Land Ahoy!! The Finish Line Is In Site!

1,742 views  |   December 10th, 2018 

Land Ahoy!


It’s all over, congratulations Challenger 4! They’ve run a good race, managing to beat Challenger 3. Rum punch and firm land await them. They’ve earned it!


Monday 10 December

Festivities Await

After a night of squally clouds, heavy downpours and shifty winds we have made great speed and course towards Rodney Bay, St Lucia.  As of 1115 UT / 0815 boat time …0915 local time we have just 30 miles to go! The sun is shining, we have 20 + knots of wind pushing us along and the rum punch and local music await.

The honeymooners will be zooming off to their hotel suite, air-con and flushing toilets before joining us for a last crew meal.
We feel we will be there in time for the parties and festivities before exploring some new islands, taking in the beaches and swimming in the sea.


The Rum Shack


The Anticipation Builds

One watch crew are still snoozing in their bunks after some challenging helming through the squalls, but all are awaiting the call of ‘Land Ahoy!’. Team shirts can now be seen in abundance and the air of anticipation grows thick.

Our fresh food supplies are now well depleted and some interesting tinned concoctions have been served up in café Challenger.



‘YAY! The cry has just come from on deck….land has been spotted at 08.48 local time. Jan says ‘I hope it’s St Lucia, but they’ll sell rum if it isn’t!’

So…it’s time to sign off from our final ARC 2018 blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. We all have so many mixed feelings…. Excited to reach land, but also sorry to see this amazing adventure draw to a close. Our boat family have grown very close over the last two weeks, supporting and encouraging each other through some difficult sailing conditions and experimental culinary duties. We are likely to arrive tired and emotional and thrilled with the accomplishment of our collective efforts. The watch leaders have been helpful in their coaching and in their humour, and our special thanks must go to Kirstie, our First Mate and Ricky our competitive skipper, who have ensured our safety during the passage. We have learned so much and enjoyed it enormously.


SO, on behalf of everyone on board Challenger 4, all that remains, as the smell of rum drifts towards us on the approaching breeze, is to say…CHEERS!


Bev, Geri, Kate, Jan, Wendy, John, Mark P, Mark T, Marsh, Jim, Mikko, Simon

Bruce and Pete

Kirstie and Ricky


CH 4 Crew

The crew of Challenger 4 ready to depart!


Mate Kirstie’s Log


Date : 10 Dec 2018 Monday

Time : 12:00 GMT

Position : 14 09.0 N  60 29.6 W

Position : Land in sight !

Destination : St Lucia (Rodney Bay)

ETA : Soon

DTF : 27 , Trip1 : 2960


COG 258, SOG 10.5

TWD 117 TWS 23 (TWD in Magnetic 18W Var)

Fuel : 3 full, 1 in use

Water : 2 full, 1 in use and filling, 1 Algae tank empty

Gas : 1 full, 1 in use, 3 Empty


Notes and comments:

KR – Changed Gas at 2130 last night

Many many more Gybes yesterday to make the most of every wind shift.  The crew are now very slick.  We are gaining on the boat ahead of us in our class and Ricky is determined to hunt them (and 4th place) down.


Sprint to the finish for 4th place


The fruit has lasted out well – we still have a melon, 4 lemons and 2 dozen apples, butternut squash etc left, and we have been eating fruit salads the whole way.  We are coming up to the last few meat meals now and each day/meal time the crew comment on how impressed they’ve been with the victualling, meals and variety.


We watched our last full-day-at-sea (hopefully!) sunset and though looking forward to land time, exploring and rum the crew are also sad their journey is coming to an end.


A squally night of strong and shifty winds!


Land is in sight and this skipper is supremely proud of his crew, his watchleaders his mate and finally his vessel – Challenger 4. A fantastic ARC whic will be remembered for its super fast downwind sailing, with polled out headsail interspersed on lighter days with the big blue and white spinnaker.


Challenger, its crew and skipper and mate are ready and eager for the delights that shore will offer.


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Posted by: First Class Sailing


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