The first crews have arrived at the finish of both the ARC and ARC+ rallies, with Italian flagged boats crossing the line first in both fleets

Italian crews have taken line honours in both the ARC and ARC+ rallies after sailing thousands of miles across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia and to Grenada in two separate fleets.

Inspired by his motto, ‘Never sleep. Life is too short. Push to the limit’, Andrea Neri and the all-Italian crew on Nessun Dorma (ITA) completed their first transatlantic in style, achieving line honours in the 2023 ARC+ rally to Grenada on their Italia Yachts 15.98, aptly named after Puccini’s famous aria from Turandot.

The ARC+ rally set off ahead of the ARC and Nessun Dorma crossed the finish line on 29 November at 0701 UTC at Quarantine Point, Grenada, after 2,334 nautical miles of ocean sailing on the second leg from Mindelo, Cape Verde.

Hand steering and pushing all the way, the crew were tired but elated to be welcomed on the dock at Port Louis Marina by the World Cruising Club team. Rum punches all round and many congratulations.

The crew of Nessun Dorma celebrate line honours in Grenada Photo: GTA / WCC

‘I’m the first one,’ smiled Andrea Neri as he stepped ashore after 11 days at sea, adding, ‘We had a lot of wind some of the time and as we broke a gennaker, so we hand steered all the way to Grenada, which was hard-going and tiring, but we are very, very happy. We are pleased to arrive first and very happy to participate in the ARC+ and to arrive here on this beautiful island.’

Three days later, Marco Rodolfi’s Swan 90 Berenice Cube (GBR) was the first to finish the ARC race to St. Lucia, arriving on 2 December at 0239 UTC after 3,050 nautical miles of classic trade wind sailing from Gran Canaria. This crossing was a faster 12 days 13 hours than in the ARC of 2010 when he last won a lucky 13 years ago.

Explaining his strategy, Marco Rodolfi said: ‘The choice was to go south and use the Code Zero to go as fast as possible.’ He added: ‘The crew are very, very, very, very good. The best crew in the world, sailing stars.’

Seven hours after Berenice Cube, Regis Guillemot claimed the ARC multihull line honours aboard his Marsaudon ORC50 Ti ana (FRA), crossing the line at St Lucia on 2 December. Regis and the crew of Ti ana covered 3313 miles in 12 days, 21 hours.

Ti Ana takes multihull line honours for the ARC
Photo: James Mitchell / WCC

When asked about the crossing, Regis said, ‘Fantastic – this is the best multihull in the world. Our fastest speed was 22 knots three days ago, and we’ve flown the big spinnaker day and night the whole way across.’ Regis also took line honours in 2019 aboard Hallucine (FRA), a Marsaudon TS5.

Like the double win for the Italians, the 2023 multihull line honours in both the ARC and ARC+ went to newly launched Marsaudon ORC50 yachts – Ti ana was joined by Christopher Murray’s Mongoose (USA) which finished the ARC+ in 11 days and 23 hours.

Although the ARC+ fleet had boisterous conditions on the first leg from Last Palmas de Gran Canaria to Cape Verde, both fleets have enjoyed near-perfect trade wind conditions with sunshine, blue seas and moderate to gentle winds.

This year 252 yachts are crossing the Atlantic – 156 with ARC to Saint Lucia and 96 with ARC+ to Grenada – including a record 73 multihulls. There were also a record number of 63 junior sailors under age 16 making the crossing.

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