Record fleet for World Cruising Club’s Spring Rallies

Published 9 years ago, updated 5 years ago

07 May 2015, Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI

A bumper fleet of over 50 boats from 20 different countries will take part in World Cruising Club’s Spring rallies – ARC Europe and ARC USA – set to depart on Saturday 9th May. Venturing west to east across the Atlantic, more than forty boats will sail with ARC Europe this year; thirty leaving from Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, and six from

Portsmouth, Virginia, USA for the first stage of the rally, a passage to Bermuda where a further seven yachts will join. ARC USA sailors starting from Tortola include seven yachts headed for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whilst sixteen boats sail alongside the ARC Europe fleet to Bermuda then onwards to ports along the US Eastern seaboard.

First impressions

Of the boats joining ARC Europe 2015, eleven are sailing in a WCC rally for the first time including Joseph and Dawn’s Ayala’s Morgan 461, Pixie Dust (USA) from Oviedo, FL, USA. The crew of 5 will be making the transatlantic passage from Tortola to Europe, via Bermuda and the Azores, finishing at Marina de Lagos in Portugal in time for the European summer sailing season. “Our family and friends are really pleased we are doing this as part of a rally, in company of others. They feel comforted by that,” explains Dawn. “Everything is great so far with the rally. We’ve checked in, had our safety equipment check and are very happy. We are looking forward to the crossing and to spending three to five years cruising in Europe.”

Wealth of knowledge shared

For some, the rally is a convivial way to start a European adventure and for others, an end to a Caribbean season or circumnavigation. Either way, walking the docks at Nanny Cay and talking to the sailors, one thing is clear; experienced ‘ralliers’ are more than happy to share their wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise with first-time rally participants. From Western Australia, double handers Robert and Revle Elks’ Outremer 51, Intrepid Elk (AUS) took part in ARC+ last November and are one of several crews completing an Atlantic circuit with ARC Europe. “ARC+ was our first rally and we enjoyed it very much. We got to meet most people in the rally and it was really nice to get to know everyone before we set off. We found the World Cruising staff to be so helpful and for us, it is one of the best things about the rally. To have that support is great.”

All starters for ARC Europe and ARC USA are set to depart on Saturday 9th May. Whilst the flexible route options for the rallies mean the start ports and ultimate destinations may be different, everyone taking part will feel a certain solidarity with fellow crews setting sail on their ocean adventures.

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