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ARC Transatlantic Crossing

Apply to take part in the ARC transatlantic crossing and experience the beauty and community of racing across the ocean with 200 other yachts.  Make friends and develop your sailing skills on this transatlantic ocean race.

Join a 60ft expedition yacht one or both legs of this Atlantic ocean crossing and take part in a unique sailing event that attracts sailors from across the world.

Highlights:

  • Learn to sail, or improve your skills on the Atlantic, around the Canary Island, Cape Verde, and the Caribbean
  • Sail the Atlantic Ocean – almost 3000nm
  • Join a rally of more than 200 yachts
  • Rum punch and chilled beer
  • Falling asleep to the rhythms of the ocean
  • Improve your sailing skills
  • Parties for the kick-off, parties for the finish line, parties for a day well spent!

The first 3-4 days of training out on the water in the Canaries will allow time for  skills and drills practice and yacht acclimatisation. A chance to get to know your fellow crew members and plan the crossing.

The first leg takes you from the Canary Islands on a 5-6 day voyage, covering 865nm, to the glorious Cape Verde islands.  It’s challenging but manageable – the perfect combination for an adventure.

Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa is a volcanic archipelago with sunny beaches and a fabulous Creole Portuguese-African culture. And when it was your own work that got you to these beautiful islands, you’ll have all the more to celebrate at the rally party. There will be time to explore a bit before it’s time to hit the open waters again.

The second leg will take you far offshore. Really far.  You’ll cross 2000nm of open sea and will get as far from land as it’s possible to be.  Exceptional sunsets give way to exceptional starry nights, which in turn give way to exceptional sunrises. As you head west, the warm trade winds carry you along and the equilibrium and harmony that will come to you just can’t be beat.  But when those remarkable Caribbean islands pop up on the horizon you can rejoice that more sunny beaches, parties, and fun are just ahead.

No sailing experience is required to join this voyage as the professional crew will teach you what you need to know and love turning landlubbers into sailors.  No drills or yelling here, this is time for fun, adventure and relaxing.

If you want a great challenge the ARC ocean rally really can’t be beat.  Enquire today to learn more.

Itinerary

Canaries to the Cape Verde Islands

Whether you just do this first leg, or this is just the start of the full Atlantic Crossing for you, the 865nm to Cape Verde is really special. Downwind, warm winds and seas and a distance that is a challenge, but a very manageable one. Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago off the north west coast of Africa known for its stunning beaches and Creole Portuguese-African culture. They are one of the most beautiful, almost idyllic island chains imaginable, made all the more special by having sailed there yourself. As all the yachts and crews arrive in port, let the party begin!

Cape Verde to St Lucia

The second leg is where we head far, far offshore. Ahead lie over 2000nm of open ocean sailing. You will be as far away from land as you will maybe ever be and as sunsets give way to incredible star filled skies, which in turn give way to beautiful sunrises, the yacht will keep powering on west, driven by the warm, reliable north easterly trade winds. After about two and half weeks, we will feel an incredible thrill as the islands of the Caribbean appear over the horizon. Ahead lie warm sunny beaches, parties, relaxation and a huge huge amount of well deserved fun with all the other crews. You have crossed the Atlantic Ocean under sail!

More Details

Crew Size

The number of crew on board the yacht will vary from leg to leg. You will always have a full time professional skipper and 1st mate on board to ensure that the yacht is safe and well run. Although the yacht has 15 berths, we prefer to run it a little below capacity and so you can expect to be part of a crew (excluding skipper and mate) of anywhere between 6 and 8 people in total. For ocean passages, this may increase to 10.

Men and women

Our expeditions are usually pretty evenly split between men and women with, if anything, a slight bias toward women. Of course, some expeditions can vary from this balance, but it is unusual. It would be very unlikely indeed that you were the only man or the woman amongst the crew.

Sailing background

Our most common crew profile would be – quote “I’ve sailed a bit in the past and got my Day Skipper, but I’m very rusty”. Everyone thinks they’re unique in that but they’re not! That said, we also get complete novices on most expeditions along with one or two more experienced crew members. the point is – don’t worry. If you’re new to sailing, we’ll work with you from the first steps and if you’re much more experienced, we can help you develop some advanced concepts and techniques.

Age

Anyone joining us must be 18 years or over, but there is no upper age limit. Indeed, we’ve had a 75 year old novice sail with us up into the Arctic and he coped superbly. There’s a full range of ages on board with the majority being between 30 – 60. We find age immaterial on board as it’s a mindset that draws people on to these expeditions and you will be with some fun and inspiring fellow crew.

