With less than 24 hours to the start of ARC 2023, the docks are buzzing with activity ahead of the fleet’s 2700NM Atlantic Crossing to Saint Lucia. Final provisions are being stowed onboard, last-minute jobs are being completed and skippers are going through the check-out process with the World Cruising Club team and the local Port Authorities.
From 1030 tomorrow morning, boats will slip their lines in Marina Las Palmas and pass through the ‘start gates’ located at the marina entrance. Heading south out of the marina the participants will head towards Rayo, the Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel which forms the start line. The fleet has been split into three classes for the start:
- 1230 – Division IV (Multihulls) & Division V (Open)
- 1245 – Division II (IRC Racing)
- 1300 – Division I (Cruising)
At today’s skippers’ briefing, meteorologist Chris Tibbs outlined the expected conditions for the start and the first week at sea. With a low-pressure system currently over the Azores and a large low in the mid-Atlantic, we are expecting light winds (10-15 knots) for the start of the rally and the first couple of days of the crossing. With a forecast south easterly breeze it is likely to be an upwind start, but as the fleet head south towards the acceleration zone, the wind is likely to back to the north and possibly increase to 15-20 knots.
The traditional ‘sail south until the butter melts’ route is likely to be the most favourable.
We will be live streaming the boats leaving the marina on Facebook around 1130, and then live from the start line, on the water, around 1220, 1240 and 1250.
Don’t miss a thing – follow the fleet online through the World Cruising Club website or download the ‘YB Races’ App for free, available on your phone, to keep track of all the ARC yachts as they start their journey!