The numbers behind the ARC - plus some of the most famous incidents

To find out how the yachts did in the 2005 ARC click here

ARC facts and figures

FOR 2005

ARC Fleet Breakdown
Average length overall is 14.75m (48ft), very similar to last year.
Boats below 12m (40ft) make up 13% (32 boats) of the fleet, the same as 2004 & 2003
There are 115 yachts between 12 to 15m, (40-46ft), 49% of the overall fleet, in comparison to only 38% of the overall fleet in 2004.
29% of the fleet are over 17m (56ft) LOA, compared to 25% in ARC2004
Number of new builds this year: 30 (compared to 34 in ’04, and 40 in ’03)

Which Boats?
Beneteau have the largest number of yachts in the fleet at 26, followed by Hallberg Rassy and Jeanneau with 20.
Other yards well represented are: Nautor Swan – 15; Oyster – 14; Bavaria – 13
The largest entry from a single design goes to the Beneteau First 40.7, with 8 entries.
There are 30 entries in the Racing Division, Peter Vroon’s new Lutra 56 – Formidable 3 NED, and the current Round Britain and Ireland Record holder – Solune – Jean-Pierre Chomette FRA. Also of interest in the Racing Division are the all-female Turkish team on yacht Odienne, a Dufour 40, and Team BLESMA on board Farr 65 Spirit of Juno, all of whom are amputees, each with at least one artificial limb.


Longest Crossing Time
The yacht “Paper Moon” took over one year! They started in ARC2003, turned back the same day after hitting a submerged object, which damaged their keel. They restarted next year so which means they took 12 months and 18 days to cross.

In 1986 “Dunkers” an Achilles 24 [7.40m] took 33.5 days.

Biggest Yachts : –
Tenacious 65.00 Barque 2003 [Jubilee Sailing Trust ship]
Sojana 38.00 Farr 115 2004
ACT IV 35.93 One off 1995
Leopard of London 29.49 Reichel Pugh 2004
Smallest Yachts
Raggles 6.70 Hurley 22 28days 13hrs 1986

Total number of yachts and competitors in the ARC

Excluding 2005 – the answer is 3234 yachts
Most entries was in 1999 – 237 starters, and 235 finished (2 returned to Las Palmas).
Number of sailors is estimated at 14,500

Year Nr Entries
1986 204
1987 190
1988 157
1989 144
1990 120
1991 116
1992 105
1993 97
1994 150
1995 171
1996 147
1997 161
1998 170
1999 235
2000 215
2001 220
2002 217
2003 225
2004 190

2005 230 [as at 19 Oct 05]

Boatyards with the most entries
Amel Super Maramu is the most frequent design (20 off)
Other yachts making regular appearances :
Oyster 56
Beneteau Oceanis 473

Most frequently occurring yards are Beneteau, Oyster and Hallberg Rassy

Length of ARC Yachts [all LOA in m]
Year Average Median
1986 11.89 11.60
1987 12.27 11.88
1989 13.14 12.79
1990 13.98 13.85
1991 14.11 13.28
1992 13.05 12.15
1993 13.62 13.17
1994 13.78 13.18
1995 13.84 13.26
1996 13.83 13.24
1997 13.76 13.35
1998 14.23 14.00
1999 13.92 13.34
2000 14.39 13.70
2001 14.90 14.08
2002 14.53 13.95
2003 14.94 13.95
2004 15.14 14.50
2005 14.79 14.02

Incidents – Yachts Lost at Sea
1987 Bamaca Westerly 33 drove onto reef off Barbados
1988 Freedom Bavaria 38 drove onto reef off Barbados
1990 Chaot broke rudder stock, yacht abandoned
1998 Harlequin Dehler 41 damaged rudder stock, yacht abandoned
2002 F2 Hunter Legend 450 broke rudder stock, yacht abandoned

ARC yachts have also been involved in rescuing crews from non-ARC yachts which sank – saving the crew of Cap d’Ambre in 1993 and Sagitair in 2001 both of which had rudder failures.

Incidents – Deaths in the ARC
There has only been one death : 2002: Philip Hitchcock drowned after fallen over board.

