Under clear skies and with a fresh breeze, the U.S starters from the ARC Europe fleet got under way Friday morning in the Chesapeake, bound for Bermuda. ARC Europe boat Kalandia, still awaiting a crew member arrival, acted as committee boat for the start line just south of Thimble Shoals Lighthouse.
With a brisk southwest wind providing a reaching start, the South African yacht Mojito got the best of the fleet and were first across the line, most of their crew hanging over the windward rail. Lady of Lorien followed them up shortly after, followed by Elsocare. Simon Gertler, teenage crew aboard Elsocare, is making his first-ever offshore passage. Simon flew out from San Fransisco to meet the yacht in Hampton, and seemed to take to the boat and her crew quite well. Peter Gertler, Simon’s dad, was on hand to see his son off on what should make for an unforgettable experience for the young sailor.
The forecast calls for favorable winds as the yachts enter the Atlantic and head across the Gulf Stream tonight, which should give them a bit of a boost as they make their easting. Once clear of the Stream, it’s only a few days to Bermuda.
Courtesy of www.worldcruising.com.