Saint Lucia is again getting ready to receive and play host to hundreds of sailors and their families, as the 28th edition of the world’s most popular sailing event – the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) – sets sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
From as early as February, the 2013 ARC has been recording record number of entries, with participants signalling their intent well ahead of registration time. The entry list for the ARC 2013 officially opened in September last year. The yachts will set sail on November 24 bound for the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in the north, over 2,700 nautical miles away.
The over 220 boats that take part every year are a mix of family cruisers, race boats and charter boats from more than 30 nations. Over 20 children under 16 sail with the ARC every year, and the oldest participants are usually in their late 70s or 80s.
Deputy Director of Tourism Tracey Warner-Arnold says the ARC Planning Committee which comprises the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, World Cruising Club, IGY Marina and the Saint Lucia Yacht Club, have been busy planning for the upcoming event in November/December.
“The goal of the committee is to ensure that we present the most attractive programme for the participants and encourage them to integrate into Saint Lucia’s economic and social fabric over their three-week stay on island,” she said.
Meantime, Warner-Arnold says the strong demand for participation in the ARC has led to the creation of the ARC Plus.
“This is a new and exciting component to the ARC event established to capture the growing waiting list of yachts eager to participate in the ARC. Starting off in 2013, this addition will see an extra 50 plus yachts arriving on Saint Lucia. The subsequent spinoff in economic value will be tremendous for the island. ”