Closure of Blue Water Rallies give surge to World ARC Rally

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) start- Las Palmas, Canaries. Photo credit: Barry Pickthall/PPL
One sailor's bad news is sometimes, inadvertently, another sailor's good fortune.

While Blue Water Rallies have recently reported that they will run no more world circumnavigation rallies owing to the economic downturn and piracy activity, this has no doubt contributed to the excellent season that is being experienced by the World Cruising Club, which operates the World ARC, a spin-off from the famed Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC)


So at the World Cruising Club, they are finding that enthusiasm to join sailing rallies, whether as a boat owner or crew, continues to grow. The Club has just experienced the busiest January ever for enquiries and entries.

This upsurge in interest follows a highly successful ARC 2010 (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), which started with 233 yachts, narrowly missing the event record of 234 yachts set in 2007.

Waiting List Announced for ARC 2011:
Entries for the 26th ARC in 2011 have already exceeded 225 and a waiting list for places has been opened. Numbers have been limited to 225 to facilitate berthing in Las Palmas and Rodney Bay.

The entry list currently includes a record-breaking 25 multihulls, including 21m Barreau 71 Stadium (FRA), and catamarans from Lagoon, Gunboat, Catana, Privilege and Outremer.

The oldest boat entered so far is Cruinneag III (GBR), a Campbells & Dickies ketch built in 1936, and we'll have lots of brand spanking new boats, including Discovery 55 Brizo (GBR). 38 boats to date are less than 40ft (12.2m) long, and the smallest is Sigma 33 Sibilation (GBR).

It is expected that most yachts on the waiting list will be offered a place in the rally.

Global Entry for World ARC
World Cruising Club's circumnavigation rally, World ARC, continues to attract interest from around the world. The current rally (World ARC 2010-11) is on its final stages towards the finish in Saint Lucia in April with a fleet of 19 yachts.

The next rally (World ARC 2012-13) starts from Saint Lucia in January 2012, and over 30 boats will be joining the rally from the start, with more joining from Australia onwards. Current entries come from 11 nationalities and include families sailing with children. The smallest yacht is Lagoon 380 Southern Cross (USA), and the largest so far is Oyster 575 Serendipity (GBR). Proving that standard production boats remain popular for long distance cruising, there are five Jeanneaus in the fleet, more than any other boat type.

World ARC circumnavigates via Panama Canal, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Bali, Mauritius, Reunion, South Africa, St Helena, Brazil and Grenada. This route is 1000Nm south of current pirate activity and by taking a southern route across the Indian Ocean to South Africa, avoids the Red Sea and Horn of Africa completely.

Sell-Out Seminars:
The Ocean Cruising Seminar held in March in Guildford UK was a sell-out, with 70 attendees learning about all aspects of long term cruising from a range of experts. The attendees came from 13 countries and included ARC and World ARC entries, as well as those at an early stage in their planning.

The Ocean Sailing Seminar in Annapolis MD in the USA is oversubscribed and extra places have been made available, bringing the total to 80. A further seminar will be held in Hampton VA in September.

Re-Launch of Malts Cruise:
After a year's absence, the Malts Cruise has been relaunched with a new itinerary and more relaxed ambience, and will take place in Scotland in July. This popular rally attracts interest from across Europe, and many participants charter boats locally in order to take part. There are 31 entries to date, including a strong contingent from Scandinavia, and two motor boats.

The fleet will enjoy a leisurely cruise around the Islands and lochs of western Scotland, with visits to distilleries and village hospitality. The Malts Cruise is run in association with the Classic Malts Selection.

North American Expansion:
World Cruising Club USA is gearing up for the first year of their ownership of the popular Caribbean 1500 and Atlantic Cup rallies. Participants will see gradual improvements in the events, as they become more visibly part of the World Cruising Club family. This will include a stronger emphasis on safety, as well as more comprehensive pre-rally activities such as seminars and social events.

Here are the starting dates for the various rallies. All you need to do is get yourself to the starting venue with a little time to spare to prepare:

o Atlantic Cup: 01 May from Nanny Cay, British Virgin Islands
o ARC Europe: 05 May from Nanny Cay, British Virgin Islands and 06 May from Hampton Virginia
o Rally Portugal: 29 May from Plymouth
o Malts Cruise: 10 July from Oban
o Caribbean 1500: 07 November from Hampton Virginia
o ARC 2011: 20 November from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
o World ARC 2012: 08 January 2012 from Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

For more information, contact the World Cruising Club by www.worldcruisingclub.com!clicking_here