The ARC+ and ARC+ St Vincent programme in Las Palmas kicked off in style on Friday evening with a fantastic Welcome Party at the ‘El Pantalan’ terrace restaurant at the southern end of the marina. More than 80% of the rally boats have now arrived, and there is already a very friendly atmosphere amongst the crews who have got to know each other very quickly. The participants from ARC+ and ARC+St Vincent enjoyed drinks and tapas on the terrace whilst local entertainer and musician Silviu danced and sung amid the crowd.
Saturday morning continued with the rally check in on the ARC platform, and the ARC Shop was busy with crews registering for all the many seminars, tours and dinners taking place over the next week or so before the starts.
This year’s ARC rallies sees a record number of children taking part in the Atlantic crossing, with nearly 60 kids from 32 boats across the ARC+ and ARC fleets. These ever-enthusiastic family boats gathered in the afternoon for the Kids Beach Games taking place with World Cruising Club team support right next to the marina. They continued after the Beach Games with a fantastic spread of food and drinks at the Family BBQ at Club Varadero restaurant and bar.
Saturday evening was also the first of many ‘ARC Sundowner’ Happy Hour sessions, which take place most nights from 18:30 – 20:00 in the Federacion de Vela dinghy park next to the ARC offices. An informal start to the evening, crews were treated to a couple of drinks and some huge Spanish paella courtesy of local gourmet food providers Suarez Yanez.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, we already have more than 40 crews signed up to take part in the amazing ARC Forest Project excursion – a local re-forestation initiative started by World Cruising back in 2010 in coordination with non-profit organisation Foresta, which plants new trees in much needed local highland areas; brings awareness to Gran Canaria’s deforestation and helps to offset the relatively small amount of carbon emissions created by the rally boats during their Atlantic crossing.
In the evening the first ARC+ Crew Supper takes place at Embarcadero Restaurant in the marina - a great opportunity for all the boats to get to know each other over a bite to eat and a few drinks.
All in all its been a very friendly and busy start to the ARC+ programmes here in Las Palmas!