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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 signaling their intent well ahead of registration time. The entry list for the ARC 2013 officially opened in September last year. The yachtswill 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 aged under 16 sail with the ARC every year, and the oldest participant is 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.

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,” says Warner-Arnold.

ARC Plusdeparts from Las Palmas, Gran Canariaon November 10th, two-weeks earlier than the traditional start, and also includes a stopover in Mindelo, Cape Verdes. Participants will sail a distance of 2,950 nautical miles before ending at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia. The yachts are scheduled to arrive by the end of November and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board will host a series of events similar to the regular ARC programme which will end on the evening of the first ARC event.

From the pre-departure programme, ensuring crews are relaxed and prepared, to the friendly welcome each boat receives on arrival in Saint Lucia, the unique spirit that surrounds the ARC each year has meant the Rally is firmly on the 'to do list' for cruising sailors.

Since its creation almost 30 years ago, World Cruising Club, in conjunction with the IGY Rodney Bay Marina and the SLTB has attempted to build on these key strengths and provide a safe and social event that annually attracts hundreds of cruising boats to cross the Atlantic.

Saint Lucia has served as the finishing leg of the world’s most popular trans-Atlantic sailing event (ARC) for the past 23 years.
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