Enthusiastic sailors set off a 15-month cruising adventure of a lifetime

World ARC, the new circumnavigation rally organised and managed by the UK-based cruising rally experts at World Cruising Club (WCC), is setting off from Rodney Bay, St.Lucia today (Wednesday 23 January) with 41 yachts including 6 multihulls gathering on the ‘start line’ to begin a 15-month cruising adventure of a lifetime.

Cruising ‘guru’ Jimmy Cornell has helped to plan the route, which calls at some of the most attractive sailing destinations in the world. The route and timing have been carefully selected so as to benefit from seasonal weather conditions by planning to be “in the right place at the right time”. Both the Pacific and the Indian Oceans will be crossed during the optimum period, at the height of the favourable trade wind season.

World ARC takes in a mixture of open ocean stages, independent cruising and planned meetings along the route. After crossing the Pacific, the Rally avoids the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa owing to political unrest and a heightened security situation in the region and instead rounds the Cape of Good Hope to call at Brazil before returning to the Caribbean.

A multi-lingual WCC rally team will be in each port to look after the participants ashore, whilst a safety and communications net will operate on each ocean stage. Weather and routing advice is being provided, and the World ARC website will track yacht positions and display news, yacht logs and images to enable everyone to share in this great adventure.

WORLD ARC 2008/09 – Website

Click here for the official World ARC website – at www.worldcruising.com/worldarc – which has been given a crisp new look with simplified navigation and faster page loading to enhance the user experience and enjoyment of the World ARC online.

Follow the Fleet

Once the yachts depart, daily yacht position reports will be displayed on the event website, giving distance to the finish, daily distance in nautical miles and an individual route map for each yacht. Launching the interactive Google Earth window will enable web visitors to plot the entire fleet, or just a few yachts, on Google’s globe, overlaid with wind and cloud data, further enhancing the spectator experience.

The new automated log feature enables crews to share their experiences via the internet by contributing yacht logs and images directly to the website. As many as half of the crews are expected to join in with daily logs, which are the most avidly read and widely enjoyed section of the website.

Yacht statistics
· Thirteen nations are represented
· The UK and Germany have the most participants at 15 and 5 yachts respectively.
· The largest yacht in the rally is an Oyster 82 – Tillymint
· The smallest a Lagoon 380 – Lady Kay.
Australia – 4
Canada – 3
Italy – 3
United States – 3
France – 2
Denmark – 1
Ireland – 1
Portugal – 1
Russia – 1
South Africa – 1
Spain – 1

· Beneteau yachts make up 6 of the 41 yachts
· Oyster and Amel each have 4
· Most yachts are within the range 40-60ft.
6 yachts over 60ft
17 yachts 50-60ft
16 yachts 40-50ft
2 under 40ft

· WCC has a proven track record having already successfully organised five round-the-world events, including the first-ever round-the-world cruising rally – Europa92, and having very capably taken over 3000 yachts across the Atlantic with the annual ARC Rally, now in its 22nd year.