It has been an eventful Saturday in Rodney Bay Marina. Since 0800 this morning, twenty-three boats have crossed the finish line and tied up in the marina.
Only minutes ago, three boats entered the marina simultaneously - the British-flagged Malaika, the Swedish-flagged Aniara II and Tur-Bo, the Norwegian-flagged 32-footer that is this year's smallest entry. All three boats received a raucous welcome from participants on the dock - fog horns blared, people cheered and more than one band ashore could be heard out on the pontoons.
"Yes, this is the smallest boat! The smallest boat with the biggest guys!" shouted one of Tur-bo's crew as the three guys stepped foot onshore for the first time in nearly three weeks.
"The crossing was very good," said skipper Mads Tonnesson. "We went by engine the last days because it was really light winds. We were eager to get here!"
On the dock, Tur-bo's arrival was met with considerable fanfare. Fellow Norwegians who had completed the crossing onboard Ko-Ko were there to greet them, along with many other friends and family.
"I think they're really brave," said one of Ko-Ko's crew. "9.6 metres…" She trailed off.
"Three weeks in a 32-foot boat?" asked another? "Amazing!"
While Tur-bo is the smallst boat to arrive in St. Lucia, they are certainly not the last. 165 boats are now in safely, but close to fifty remain at sea. Check the ARC 2011 fleet viewer to see their positions, and stay tuned to the ARC 2011 website for further updates.