Caribbean Christmas Sailing Rally - early enthusiasm

Christmas Caribbean Rally
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Organisers of the Caribbean Christmas Sailing Rally - a rally to cross the Atlantic from the Canaries to Antigua departing mid December - are buoyed by the early response.

With an encouraging number of early entries confirmed and a substantial number of marine companies offering preferential treatment to participants, the timing and feel good factor of the Christmas Caribbean Rally is proving to be very popular.

Crossing the Atlantic is many a sailor's dream no matter which side of it you are on, and an experience that can never be forgotten. Each year, at the end of the European sailing season, it is believed that as many as 2000 yachts cross the Atlantic, many heading for the heavenly Caribbean to escape the winter blues. The vast majority of yachts head off alone, often organised into informal scheds, and the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) is at capacity, with numbers limited by the size of the marinas at each end.

One of the organisers, John Simpson, has had an impressive career in the corporate world. However last year, John took a sabbatical and crossed the Atlantic in his own yacht and absolutely loved it, so much so that he decided to organize his own rally.

'It was just a fantastic experience, one that I will always treasure but I saw the opportunity to organise a different event. A well-organised rally that was more suited to a modern way of life and also started and finished in great locations.' he told http://afloat.ie/!Afloat this week.

'The Christmas Caribbean Rally will start from Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote (Canary Islands). It has fantastic facilities and a really friendly atmosphere and the marina is fully supporting the rally. After crossing the Atlantic, the fleet will finish in Jolly Harbour, Antigua. We believe that Antigua is one of the most popular destinations to start the Caribbean adventure.

'The rally will leave Lanzarote on the 16th December and the main reason for this is that many people would love to cross the Atlantic during the holiday season. Spending Christmas at sea should be an amazing experience and not something to be avoided, especially as the majority of ocean going yachts have satellite communications. How cool would it be to talk to friends and family on Christmas Day from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Lanzarote later has other advantages; it allows more preparation time after the European season and the Trade Winds tend to be more established by then.

'Above all, I wanted to organise a rally that was fun and filled with passion for the adventure of crossing an ocean. I think that the experience of sailing the Atlantic in a smaller more socially knit group is a real bonus; à la carte rather than the set meal option, so to speak. However the participants will be well prepared with seminars and courses both on and off the water.'

The Sailing Rallies team will be attending the London Boat Show on the 14th - 16th January, and Boot Dusseldorf 23rd – 24th January. If you are going please let them know by emailing info@sailingrallies.com. For all preliminary information on the rally go to their www.sailingrallies.com!website.