The largest transocean sailing event in the world, every year the ARC brings together over 150 yachts from all over the world.
This annual transatlantic rally starting each November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has now become the most popular way to cross the Atlantic.
The Caribbean destination is Rodney Bay in St.Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in the Lesser Antilles. The 2700 nautical mile passage on the NE tradewind route takes on average between 12 and 24 days.
The ARC is open to cruising monohulls from 27ft (8.23m) LOA and cruising catamarrans from 25ft to 60ft (7.62 - 18.29m) LOA, with a minimum crew of two. The World Cruising handicap is used to calculate results in the cruising classes, in which motoring is permitted. A racing class, rated under the IRC System
, is run for those wanting more a competitive crossing, under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Yachts in this class may be sponsored. Motor yachts can also participate in the ARC in a separate division.
Conceived as a friendly race for cruising yachts to make the Atlantic crossing both safer and more enjoyable, participating yachts must carry a range of safety equipment including a liferaft, EPIRB and VHF radio. Daily radio nets contribute further to the safety of participants. The presence of experienced sailors is another incentive for those with little offshore experience.
The ARC has a special flavour, which successfully combines racers with cruisers, old with young, and provides entertainment for all. A wide ranging programme of entertainment takes place both before the start and after the finish. The ARC enjoys the support of the Tourist Authority of Gran Canaria, the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Alcorde Nautica and the St.Lucia Board of Tourism.
- ARC2003 opens in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 16 November, and the fleet will start for Rodney Bay, St.Lucia on 23 November from a line off Las Palmas harbour. The ARC will finish officially at 1200 hours local time on 20 December 2003.
- The ARC is open 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 competitive side of the event will be catered for by the Racing Division, rated under the IR2002 Handicap System, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.
- Yachts in the Cruising Division are allowed to motor.
- A full programme of social activities, safety seminars and demonstrations will be organised by World Cruising Club in Las Palmas prior to the start, and after the finish in St.Lucia.
- Participants will receive regular newsletters about the ARC, containing useful information about planning an Atlantic crossing, updates on entries and safety tips.