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2012 Caribbean 1500 Preview

By World Cruising Club — last modified Oct 24, 2012 12:13 PM
Starts 4 November from Hampton, Virginia, USA to the BVIs and the Bahamas.

Published: 2012-10-24 00:00:00
Topics: Rallies
Countries: USA , Bahamas , British Virgin Islands

Forty-two boats are due to start the 23rd Caribbean 1500 rally on November 4 in Hampton Virginia. Thirty-six boats will be heading for Nanny Cay Marina on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, and six boats will make up the ARC Bahamas fleet, bound for Bluff House Marina on Green Turtle Cay in the Abaco Bahamas.

All but two of the 35 monohulls and 6 catamarans will be sailing in the Cruising Division, enjoying fun competition using World Cruising Club handicaps. This simple and free-to-use system allows boats of all types to be evenly matched and even takes into account motoring hours, allowing boats to keep moving in light airs or heavy swells.

Rally Boats

The smallest boat is MD Riley's Morgan 35 Turbo's Tub, closely followed by the Canadian-flagged Bénéteau First 36.7 Hammertime II. The largest boats in 2012 both belong to long-time Caribbean 1500 supporters. Miles and Anne Poor's Tayana 55Karina is the largest boat, followed by Jeff Carpenter's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS Club Carp.

The average Caribbean 1500 boat is just over 44 foot long, and is 13 years old.

The 2012 fleet includes boats from 27 different brands, representing all designs and budgets from the early 1970s to new launches. Tayana and Bénéteau are the brands with the most entries, with four each, but almost all popular North American and European boat designs are represented.

Visiting yachts are well-represented this year, with six Canadian boats, one from the BVIs and Martin Linsley's Bénéteau JAC, all the way from Australia.

A full list of boats is available online

Rally People

Almost 150 people, including children, will sail in the Caribbean 1500 this year. The crews range in age from under 10 to over 80 years. The youngest crew is onboard Solcum 43 Pilothouse Helia. The Beams family from Massachusetts includes young crew Ellie, Mia and Hannah, all under 15.

Jeff Carpenter, owner of Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS Club Carp has sailed the Caribbean 1500 and sister event the Atlantic Cup 15 times: "I am back in the Caribbean 1500 again this fall. I value the confidence and support I get from a professionally run event with an expert staff. We enjoy the competition, good friends, and real parties."

Rally Spirit

The Caribbean 1500 will have a mass start off Fort Monroe at noon on Sunday November 4, making a great spectacle for participants and spectators. The start is just the high point of the activities in Hampton VA, which start on October 27 with icebreaker drinks and continue until departure with a range of social activities, the ever-popular lecture series and safety equipment demonstrations.

Before departure every boat will undergo an inspection to check that they have a minimum level of safety and communications equipment onboard and ready to use. World Cruising Club has a strong emphasis on safety, believing that it is better to be prepared for an emergency that doesn't happen, than unprepared for one that does.

Each boat is fitted with a satellite tracker, with positions updated twice daily and displayed on the rally website, enabling friends and family at home to follow the boats. Cruisers can also send blogs and pictures direct to the website, and the rally team will post news from the fleet every day on the rally website and Facebook

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, biggest fish, plus special awards for acts of seamanship and the spirit of the rally.

Follow the Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas fleets online

and on our Facebook


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