Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC Rally) celebrates 20th anniversary

by Barby MacGowan 12 Jun 16:08 UTC 26 october 2019
Sailing Offshore to the Caribbean with the NARC Rally © Lee Smith

The "North American Rally to the Caribbean" (NARC), which is free for participants to join, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2019 when it once again brings together boats on their annual pilgrimage south to the Caribbean from the U.S. East Coast, organizing socials, discounts and shared weather routing. Scheduled for October 26 (or the best weather window near that date), the 20th Anniversary NARC Rally will offer departures from the longstanding participating port of Newport, R.I. and - for a second year - Cobb's Marina in Little Creek, Virginia. The NARC Rally then hosts a stop in Bermuda before ending in St. Maarten.

"We are the only rally that offers an official stop in Bermuda," said NARC organizer Hank Schmitt who also is CEO of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO), a crew network service. He explained that the route to Bermuda encourages participants to sail there rather than motor sail into the Southeast Trades without stopping. "You have to go east until you get near Bermuda anyway, so why not stop in for a visit?," said Schmitt.

Schmitt plans to make each port visit special, especially the final stop in St. Maarten where five big sponsors have been invited "to lavish our new arrivals with 'The Friendly Islands' treatment."

The sponsors are IGY Marina, which will offer two free days of dockage for each Rally boat and a 10% discount for as long as the boat stays; Budget Marine, which will offer Rally entrants a 15% discount on purchases for three months and free sign-up for the company's new WhatsApp service; Heineken Regatta, which will reduce the entry fee for early sign-up in the Island Time Division of the 40th Annual Heineken Regatta; FKG, which will offer free rigging inspection upon arrival and a 10% discount on any repairs determined as needed during that inspection; and Bobby's Mega Marina, which will offer a 10% discount on hauling/launching, pressure washing and chocking of Rally boats from November to the end of January.

"St. Maarten is very much recovered from Irma," said Schmitt. "All the marine services are open; it is a duty-free island, which means it is great for provisioning, and it has the biggest airport and best airline services in the Caribbean. All this, plus the efforts of our five sponsors, will make St. Maarten a far better island than any other to call home for the winter. Or at the very least, participants can make St. Maarten their first landfall to get their boats checked and repaired if needed, leave for the holidays and then return and re-provision to explore the rest of the Caribbean."

The rally is free with no per-boat fee to sign up. There is a $100 per-person fee for the socials, which include a dinner at Benjamin's in Newport; a Bermuda fish fry at the Dinghy Club in Bermuda; and a wrap party at the Fat Turtle at IGY Marina in St. Maarten. Shared weather routing comes from WRI in upstate New York and discounts on dockage apply in Newport and St. Maarten. The head tax in Bermuda will be waived, saving participants $35 pp, and new this year will be a one-week option to stay longer in Bermuda and enjoy all that the island has to offer.

Sailors who do not have a ride and wish to participate can contact Schmitt and sign aboard a Swan in the OPO Offshore Swan Program to become a full working crew in the rally, sailing with a professional captain.

The NARC Rally started in 2000 when Schmitt organized 10 OPO skippers and crew to move a fleet of Swans from Newport, R.I. to the French side of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. With a departure date set for Newport in the Fall, he decided to invite other boats to join in an organized rally and has organized the annual passage ever since.

For more information on the 20th Anniversary NARC Rally or opportunities through Offshore Passage Opportunities, contact Hank Schmitt, 1-800-4-PASSAGe, +1 631-423-4988 or visit www.sailopo.com

Related Articles

First autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica
Saildrone survives freezing temperatures, 15m waves, 130km/h winds A seven-meter (23-foot) long, wind-powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called a saildrone has become the first unmanned system to circumnavigate Antarctica. Posted on 17 Aug
S/V Nereida sails around the world day 309
More good sailing N, in fairly steady trades... Wednesday 9:30am - Tahiti/Hawaii time (Wed 1930 GMT) All in all, not much change from yesterday again - lovely, gentle, enjoyable Trade Wind sailing, although rather gusty conditions under frequent, scattered, large clouds - boat speed varying a lot. Posted on 9 Aug
Jeanne Socrates about to cross Equator
S/V Nereida sails around the world - Party time on 'Nereida'! Jeanne Socrates (76) - expected to cross Equator back into Northern Hemisphere (on Day 293) Posted on 23 Jul
S/V Nereida sails around the world day 290
A mix of light winds and a few squalls - but no fishing vessels close by Friday 10am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Fri 2000 GMT) On a broad reach, struggling to make 2.5 kt. Sky completely covered with grey cloud and there's a good 2m swell from SSE with another swell from E. Posted on 22 Jul
The latest on country formalities
Noonsite cover more than 190 countries No other website concentrates its resources on finding out all the details to prepare sailors when arriving in a new country better than Noonsite. Posted on 19 Jul
The largest seaweed bloom ever detected
Spanning the Atlantic in 2018 Satellite data revealed increasing amounts of Sargassum algae in the ocean since 2011. Posted on 16 Jul
Fight against pollution with Ocean Vacuums
Seabin Project celebrates a new installation Seabin Project, the Aussie innovation that's tackling marine plastic pollution and educating the next generation of ocean savers, installed a new Seabin in the Pier 39 Marina Thursday, July 11th. Posted on 15 Jul
S/V Nereida sails around the world day 272
Maramu continues to blow and a solar eclipse takes place at sunrise Tuesday 10am NZT (Mon 2200GMT) - Finished with morning radio Nets a short time ago - making good contact now with Fiji, Tonga and French Polynesia but getting more difficult to make contact with NZ/Aus Nets. Posted on 3 Jul
Honduras, Gorda Bank: Missing sailor
Missing sailor in the Caribbean An Estonian sailor on passage from Jamaica to San Andres, Colombia has gone missing. Both of his EPIRBs were activated in the early hours of June 11, 2019, yet nothing but one of the EPIRBs and an oily life jacket has been found. Posted on 30 Jun
S/V Nereida sails around the world day 264
A nasty storm with gale force winds and big, steep seas Monday 8:30am NZT (Sun 2030GMT) - Very dull, overcast sky. Wind from NNW now and seas still very choppy with only a 5-second interval but down from last evening. Posted on 25 Jun
Sailing Holidays 2019 - BOTTOMZhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90 BOTTOMVaikobi 2019 - Footer 2