Brendan West, watch leader on Spirit of Juno, reports from Las Palmas on the eve of the start of the ARC

Forty-five year old Brendan West is watch leader on Spirit of Juno during the ARC which starts today. His left leg was amputated in 1979 as a result of a road accident while serving in the army. Brendon is sailing with an all amputee crew and is one of’s onboard reporters during this year’s ARC.

The BLESMA crew have had a trying time with Juno and all the repairs needed. We do intend to start the race, but would be not have been able to start without the dedication and support of OnDeck team.

Contaminated diesel, contaminated water tanks. No sails to speak of. The main is going on now 17:44 the day before race start. We have a diver cleaning the hull and a million jobs to complete before the race start.

A special mention must go to the ARC event organisers and the wonderful patient, and above all friendly people in the ARC office at Las Palmas. The tremendous efforts they made to support Juno crew and other participants has made the days leading to the race start a delight. Thanks guys from all at BLESMA.

Everyone is feeling a bit emotional as we are about to leave all the good
friend we have made shoreside. As rufty tufty military types, we don’t blub in public, but I reckon there will be a few misty eyed looks are we depart.

All looking forward to the off. HAVE IT… as Nigel Smith would say…. He is a bit of a geezer.

Bye for now

Brendan West