Four yachts in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers had to turn back

Four yachts of the 224 strong Atlantic Rally for Cruisers fleet had to turn back to Las palmas, Gran Canaria, just hours after the ARC started. Wild Alliance, a Formosa 51, was forced to make a rapid return to the dockside, narrowly averting a fire on board.

Gusty conditions off the south of Gran Canaria, the infamous Canarian Wind Acceleration Zones, also took a toll on the fleet, with Selene B and Fica Fira both returning to make repairs to damaged sails. Unfortunately, Catana 522OC Nidari has had to withdraw from the ARC, having suffered a mast failure after the start and is now back in Las Palmas. The remaining yachts – Soundsphere, Lurata, Talina and Pim are hoping to restart later today (21-Nov) after making repairs to autopilots or sails.

Otherwise the 20th Edition of the ARC, ARC2005, began in spectacular style as 224 boats from 25 nations sailed across the starting line. Vencedora, the Spanish Navy Ship acting as Committee boat, was on station with the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaira laying the pin end of the line close to the shore.

Of the cruising boats Richard Matthew’s Oystercatcher XXV was the first to cross the line, with Bowman 42, Eternity of Hamble hard on their heels.  Second Wind was third across the line in a light force 3 from the East North East, which gradually freed a little further down the course enabling many yachts to set their spinnakers and cruising chutes.