At 13.00 on Sunday 24 November 225 yachts - the maximum number which can enter - will be on the start line, off the harbour of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, for the ARC, the largest transoceanic crossing in the world.
As the weather in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean turns colder, the annual migration of cruising yachts towards warmer waters gets underway.
225 of those will be yachts taking part in the ARC as they chase the sun and make their way across to the warmer climates of St Lucia and the Caribbean.
RC2002 opens in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 18 November, and the fleet will start for Rodney Bay, St.Lucia on 24 November from a line off Las Palmas harbour. The ARC will finish officially at 1200 hours local time on 21 December 2002.
Entry is open to to cruising monohulls with a minimum length of 27 ft (8.23m) and cruising catamarans from 25 to 60 ft (7.62 - 18.29m) LOA.
The 2700 nautical mile passage will take most of the yachts between 18 and 21 days.