With less than 24 hours to the start of the ARC 2003, participants gathered today at the Santa Catalina Hotel for the skippers' briefing
With less than 24 hours to the start of the ARC 2003, participants gathered today at the Santa Catalina Hotel for the skippers’ briefing. Included in the skipper’s packs handed out were Yachting World’s ARC equipment surveys which form the basis of our long-term gear tests and contribute to the Ocean Ready series.
With 225 boats on the start line, things can get quite interesting, so the racing and cruising divisions will start 20 minutes apart, on a mile-long line. Shipping movements in the port have also been suspended to allow boats to get clear of the line. This doesn’t mean there won’t be much other activity: a large spectator fleet is expected, joining the hundreds of onlookers that bring traffic to a standstill on the freeway running along the shore of Las Palmas.
As an added precaution, yachts were asked to stow their bow anchors! The Spanish navy have provided the patrol boat Medas to act as the committee boat, which is ‘protected’ from the starting fleet by a buoy marking the committee end of the line.
Weather and the daily position reports via the radio net were discussed too. The north westerly trades are expected to kick in on Tuesday at Force 4-5.
Challenge Business’s Atlantic rowing race is underway currently, heading for Barbados, so the ARC fleet was told there’s a good chance of running into one of the boats – quite literally. The small rowing boats are difficult to spot in a large Atlantic swell, and don’t always have enough power to run their nav lights and radar transponders at night. Meeting one in the dark while surfing under spinnaker at ten knots could certainly ruin your trip? Although the fleet has been encouraged to offer encouragement to the rowers, no provisions may be passed across.
After a huge farewell party last night, which in some cases went on until the Rugby World Cup final this morning, and, if you’re English, a little beyond that, tonight is probably going to be a quiet one for most crews. For the crew of Sprit, we’ll be having our last freshwater showers and ‘real’ food for a couple of weeks. Smell you later?