Entries have now closed for this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), the 24th edition of this world-famous annual transatlantic rally that has defied the economic doom and gloom yet again. The Rally organisers, World Cruising Club, have now opened a waiting list after accepting 225 entries for the 2009 rally.
There are 28 countries represented in this year’s event that starts on 22nd November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As befits the largest transocean sailing event, every year the ARC brings together over 200 yachts from all over the world, and is without doubt the most popular way to cross the Atlantic. The destination is the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, one of the most beautiful in the Lesser Antilles. The 2700 nautical mile passage on the NE tradewind route takes typically takes between 14 and 21 days and the fleet reaches its destination and the finish line in Rodney Bay.
Whilst fundamentally a fun rally for cruising yachts, the ARC does have a more serious Racing Division, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Yachts in the Racing Divisions are not permitted to use their engines for propulsion (unlike the cruisers), although use of autopilots is allowed.
The ARC distinguishes itself by successfully combining racing and cruising yachts with a mix of older and younger participants, all of whom thoroughly enjoy the varied entertainment that is on offer for all ages at both the start and finish ports.
Iridium Trackers for the Racing Divisions
Following a successful trial of the Yellow Brick adventure-tracking system during the Biscay crossing of Rally Portugal, World Cruising Club is pleased to announce use of the system for the yachts participating in the Racing Divisions of ARC2009. This exciting development, with six hourly position reports, will generate greater interest in the yachts as they cross the Atlantic, with family, friends and supporters being able to track progress on a more regular basis than has been possible on previous rallies.
The love affair with Portugal continues as ARC Europe’s largest-ever fleet arrives and meets up with Rally Portugal
World Cruising Club’s ARC Europe fleet has now arrived at its Portuguese destination, Marina de Lagos on the Algarve coast of Portugal. The largest-ever ARC Europe rally fleet comprising 28 yachts from 12 different countries crossed the start line off Tortola, British Virgin Islands on 7 May. Many of the yachts have completed their homeward journey to Europe following adventures on the World ARC, whilst others have been over-wintering in the Caribbean.
Participants in Rally Portugal, also run by World Cruising, arrived in Lagos a few days after ARC Europe, although they have already had a fabulous taste of Portuguese hospitality as they cruised down the coast from Povoa de Varzim, , sailing along the final piece of beautiful coastline from Sines to Lagos.
Looking Ahead to the Classic Malts Cruise
Next on the WCC Rally calendar is the Classic Malts Cruise, a 200-mile voyage starting on 11th July that shepherds a fleet of 108 yachts around the stunning Inner Hebrides, combining tutored single-malt whisky tastings with three evenings of full hospitality at distilleries in Oban, Skye (for Talisker), and Islay (for Lagavulin).
Information on all World Cruising Club rallies is available at www.worldcruising.com