2012 ARC Blog

Follow the start and progress of the 2012 ARC with updates by senior editor Meredith Laitos, on location in Gran Canaria. Brought to you by SAIL and the World Cruising Club.
Author:
Publish date:
ARCskippers%20meet_0
2012%20ARC%20BLOG_600

2012 ARC Start Delayed

At the Saturday morning skippers’ briefing in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with over 500 participants in attendance, ARC managing director Andrew Bishop announced that the World Cruising Club is postponing the start of the ARC by 48 hours to wait out a low-pressure system that is forecast to bring high winds on the nose. This is the first time since 1989 the organization has decided to revise the start. Judging by the collective sigh of relief followed by applause, the ARC skippers were not disappointed.

ARCskippers%20meet2_0

“I can sense an air of relief and excitement,” Bishop announced from the podium at the Hotel Santa Catalina in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. “This was not an easy decision and we respect the choice of any skipper who decides to start at the original start time. Whilst all yachts may experience these kinds of conditions at some point across the ocean, we’re talking about hard winds on the nose with swell and rainfall past dusk. We’re not anxious to send cruisers into that.

Rather than departing Las Palmas for St. Lucia on Sunday, November 25, boats will now depart on Tuesday, November 27. All divisions will still have the option to start on Sunday, and the ARC will record two separate times for the two fleets. For larger sailboats with professional crew on board, some of whom are hoping to break ARC records, this system may actually be favorable. For cruisers hoping to enjoy the crossing and keep their crew and/or family happy, they are happy to wait out the storm.

Former Caribbean 1500 organizer Rick Palm is sailing on board the USA-flagged Saga 43 Kinship with skipper Tim Szabo. After hearing the news of the delay, Palm said, “Most people get a little seasick the first couple of days out, so it’s better to start on a high. That way, if and when you hit a nasty system, at least you’re in the swing of things.”

ARC_weather_0

Accordingly to WCC weatherman Chris Tibbs, the low pressure system to the northwest of Gran Canaria is predicted to bring southerly winds of 25 knots or more, with 35 knots in the acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. It will also bring a cold front and rain showers through on Sunday night, with 6-meter waves. While not unmanageable, Tibbs noted that the conditions are likely to be uncomfortable.

Following Tuesday’s start, boats will have until Thursday, December 20, at 1200 local time to clear into St. Lucia. To follow their progress along the way, visit worldcruising.com/arc.

Related

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more