Since 1986, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has attracted sailing crews young and old, as well as boats of all types for the transatlantic crossing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.
With so many boats now taking part, organizers have split the event into three waves and routes - the ARC+, ARC+ St. Vincent and the original ARC.
Crews aged from 3 to 78 years were onboard 16 catamarans and 55 cruisers as they set off from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on November 10th. Following a 3 to 5 day layover in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde, boats will then head to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia to complete the 3000 mile ARC+.
For a 40’ cruiser, the indicative sailing time from Las Palmas to Cape Verde is about 5 to 7 days. The ARC+ will restart for all teams on November 21st, with the northeast trade winds helping a 40’ cruiser reach Saint Lucia in 12 to 16 days.
ARC+ St. Vincent
The second wave of boats will follow a new route for 2018 known as ARC+ St. Vincent. Departing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Thursday November 15th, teams will make their way to Blue Lagoon Marina, St. Vincent also via Cape Verde. The layover, journey times and distances for this rally are similar to the ones found in the ARC+.
Over 200 boats and 1200 crew take part in the original 2700 mile transatlantic rally known as the ARC. Like the ARC+ and ARC+ St. Vincent, the ARC starts from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, but there will be no layover in Cape Verde. Rather, on November 25th, boats will set sail directly for Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. The ARC includes both Multihull, Cruising and Racing divisions that start separately.
A variety of events and parties will be welcoming teams as they finish all three rallies. Finding themselves in the Caribbean close to Christmas, many teams choose to stay for the holidays or continue on cruising in small groups to various anchorages around the area.
We wish everyone taking part in the ARCs a safe journey - YB Tracking is with them every step of the way!
All photos (c) World Cruising Club