Dreams come true as ARC get sets to sail

When Jonathan Shingleton was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 he decided he needed to look ahead – to have some focus in the future. Sailing across the Atlantic seemed suitably ambitious and life affirming – and on Sunday Jonathan’s dream will become reality.

The business consultant from Plymouth is skippering one of the 231 yachts that will be crossing the pond as part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).

The fleet of yachts ranges from 33ft to 104ft. Some are sailed by a couple, some by a crack racing crew.

The pontoons at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria are bustling. Provisions line sidedecks. Some boats are prudently washing and drying every carrot and packet of crisps. Others seem to be provisioning with nothing but beer.

Representatives from companies including Raymarine and Oyster are busy troubleshooting for clients. Neil Cox, ARC rigger extrordinaire, is busy tweaking shrouds and checking split pins. Admiral Marine insurance has hired Neil to give a fulll rig check to all their clients’ yachts. A stitch in time saves an expensive claim?

One skipper sweats in the sun,his Baby Blake in pieces around him. Another tries to locate his teenage son who was last seen with a girl he met at the fancy dress party last night.

The chandler is doing a roaring trade, especially following the morning’s flare demonstration when one type (with a matchbox-like striking mechanism) failed to go off.

And on board Kindness, Jonathan Shingleton ‘s Oyster 47, everything seems under control. The provisions that were ordered yesterday have been put away and after five years of planning he’s ready for the off.

‘We’re raising sponsorship for the Prostate Research Campaign,’ he explains. ‘I’m asking people to sponsor us for £5 per mile. We’ve got enough support to get 60 per cent of the way across, about £14,000. But then we’ll have to stop about 2,000 miles short,’ he jokes.

Email jonathan.shingleton@zap-email.com to find out how you can help him reach his target.

For more information on the ARC, visit http://arc.worldcruising.com

Don’t miss Yachting Monthly’s February issue to find out how you too could go from coastal cruiser to ocean crosser.