Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

A swell send-off for ARC+

by World Cruising Club 11 Nov 10:15 UTC
ARC Rally yachts in the Cruising Division cross the line. © World Cruising Club / James Mitchell

It was a challenging start to leg one of ARC+ 2019 today from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as a large north easterly swell gave the boats a rolling send off. In total 90 of the 95 strong fleet took the start for the 865nm passage to Mindelo in Cape Verde, with four boats opting to delay their starts until later in the week and one more delayed by mechanical problems.

In Las Palmas marina this morning the docks were busy with over 400 sailors eager to begin their adventure. "We are looking forward to sailing and this will be our big first ocean water sail." said Rob Greenwell, skipper of Cuvee, a new Beneteau Oceanis 51.1. "Everyone is getting to the point where they just want to go. The people here in Las Palmas have just been so helpful and so friendly and the World Cruising Club support has been great." Lines were duly slipped around the marina as the ARC+ boats headed past the breakwater lined with spectators to wish them well and wave them off.

Over the last week in Gran Canaria, as crews have prepared their boats for the start of their Atlantic crossing, strong gusting winds from the NE have built up a large 2m swell; ideal for surfers, but causing some discomfort for boats on the start line today. The wind was more easterly than is typical for an ARC start, meaning it was a white sail reaching start in the 20+ knot winds. Weather forecast for the next 24 hours shows winds in the mid-20's gusting 30+ in the acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. The acceleration zone extends 100NM down from the Island, where its 2000m high mountain causes significant increases in wind strengths. Due to the well-known dangers to boats in the zone when the winds are strong, ARC organisers World Cruising Club have set a virtual "mark" in the course to Cape Verde, to the south and east of Gran Canaria, which bends the course away from the acceleration zone and should keep boats away from the areas of strongest wind.

While ARC+ is a cruising rally, there is a start and finish line, and the boats are split into classes to enable some fun competition. First of the 15 catamarans and trimarans across the start line today was Neel 47 Minimole skippered by Italian sailor Aldo Fumagalli. Fifteen minutes later, they were followed by the Cruising Division, featuring boats from 30ft to almost 70ft, riding the ocean swell. Many of the skippers opted to start with reduced sails - reefed mainsails for some, and just genoas for others. A sensible precaution as gusting winds are anticipated further south along the Gran Canaria coast. Leading the monohulls was Norwegian flagged Beneteau Oceanis 473 Orama, followed by Jenneau 51 Wild Spirit and French Pogo 36 Amarys.

It should be a fast passage, although the first 24 hours will be bumpy, and the swells are expected to remain with the boats until they are 36-48 hours south of Gran Canaria. Consistent NE winds expected on the course should make for a fast passage to Mindelo with the first boats expected in 5 days from now.

Meanwhile in Las Palmas Marina, the docks will not be quiet for long as over a thousand sailors on the ARC direct route from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will begin their pre-departure programme from tomorrow. Whilst the ARC+ crews enjoy their sail, there's plenty more excitement to come in Gran Canaria!

Related Articles

Sun sets on the second ARC+ St Vincent
A memorable evening, marking the end of this year's rally to the Blue Lagoon Marina As the sun began to dip, crews from the ARC+ Saint Vincent fleet gathered at the beautiful beach-side Sunset Shores Hotel yesterday, for what was to be a memorable evening, marking the end of this year's rally to the Blue Lagoon Marina, in St.Vincent. Posted today at 5:06 am
ARC 2019 Youth Team crossed the finish line
Crew of young sailors have completed an epic transatlantic journey For the first time in history, a crew of young sailors from Saint Lucia, Gran Canaria and the UK have completed an epic transatlantic journey as part of the ARC 2019 sailing rally. Posted on 12 Dec
ARC+ 2019 concludes in Saint Lucia
End of the Atlantic adventure that began in Gran Canaria For sailors on the ARC+ route of the 2019 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Wednesday evening's Prize Giving Ceremony in Saint Lucia marked the end of their Atlantic adventure that began in Gran Canaria some six weeks ago. Posted on 12 Dec
ARC+ St. Vincent: Getting the party started
Fleets were officially welcomed with organised cocktail parties Sixteen days after their departure from the Cape Verdes, the Caribbean destinations for ARC+ in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent have seen dockside celebrations a plenty as the crews have made landfall. Posted on 10 Dec
Hallucine leads the ARC fleet into Rodney Bay
On Friday 6th December, Rodney Bay welcomed the first arrival of ARC 2019 At 00:52:47 on Friday 6th December, Rodney Bay welcomed the first arrival of ARC 2019, French flagged Marsaudon TS5 Hallucine. Led by experienced ocean sailor Régis Guillemot, the crew of 50ft multihull have had a great blast across the Atlantic Posted on 7 Dec
2019 ARC+ Saint Vincent first arrivals
Blue Lagoon Marina receives the first ARC+ St. Vincent 2019 yacht After a few days of diving and mooring laying the Blue Lagoon Marina and Hotel was finally ready to receive the first ARC+ St. Vincent 2019 yacht. Posted on 5 Dec
ARC+ make landfall in Saint Lucia
A thrilling crossing covering a total of 2,122nm Serenaded by the local steel pan, the first ARC+ mooring lines to be secured to the pontoon at IGY Rodney Bay Marina belonged to Minimole, a Neel 47. After an 11 day crossing crew of 6 adults, 5 from Italy, 1 from France, experienced a thrilling crossing Posted on 4 Dec
Awaiting the advent of ARC+ arrivals
Teams from World Cruising Club arrived in Caribbean and are eagerly awaiting As the ARC and ARC+ fleets are looking out on the horizon and counting down the miles to the rum punch welcome, the teams from World Cruising Club have arrived in the Caribbean and are eagerly awaiting company! Posted on 2 Dec
ARC 2019: An ocean classic gets underway
Over a thousand sailors from fifty-three nations depart Las Palmas de Gran Canaria A great adventure has now begun for over a thousand sailors from fifty-three nations who departed Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Sunday to cross the Atlantic to Saint Lucia as part of ARC 2019, the world's largest transocean sailing rally. Posted on 25 Nov
Less than 48 hours until the ARC start!
ARC start now less than 48 hours away With the ARC start now less than 48 hours away participants are beginning to switch gears focus on the last stage of preparations. While the work of the past days and weeks has focused on everything from big ticket fixes, sail changes Posted on 23 Nov
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - Footer