Largest and longest running sailboat cruising rally in North America
heads to Caribbean at 12:00 noon on Sunday, November 4
On November 4, the largest and longest running sailboat cruising rally in North America, the Caribbean 1500, departs historic Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia at 12:00 noon (weather permitting) for the sunny shores of the British Virgin Islands and the Abacos in the Bahamas. Forty-two boats will participate in the 23rd annual race.
This year, 36 boats will head for Nanny Cay Marina on the island of Tortola in the British Virginia Islands while six boats will make up the ARC Bahamas fleet, bound for Bluff House Marina on Green Turtle Bay in the Abaco Bahamas.
Cruisers will begin arriving in Hampton this Saturday, October 27, spending the week prepping their vessels for the long ocean voyage. Participants include rally veterans, experienced blue water cruisers, and first-timers. While in Hampton, sailors will attend social functions, including “dine-around” parties, safety equipment demonstrations, and lectures on various cruising topics.
23rd annual Caribbean 1500 (Notable Dates)
Saturday, October 27 Cruisers begin arriving in Hampton
Monday, October 29 Welcome Reception at Hampton House Auctions
(197 West Queen Street, Hampton, VA 23669)
Wednesday, October 31 Downtown Hampton Dine-Around
Friday, November 2 Seminars at Crowne Plaza Dockside Ballroom
Sunday, November 4 Rally Departs Fort Monroe in Hampton at 12:00 noon
23rd annual Caribbean 1500 (Interesting Facts)
- Almost 150 people are expected to cruise this year.
- There is no age limit to participate in the Caribbean 1500. Ralliers include adults and children. Ages range from under 10 years-old to 80 years-old. The youngest crew is onboard Helia, a Solcum 42 Pilothouse. The Beams family from Massachusetts includes young crew Ellie, Mia, and Hannah, all under the age of 15 years-old.
- Boats vary in size. The largest boats are Karina, Miles and Anne Poor’s Tayana 55; followed by Club Karp, Jeff Carpenter’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS. The smallest boat in the fleet is Turbo’s Tub, M.D. Riley’s Morgan 35.
- Not all racers will head to the British Virgin Islands. Six boats have elected to join the ARC Bahamas this year.
- Friends, family, and interested parties ashore can follow the action on the Fleet Viewer, with data provided by a satellite tracker on each boat. This is available at www.carib1500.com. In addition, all yachts can submit blogs and photographs to the site.
- As they finish in either Nanny Cay on Tortola or Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos, all crews will celebrate the achievement of sailing a five-to-ten day open ocean voyage with a fun prize-giving party.
- Every boat receives a plaque as a memento of their voyage and prizes are given to the first arrivals and fastest boats on handicap, the best boat blog, and biggest fish. In addition, special awards are given for acts of seamanship and the spirit of rally.
The Caribbean 1500, founded by Steve Black in 1990, is now organized by World Cruising Club. World Cruising Club specializes in organizing rallies for yachts on a worldwide basis. Other races operated by World Cruising Club include ARC, ARC Europe, Rally Portugal, World ARC, The Malts Cruise, and the Atlantic Cup. The Caribbean 1500 is the largest and longest-running sailboat cruising rally in North America, attracting 60-80 boats each year.
Partially bordered by the Hampton Roads harbor and Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, with the 344,000 sq. ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center, is located in the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Hampton is the site of America’s first continuous English-speaking settlement and is home to such visitor attractions as the Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside IMAX ® Theater, Hampton History Museum, harbor tours and cruises, Hampton University Museum, Fort Monroe, award-winning Hampton Coliseum, The American Theatre, among others.