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Getting rally ready in Las Palmas

More boats have been making their way to Las Palmas over the last couple of days and crew members have been flying in to join those already here. There’s an ever-ending jobs list, on and off the boat, to get ready for the start of the ARC in 11 days’ time.


Ross Finlayson from Portsmouth, UK just arrived to join Dave Stanley’s yacht Selkie. He managed to get a place on the Bavaria 37 through World Cruising Club’s crewing website, Having given up his job in London, he and his partner moved onto their 42ft Jeanneau a year ago and are planning to take part in the ARC next year. “I was going to be crewing with a friend of mine but he moved his entry to next year due to Covid, so I reached out on the crew website,” explained Ross. “I wanted to get the experience of the ARC and to have an idea of what everything is like for when we do the crossing in our own boat.” Ross says he grew up powerboating and worked on commercial dive boats and lifeboats before he got into sailing through his partner. Instead of buying a house, they decided on a boat and planned their own bluewater cruising adventure with Blue Mist. Their longterm aspirations include going through the Panama Canal and onto the Pacific.

Ian Baylis and family will be sailing across on their fast cruiser racer, a Pogo 12.50 called Rush. Ian’s company operates a fleet of offshore energy support vessels and he will manage his busy company from afar over the next year or so whilst they are away sailing. His crew will include Solitaire du Figaro and 2024 Vendée Globe solo hopeful, Alan Roberts, plus their friend’s 18-year old daughter. He and his wife used to work professionally running various yachts and have crossed the Atlantic several times, however this will be the second time with the ARC rally. Their 11 and 9-year old children are really enjoying the ARC Kids Club and that’s one of the main reasons they decided to go across with the ARC on their own boat.

We wanted to meet other families with their children and that was the main motivator for us. There’s a good ratio of boats with kids on board and when we had the opportunity to perhaps cancel our participation earlier this year, we still decided to go ahead. Really, it’s the best time for us after working hard to build our business over the past 10 years, and with the current situation, we decided to carry on this year. It was also time to re-connect with the kids,” says Ian.

When asked what prompted them to choose this boat design for their own liveaboard adventures, he says: “We’ve done the crossing on a variety of boats and had the pleasure of sailing other people’s boats over the years and having had a few of our own now, we honed in on this style of boat. In the evolution of our sailing we discovered that these high form stability, twin rudder, quick boats are actually a very nice way to sail. They are very predictable, they are set up for shorthanded sailing and you can go fast, but not too fast. They are nice and stable and they are the next best thing to a multihull in that respect. The Pogo also has a lifting keel, so it’s 3m when down and when we want to go further inshore, it’s only 1.2m. We have catamaran depth when it comes to anchoring which is really quite nice. There’s also a lot of room on board and it’s a simple set up for shorthanded sailing that responds well under autopilot.

The ARC programme continues tomorrow with the Air-Sea helicopter demonstration by Gran Canaria Salvamento Maritimo taking place at 11.20am. Participants will be able to view the hi-line rescue from the eastern wall of Las Palmas marina. Later in the day, as part of the rally seminar and Q&A sessions, World Cruising Club’s Jeremy Wyatt will hold an online question and answer session via Zoom for those interested in circumnavigating with World ARC, with Claire Pengelly answering questions on provisioning.

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