ARC January has a packed programme over the next week in Las Palmas, more crews are arriving every day, boats are checking in and the docks are buzzing with preparations for the crossing. Safety checks have got off to a flying start and the safety inspectors will be visiting all the boats taking part in the rally over the next few days, chatting to crews about the equipment onboard and offering advice and expertise.
Yesterday saw the start of the evening events' programme with welcome drinks held at the Sotavento Terrace in the marina. Participants got to know their fellow sailors for the Atlantic crossing over drinks and local tapas, swapping stories of their journeys so far. World Cruising Club Operations Director, Suzana Tetlow, welcomed everyone to the rally and gave an overview of some of the week's activities.
Today the ARC January Opening Ceremony will take place, marking the countdown to the start in a week's time! Over 15 different nationalities will be represented celebrating the nations taking part in the rally with a colourful parade around the marina culminating in the raising of the countries' flags overlooking the harbour.
As the programme gears up across the week there is plenty to keep crews busy and to assist in their preparations for the crossing. Many participants will take advantage of the seminars led by marine specialists and experts in the industry, and the interactive liferaft demonstration provided by the safety team, led by Roger Seymour from Hamble School of Yachting.
Of course it's not all serious and there will also be social events across the week including a 70’s Disco themed costume party, happy hours and the Farewell Party at El Pueblo Canario.