SAINT LUCIA (November 10, 2014) – The second edition ARC+ Cape Verde set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 9th November, bound for Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands. A brisk northerly wind provided near perfect sailing, with just a one metre swell making it a little rock and roll for some. The 51 boat fleet are set to enjoy some textbook tradewind sailing for the first part of their Atlantic crossing.
The ARC+ route option is part of the 2014 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and was introduced for the first time last year to give sailors in the world’s most popular transocean rally a choice of routes across the Atlantic. ARC+ sees the fleet sail to the Cape Verdes, and following the 3-5 day stopover in Mindelo, the yachts will re-group and head off across the Atlantic on 19 November bound for Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia.
This year there are boats registered from 22 countries around the globe including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the USA. Crew on board represent 26 different nationalities and are aged from 8 months to 84 years old. In fact, for the first time, the oldest and youngest participants are sailing on the same yacht, Makena (USA).
There are 9 children under the age of 16 as well as four-legged crew members Perkan the dog on Filizi(GRE) and Boris the cat on Lily (GBR). Regular ARC mascot "Ed the Iguana" will visit the Cape Verdes for the first time and make his annual ocean crossing with the crew of Delphia (NED).
During their time in Las Palmas, crews have enjoyed a pre-departure programme of seminars, safety inspections and social functions.
As the ARC+ fleet left Sunday, the pre-departure programme has only just begun for the crews of the ARC fleet sailing directly to Saint Lucia on 23 November. Before their own start in two weeks’ time, ARC Crews can look forward to a full programme of preparation seminars and social activities. Safety inspections are already underway and during the next two weeks, there are seminars run daily covering useful topics for ocean sailing including provisioning, communications, weather and sailing techniques.