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Gran Canaria Start for ARC until 2010

The Atlantic
Rally for Cruisers (ARC) reaches a milestone this year, moving into its third
decade.

Big
celebrations are planned for the 20th ARC on arrival in
St Lucia.

Director
of World Cruising Club, Andrew Bishop, Bishop said:
“Both the start port of Las Palmas and
finish port of
St Lucia are very much behind this
anniversary year. We are delighted that the Patronato
de Turismo and Port Authority of Gran Canaria have signed a contract until 2010, securing the start
of the event from the Canaries.”

Commenting
on the continuing success of the ARC, Bishop, said: “Last year was
incredible, with a full list much earlier than expected. However, entries for
this year had been steadily coming in since the end of ARC2004.”

Twenty-one
nations are represented in the 2005 ARC fleet, making this not only the largest
trans-ocean event in the world, but also the most diverse.

The fleet
ranges from the Vancouver 32 Free Spirit of Itchenor
from Great Britain, to the
largest boat at 104 feet, Kalikobass II from the
Cayman Islands.

To date
there are 40 children taking part in the ARC, almost double that of last year.
The ARC attracts folks who are embarking on a new stage of their lives. Jim and
Jane Horner from Ireland
are taking early retirement also to circumnavigate the world in their
home-built Suncat 40, Lady Jane III.

There are
seven Spanish yachts entered in ARC2005, three of those hailing from Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria. Long term supporters of the ARC,
leading chandlery Rolnautic have their own entry in
the ARC this year, a Northwind‚ 59 called Oranda III, owned by Carlos Rodriquez Fernandez.

One team
that definitely will not be overlooked, and that proves you can start sailing
at any point in your life, is the Turkish all-female crew aboard the Dufour 40 Odienne. All working
women between the ages of 29 and 55, some of the crew did not start sailing
until they were 50!

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