This annual transatlantic rally starting each November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has now become the most popular way to cross the Atlantic. The largest transocean sailing event in the world, every year the ARC brings together over 300 yachts from all over the world. The Caribbean destination is Rodney Bay in St. Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in the Lesser Antilles. The 2700 nautical mile passage on the NE tradewind route takes on average between 12 and 24 days.
The ARC is open to cruising monohulls from 27ft (8.23m) LOA and cruising catamarans from 25ft to 60ft (7.62 – 18.29m) LOA, with a minimum crew of two. The World Cruising handicap is used to calculate results in the cruising classes, in which motoring is permitted. A racing class, rated under the IRC System, is run for those wanting more a competitive crossing, under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Yachts in this class may be sponsored. Motor yachts can also participate in the ARC in a separate division.
Conceived as a friendly race for cruising yachts to make the Atlantic crossing both safer and more enjoyable, participating yachts must carry a range of safety equipment including a life raft, EPIRB and VHF radio. Daily radio nets contribute further to the safety of participants. The presence of experienced sailors is another incentive for those with little offshore experience.
The ARC has a special flavour, which successfully combines racers with cruisers, old with young, and provides entertainment for all. A wide ranging programme of entertainment takes place both before the start and after the finish. The ARC enjoys the support of the Tourist Authority of Gran Canaria, the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Alcorde Nautica and the St. Lucia Board of Tourism.