There was a death in 1997 in Las Palmas marina. However this person/yacht was not taking part in the ARC. There have been no other deaths in the ARC, although there was a death onboard an American yacht in Expo98 which was sailing across with the ARC. Death caused by electric shock received whilst attempting to mend a radar set.

Number of staff working for the ARC
In our office in Cowes we have a team of 5 working on all our events – ARC, ARC Europe, Rally Portugal, Classic Malts Cruise. In Las Palmas this number increases to 14.

Youngest and the Oldest Participants
The youngest was Rosie Pickering in ARC2004 who celebrated her first birthday on the day of the start.

Oldest skipper – Aubrey Long (78) in ARC 91 – also winner on handicap!

Some of the Amusing Stories from the last 20 Years

Choy-Choy was asleep onboard Lionheart in ARC86, curled up in the mainsail. The sail was hoist and the cat went over. The crew instituted “C-O-B” and managed to recover their pet.

Wingwalker became Wave walker! – 1989
During a calm patch when the yacht was motoring, Roy Butler of “Windwalker” came on deck, lost his footing and fell overboard. While falling he managed to grab one of the spinnaker sheets and also shout as loud as he could to alert the rest of the crew. Fortunately he was heard and the others managed to slow down the boat, while Roy somehow pulled himself up the sheet he was still clutching. He was instantly nicknamed “Wavewalker”.

First Blind Skipper
Blind sailor Richard Horton-Fawkes skippered Sigma 38 Incitatus in ARC92.

Single-Handed Skipper – ARC93
The crew of Amber Nectar had to abandon the yacht after it lost its rudder one week after the start and hitch a ride on a tanker heading for West Africa. The three crew were transferred, but the skipper of Amber Nectar, Anthony Stubbs, refused to leave his disabled yacht and informed the US Coast Guard, who were coordinating the operation, that he had enough provisions for two months and would effect emergency repairs. Rigging a jury rudder with two oars, he single-handed the remaining 2000 miles to St.Lucia.

“Bier-varia” 46 in ARC 2001
Baer II, a German registered Bavaria 46 crossed the finish line today at 15:51:56. The yacht made an amazing spectacle – surrounding the deck was a line of bunting made up of lager cans! The bunting crossed the cockpit, carried on around the guard rails and was apparently made up of 250 cans which had been consumed on the voyage by the four crew men! Apparently there were originally 400 cans but many were lost on the way!

St.Lucian Wedding ARC95
During the ARC there have been several engagements, but only one actual wedding;
German sailor Axel Wille of Milonga proposed to his girlfriend in St.Lucia and wanted to get married right away. A special license was arranged quickly by the St.Lucia Tourist Board and the couple were married during the ARC onboard their yacht in Rodney Bay.

MOB rescued after 18 hours in the water ARC99
Four ARC99 yachts helped find a MOB survivor alive after 18 hours in the water. Skipper Petter Noreng from Norwegian yacht Jagermeister was rescued alive after 18 hours in the Atlantic Ocean. The 11-metre one design yacht, crewed by Petter Noreng, Ola Strand Andersen, Karl Kjorstad and Rob Wilson was crossing the Atlantic – at the same time as World Cruising Club’s ARC99 Rally, the largest ever trans-ocean crossing – when it put out a MAYDAY for a Man Over Board at 0100 hours UTC Monday 06 December, after he was knocked over-board by the yacht’s boom in a storm squall.

First at the scene of the reported incident was yacht ARC yacht Mazy (Arcona 40DS). Arriving shortly after were three other ARC yachts: Sonja (Bavaria 50), Barefoot (Oyster 485) and Hildring (Jeanneau 42). All three yachts were over four hours from the scene when they diverted from their course to Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia – the final destination of the 2,700 mile crossing from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. At the scene Mazy co-ordinated all search communications between the ARC yachts and the USA coast guard aircraft. Approximately 16 hours after the reported time of the Man Over Board, with heavy rain settling in and darkness approaching, the search was undergoing its last attempt, when yacht Norweigan Hildring spotted Petter Noreng. Only a few minutes later Petter was on-board Hildring alive but very tired.