Race from the Canaries to the Caribbean in the ARC Rally 2018. Sailing across the Atlantic is a pretty special experience, let alone racing across. Ocean racing is not for the faint hearted. It might be at times quite physically demanding, certainly exhilarating, and definitely fun.
The second leg of our Atlantic adventure will take the Challenger 72 from the Canaries to the Caribbean.
The ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) was first conceived in 1986. It started out as a safe way to cross the Atlantic in the company of other yachts. Since then it has grown, turned into more of a race, become more and more competitive and attracted bigger and faster yachts. Now over 200 yachts take part in it each year.
First Class Sailing is entering a Challenger 72 into the ARC Rally 2018. There is the opportunity for 12 people to crew in this trans-ocean race - the largest of its kind.
You would need to aim to arrive in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in the Canaries for 22nd November for a couple of days of prep.
The race across the Atlantic to Rodney Bay in St Lucia will start on 25th November. If the North East Trade Winds behave you can expect it to take around 14 days.
The amazing atmosphere in Las Palmas builds as start day approaches. Yachts flying flags from all over the world converge on Las Palmas marina in the days running up to the start. There are seminars, talks, safety kit demonstrations plus lots of parties all organised by the race organisers.
It will get hotter and hotter the closer you get to the Caribbean and you will arrive in St Lucia perfectly acclimatised to a warm tropical Caribbean welcome. And parties! Lots of parties Caribbean style.
Tried and tested the Yacht has raced around the world a number of times. Built for Ocean Racing the hull is made of steel, is extremely strong and capable of withstanding ferocious conditions if needed.
72ft long and weighing 48 tonnes she is equipped to a standard beyond that required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the race organisers. She provides an extremely safe platform within which to take part in an event such as the ARC.
The yacht is very hands on. Most things require at least 2 people so team work will be key. Down below the yacht is comfortable and has a big airy saloon area, a well-equipped galley and two heads/showers. The sleeping area is made up of compartments with nice snug bunks.
You will be one of up to 12 crew led by a professional skipper, his mate and two watch leaders.
There will be a training weekend in the UK on 10/11 November. This will start and finish in Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. The weekend will be about learning the ropes, meeting the skipper and your fellow crew mates and getting familiar with the yacht.
Only available to people that have just done the ARC with us there is the option to stay on board and sail the yacht from St Lucia up to Antigua with possible stopovers at Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. You would depart the yacht in Antigua on 15th December. This is a really fun and relaxing thing to do after the ARC!
Racing experience is not essential. You will need to have done some sailing. You will need to be healthy and reasonably fit. You will need to be adaptable and amiable, dedicated and a committed team member. You will also need to be enthusiastic about sailing and racing a yacht.
You will be expected to get involved with all aspects of sailing the boat and help with all of the cooking and cleaning throughout the trip. You will also need to be prepared to spend at least 14 days at sea!
In return, you will come away from this challenge with hopefully a great result, a huge sense of achievement, some great ocean sailing experience and 2700 more miles in your log book, a tan and some really good friends.
The blog 'Sailing The ARC – Sunsets And Solutions' by Ken Waylen will give you a great idea of the voyage you can expect.
The price of the ARC is £3995 and includes the training weekend, insurance, fuel/gas, oilskins, berthing fees and all food on board.
The price of the island hop cruise from St Lucia to Antigua is £320. Let us know at the time of booking the ARC if you wish to do this.
Flights to Gran Canaria and back from St Lucia/Antigua will need to be arranged separately and are not included in the price.
To pay £1000 deposit use the following code when checking out: ARC2018
Flights - There are plenty of flights offered by a number of airlines to Las Palmas from the UK. Coming back you are limited to just BA and Virgin who fly from St Lucia direct to Heathrow. You could use Skyscanner to see what other options are available.
+44 (0) 113 242 2202 firstname.lastname@example.org www.traveleads.co.uk/arc
So what is sailing the ARC actually like? Read stories from previous ARC Rallies here