ARC-2013 opens for business early
Aurora, a Dutch-flagged Grand Soleil-45, was among the first to commit to the 2013 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers after registration for the event opened exceptionally early on Sept. 14, 2012. Reflecting strong demand, 10 boats had signed up within 50 minutes after registration opened. Within 5 days, 60 had done so! “The 2012 rally was booked-up by late February and cruisers are already keen to secure their place in ARC-2013, 14 months before the start,” said the World Cruising Club, organizer of the ARC and other sailing events.
The 2012 ARC will feature 10 Dutch-flagged boats. “We have always had good support from Dutch cruisers,” says ARC spokeswoman Rachel Hibberd. “This year is about an average level of Dutch entries. There are usually a number of Dutch nationals sailing in the fleet. We won’t know this year’s figure until closer to November. Last year we had 46 Dutch nationals in the ARC.”
Times may be tough, but cruisers still vote with their keels for the ARC. The 2013 event will be the 28th ARC, leaving Nov. 24, 2013, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, a distance of over 2,700 nautical miles. The 220-plus participating boats are family cruisers, racers and charter boats from more than 20 nations. Their ages range from young children to yachting enthusiasts in their late 70s or 80s.
More than 230 boats will appear in the ARC-2012, which leaves Nov. 25. Participants range in LOA from a Hanse-325 to the 92-ft CNB cruiser Bristolian. And in age, from 1936 vintage boats to the latest launches. 18% of the ARC-2012 boats were launched in the last 24 months. Six of these are Lagoon catamarans and four are Oysters.
The WCC also said the World ARC, which departs Saint Lucia in Jan., 2014, is booking up fast. Already 34 boats have signed up for the 15-month, 26,000 mile odyssey. Says WCC Managing Director Andrew Bishop: “The enthusiasm for joining rallies like the ARC and World ARC shows that cruisers young and old are still keen to experience the thrill of life at sea, and we are delighted to be able to help make this happen.”