After a journey of over 3,300 nautical mails Class 40 Vaquita has taken line honors at the ARC 2012, having sailed from Gran Canaria in just over 12 days; a truly magnificent performance for a 40 footer. Vaquita looked superb as she blasted across the finish line at 14 knots with the crew pushing the boat as hard as ever in front of the local and international media in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. The Austrian crew of six crossed the line at 10:22 local on December 7, 2012, giving them an elapsed time of 12 days, 1:37 hours.
Once across the line and sails down, the entire crew dived into the warm Caribbean water to celebrate their success, to the delight of those cheering from the spectator boats alongside.
Skippered by Christof Petter, Vaquita, had a crew of leading Austrian sailors aboard, including Andreas Hanakamp, former Team Russia Volvo Ocean Race skipper and two time Olympic star. The yacht sailed an extreme northerly route from Gran Canaria, clocking speeds of up to 25 knots during the crossing. This is the team’s third consecutive year racing in the ARC, each time favouring the northerly passage, and each time paying off.
Speaking to Andreas on the dock with a cold rum punch in hand, he explained how they had a great trip, and are happy to be here again. This will be the final Atlantic crossing Andreas sails on board Vaquita, as he has plans to build a new Class 40′ and Vaquita will be put up for sale. When talking about the northerly passage taken, he explained how it makes perfect sense for him to take the route they did. He feels the northern route is the more logical with the availability of modern weather and routing information.
Vaquita has not only crossed the finish line first, but has done so in style, with the next arrival, Swan 80′ Berenice approximately 20 hours behind. This does not mean thatVaquita is guaranteed to win overall on corrected time, as she holds the highest handicap in the RORC IRC Racing Division.
Meanwhile, the cruisers, which make up the majority of the ARC fleet are getting some very mixed weather on the rhumb line route where the wind has be rather contrary—too much at the beginning and now not enough! Logs in week one were full of tales of watches spent wearing foul-weather jackets, cold nights and rain; lots of rain.
Courtesy of www.noon-site.com