The World ARC round the world rally currently has boats sailing on routes across the Pacific and in the Caribbean. There is now a significant impact from COVID-19 health measures on the ability to move freely around the world by yacht. Air travel restrictions, border closures, plus limits on free-movement and social contact are in place as countries around the world attempt to control the spread of the virus. World Cruising Club are committed to the health and welfare of our participants, and are working with our teams in the field and with our local agents to ensure that boats and crews can get to safe locations to lay-up and repatriate crews.
It is currently not possible to continue our journey across the Pacific for World ARC 2020/21 and the rally has been suspended in French Polynesia. It may be possible to continue the route later in the year, however this is subject to the lifting of travel embargoes and there being sufficient assurance that crews are healthy before going to sea. There is also a limited season in which to complete the journey due to the Pacific cyclone risk after October.
The 2019 rally boats are gathered in Grenada. Due to border closures it will not be possible to cruise to Saint Lucia as planned and the rally will end in Grenada. This will enable boats to be securely laid up and crews to return home.
As COVID-19, restrictions are constantly changing, we are advising crew to check all travel plans in advance of travel via government and airline websites. The World Cruising Club team in Cowes are also available to assist with advice.
Plans for the 2021 rally are going ahead as it is anticipated that the public health emergency to have passed by then. However, it is likely to be late summer 2020 before we know what the long term effects are in ports on the route and will adjust our plans to suit.