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2004 ARC Wraps Up In Style

There was an air of celebration at the Gaiety Nightclub for the ARC 2004 prize giving which marked the close of the 2004 ARC. Sponsored by Cable & Wireless and the Bank of St.Lucia International, participants were welcomed with Pusser's Rum Cocktails and a chak chak band.

The first half of the evening saw awards for yachts placed second, third and fourth in class, as well as special Pusser's Rum Survival Kit for the last yacht to cross the finish line in each cruising class. Robert Holbrook of Admiral Marine Insurance presented ARC certificates and medals to all the ARC junior participants, and Pusser's Rum presented rum hipflasks flagons to all yachts that came 2nd and 3rd in their class.

During the Prize Giving, US$3,000 was raised at a charity auction for a Pusser's Rum marine chronometer, bought by Claus Heinrich, owner of the yacht Amoenitas. The auction proceeds will go to buy equipment for the St.Lucia Yacht Club Youth Sailing Project, which aims to introduce young people from all backgrounds to the sport of sailing.

Special guests for the evening were the Hon. Phillip J.Pierre, Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Mario Michelle, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, the Parliamentary Representative for Gros Islet, and Mr Costello Michelle, Chairman of the St.Lucia Tourist Board. The VIP's joined representatives of sponsors Cable & Wireless and the Bank of St.Lucia International to present prizes to the crews of the first placed yachts in each class.

The overall winners in each division on corrected time were:

Division I - Cruising, Jakima, Mario Codeca, Italy

Division II - Racing, Antares, Franciscus Winterswijk, Netherlands

Division IV - Multihulls, Girolata, Christian Martin, France

However, the highlight of the evening, and the most prestigious award in the ARC, is the coveted Spirit of the ARC prize. This goes to the crew, which in the opinion of the organisers, most encompasses the unique spirit of the rally. This year's winner, a popular choice, was double handed father and daughter team, Peter and Sally-Ann Turner of Asolare.

The last two yachts to finish, Lady Menai and Autumn Breeze, arrived in Rodney Bay Marina just after 12 noon on the 19 December, too late for the prize giving, but not too late for a tremendous welcome on the dockside from their fellow participants.

The 2004 ARC in brief…

This year’s 2,700-mile jaunt from Gran Canaria to St Lucia packed 190 entries. Light winds might have put a bit of a damper on things, although one couple from the smallest boat in the fleet, a Norwegian Comfort 30, got engaged despite losing their boom twice and being forced to complete the trip with little more than a headsail.

Locally familiar entrants included Kings Legend, Marina Fort Louis St Martin, Volvo 60 Spirit, Leopard of London and Sojana.

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