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The longest-running ocean crossing rally in North America, the '1500' is a must-do for many cruisers. The ARC Caribbean 1500 fleet sails from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The start port and dates make the most of the available weather to maximize your Caribbean sailing, and our week-long pre-departure program will get you relaxed and ready for cruising.

Without a doubt the most difficult part of getting to the Caribbean is timing the weather window before departure. Fall on the East Coast is squeezed between late summer hurricane season and early winter gale season. By joining the 1500, you can rest assured that the ‘experts’ are there to take the pressure off of that decision. Our support team consists of professional ocean sailors working closely with our weather forecasters at WRI to ensure the fleet makes it across the Gulf Stream and into warmer waters in the best possible conditions.

What’s included:

Before you even get to the start, we help with your preparations by providing a comprehensive Rally Handbook and regular newsletters, and we’re here to help you find crew and answer your questions by phone or email.

From Time of Registration:
● West Marine discounts via the Annapolis store
● Bound Rally Handbook, including local info and ocean sailing tips
● Free rig inspections anytime at Port Annapolis Marina
● Access to World Cruising Club’s extensive online resources for offshore sailing
● Discounted chart and pilot book ordering through website

In Portsmouth VA:
● 2 free nights dockage at Ocean Marine Yacht Center
● Welcome Pack
● ARC Caribbean 1500 boat flag
● One issue of SAIL Magazine and an annual subscription for each skipper and crew member
● Safety equipment inspection
● Lecture program (Gulf Stream crossing, rigging, weather, provisioning, first aid)
● Rig inspections by Southbound Yacht Rigging
● Discounted fuel polishing at Ocean Marine Yacht Center
● Safety demonstration (live flare and liferaft demonstration)
● Comprehensive social program nightly
● Skippers’ Briefing
● Welcome Party
● Farewell Party

On passage at sea:
● Float plan filed with USCG and Virgin Islands Search & Rescue (VISAR)
● Position reporting
● Radio net
● Daily weather forecast sent by email
● Tracking of yachts, including loan of a satellite tracker
● Display of positions on ARC Caribbean 1500 event website

In Nanny Cay:
● Welcome on arrival
● Customs clearance at Nanny Cay – avoid stopping at Soper’s Hole
● Local tourist information
● Full social program nightly
● ARC Caribbean 1500 awards ceremony
● 2 days free docking at Nanny Cay on arrival
● Lectures on topics relating to cruising the Caribbean


Tough leg to USA.

With most of the fleet now pleased to be ashore since starting from Bermuda last Monday we are starting to receive reports that it was a tough leg for everyone.  There wasn't much of the usual blogging from the boats at sea, giving updates along the way as crews were too busy & tired from the weather conditions at sea.  Vin, skipper of the Lagoon 450 'GEM', put it quite simply,... Click here for more info..

Weather Delay in Portsmouth, and Surprise Guest Mario Vittone!.

As the BVI Fleet heads to the starting line, the Portsmouth fleet continues to wait.“It’s disappointing,” said Ian Clarke, skipper of Zoom, “but then that’s ocean sailing. Sometimes it pays to be patient.”“There’s a named storm out there!” said one other crewmember. “I’m sure our insurance wouldn’t be too thrilled with us leaving either.”So now we wait. Unfortunately, we may be waiting a while.... Click here for more info..

ARC Europe Fleet Preparing in Portsmouth.

The Rally Office officially opened this morning at Ocean Marine Yacht Center in historic Portsmouth, Virginia. The local forecast is offering gorgeous late spring weather, with cool mornings and evenings and warm, sunny days. But with a potential tropical system brewing off the coast of Florida, weather, as usual, is on everyone's mind.Six boats are set to take part in the USA start of ARC... Click here for more info..
More news stories

Search Boat Logs..


Lone Star - Fwd: Nanny Cay

The crew of Lone Star completed the transit from Portsmouth, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola at 1512 hours on the 12th of November.  We were first across the finish line for the racing division boats.  Do not know how we will fare after we read more...


Aviva - Land Ho!!

After 48 hours of motoring through calm waters, it was with great pleasure that we turn off the engine last night with 8-10 knots of east wind, able to sail our final night and day.After dark, off the transom in the water churned up by the prop, we read more...


Lone Star - arrival at Nanny Cay

The crew of Lone Star completed the transit from Portsmouth, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola at 1512 hours on the 12th of November. We were first across the finish line for the racing division boats. Do not know how we will fare after we turn in our read more...


Aviva - Fish story

As you might infer from our earlier blog post containing haiku, we caught a mahi on Nov 12.What a beautiful fish!It measured 27 inches.It was hard to do it, but we are fish-eaters, so we processed and had a fish dinner, with two more dinners in the read more...


Opportunity - Almost there!

Hi Everybody,It's Friday morning, the 12 day out, and we are within 60 miles of Tortola! It is promising to be another warm sunny day, our 12th in a row. The moon is now on the wane, but has also been a faithful presence each night, as have many read more...

More Logs...
Guys it was a great event and I'm going to, with my big mouth, tell the World! Although I excel in sailing through no wind, to be able to motor thru the light parts sure keep the crews moral up. Loved it all and thanks.
Randy West, sy Fat Cat
We have just had our safety equipment inspection and that alone has been worth the event entry fee!
Heidi Love, sy Centime

World Cruising Club

Tania Aebi ARC Europe Talk

Tania Aebi spoke at the ARC Europe Rally in Bermuda last Sunday, and Andy Schell recorded it for a podcast. Tania was skippering Jojo Maria, a Beneteau on it's way back to New York from the Caribbean. During the Bermuda stopover she regaled the packed house of crew with her tales of circumnavigating in her 26-foot Contessa in the 1980's at age 18.... more info

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