On Saturday 21st December hundreds of sailors from the 2019 edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers came together for a night of celebration to mark the end of the world’s most popular sailing rally for another year.
Whilst not a record-breaking year, it has been a tactical one for yachts in the IRC Racing Division. Volvo 65 Austrian Ocean Racing Project claimed Line Honours, despite sailing the most miles of any ARC yacht to reach Saint Lucia. Both Class Winners for 2019 were defending champions; French sailing legend JP Dick retained the title for topping IRC Class A with his yacht The Kid, and perennial IRC Racing Class B Winner Scarlet Oyster were delighted that their performance was enough to top the Racing Division overall for a second consecutive year.
For the Multihulls, an ever growing division in the ARC, it was the first yacht to arrive in Rodney Bay who topped the overall standings. French flagged Marsaudon TS5 Hallucine skippered by ocean sailor Régis Guillemot, took 11 days and 16 hours to arrive in Saint Lucia; a sterling performance to see them come first in Class A and overall.
Taking home the biggest prize in the Cruising Division, the Jimmy Cornell Trophy for placing first overall in the Cruising Division, was Sea Change, a Norwegian flagged Farr 50.
Another special feature of the 2019 edition has been the participation of the ARC Youth Team for the first time in the rally.
The Spirit of the ARC award was, as usual, saved for last. This year it was awarded to Manfred Kerstan, who participated in his 25th ARC in 2019. There was a huge standing ovation as the 83 year old arrived on stage to collect the momentous prize from World Cruising Club’s Managing Director Andrew Bishop.