World ARC 2022: Trimming Sails in Uncertains Times

World Cruising Club has announced that the 2022 edition of the World ARC round-the-world sailing rally, scheduled to start from Saint Lucia in January 2022 has been cancelled.

Published 2 years ago

map of the world showing an arrowed line of where the rally goes to
World ARC Route Map from WCC

Whilst there has been optimism during 2021 that the global pandemic may be receding, World ARC is a complex international event which takes the organisers, host ports and tourism authorities’ months of planning to deliver successfully and detailed consideration had been given to the feasibility of a start in January 2022.   The next planned start will now be in January 2023.

Trans-Atlantic Rallies Unaffected

The decision and announcement regarding World ARC in no way affects the planned departures of the transatlantic rallies ARC+, ARC and ARC January which are confirmed to depart Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as planned.

On-Going Uncertainty due to COVID-19

On-going uncertainty about COVID infection levels, the emergence of variants, vaccination take-up, international travel and quarantine restrictions that are set to continue, even for vaccinated travellers for countries on the World ARC route unfortunately make an organised circumnavigation on a planned schedule hard to achieve. Nor would the rally provide the incredible experience normally delivered for the World ARC participants.

Regular consultation has been taking place during this spring between World Cruising Club and the participants that had signed up to start with the rally, a sell-out event showing there is strong demand to sail the world as part of a supported circumnavigation.

Uncertain and Unforseen Circumstances

World ARC has helped hundreds of sailors achieve their dream to sail around the world with expert organisation, reviewed as ‘a trip of a lifetime’.   However the landscape created by the pandemic threatens the rally stopover programme to truly embrace the amazing locations visited. Unforeseen and often last-minute changes to regulations and protocols in different destinations would significantly impact the rally schedule and the stopover experience likely to be severely limited in comparison to previous editions of World ARC.

Several rally yachts running on a broad reach with mainsail and jib under a blue sky in the Caribbean
Some of the fleet of a previous World ARC rally in Saint Lucia.

Responsible sailors would rightly be hesitant to leave port with an extended unfavourable forecast and as it stands there is no clear pathway on exactly how the borders will be opened to whom, under what conditions and over what time frame.

World Cruising Club committed to providing a decision on the feasibility of the rally by the end of June to provide participants with time to position boats, arrange crew and organise their personal and domestic lives.

Another Option for Intrepid Sailors

With a core of participants mindful of the likely continuing restrictions, World Cruising Club will be actively considering an option for intrepid sailors still keen to reach Pacific to transit the Panama Canal later in 2022. An announcement about this route will be made during November and is dependent on conditions improving sufficiently that it is considered prudent to transit the Panama Canal in early March. The offering would be a simple rally to support participants into the Pacific to start an independent circumnavigation.

World Cruising Club
June 29, 2021


Related Links:

World Cruising Club

Related to following destinations:

Related to the following Cruising Resources: , , , ,

You must Login or Register to submit comments.

  1. July 1, 2021 at 5:18 PM
    solosailingamelsharki says:

    This alternative option for an independent circumnavigation is very interesting. Between 2015 and 2017 I completed a solo circumnavigation, beginning and finishing in Panama. I am on board Hanoah, my Amel Sharki, in Panama now, July 2021. I plan to transit El Canal Panama in January 2022 and then base in Las Perlas until the season for heading west. This will be my third Pacific crossing. My solo circumnavigation was such a positive and enriching experience that I am compelled to go again. This time I will be joined by one crew member.