Crossing the Atlantic with the ARC – The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

Posted: 23rd November 2011.

This annual transatlantic rally started on Sunday the 20th November at 12.30pm in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands with 217 multihulls and monohulls bound for Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

This rally has become the most popular way to cross the Atlantic. The largest transocean sailing event in the world, every year the ARC brings together over 200 yachts from all over the world. The Caribbean destination is Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in the Lesser Antilles. The 2700 nautical mile passage on the NE tradewind route takes on average between 14 and 21 days.

Conceived as a friendly race for cruising yachts to make the Atlantic crossing both safer and more enjoyable, participating yachts must carry a range of safety equipment including a liferaft, EPIRB and VHF radio. Daily radio nets contribute further to the safety of participants. The presence of experienced sailors is another incentive for those with little offshore experience.

The ARC has a special flavour, which successfully combines racers with cruisers, old with young, and provides entertainment for all. A wide ranging programme of entertainment takes place both before the start and after the finish. The ARC enjoys the support of the Tourist Authority of Gran Canaria, the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Rol Nautic and the Saint Lucia Board of Tourism.

This year sailing the 2680 nautical mile distance is 217 boats and 1188 sailors from 28 countries! Included in the fleet is a good representation of Fountaine Pajot’s and Catana catamarans and we look forward to following their progress.

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