Tragedy has struck this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. On December 7, John Thompson, 54, of the Great Britain-based Oyster 41 Avocet was hit in the head by the boom during a broach and was severely injured. Literally in the middle of nowhere, the crew had to endure a tough night before the cruise ship Costa Mediterranea arrived the next day to transport Thompson to land. Under the care of the ship’s doctors, Thompson made it to Barbados, where he was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, Thompson did not recover from his head injury and passed away late yesterday. His crew — minus his son, who accompanied him to Barbados — is expected to arrive in St. Lucia today aboard Avocet.
Meanwhile, the great majority of the 235 ARC participants have made it into Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. James Eaton of the Belvedere-based Hallberg Rassey 43 Blue Heron — the only West Coast entrant — was the 101st finisher when he crossed the line on Wednesday. The remaining 56 boats expected in the next couple days.