Yes, it's the start of the 2010 ARC!

The 25th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) started in spectacular style today as 233 yachts from 26 nations sailed across the start line off Las Palmas de Gran Canaria heading for their final destination, 2,700 nautical miles away in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia.    

The early morning rain and dark clouds cleared away, to be replaced by bright sunshine and the light NE wind filled to provide a reaching start.  For the thousands of spectators ashore and afloat it was a picture perfect start to the 25th ARC.  After crossing the start line in 8-10 knots and light swell, a colourful display of spinnakers were hoisted to help the yachts on their way.  The forecast is for the light north easterlies to continue for the next few days. 

There was an air of excitement and celebration throughout the marina this morning, as crowds of spectators waved off the fleet. The days of preparations, lists and decisions were finally over, and the crews were ready to do what they came to do; sail across the Atlantic. The dock was full of well-wishers in carnival mode, cheering and dancing to the loud music blaring out in celebration from Don Pedro’s Texaco dock. Yachts were bid farewell from Las Palmas via loud speakers around the port and Banda Guayadra provided by the Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas (City Hall) marched around the marina serenading every pontoon to add to the festival atmosphere. Before making their way to the start line the yachts passed through a ‘gate’ so each could be identified.  To the delight of the thousands of spectators along the shore, some crews provided entertainment – a Mexican wave from Albatros (GER), bagpipes on Caduceus (GBR), and most popular of all, Croatian yacht Dora left the marina and passed through the ‘gate’ in reverse, while singing Croatian songs accompanied by guitars and maracas.

Follow the Action Online
News from the fleet can be found on the official ARC website where daily yacht position reports will be displayed and visitors can view individual route maps for each yacht.   Each yacht is fitted with a Yellowbrick iridium tracker, with positions updated automatically every 6 hours.  Crews will also contribute daily logs and images direct to the site which can be viewed at–Z51pyn4FHqDTTCtbToe66ib1>