ARC Portugal 2020 – August Departure Confirmed

26 June 2020

As restrictions are eased in Spain and Portugal allowing tourists to return, World Cruising Club are now able to confirm that ARC Portugal, postponed from June, will take place on the previously published revised itinerary. The confirmed start date from Plymouth will be Sunday 16th August, finishing at Marina de Lagos on Saturday 5th September.

The rally will be subject to the in-country COVID regulations in force at the time of the rally, which may be subject to change at short notice. Rules on social distancing and limits on group gatherings, which may differ between countries, will be reflected in the detailed programme and guidance to skippers provided nearer the start date.

World Cruising Club is working on our plan to deliver a COVID secure rally and the safety of our participants, staff and third parties is of paramount importance to us and will be considered in everything we do.

UK Government Guidance coming into force on 4th July applying to English crews will now permit a crew made up from two households. Given the requirement for 1+m social distancing skippers should give careful consideration for how long the crew should be together before sensibly setting off on an offshore passage.

It is anticipated that restrictions on crews from outside of the UK, will be relaxed in time to allow their continued participation, although we are continuing to monitor the restrictions and in particular any new requirements affecting travel. The RYA has confirmed that UK guidance applies in UK Territorial Waters. It is envisaged that a crew arriving from outside the UK, formed as allowed by their country of origin, would be permitted to continue as such.

Staying COVID Safe

In addition, whilst part of the rally we will require skippers and crew to act responsibly, and for skippers to take additional measures over and above the usual welfare of the yacht and crew, including:

  • Establish a COVID policy (in case of symptoms on board, at sea or in port)
  • Daily temperature checks for all crew
  • Crew health logged daily
  • Log any unscheduled stops - where and how long
  • Keeping a Contact Tracing Log whilst in port
  • Maintain social distancing ashore at all times

Boat Tracking and Communications

WCC will maintain vessel tracking for the duration of the rally using YB Trackers supplied to each boat at the start of the Rally in Plymouth. Skippers whose boats are not equipped with a form of satellite communications (satcoms), will be required to sign up for a YB Connect account, via a smartphone/tablet to facilitate two way messaging from at sea between the boat and rally control.

After a difficult period both for participants and our own team, we are excited to be able to run the revised rally, for which new entries are also now being accepted via our website.