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Canary Islands, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: ARC 2012 Start Delayed for Cruising Fleet

By World Cruising Club Press release. — last modified Nov 27, 2012 12:17 PM
Strong Winds: Skippers offered choice of departure date.

Published: 2012-11-27 12:17:31
Topics: Rallies
Countries: Canary Islands , St Lucia

It was announced at noon today at the Skippers' Briefing in Las Palmas that the start of the ARC will be delayed for the cruising divisions.

For the first time since 1989, the start of the ARC has been delayed due to predicted high winds.  A low pressure system is predicted to bring winds of 25 knots or more on Sunday night,  making uncomfortable conditions in the wind acceleration zone south of Gran Canaria.

Skippers have been offered two start dates; one as planned on Sunday 25, and one on Tuesday 27 November.

The low pressure system is predicted to bring southerly winds of 25 knots or more, with 35 knots plus in the wind acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. Boats are expected to be in this area for their first night at sea on Sunday night, and whilst not unmanageable, the conditions are likely to be uncomfortable for the majority of the family cruising boats.

The announcement was met by spontaneous applause by the assembled skippers and crew at the briefing.

Skippers were offered the choice of starts; to take the original start on Sunday 25, or a rescheduled start on Tuesday 27 November.  The majority elected to wait until Tuesday 27, remaining in habour in Las Palmas while the winds blow through.

Stronger winds do provide ideal conditions for the racing fleet, and these boats are expected to take the start on Sunday, as planned.

A list of boats taking the start on Sunday will be available on www.worldcruising.com/arc by Sunday afternoon.   All ARC boats are fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker, and their positions are shown on the Fleet Viewer www.worldcruising.com/arc/viewer

ARC Boats

The ARC entry list stands at 227 boats, the majority of which are family cruisers, sailed by family and friends on the adventure of a lifetime. Multihulls are again popular, with 19 booked for the crossing.

View the full ARC entry list at  www.worldcruising.com/arc/entries.aspx

Start from Gran Canaria

Las Palmas has been the start port for the ARC since the very first edition of the rally in 1986. Around one third of the boats are already in the marina, with the remainder arriving over the next two weeks. 
Official activities began on 12 November and from now until the start there are parties, seminars and all kinds of activities for ARC sailors young and old.

ARC boats will make landfall in IGY Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia after 2700NM of sailing. This distance will take the fastest boats around 12 days, and the family cruisers 18 to 21 days.

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Over 200 boats and 1200 people take part in the ARC every year
2700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia
A rally for everyone; families, racers, couples, big boats and modest boats
Two weeks of pre-departure activities in Las Palmas
Welcomed in Saint Lucia with a rum punch and a chilled beer
Fantastic achievement - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat