Okay, busy day for Andy & Mia today on SAILfeed! We just got the official word from the main office in Cowes that the World Cruising Club is expanding the ARC Rally, something Mia and I have enjoyed working on for the past four years. Here's the official press release…
'Demand from sailors world-wide for spaces in the 2013 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC 2013) has been unprecedented. The thirty extra boat slips recently installed by the Las Palmas Port Authority has enabled the ARC to grow to a maximum of 245 yachts for 2013; despite this, the ARC was full by the end of January, with the waiting list closed a month later. With numerous fresh enquiries continually being received, ARC organiser World Cruising Club has been working on a way to provide extra capacity for more cruisers to join the world's most popular cruising yacht rally.
Having considered many options of how to satisfy the wishes of sailors to take part in this international cruising rally, and listened to feedback from previous participants, World Cruising Club has launched an alternative start for the ARC, which also includes a stopover in the Cape Verde Islands.
Called ARC+ the new route will depart from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 10 November, two weeks ahead of the traditional ARC start, and includes a full week of activities, seminars, and social functions before the departure, all included in the entry fee. Additionally cruising sailors will benefit from all the discounts associated with participating in the ARC, including substantial offers at eighteen marinas en route from Northern Europe.
A stop in the Cape Verdes has been added to introduce ARC sailors to another archipelago en-route to the Caribbean, and gives an attractive route alternative to those owners returning to the ARC for whom this is not their first Atlantic crossing. The ARC+ fleet will re-group in the Cape Verdes before setting off with the trade winds across the Atlantic to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia for a tremendous Caribbean welcome, and a full programme of social activities and tours for which the ARC is renown.
ARC+ will be limited to 50 cruising boats, and will be run very much in the spirit of the ARC, maintaining the unique atmosphere that has developed within the Rally over the preceding 27 years. On this new route there will be no competitive racing, only fun results calculated for those who'd like to join in.
Benefitting from the experience and knowledge of World Cruising Club, plus the support of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers' sponsors in Gran Canaria and Saint Lucia, ARC+ is an exciting extension to the world's largest trans-ocean sailing rally. '