sail-world.com -- Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - Some boats start, most cruisers wait
Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - Some boats start, most cruisers wait
Mon, 26 Nov 2012
For the first time since 1989 the Cruising Division start of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has been delayed. A low pressure weather system is predicted to bring strong winds south of Gran Canaria on Sunday night. The organisers, World Cruising Club, made the decision to offer two starts; one on Sunday 25 November as planned, and a second start on Tuesday 27 once winds have moderated.
34 boats elected to start today - 27 Racing Division boats - there are only 27 in the division - and seven of the larger Cruising Division boats. The remaining 193 boats will start on Tuesday morning.
For those braving the acceleration zone south of the Canaries, which can turn a 25kt wind into 50, it could be a fast trip across the Atlantic. You can follow the ARC fleet online here.
First of the larger cruising boats seen heading into the blue on Sunday were a German boat, a British and a Finnish, itself demonstrating the international flavour of the Rally. They were Spock (GER), Guardian Angel (GBR) and Marisol (Finland).
ARC meteorologist Chris Tibbs predicts that the deepening low pressure system to the north of the Canary Islands will bring force four to five south to south westerly winds with a big swell today (Sunday), and a cold front will pass to the south of the island tonight.
The front will bring squalls and heavy rain at a time when the boats will be in the wind acceleration zone to the south of the islands, increasing the likelihood of winds exceeding 25 knots through the night.
As the weather system drifts south, winds will moderate with calms predicted for Monday night. By Tuesday a moderate to strong north easterly wind will bring a downwind start for the Cruising Division boats.
Safety is a central tenet of the ARC, and all boats are inspected in Las Palmas to ensure that they have a suitable level of safety equipment onboard and ready to be used. The list of equipment is based upon the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) standards used for offshore races.
The first boats are expected to arrive in Saint Lucia around 7 December, but the majority of the fleet will take around 18 days to make the 2700 nautical mile voyage.
Whatever time they make landfall, every boat will be met at the dock by Saint Lucia Tourism and World Cruising Club staff bearing a welcome rum punch and cold drinks. There is a full schedule of events in Rodney Bay for all ARC crews and their friends and families, culminating in the ARC prize giving on 21 December.
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 400 yachts and 4300 competitors annually taking part in the event. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Hood Sailmakers (Aust) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated. The first sail loft outside of the USA to be granted a franchise in 1968 by the founder Ted Hood. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Quantum Australasia Pty Ltd
Quantum Sail Design Group designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racers and cruisers who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]