When the ARC Rally left Gran Canaria again at the end of last year on its annual jaunt across the Atlantic, not only was there a full complement of participants, there were more multihulls than ever before.
Route of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
With a total of 21 cats, the largest was a whopping 57 feet with a 30 foot beam, the smallest just a merely large 38 feet. Some of the cats were doing what their monohull colleagues were doing, a world circumnavigation – others were just going to enjoy a summer or two in the Caribbean.
However, not all the participants even own their own catamaran – Helmut Schmidt and four of his friends just took time off from their daily lives for a great adventure, having chartered a Lagoon 380. called Pacuare just for the Rally.
Then there was the Catamaran Alkedo, a Lagoon 55. It was the sixth time that Sylvia Saur and Conni Grimm have done the ARC and they offered chartered berths, so that participants could enjoy an Atlantic Crossing in Style, being spoiled while enjoying a rare experience.
Lagoon 570 at anchor
However, as far as performance is concerned, it was the Lagoon 570, Sobieslaw Zasada’s Dada V, that surprised those in the know. Lagoons are certainly known for their comfort, large living spaces and good design, but Dada V was a surprising first over the finishing line in the Multihull Class. She was also the 17th boat over the line in all categories, completing the crossing in 17 days, 6 hours, 6 minutes and 40 seconds – an excellent result in the sometimes-difficult conditions that prevailed in this rally.
On corrected time Alkedo finished third, and three other Lagoons were among the first 10.
To learn more about Dada V who did so well, see article below, or visit the Lagoon 570 web site
The ARC Rally, the largest cruising rally in the world, leaves the Gran Canaria every year in November for the annual crossing. The rally is limited to 225 boats, and was last year already fully subscribed by October, with a waitlist. The fleet normally takes around 17 days to three weeks to reach Saint Lucia. For more information about the Rally, read interesting story of the history of the rally later in this article or go to their website.
The Successful Catamaran – background story:
Owner: Sobieslaw Zasada Dada V
Brand: Lagoon 570
The 570, designed by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost, replaces the 57, The 57, which was in production for nearly 12 years, pioneered the concept of blending the cockpit into the saloon.
The 570 takes this user-friendly concept even further, as the companionway doors form an inverted “L” and slide neatly out of way, creating a seamless transition between the full-canopied cockpit and the luxurious saloon.
Although the 57 was a mainstay in Caribbean charter fleets, the new Lagoon 570 obviously appeals to sailors looking for a spacious cruising boat.
The French-built Lagoon fleet has been a major player in the exploding catamaran market since 1984. Lagoon became part of the Beneteau Group , the largest sailing boat builder in the world in 1995.
Although Lagoon is known for production catamarans ranging from 38 to 67 feet, it has also been involved in many successful custom projects, including the famous racing catamarans Pierre ler and Fleury Michon. Today, Lagoons are built in Bordeaux by CNB, the custom division of Beneteau.
The 570 hulls are cored with balsa and are a vacuum-bagged laminate. Vinylester resin is used throughout during the construction process. CNB has long been a leader in composite material manufacturing, and the 570 hulls are made of multidirectional fiberglass fabric, with carbon fiber reinforcement in high-load and impact areas.
Limiting excess weight while maintaining strength and rigidity for the large loads developed by two hulls is a constant battle for multihull designers. The decks and bulkheads are also balsa cored, with thin inner and outer layers of glass in the bulkheads, making them strong, flexible and, most importantly, light.
The cockpit includes double steering stations positioned aft and outboard, but still protected. This is an excellent arrangement, especially compared to the more common bulkhead mounted wheel that limits visibility, or the exposed steering stations perched farther outboard on the hulls. Dual stations naturally allow you to steer from whichever side offers the best view of the world. Remember, there really isn’t a high or low side on a multihull.
Both steering stations usually are set up with sailing instruments and, of course, a compass. The standard boat has engine controls to starboard only, and I would add the optional controls to port as well, an important feature for close quarters maneuvering with a 30-foot beam. The steering system features Vectran cable and an aluminum connecting rod. The rudders are fiberglass and kept in alignment with upper and lower bearings.
There is an L-shaped seat to starboard and a straight seat to port. Closed-cell foam cushions and backrests are standard. The cockpit can accommodate as many people as you should ever want to have on board a boat and will undoubtedly become a social center in most anchorages.
Lagoon 570 aerial
Displacement: 33,069 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,800 sq. ft.
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The Story of the ARC – from Cruising World
How it all began, 20 years ago
ARC in Gran Canaria
Every year as the cruising season in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe comes to close, hundreds of boats prepare to leave on the long transatlantic voyage to the Caribbean. The traditional point of departure has been the Canary Islands, ever since Columbus first provisioned there just over 500 years ago. Whilst he had no idea what to expect on the other side of the ocean, the modern sailor knows that winter in the Caribbean beckons with perfect sailing, steady trade winds and fine weather.
In 1985 yachting journalist Jimmy Cornell went to the Canaries to interview skippers about their preparations for this transatlantic passage for an article commissioned by Yachting World magazine. The people he spoke to were as diverse as their boats, representing various nationalities, ages, and incomes.
It was the atmosphere amongst these sailors as they prepared for their voyage - the excitement, apprehension, and camaraderie - that gave Jimmy the idea of organising a race across the Atlantic, but with an entirely different emphasis from other ocean races. It was to be a race for the fun of taking part and one that would increase safety and confidence, especially among those making their first long ocean passage.
From the huge response to the idea, whether from cruising sailors or the editors of yachting magazines such as Dick Johnson, then Editor of Yachting World, it was apparent that the time was ripe for such an event. Thus ARC86, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, was born. As soon as the idea was launched, entries began rolling in from all corners of the globe, and after a few months the list of entries had to be closed and a waiting list started. On 25 November, when the starting cannon was fired from a Spanish Navy frigate, 204 yachts from 24 nations set off from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the largest transocean race ever staged, and the ARC earned itself an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The aim of the ARC was to emphasise the amateur spirit as opposed to the professional nature of other ocean races. For this reason, rules were kept to a minimum. Although one of the thoughts behind the rally was to add some zest and friendly competition to the long passage, a