Today saw the opening of the ARC+ Office in Las Palmas where the participants of the sixth ARC+ St. Lucia were met with a warm welcome by the highly experienced and knowledgeable ‘yellow shirt’ team on this year’s rally. With the huge success of the first ARC+ St. Vincent route last year this route is running again this year and will see 23 boats follow the same programme to Cape Verde. The combined fleet in Las Palmas now numbers 100 boats – the most ever on the ARC+ route.
The ARC platform was buzzing and the check-in office was fully booked all day with skippers and crews all eager to gather further information, learn about the exciting social programme ahead, receive their welcome packs containing local information, vouchers, commemorative flags and host of goodies provided by World Cruising Club partners.
With 100 boats and over 430 crew due to participate in ARC+ 2019, the social programme ahead is sure to be an exciting experience for everyone. Events begin with Welcome Drinks tomorrow evening and participants will have the opportunity to engage in a full array of socials, seminars, tours, dinner and the all-important Costume Party which this year’s theme is ‘Once Upon a Time’ which is sure to maximise everyone’s imagination.
This year there is an exciting one-off tour included in the ARC programmes which is a guided tour of the impressive four-masted Spanish Navy schooner the ‘Juan Sebastian Elcano’. This boat has recently commenced a three-year global voyage, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation, which took place between 1519 and 1522. World Cruising Club have been working with the Spanish Navy to coordinate the Las Palmas visit of the schooner, which will take the start line alongside the fleet on Sunday 10 November.
2019’s ARC+ has a high number of family boats participating and there are special activities designed for children. The first event is a family barbeque on Saturday evening which provides a great introduction for all the children and parents who are crossing the Atlantic. Also included in the family activities and as part of the Kids Club, afternoon beach games will take place the week before the start.
After the devastating forest-fires this summer in Gran Canaria, World Cruising Club are once again proud to be supporting the Fundación Foresta with ARC Forest Project which is now in its 10th consecutive year. ARC participants have planted more than 2,000 trees since 2010 and once again are pleased to be able to support the local environment and provide a fun, educational and rewarding experience for all ages.
As the fluttering of the colourful ARC+ flag increase in the Marina here in Las Palmas there is huge excitement in the air as the 2019 programme begins.
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