Race across the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC Rally 2017

2,662 views  |   July 19th, 2017 

Loading the friut in Las Palmas

 

This is open to anyone. Although, as you will likely be 14 days non stop on a boat, it helps if you know you like sailing! But it doesn’t matter if you haven’t got a lot of experience providing you have some.

The Race is actually a Rally. The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. A friendly Race let’s say. It attracts over 200 yachts from all over the world with completely varied crews. Families take part, long time sailing buddies, you get the odd professional crew doing it, and people that just fancy giving it a go.

What’ll it be like?

It is a lot of fun. The camaraderie is huge, as you can imagine with such a large number of boats taking part and there are lots of parties before and after the Race. It also provides for a very safe way to sail across the Atlantic as you know there will be other boats, if not in site then just over the horizon.

The Race is from Gran Canaria in the Canaries to Rodney Bay in St Lucia. It is a distance of about 2700 nautical miles and will take about 14 days or so.

A quiet moment of reflection for the ARC Crew

 

Once you get into the trade winds picture days and days of blissful downwind sailing, of the deep deep blue ocean, a long drawn out Atlantic swell, midnight bake offs with fellow crew mates, clear blue skies perhaps with the odd squally cloud about to keep it interesting, a big spinnaker ballooning out at the front of the boat, dolphins, the odd whale perhaps, the odd fish on the end of the line.

If you’re skilled, a spot of astro navigation with the sextant, a constant interest in how the other boats ahead and behind you are doing (are we gaining on that yacht only 11 miles ahead?) inter watch competitions to see who can run off the furthest distance in a watch, plenty of time to read a book or three, sunsets, sunrises, clear night time skies – all in all some quality time out.

And then the arrival – expect a warm Caribbean welcome once you arrive. There will be lots of celebrations and depending on how quick you were across the Atlantic some time to explore St Lucia and maybe another island.

The Yacht and Skipper

The Yacht is a Challenger 72. Built for ocean sailing it is the perfect vessel to undertake a voyage like this. She has been around the world twice, has done the ARC a couple of times, the Fastnet several times. She is tried and tested. Challenger meets MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Coding Category Zero which means structurally she is able to go anywhere in the world, safety kit wise (including medical kit) she is able to go anywhere in the world and she will have an Ocean Yachtmaster as skipper and a Yachtmaster Offshore as the mate.

The boat is good and quick but far from being a stripped out racing yacht she has a spacious galley and saloon area, two heads and two showers, everybody gets their own comfy bunk and some storage space, and a water maker (so you can shower!).

The destination St Lucia in the Caribbean

 

Dates and Price

In the run up to the ARC there will be a training weekend out of Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 4/5 November. You would then fly out to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria to arrive at the boat on 16th November. After a few days of final preparations including loading lots of food on board, the Race will start on 19th November and you will be off! After 14 days or so you will arrive in St Lucia giving you a few days R&R before departing the yacht on 11th December.

There is the option to help deliver/cruise the boat from St Lucia to Antigua. This is only available to those who will have just completed the ARC. You would leave St Lucia on 11th and head towards Antigua. Possible stopovers include Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. You would depart the boat in Antigua on 15th December.

The price of the ARC is £3709. Food on board, accommodation on board, oilskins, safety equipment and insurance are all included. The optional extra trip from St Lucia to Antigua is £288.

How to book

You can see how previous ARC’s went from the series of blog posts from previous crews here: ARC Rally Blogs
For more details on to book have a look here: ARC Rally 2017 Or call the office on 0203 006 3717

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Posted by: First Class Sailing

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