The Atlantic Cup start off Nanny Cay – click to enlargeAfter checking out with the rally office from 0800 yesterday, the Atlantic Cup participants made some last minute preparations before heading out to the start line just outside the Nanny Cay marina entrance. The Atlantic Cup, a sister event to ARC Europe, is for sailors returning to the East coast of the US via Bermuda. 

Lights winds dominated the start, with an 8-10 knot south-easterly blowing. Boats showed great spirit by all sailing across the line and flying or attempting to fly their cruising chutes, which gave for a much more photogenic start-line.

First across was Clive Woodman’s ‘Cosmic Dancer’ followed by James Burdick’s ‘Kia Orana’ and Toby Hynes’ ‘Comocean’. The identical catamarans ‘Escapade’ and ‘Field Trip’ held back so that they could cross the start line together both flying their parasailor cruising chutes. ‘Trillium’ also managed to get her cruising chute flying as she eased over the start line.

The start boat was kindly lent to the World Cruising Club staff by Horizon Yacht Charters, so that they could orchestrate proceedings from there. Andrew counted down to the start whilst Lyall hoisted the correct code flags, and Nick and Kieran captured the action through their lenses.

Wind conditions look light for the sail but will hopefully pick up as the fleet head North. Unfortunately Jeff Carpenter’s ‘Club Carp’ did not make the start due to technical difficulties but was due to leave soon after.

Crews enjoying the farewll dinner at PegLegsThe night before, the two rallies congregated at the beach terrace at 1900 for a complimentary rum punch before moving upstairs to Peg Legs for their farewell dinner meal. A total of 125 participants from 34 yachts and 14 different nationalities attended the meal, filling the restaurant completely and indeed keeping the staff in the kitchen, and behind the bar, very busy!

Andrew Bishop again spoke to the participants, wishing them a fine sail from the BVI to Bermuda, thanking his staff, Nanny Cay Marina and of course the rally boats for being such a well spirited bunch during this starting leg. Soon after the speech, everyone made their way to dinner, where crews were seated on various tables in no apparent order, allowing for a perfect opportunity to mingle amongst one another. It is always nice to witness crew from four or five different countries, two or three different generations, with varying experience at sea, all sitting down next to each other sharing some laughs.

The WCC staff slipped away quietly after dinner as an early morning beckoned for the Atlantic Cup checkout, however we are sure some of the friendly crews (without naming any boats) kept the barman busy for some hours more….