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New Cape Verdes Route Proves Popular with ARC Sailors

By World Cruising Club — last modified May 15, 2013 12:22 PM
ARC+ departs from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 10 November 2013. - Leg one sails to Mindelo, Sao Vicente in the Cape Verdes, a distance of approximately 850 nm. - Leg two sails from Mindelo to the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia, a distance of 2,150 nm.

Published: 2013-05-14 23:00:00
Topics: Rallies
Countries: Canary Islands , Cape Verdes , St Lucia

New Cape Verdes Route  Proves Popular with ARC Sailors

ARC Start from Las Palmas

From the pre-departure programme ensuring crews are relaxed and prepared, to the friendly welcome each boat receives on arrival in Saint Lucia, the unique spirit that surrounds the ARC each year has meant the Rally is firmly on the 'bucket list' for cruising sailors. Since its creation almost 30 years ago, World Cruising Club has built on these key strengths and provides a safe and social event that annually attracts hundreds of cruising boats to cross the Atlantic with the help of their expert organisation.

In 2013, demand to join the ARC has been unprecedented and World Cruising Club have announced the addition of a new route option for the world's most popular cruising rally, to give even more dedicated cruising sailors the chance to join the transatlantic rally of choice and offer a new experience for returning participants keen to expand on their previous crossings. ARC+ Cape Verdes will depart Las Palmas on 10 November, 2 weeks earlier than the traditional start, and feature a 3-5 day stopover in Mindelo, Sao Vincente, before continuing with the trade winds to Saint Lucia. The rally has already proved extremely popular and entries are expected to reach capacity 50 boats in the coming weeks.

The new route retains the pedigree of the ARC whilst offering a new adventure. "We feel like pioneers!" said Gill and Colin Nobbs who quickly signed up their Moody 42 Resolute of Thames to join the first ever ARC+, and many returning crews have welcomed the stopover in the Cape Verdes as a chance to explore somewhere new. The islands are perfectly placed to 'sail south until the butter melts' and an exciting programme of events will be arranged during the stopover to introduce crews to the Cape Verdes culture and scenery. The earlier departure from Las Palmas means that despite the stopover, ARC+ boats are due to arrive in Saint Lucia during the first week of December, allowing time for crews to enjoy the famous welcome celebrations and parties before some extended Caribbean cruising.

Each year, World Cruising Club ensure hundreds of yachts enjoy a safe passage across the Atlantic providing advice and support for skippers and crews from the moment their preparations begin.  ARC participants become a family before the pre-departure schedule even starts; often meeting one another in marinas on the way to the Canaries, where significant discounts are available, or introducing themselves through the radio net, online blogs and dedicated facebook page. The Rally Handbook, available to skippers and crew six months prior to departure, combines cruising and safety knowledge gathered from over quarter of a century of running transocean rallies and the World Cruising Club team, all of whom are passionate sailors, are always happy to talk about any aspect of life at sea at seminars, boat shows and from our offices across Europe, in the USA and Australia.

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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