Food & accommodation

You are provided with accommodation (a berth) on the yacht from 1200hrs local time on your Start Date to 1200hrs on your End Date.
During these dates the crew will be provided with the money to buy food for three meals a day, soft drinks and some snacks. This provision is included in the cost of the trip and the crew will take turns in doing the shopping and preparing these meals. Heading off into the shops and markets of a new country is often great fun, and when you cannot understand the label on a tin, can occasionally lead to some real surprises!

If you do have any dietary requirements, you must tell us at the time of booking and we will do our best accommodate the request. However, we do travel to areas where food selections are far more limited than may be available in your home country, so if you do have very specific requirements that may be difficult to obtain, it may not be suitable to join an expedition.

When we are ashore, you are of course welcome to eat off the boat, but any meals, drinks or other expenditure off the boat is entirely at your own expense.

A large yacht, the boat has a great deal of space down below. The headroom is around 8’ in most areas and all crew have large amounts of personal storage space.

The accommodation area is open plan, divided into 4 bunk sleeping areas. The bunks measure around 6’ 7” in length, giving you plenty of room to stretch out. While as on many yacht privacy is more limited than what you may be used to on land, internal dividers and a shower room allow for private changing.

There is ample storage on board and in effect we have no limit to what you can bring. Please bring your kit in a soft bag, as we may be unable to store a rigid case.

There is heating throughout to keep us warm, and the saloon has books, a TV & DVD player, games and a selection of films.

The yacht is equipped with two heads (toilets) and a small shower, although when at sea conservation of water is critical and showers may not be possible.

When we arrive at marinas, there are nearly always hot showers available.

The Boat

60′ expedition sailing yacht

The boat is a powerful expedition yacht designed with safety and simplicity in mind. Originally built for the Clipper round the world yacht race, she has more than proved her seaworthiness with three successful circumnavigations of the globe. Her long fin keel means she has exceptional stability and the cutter rig gives a versatile sail plan that can be quickly matched to conditions as they change.

Highest safety rating possible

The yacht has the MCA’s top rating: Category 0. This means that they have designated her and her equipment fit to sail unlimited distances off shore for any period of time. This rating requires the top rated life rafts, an EPIRB, advanced medical kit, satellite communications, three different watertight compartments and more. There is no higher standard for such a yacht. Most sailing schools will be using Cat 2 rated yachts, limited to no more than 60nm offshore. These expeditions are true adventures, often heading far out to sea and to remote shores, but safety remains at the centre of everything we do.

A true expedition feel

The boat is not a cabin cruiser! Built to race and now converted for expeditions, she retains much of the look and feel of her early days. Crew accommodation remains as it was in her racing days. It is open plan, divided up into two cabins of 4-5 people each. The camaraderie down below is superb and this arrangement is far preferable to being in a small cramped cabin with someone you don’t know. One of our clients described as being like a mountain hut but on the water, and that’s probably not such a bad description!

Warm and comfortable

You will never be anything other than warm and dry down below. The headroom is around 8’ in most areas and all crew have large amounts of personal storage space. Bunks measure 6’ 7” in length with high lee cloths giving you plenty of room to yourself. There is powerful heating throughout to keep us warm, while a well equipped galley allows us to make some great meals underway, often with freshly caught fish. The saloon has books, a TV & DVD player, games and a selection of films.

   

Dates & Rates

Canaries to Cape Verde:  1 – 12 November 2017 – 1,890 GBP

Cape Verde to St Lucia: 12 November – 08 December 08 2017 – 3,798 GBP

Canaries to St Lucia combined – 5,240 GBP

Operator

We love this sailing company’s ethos – to help people do three things: sail, train and explore. They are passionate about enabling people to experience life out on the open ocean, building sailing skills and exploring some beautiful countries. After years of training people to become professional sailors, and having covered thousands of miles between them, the company founders realised that so many people had dreamt of setting off across an ocean, but hadn’t the skills, the boat or crew to make those dreams come true.

The company now runs expeditions on a specialised 60’ yacht to some of the most exciting places out there – often largely inaccessible from land. With no previous sailing experience required, the two instructors will guide you every step of the way as you develop your sailing skills, maybe even earning an RYA qualification during the week. Exploring on land as they go is just as important and the bikes and a kayak mean you can head off and enjoy everything there is to see along the route.

Enquiry Form

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