Atlantic Rally for Cruisers – Finish Third – Report from David Kelly

Thanks for all your kind words. Our boat is the third smallest in the fleet and we expected to arrive on the 15th but we had a fast crossing. During the middle week it was a bit rough. Tho larger boats had to be abandoned and one crew member on a French boat was killed by a boom strike which is incredibly sad. We were to the south and it was less rough. Our boat is small but very heavy and seaworthy so safe but slow. All boats reefed down for the bad weather including us but even reefed we were hitting optimum boat speed for many days while other boats slowed down. Hence our location up the fleet. There was an daily update from ARC control. Viente has a long range radio and we were one of the nominated communications control vessels so I was doing quite a lot of radio and internal email communications with some of the other boats. As the boats converged at the end of the race we could finally see other boats on the last day of the event. We suspected we were going well but it was still a shock to be crossing the line with two big racing catamarans that should leave us for dead, who approached from the north. When we entered the marina it was pitch dark and jammed with boats. It was very quiet and all of a sudden the place erupted with fog horns going off and crews at the end of the docks singing up the Irish. It was an emotional reception. We tied up on the main walkway and our boat with its big Irish flag has literally been party central since. I can honestly say that the party since we arrived has been more dangerous to our health than the crossing. Can’t believe we had 41 boats behind us and that they are still coming in. Thanks again for your thoughts and sorry for the essay text…xx

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