More drama in Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

British family yacht Mary Constance limped into Rodney Bay in St Lucia yesterday to a cacophony of noise, sirens and hooters from other ARC crews. Arriving in tandem with Australian yacht Blackwattle who has accompanied them for the majority of their voyage, both crews received heroes’ welcomes. Plaqued with rigging problems, first one shroud failing and then the other, Mary Constance, a Trintella 42, sailed 800 miles with just one temporary shroud holding the mast up. A nerve racking time.

Elizabeth Franklin, mum, mate and chief helmsman during difficult manoevures said, “it’s been tough for a lot of people, not just for us. We could not believe the waves, they were simply huge and made all the repair work very difficult. The support and help we have had from other ARC yachts has been amazing. Messenger came back 400 miles to give us fuel and water which was just incredible, and then spent hours in really difficult conditions passing the fuel and water over to us. When Blackwattle couldn’t find us to assist with repairing our shroud, they even went to get them and show them the way!”

Daughters Pippa and Justin, aged 7 and 5, have been accompanied on their journey by Iggy, the ARC Iguana. Having just completed his 8th Atlantic crossing, he will join the girls at the Children’s Christmas Party this afternoon where he will also be reunited with the end of his tail which he lost in Las Palmas. When asked how the girls coped with everything that went on Elizabeth told us, “they spent much of the time down below and were so well behaved, it’s just been a blissful adventure for them.”

Read more about the ARC adventures in the March issue of Yachting Monthly – on sale in February.