The announcement was made at noon today at the Skippers' Briefing in Las Palmas that the start of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) will be delayed for the cruising divisions. For the first time since 1989, the start of the ARC has been delayed due to predicted high winds. A low pressure system is predicted to bring winds of 25 knots or more on Sunday night, making uncomfortable conditions in the wind acceleration zone south of Gran Canaria.
2012 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) - Muelle Deportivo Las Palmas
Skippers have been offered two start dates; one as planned on Sunday 25, and one on Tuesday 27 November.
The low pressure system is predicted to bring southerly winds of 25 knots or more, with 35 knots plus in the wind acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. Boats are expected to be in this area for their first night at sea on Sunday night, and whilst not unmanageable, the conditions are likely to be uncomfortable for the majority of the family cruising boats.
The announcement was met by spontaneous applause by the assembled skippers and crew at the briefing.
Skippers were offered the choice of starts; to take the original start on Sunday 25, or a rescheduled start on Tuesday 27 November. The majority elected to wait until Tuesday 27, remaining in habour in Las Palmas while the winds blow through.
Stronger winds do provide ideal conditions for the racing fleet, and these boats are expected to take the start on Sunday, as planned.
A list of boats taking the start on Sunday will be available here by Sunday afternoon. All ARC boats are fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker, and their positions will be shown on the Fleet Viewer.