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Doors open for 33rd ARC check-in

by World Cruising Club 13 Nov 2018 14:09 UTC
2018 ARC check-in © World Cruising

After a successful start and a good send-off for the ARC+ fleet who are making steady progress to Mindelo, Cape Verdes, it was time for the check-in desks to open for those taking part in the 33rd edition of the ARC starting on Sunday 25th November. After months of preparation, the time has finally come to kick start their Atlantic adventure and it is an exciting time for all.

Crews are settling into life on the docks in Las Palmas following their arrival in Gran Canaria, and the ARC 'yellow shirt' check-in team were at the ready to explain the contents of the special ARC Welcome pack, give out rally numbers and to offer a wealth of advice in the build-up to the start.

The Safety Team, with a plethora of knowledge and expertise, were also out in force, visiting boats in the marina as the first of the ARC safety equipment checks were carried out. Those who had just arrived are able to book an appointment with the check-in team so that they have plenty of time to make any minor adjustments to boat or equipment.

As 'doors' opened today, there was a flurry of ARC participants waiting for their check-in. These included Doug and Kim Guthrie from Scotland who were full of excitement for the weeks ahead: "I have quit my job as a teacher and Doug, a naval architect, has taken a year out. We got married in July, so this is a sort of extended honeymoon! We are sailing with my parents on their Hallberg Rassy 352, Oran Mor; they have never sailed across an ocean before. We left it quite late to leave from home, but when we got to Porto Santo, Madeira, we met some other ARC boats heading this way, so we were less stressed about arriving late," says Kim Guthrie.

"We got here in time to see the ARC+ start yesterday and are really excited about our own adventure. We joined the ARC for the great social aspects; our main thing was to meet people, which we have already done. We love having the support of everybody around," continued Kim.

Also checking in today to collect their ARC Welcome pack were the Hong Kong-based Simmonds family who, after their Atlantic crossing, will sail all the way to Australia with World ARC. Having purchased Aurora B from previous owners who they met at World Cruising's Bluewater Weekend in May last year, their Hallberg-Rassy 42F already has one circumnavigation under her belt. Seven year old Henry and ten year old Eva have had a lot of fun on the dock with their new ARC+ friends and were sad to see them go yesterday, but hope to meet more children in the ARC as they arrive in Las Palmas.

With less than two weeks until the ARC start, crews are able to book in to the full seminar programme, that starts on Thursday with Chris Tibbs giving tips on routing and weather, downwind sailing, plus managing emergencies at sea, Jerry the Rigger on rigging advice, a double handed workshop and lunch for those sailing across with just two crew, and a provisioning seminar by Clare Pengelly who has numerous top tips and local advice on shopping, provisioning and storage. Not to be missed!

Every evening, there's also a chance for crews to meet other participants at the sponsored Sundowners that are all part of a full social programme over the next couple of weeks. This includes the Rolnautic Welcome Fiesta at Sotavento Club which is always a fantastic party.

Another popular activity every year is the planting of trees for the ARC Forest Project. This is a long-term scheme in conjunction with Foresta, and so far ARC participants have planted nearly 2,000 trees on Gran Canaria since 2010. It's a really fun and rewarding day out and one which will be remembered by those who volunteer.

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