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Last Yacht Home!
Whimbrel II arrives at Rodney Bay, St.Lucia


 Rodney Bay Marina, St.Lucia -

Shortly after 0600 local time ARC Control received a VHF call from Whimbrel II reporting that they were closing the finish line, with an ETA of 0730. This was the call that everyone had been waiting for as Whimbrel II was the last yacht due to finish ARC2006, after almost 27 days at sea. Whimbrel II had firstly offered to standby Compromise, until Mirabella came to their assistance, and then a few days later offered to go to the help the crew of Arnolf, who had damaged their rudder. Some 80 miles ahead of Arnolf this meant reversing their course and a tough beat in heavy seas. Whilst motoring sailing, and having covered some 50 mile in 17 hours Whimbrel had a carbon monoxide alarm sound onboard. Despite allowing the engine to cool and thoroughly investigating the problem they were unable to locate the fault, and had to minimise use of their engine. By this time Be-Bop-a-Lula was on station with Arnolf, and so Whimbrel II was able to continue their sail towards St Lucia, but having lost almost two days, which they never managed to catch up.

Welcomed across the line in Rodney Bay by Robert and Christian of Silver Curl, they were then lead into Rodney Bay Lagoon to a cacophony of sirens and hooters as they neared their berth, despite the early hour! Heads popped up from neighbouring boats at their unexpected early morning alarm call, but all happily joined in the welcome of the last yacht to finish ARC2006. Once alongside ice cold rum punch was distributed to the arrivals, and to those in the fifty strong crowd brave enough to drink quite so early!

Welcomed on the dock by World Cruising Club Managing Director, Andrew Bishop, skipper David Ford said of the crossing “The first week was tough for us with big seas and strong winds, but the last week has been very pleasant, if a little long. The good news is that after so long at sea we are all still good friends!”

Their arrival marks the end of ARC2006. Thanks to everyone involved, and to all of the followers of the event.

23 Dec 2006 11:00 GMT