We take the safety of participants in all of our rallies very seriously. Over 450 boats and 1,800 people sail in World Cruising Club rallies each year. The job of a rally organiser is to provide a safe framework for participants, and to provide them with the information they need to make safe decisions for their boat and crew.
All participants will receive a comprehensive Rally Handbook when they join the rally. This includes valuable information and advice for preparing your boat and crew to voyage safely offshore.
“Fantastic organisation and support, fabulous fun and well organised. It adds an enormous level of safety” Bob Ramsay, yacht Texas T (GBR) ARC 2011
We require all of the rally boats to carry a minimum quantity and quality of safety and communications equipment, and to have undertaken training in using that equipment, heavy weather sailing techniques, and managing emergencies. Our team of experienced safety equipment inspectors will come onboard and check your equipment before the start of the rally, and of course, we’re always happy to help new cruisers talk through decisions about safety and communications at sea.
We expect the boat to carry a range of safety equipment that is fit for purpose and ready to use. Our requirements are based on the ISAF standards, and include: an offshore liferaft with a more than 24 hour pack, 406MHz EPIRB, a means of sending and receiving email at sea (satellite phone or SSB/pactor), AIS receiver and man-overboard equipment. We also require every person onboard to have an inflatable combined lifejacket-harness (PFD) with a spray hood, crotch strap and safety line. Download a PDF of the Safety Equipment Requirements to learn more.
ARC Baltic Safety Equipment
ARC Baltic incorporates passages of up to 50nm offshore and 200nm long, making the rally more than just daily coastal hops. Whilst there will be no official safety check at the start of the rally adherence to the Safety Equipment Requirements is strongly recommended and skippers will be required to sign a declaration that their boat is fit for the purpose of ARC Baltic. For yachts based in the Baltic, or shipped to Germany for the start, a liferaft equipped with a “less than 24 hour” survival pack is accepted.
Each boat has to have two people on board, including the skipper (captain). We recommend that the skipper and at least one other person on board should have undertaken training within the last 5 years on a range of topics including using the safety and communications equipment, heavy weather sailing techniques and managing emergencies. The World Sailing Offshore Sea Survival and related courses are ideal.
Our training partner in the UK is Hamble School of Yachting. They provide a wide range of at-sea and classroom courses, and offer special discounted weekend sea safety courses for World Cruising Club rally participants. For more details, call Hamble on +44 (0)23 8045 2668. The World Sailing link above provides details of training centres outside of the UK.
The skipper and one crew member of each yacht must complete a non-stop coastal or off-shore voyage of at least 200 nautical miles on board the yacht on which they will be participating. Proof of other similar sailing experience will be accepted. This voyage is a shake-down for the boat and crew, and should highlight any training needs for the crew and work required for the boat. As such, it makes sense for as many of the crew as possible to have undertaken the qualifying passage..
Stay in Touch
Every boat has the option to purchase a satellite tracker for the rally, so family and friends can follow your progress. In an emergency we can use the tracker to remotely monitor the boat, relaying location information to the emergency services. Having a satellite phone or SSB radio with Pactor modem allows the boat to receive weather forecasts, and also to send blogs and pictures to be published on the rally website.
Going Further Offshore?
If you are considering sailing longer offshore passages, then take a look at World Cruising Club's safety standards for offshore rallies, such as the ARC. These requirements are based on the World Sailing Special Regulations which draw on lessons learnt from ocean sailing events over the last 30 years. Read on below, and watch the accompanying video to get familiar with the full offshore standards, and contact us if you have any questions.
Our rally team will be with you in port, ready to welcome you in and to help with any problems; from finding an engineer to recommending a restaurant, as well as acting as the central point of contact in an emergency.
Most people join a World Cruising Club rally for the security and peace of mind of an organised event; for the camaraderie and friendship of a large group of like-minded people; and for the fun of sailing in a fleet of boats. It’s as much fun for experienced sailors as for those new to ocean sailing.