ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas Rallies
Hurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction across the northern Leeward Islands, including the British Virgin Islands and is now crossing the Bahamas and expected to hit Florida this weekend. The storm is the strongest to hit the region since records began, and early reports are that lives have been lost and damage to property has been significant.
Our thoughts are with the people of the affected islands and in particular with our friends in the British Virgin Islands and also those in the Bahamas and Florida, now in the path of the storm.
Currently it is too early to know of lives lost or damaged caused by Irma, or how soon the yachting and tourism infrastructure will be back-up and operating. World Cruising Club has already donated to the disaster relief efforts and will be reaching out to our global network of sailors to help as well, once it becomes clear how best to assist.
It is our hope that the tourism and marina infrastructure will be operating again by mid-November and that the ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas rallies can continue as planned. We are mindful that in these island communities many jobs and families are dependent on the income brought by tourism. However, our desire to help the communities recover does depend on how conditions are locally in the Fall.
We know from previous experience with cyclones in the Pacific that it takes time for communications to be established and for the extent of the damage to be fully understood. At present it is too early to make any decisions about the rally. Meanwhile we will be liaising with our partners in the BVI and the Bahamas and keeping the situation under review with further updates via our website, email and facebook