They must have been waiting with their cheque books ready. Within one month of opening the entry list, 17 cruisers have committed to the round-the-world World ARC 2014-2015 Rally with a booking fee, and another 10 are waiting to make payment. This is a fantastic response and suggests that the thirst for sailing adventure is undiminished in these uncertain economic times.
Yachts anchored in the San Blas off the coast of Panama in the Caribbean
This fun rally for cruising yachts will be the fourth edition of this popular 15 month circumnavigation rally for sailing boats, and the ninth round-the-world rally organised by World Cruising Club. Around 35 boats are expected to start on 11 January 2014 in Saint Lucia, with others joining in August 2014 in Australia. The rally will conclude in Saint Lucia in April 2015.
From 2014 World ARC will become an annual event, with a start in Saint Lucia every January and Australia every August. This means that boats can sail a half rally, take time out to explore, and then re-join the next edition of the rally.
The fleet will sail across the Caribbean from St Lucia, transit the Panama Canal before exploring the Pacific islands of the Galapagos, Marquesas, Society Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu en route to Queensland Australia.
After cruising up the Great Barrier Reef, the rally will visit Bali, then cross the southern Indian Ocean, stopping at Cocos, Mauritius and Reunion before stopping in South Africa for Christmas and New Year.
In January they will depart across the Atlantic to Brazil, with a stopover in St Helena. Cruising up the Brazilian coast for carnival, then heading to Grenada in the Caribbean before finishing in Saint Lucia in April 2015.
The route avoids the northern Indian Ocean, Red Sea and other areas of pirate activity. More details at www.worldcruising.com/WORLDARC2014/itinerary.aspx
Monohull and catamaran sailboats between 40'-60' (12.19m to 18.29m) LOA are welcome to join the rally. Other boats will be considered on individual merit. Places are limited to 35 boats.
World ARC 2014-15 Entries - the profile:
So far, the fleet ranges from Dehler 39 SQ Dignity (GER) to the 35m classic schooner Texel (GBR). The 'average' World ARC boat is around 16m (54 feet), and multihulls usually comprise 15% of the fleet. The cruisers themselves tend to range in age from 5 to 75 years, but there is no upper or lower age limit.
World ARC 2012-13 in the Pacific:
The current edition of World ARC is sailing the Pacific from Bora Bora to Tonga, and will be arriving in Australia in July. The follow their adventures, see www.worldcruising.com/worldarc2012
For more information on World ARC, see www.worldcruising.com/worldarc2014 or contact World Cruising Club at email@example.com