More berths added

Competition between rival companies offering Atlantic rally crossings is hotting up.

Just weeks after Yachting Monthly revealed the launch of a new company promoting a crossing for mini-cruisers (YM February issue News), the best-known existing rally organiser has announced that 40 extra pontoon berths has been added to its kick-off port.

The extra pontoon spaces for ARC 2013 boats in Las Palmas marina will allow even more yachts to join World Cruising Club’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers which sails to St Lucia in the Caribbean: a spokeswoman told YM she expected up to 270 boats: the figure is usually around 230.

‘2013 is set to be the biggest ever edition, with places being snapped up quicker than ever before,’ she said. ‘Since entries opened 4 months ago, more than 200 yachts have already registered to be on the start line on 24th November 2013.’

Meanwhile the Christmas Caribbean Rally, launched by businessman and ocean yachtsman John Simpson, is expecting around 130 boats to make their crossing from Lanzarote on 16 December to Antigua.

Unlike the ARC, which has a minimum LOA stipulation of 27ft, the CCR is open to smaller boats with an LOA entry level of just 21ft, a feasible length, says Simpson, who cites the Mini-Transat yachts.
The ARC crossing is slightly shorter at around 2,700 nautical miles, than the CCR’s which is 2,850.

The first ARC, held in 1986, saw 204 boats leave Las Palmas.
‘It has remained in the record books ever since as the largest transocean sailing event. Today, crews of yachts sailing under the flags of 30 countries continue to uphold the ARCs global status,’ the spokeswoman added.

That could all be about to change