Last day in Las Palmas for ARC+ Crews

10 November 2018

With less than one day to go until the start of ARC+ 2018, crews from 72 boats sailing on the route to Saint Lucia are on the final countdown to departure from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Their Atlantic adventure is nearly upon them and it’s a busy time around the docks as final preparations are made for the first leg of their two stage crossing to Mindelo, Cape Verde.

Last night, crews from yachts taking part in ARC+ and ARC+ St. Vincent were invited to a Farewell Party in the Sotavento Centre. Crews mixed and mingled over drinks and tapas and made the most of their last few nights ashore. Following brief speeches from Andrew Bishop and Suzana Tetlow, fireworks ignited and the band, ‘We Rock’ soon had everyone up on the dance floor.


Today has been a very busy day for skippers and crews with passport check out and the Skippers’ Briefing taking place. There’s a buzz around the docks as final items are ticked off the endless jobs list and last minute provisions such as fresh fruit and vegetables are stowed on board.

The ARC yellowshirts were on the platform early this morning, ready to make the formal check out procedure by boat number as efficient as possible. Crew and passport details for every person in the fleet are checked thoroughly and those with crew arriving late, will do the same on the morning of the start.

ARC+ Mascot Ed the Iguana moved on to Lunni this morning for his annual trip across the Atlantic. Oscar and his family were very happy that Ed wanted to come sailing with them and he brings plenty of experience from all his ARC crossings! Ed will send blogs and a few pictures as well during the rally. Fair winds, Ed!

At the obligatory Skippers’ Briefing, representatives from each crew were given the ARC+ Sailing Instructions, a list of the handicap divisions with class splits and the latest weather and radio net information. World Cruising Club's Andrew Bishop led the briefing, welcoming crews and running through the procedures for tomorrows start.

ARC meteorologist Chris Tibbs then gave the all-important weather forecast, running through the conditions that crews can expect for the first week at sea. For tomorrow’s start, high pressure to the west will generate a light N-NE breeze to see the fleet away from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, set to increase during the afternoon. It should be a pleasant introduction to their crossing, with the wind due to increase on Monday and Tuesday, before easing on Wednesday. As the front runners of the fleet start to approach Cape Verde they will then see an increase in wind funnelling the towards Mindelo.

The start times of ARC+ 2018 on Sunday 11 November will be as follows:

1245 Start 1: Multihull Division 

1300 Start 2: All other Divisions

The best spot on shore to watch the superb spectacle of the boats departure is from the seafront promenade (Avenida Marítima) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The fleet can be tracked on the YB Races app and Fleet Viewer page, plus many boats will use their YB Trackers to keep in touch with those at home by sending messages, and posts to social media via the YB Connect app.