Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

ARC Portugal - 20 years on and still going strong

by World Cruising Club/Sail-World on 3 Jun 2014
ARC Mike and Sue Petch with friends Geraldine and Nigel .. .
The World Cruising Club have established a fine reputation for running excellently devised rallies, and the ARC Portugal, mostly joined by boats from the UK and now in its 20th year, is no exception. Fifteen yachts left Plymouth's Mayflower Marina on Sunday for the first leg of ARC Portugal 2014 - a cruise in company to Marina de Lagos, Portugal, with two boats from the Netherlands and one each from Germany and Australia.

Under a light layer of clearing cloud, with a moderate 12-15 knots breeze from the WNW it was smiles all round as the yachts set off on Sunday, with the anticipation of developing good winds after a calm first two days (to find their sea-legs). These are favourable conditions for the 550 nautical mile crossing of the Bay of Biscay to Bayona, which for many crews is their first offshore passage beginning a long term sailing adventure.

Before departure, all yachts joining the rally were given a safety inspection by the World Cruising Club team, and fitted with Yellowbrick satellite trackers so that friends and family can follow their progress via the rally website. A Rally Briefing was held at the Plymouth Albion Rugby Club, followed by welcome drinks and curry supper, crews already beginning to enjoy the social atmosphere that will no doubt grow throughout the cruise.

2014 marks the 20th edition of ARC Portugal (formerly Rally Portugal) and combines a cruise in company with a sightseeing holiday, visiting some of the best historic locations on the Iberian Peninsula. While the itinerary has changed slightly over the years as new marinas have developed, the ethos of a social cruise with exploring ashore and afloat has remained strong.

The 2014 route features stopovers in Bayona, Povoa de Varzim, Gaia (for Porto), Figueira da Foz, Peniche, Oeiras and Sines, before reaching Marina de Lagos at the gateway of the Mediterranean - an ideal finishing point for a summer of cruising.

There is just one catamaran in the fleet this year, the Lagoon 39 Porcellum. Amongst the monohulls, the largest is Jeanneau Trinidad 48, Aislig Bheag, and the smallest, Salsus a Baltic 38, one of two Netherlands flagged yachts participating in the rally. Boats from Australia and Germany make rest of the international entries. The oldest boat in the fleet is Richard Daglish's 1965 Moody 40, Salmo Salar, a real cruising classic.

Almost all the crews are using the rally as a passage-making event to get south and then move on to explore the Mediterranean after arriving in Lagos. Australians Mike and Sue Petch, purchased with Island Packet 420 Macnoon in the UK with the intention of cruising European waters for a couple of seasons. Brother and Sister Keith and Ali Sammons, are heading away on a live-aboard adventure, having both quit jobs ashore to go sailing on their Beneteau First 405, Spirit III.

With fair winds forecast, the fleet are expected to have arrived by Friday for a welcome sangria at the Monte Real Club de Yates in Bayona. Over the weekend, there are organised tours and free time to explore before the prize-giving ceremony for Leg 1 held on Sunday evening. Leg 2, to the Portuguese town of Povoa de Varzim, will set sail on Tuesday 10 June.

Follow the rally's progress south on the fleet tracker and read blogs from on board at worldcruising.com/arcportugal

Sail Exchange 660x82 1Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.II)
We looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear In Part One of getting to know Harken, we looked at how Grant Pellew became the MD here in Australia, and how they rigorously go about testing their gear. We also looked at some of the other brands Harken distributes in Australia and so we move on to the last category.
Posted on 25 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Brookes and Gatehouse Videos with Knut Frostad
Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos Navico, the parent company for Brookes and Gatehouse (B&G), Simrad and Lowrance have prepared some terrific videos with Knut Frostad, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race sailor and former CEO. See him talk about sailing in general, the B&G product choices and placement he made for his own boat, and then why he loves his Outremer 5X.
Posted on 8 Sep
Boat Books of the Month - How to Read Water and False Flags
How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to Sea & False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II. This month the Boatbooks Australia: Boat Books of the Month are How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea and False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II.
Posted on 6 Sep
Soft Padeyes – light, strong and versatile
Several types of soft padeyes are now available and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel pa Several types of soft padeyes are now available on the market and are proving increasingly popular over traditional stainless steel padeyes. They all capitalise on the incredible strength to weight ratio and abrasion resistance of Dyneema® which offers a reliable, robust, flexible and safe termination.
Posted on 6 Sep
The X Factor starring X-Yachts
X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. X-Yachts do indeed have plenty to sing about. Testament to that is the three-year-old Xp38 on display at the recent Sydney International Boat Show still looked brand new. This was no mooring minder either, but rather a boat that had gone up to Hamilton Island Race Week for each of those years and campaigned hard.
Posted on 31 Aug
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug