2015 ARC Europe – Leopard 48 “Dala” wins

After sailing 11 days from Bermuda to Horta, Azores, the sailing catamaran “Dala” is bound to finish first in just a couple of hours. I have been following her across the ocean, reading the blogs from the owner and captain, Albert Levy.

Leopard 48 finishes first at Horta
Leopard 48 finishes first at Horta

This is Albert’s first time across an ocean, and he has hired an experienced captain to assist him and his partner. He made a wise choice, because his journey from the BVI’s to Bermuda involved some broken parts on the top of his mainsail.

I read his detailed description of exactly what went wrong and how he got excellent service in Bermuda to make repairs. Now since Lindsay and I may have a similar rig, I have made a mental note to bring along some extra parts for this rigging!

Doyle Anomaly Headboard system on a Leopard 48 catamaran
Doyle Anomaly Headboard system on a Leopard 48 catamaran – CLICK FOR VIDEO

After this system was repaired in Bermuda, they set off bound for Horta, Azores on May 20th. After a few days at sea, the main halyard broke, which is the white line you see above. The entire mailsail came falling down in the middle of the night. This is unfortunate but perhaps the line was damaged when the parts broke on the previous journey. Anyway, the experienced captain that Albert brought with him was able to use a smaller line on board to raise their sail again, but only part of the way as to not overload the line and break it again. This means they never sailed under full sail or near their top speed again for the remainder of the trip. Yet somehow, they have managed to finish first! Why is that?

They were the first boat to take a more northerly route, and there were stronger winds up there. Also, I think the Leopard 48 is a fast boat. The other Leopard 48 in this same rally is sailing vessel “Widago.” They are bound to finish 2nd in the catamaran class and 8th in the rally. As you can see from their pictures, they don’t necessarily look like hard core sailors that are hungry for a win!

The crew of SV Widago and SV Dala in the 2015 ARC Europe
The crew of SV Widago and SV Dala in the 2015 ARC Europe.

Watching them perform well even through the mishaps gives me confidence to make the same journey myself.