World Cruising Club has announced to skippers today that the ARC Caribbean 1500 will continue as per the published schedule to Nanny Cay, Tortola this November.
Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm to hit the Leeward Islands in decades, caused widespread damage to the BVIs, surrounding Caribbean islands and beyond. World Cruising Club has been keen to ensure that the rally going to the BVI should benefit the community there, rather than add to their burdens, and that the marina should be a safe and secure place to take boats on the annual passage. As communications have slowly been restored, a clearer picture of the effects of Hurricane Irma has emerged, and the viability of the best arrival port has been considered to ensure another successful edition of the ARC Caribbean 1500 takes place in 2017.
In recent days World Cruising Club has been in close contact with the team at Nanny Cay Marina to discuss the implications of the rally’s planned arrival, and the best way to support the community there. The message received is that the community wants visitors to return, and that they will be open for business and able to give a warm welcome to returning boaters.
Here's what Cameron McColl of Nanny Cay Marina wanted to say to the rally fleet.
"Nanny Cay took a major hit from Hurricane Irma, but within 7 days our team has restored power, water, septic systems, and the Beach Bar is already open serving cold beer! We have plenty of brand new docks in the new outer marina and we expect to be open for business again within the next two weeks. We look forward to welcoming the Caribbean 1500 and to running a full series of yachting events throughout the upcoming winter season."
The 2017 edition of the ARC Caribbean 1500 will depart from Ocean Yacht Marina in Portsmouth Virginia on November 5 (weather dependent) following a week-long pre-departure programme for skippers and crews. Social evenings, safety demonstrations and seminars will bring the rally fleet together before they set off for the 1500nm passage to Nanny Cay, Tortola. On arrival, the rally team greet the boats with a warm welcome and ice cold rum punch.
World Cruising Club's director Jeremy Wyatt commented:
"The best way as sailors that we can help the communities rebuild, is to visit and spend in the economy. The communities need and want visitors; World Cruising Club are encouraging participants to be sympathetic to the efforts of the communities in the BVI and give their support by sailing to the islands, this Fall. The islands may still bear the scars left by Irma, but the welcome will be as warm as always once crews step ashore."