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Week two countdown and ARC preparations

Participants woke to blue skies and near perfect conditions here in Gran Canaria at the start of the second week of the 37th ARC. There’s a sense of excitement as the countdown to the world’s largest sailing rally looms. It’s also the final week of the comprehensive ARC seminar programme, and this morning, with the sun shining high above the spectacle of ARC yachts in Las Palmas Marina, over 40 participants joined Stokey Woodall’s workshop to learn how to set up a sextant and take a sun sight. “It was a great turnout,” said the 300,000 nm ocean sailor, author and raconteur, who will also run another workshop this week.

“It’s a week to go until the start of the 2022 ARC and crews are beginning to focus on serious preparations,” says World’s Cruising’s Jeremy Wyatt. “Some of the charter boat crews don’t arrive until later in the week and we will definitely see the pressure build at that point. There will be last-minute jobs to do, final provisions to go on board, and of course, the all-important safety equipment inspections, crew safety briefings and sailing days. Some of the boats will go out for shakedown to make sure their crew are familiar with the boat.”

It's busy on the docks with crew members arriving to join boats for the start of their Atlantic adventure. One such team is More Sailing, which has two brand-new Excess 15 charter boats to get ready for the crossing. All their crew members arrived yesterday in good time before the start and to familiarise themselves with the boats, as well as help prepare and cook the food for their crossing.

With 24 children sailing this year on 16 family boats, many joined the ARC Kids Club at the Federacion de Vela to spend the morning sailing in perfect light-wind conditions with their new-found rally friends. Tamira Snell on the French Lagoon 450 Joanna is sailing with young children on board so was happy to have a little free time today to continue with her preparations. “It’s been quite hectic as we also have to play with the children as well as prepare the boat, so we work quite a lot at night when they’ve gone to bed. You have to be quite flexible and patient in terms of your planning, but it works well,” she smiled.

As the sun goes down and some of the jobs on the list have been ticked off, it is time to gather for the popular ARC Sundowner, or join a Crew Supper at Restaurant Embarcadero. Tomorrow, the seminar programme continues with a range of topics including: Rigging, Management of Emergencies, Emergency Navigation, Downwind Sailing Tips and Provisioning.

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