in the tropical heat, dowsing unsuspecting crew as they sleep; watch patterns need to be altered and sail plans changed.

Better winds have given a welcome boost to the back markers at last; Sigma 38 Gambit with 1,200nm to run, are now dodging squalls and report good speeds today.

After the huge and confused seas of yesterday, caused by strong east-north-easterly trade winds, and a cross swell from the dying Hurricane Epsilon 900nm to the north, conditions for the crews, whilst still tough, have eased a little. Julian Sinock on Swan 51 Northern Child : “The weather has been fantastic. All yesterday afternoon and into last night we had a steady 23-28 knots of breeze off our starboard quarter and maintained nearly 9 knots over the ground towards St Lucia.”