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Since November 1986, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers has been a main fixture in the sailing diary for over 30 years. As the largest race of its kind, it’s a ‘must do’ for many; registering on the bucket list of experienced sea dogs and unseasoned landlubbers alike.
Better known as ARC, the rally attracts over 200 boats and 1200 people every year, from all over the world. Strangers gather together at Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. Here, they meet their fellow crewmates and become familiar with the boat that will be their home for the next few weeks. They will spend their land-based days preparing themselves with training and safety drills. Then, the first gun will sound and the rally will begin. Sails are unfurled and the boats plow through the waves towards the classic trade wind routes. Elements are battled. Old and new skills are put to the test. All while the boats sail 2700NM across the planet’s second-largest ocean. By the time the boats cruise into the warm waters of St Lucia, life-long friends step off the boats and into the open arms of the welcoming committee. And some well-earned rest and celebration.
Having successfully completed in 2018, 2019, (with 2 boats) 2021, 2022, gaining a podium finish in 2020 and actually winning the racing division in 2022, Sail Racing Academy will again join ARC in the Racing Division. This means no mechanical propulsion; it’s the wind in the sails the whole way! We recognise that for many of our crew on board this is an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. Arc can be the most wonderful of champagne sailing or a challenge to overcome as a team, embracing a whole lot of fun along the way.
Though Sail Racing Academy is all for everyone enjoying themselves, safety remains our top priority.
Unless having arrived with the boat, the crew will meet the boat in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and will disembark in St Lucia, Caribbean. The nearest airport to Las Palmas is the Gran Canaria Airport which is about a half hour drive to Las Palmas. The Hewanorra International Airport on the island of St Lucia is about 1.5hrs from Rodney Bay, the final destination of the race.
All travel to and from the airports is not covered by the race price.
We will depart Las Palmas at 12:45hrs on 20th November 2023 with the starting gun.
We’ve been racing Escapado since 2018, over the years we’ve optimised her to be safer and more competitive, she has a great sail wardrobe and is competitive. She won ARC racing division in 2022.
Sao Jorge joined our fleet in 2021, she is coded to Cat 0 (Can legally sail anywhere in the world) she meets the highest British yachting safety standards and carries the highest level of safety equipment, she’s not as competitive as Escapado having a smaller sail wardrobe and shallower keel, however, she is an excellent boat to learn on being incredibly stable, spacious and comfortable. She won the round Barbados race in 2022.
Arrival. You will then have 5 days of, boat preparation, seminars, training, and familiarisation of the boat and your fellow crewmates. There is usually plenty of opportunities to join in the local social activities put on by ARC to make new friends and get to know the competition during this time. Please bear in mind that all the boats on the dock will be taking part in the same activity of repairs, last-minute enhancements, provisioning, and tweaks and we are no different so please expect the first few days to be hard work.
12:45hrs start gun. The ARC begins.
This is a great opportunity to gain considerable miles towards qualifying for the RYA Yachtmaster Qualification.
At 12:00hrs, the finishing line to the race closes. This gives all of the boats an amble 27 days to cross the Atlantic.
A time of parties and celebrations.
just a note to say how much I enjoyed the ARC this year on Escapado.
No spare space on board given crew numbers, food and water but we all got on really well together………with a common purpose of completing under sail.
Angela was a very effective skipper ensuring high levels of safety throughout and making good calls when it came to weather routing.
Not sure we would have completed were it not for Sam (First mate). His can do, enthusiastic, Mr ‘DIY’ approach dug us out of several holes, most specifically the problem with the spinnaker pole. When that broke after only a few hours thought our racing days were over and when I saw his fiberglassing was not anticipating a great outcome……..instead, within a few days had pole back up and it survived near on 3 weeks of symmetric and goose winging. Nice to see that we won the race
Had a great time during the ARC…..before, during and after the sailing Look forward to sailing with you again