Press Release:– The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), yesterday marked the official opening of the 34th edition of the world’s largest trans-ocean rally.
The opening is a favourite with ARC participants as they follow a lively carnival-like procession around the marina, representing their countries with national flags.
This year was particularly special as the High Commissioner for Saint Lucia in London, H.E. Guy Mayers, along with a large group of Saint Lucians wearing colourful national dress joined principal flag bearers for Spain, Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands to lead hundreds of ARC crews around Las Palmas Marina.
The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the event’s arrival in the beautiful tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, and the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence.
As a special year, Guy Mayers, High Commissioner for Saint Lucia in London, brought together a group of Saint Lucians from London to witness what makes the ARC such a defining experience in its voyage to Saint Lucia’s shores.
“In Saint Lucia you will witness unique hospitality,” Mr. Mayers said. “I want to thank all of you who have chosen to be part of this. We welcome you with open arms and will continue to grow the ARC together. Thank you for choosing Saint Lucia. We wish you well across the ocean.”
On Nov. 24, the ocean adventure begins. The multinational ARC fleet will set off this year with 190 entries from 35 different countries. Twenty-two boats will be sailing with children, and 44 will be part of a family adventure this year, with the youngest crew member being 3 years old on the German boat, Gentoo.
At an average cruising speed, boats can expect to arrive in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia in 18 to 21 days. Boats in the competitive racing division will arrive sooner.
One special crew to follow this year is the ARC Youth Team, bringing 12 together sailors aged 18-30 from Gran Canaria, Saint Lucia and the UK to sail on board a 72-foot yacht, Challenger 1. They will be accompanied by a professional skipper and mate, and two qualified watch leaders.