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ARC 2019 onboard Montana

What is a typical ARC boat?

03 NOVEMBER 2019

Montana is mentioned on the official website of the ARC as a special boat in this year’s ARC fleet (“Grand old Lady”).

“I take this as a compliment.”

ARC: What is a typical ARC Boat?

Towards the Caribbean

29 NOVEMBER 2019

After all, preparations were made and all groceries were stowed, Markus started his journey towards St. Lucia with his ARC Crew.

ARC 2019 Crew Montana
ARC 2019 Crew Montana

The first days were characterized by moderate north-easterly winds. In the meantime, it has weakened and so the aim is to find a route with the fewest calms. From Sunday on the wind is expected to freshen, but not too much as it should be for a nice trade wind.

Altogether nice sailing weather.

Start of ARC 2019 at Las Palmas on board of SY Montana
Start of ARC 2019 at Las Palmas on board of SY Montana

ARC 2019 LOG

24 NOVEMBER – 10 December 2019

On Start day we left the pontoon under the sound of Hells Bells from AC/DC keen on doing a good start. The Skipper kept the Swan close to the start line nearly doing an over early. Therefore we started in the front row having the fleet in the back. Due to good wind conditions, we did a day of 180 Nm.

Day 2: At sea, the crew was doing good besides minor problems of seasickness. After a nice dinner, the wind dropped and Montana was only doing 1.5 Kn overground.

Day 3: All the crew had grown sea legs, discussion of weather and routing took a wide room of the daily routine, besides preparing the excellent dinner for the night, thanks to the butcher.

Day 4: We had the first good catch of a Mahi Mahi of app. 4 kg filet, another excellent dinner for 2 days. Unfortunately, later on, there was no way of using the sails anymore and we started the engine.

Day 5: Another quiet day but after a little bit more than 24 H, we could stop the engine and hoisted the spinnaker doing close to 5 Kn in 5,5 Kn wind over the deck, thanks to the old Lady and Olin Stephens. At sunset, we could shoot some awesome pictures from the drone with Montana sailing under spinnaker into the sunset.

Day 6: As everyone knows light winds are often a lot of work, we had quite a few sail changes even at night with spinnaker down and up. But with a good crew working together that was not a problem beside losing some sleep.

Day 7: The wind picked up more with good sail under spinnaker trying to avoid an area of low winds in front of us. For our entertainment, we had a lot of jumping Dolphins.

SY Montana at the ARC 2019 accompanied by dolphins
SY Montana at the ARC 2019 accompanied by dolphins

Day 7: Mood is good, the crew is keen to work, so we have some sail changes during the day. Brought down Spi for the night. Had contact in the night with Vera. These guys are sailing well and gave us a good match race for 1.5 days.

Day 8: Still feel the need for speed using the increasing wind. Tried to keep on course to St. Lucia, we are in the trades. Down the wave up to 11 Kn. Started in the night with main and genoa. 

Day 9: Just after midnight we couldn’t hold our course so we had to bring down the main at night and set genoa and staysail out with the pole. Still surfing down the waves. Being excited to see the distance made in 24 hours.

Day 10: We have new friends to play with. Since last night Celtic Star came in sight 6 Nm in front of us. Hard to catch up, looks like they know how to sail. The wind is a little bit less and we discuss sail changes but can’t find a better set up for now. We are still good on stock, the fridge is half full. Today we called it halfway or as we say in Germany, “Bergfest“, so all Crew enjoyed the extra beer, of course besides the Skipper. Have to deal with the first squalls.

Day 11: The squalls were friendly last night, mainly past us in the south, caught just a bit of rain, washing off the salt from Montana. At the moment it is a bit rolly and the Chef of the day has some problems in the pantry. Skipper turns on the radio to get the first Soca music out of the speakers to get the crew into the Caribbean mood.

Day 12: Life is good on the ocean, Montana is sailing well and the crew does the same. With the empty 8L Water bottles we invented a separation system for the garbage. Big advantage no ugly smell. The crew is already making plans for Rodney Bay.

Day 13: Had a rough night, dealing with the first squalls which hit us. There was around 30Kn of Wind. We rolled in the genoa a bit, so we could handle the situation safely. The night was followed by a bright sunny morning and a good breeze.

Day 14: Now 2 weeks at sea. Spirit and mood are still good. But that was needed for the upcoming night. Endless numerous squalls is a row. Up to 40 Kn of true wind. Crew and Skipper were working hard to get the best out of it. At the end with success, we gained some miles on our competitors. So St. Lucia will see us soon.

Day 15: Our thoughts are with those who got injured on other boats at sea, hope they get well soon. In the morning we got too ambitious and tried the spinnaker. Unfortunately with not much success. Took a lot of water on the boat and had a hard time to control it. Took a while to get back to trade wind set up. So we lost some miles. Hope we are doing better today.

Day 16: Last night everybody on the helm was surfing with Montana. With fairly strong winds we realized a good speed over ground. What a fun surfing down a wave with an S+S designed boat in a nearly full moon night. In the morning we had to change the gas bottle before we could prepare the first coffee for the day.

Day 17: Last day was a little bit calmer. Steady winds not too strong gives easy living on the helm. With a chilly day, there was time to have a chat. We talked a lot about what will be the first things in St. Lucia. Good shower, cold beer and a hang out at Marie’s Bar on Reduit Beach. Looks like tomorrow is the day. We will arrive in Rodney Bay. The wind picked up again giving us a fast speed. Looks like we will arrive in the dark, before daylight. The best, we are still able to catch up Finoor S before crossing the finish line, giving us the lead in our division. Arrival couldn’t be any better.

Markus, Skipper Montana

The finish was after 17 days and 20 hours on the 12th of December at 8.39 am.

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