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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


2015 Caribbean 1500 Wraps up in Tortola.

After a three-day weather delay thanks to late-season Hurrican Kate, and a fast passage at sea for most, the 2015 Caribbean 1500 wrapped up in Tortola with the final prizegiving on Monday, November 23, just in time for crews to get home for Thanksgiving.2015 was a tricky year for the 1500 departure – traditionally the rally heads to sea on the first Sunday in November, but this year that was... Click here for more info..

Barbara Jean Sails In; Island Tour Yesterday.

After 11 days, all but two yachts have arrived into Nanny Cay with the 1500 after their 1,400-mile passage. The most recent, ‘Barbara Jean’, who arrived just this morning, sailed all the way into the marina.“That was great!” said Bob & Lorie Brothers as they ghosted into the dock. “Much easier than getting towed in with that little wind and swell!”‘Barbara Jean’ had lost their engine three... Click here for more info..

Nighttime Arrivals.

There was no sleep for the weary last night. ‘Yellowshirt’ rally staff Jake Albano had only just arrived yesterday morning, having sailed down to Tortola with Miles & Anne Poor on the Tayana 55 ‘Karina’, and spent most of the night greeting boats in Nanny Cay. Eight boats crossed the finish line last night between 11pm and 7am this morning, only one of which anchored out. Lee Button and crew... Click here for more info..
More news stories

Search Boat Logs..


Free Spirit - Friday, 20 November 2015 Terra Firma

We crossed the finish line yesterday in daylight as promised, 8 days and 23 hours from start to finish.The Caribbean 1500 staff met us at the dock at Nanny Cay with an ice cold rum punch welcome… sweet!We staggered ashore like a bunch of drunken read more...


Sail away - Sail Away Day 9

Still driving south down interstate I-65 under double reef main and staysail making 6-6.5kts.  I don’t know that had we been undamaged that we would be doing anything different than we are doing.  The fleet report shows a lot of read more...


Sail away - Sail Away Day 7

Regardless of my attempts to avoid fuel  filter issues by running only the generator or the main engine they have started.  With all this motion from these seas, my fuel is sufficiently mixed I think.  The weather forecast was a read more...


Free Spirit - Wednesday, 18 November 20 15 Doing the Wind Dance

The wind was fickle through the night so we motored on.Today it's the joys of Caribbean sailing with light wind and intermittent squalls.We put a head sail out, we take it in.We change headsails.Squalls hit, wind direction shifts and we adjust read more...


Free Spirit - Thursday, 19 November 2015 And on the ninth day?

After 2 nights of overcast skies, last night the stars and moon came out to greet us.We had light winds E 5-10 kts, making for a comfortable beam reach.The lightening show off the port bow got Steve's attention and he carefully stashed his hand read more...

More Logs...
The Bahamas division of the Caribbean 1500 fit our plans perfectly. An easy 3 or 4 day sail with the absolute beauty of Green Turtle Cay waiting on the other end. The rally organization was fantastic. I highly recommend this route.
Bob Norton, sy Amour V
We want to express our deepest appreciation for all the many efforts of the staff of the World Cruising Club, having just completed three amazing weeks of our first Caribbean 1500. The week of preparation was exactly what we needed to make our boat ready for the ocean passage that followed. Although the passage was exhilarating and challenging, with lightning storms and high seas, we felt prepared, and never unsafe. The memory of storms, rain, and exhaustion quickly faded, replaced by memories of the majesty of the ocean, wind, and starlit skies. The week of celebration in Nanny Cay was a perfect way to deepen the friendships made and to make improvements on the boat based on our experience of the ocean passage. Each of your staff was knowledgeable, engaging, and helpful, but special mention must be made of the team of Andy and Mia who cheerfully shared their passion for sailing, and who consistently went out of their way to ensure that all of us had a great experience.
Merrill Brown, sy Serenity

World Cruising Club

Caribbean 1500: Analyzing the Weather from the Passage South

We say this until we’re red in the face, but a passage south from the US East Coast can be brutal. The weather challenges in the fall – with late season hurricanes and early season winter gales – are mighty, and choosing a weather window is a mix of both skill and luck. You’ve got to know what to look for to make a break for it crossing the Gulf Stream. Beyond three or four days though, the forecast accuracy breaks down and it’s somewhat of a crapshoot.... more info

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