Twenty of the World ARC fleet are now in Papeete, with five yachts well on their way from Nuka Hiva to join them there over the Easter weekend. Four yachts remain at anchor in Nuka Hiva awaiting delivery of various spares to undertake repairs, which will be carried out once social distancing rules are relaxed. In the meantime, crews remain confined to their yachts under strict stay at home guidelines with a curfew from 20:00-05:00 nightly.
On Wednesday afternoon twenty three World ARC crew landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after their non-stop 16 hour flight from Papeete. Due to the late afternoon arrival, crews spent the night in airport hotels before continuing their journeys home via onward plane and train connections. It is reported that the next occasional flight from Tahiti to France will be on Friday 17 April, potentially bringing a further eight crew back to Europe. We have also received reports hat a chartered Delta Airlines flight may be able to help the Australians, Mexicans and American crews get home via Hawaii and Salt Lake City on Monday 13 April.
If COVID-19 weren’t enough to deal with, Cyclone Harold has wreaked devastation across the Pacific Islands of Northern Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga, during this week. These are all places that the World ARC yachts are due to visit once they are able to re-start their passage west, hopefully later this summer. Our thoughts are with out many friends and supporters in these affected communities who always look forward to welcoming the World ARC fleet’s annual visits.
World ARC crews who elected to stay onboard their yachts in Tahiti are confined to Taina and Papeete marinas, with limited support services available to them. In true Rally Spirit two yachts, one in each marina, with have doctors onboard, have generously volunteered to offer medical support to their fellow participants.
With World ARC suspended in Tahiti World Cruising Club are watching closely for signs the Pacific Islands are opening up to cruisers, and have undertaken to make a further announcement about continuation of the rally no later than 31 May 2020.