Here we go ! ARC+ yachts leave Las Palmas for Cape Verde

It’s a windy start for the yachts taking part in ARC+ 2021, and not everyone has made it to the start line

Seventy yachts left Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, this afternoon in gusting northeast winds of 15 to 20 knots, heading for Cape Verde. The boats are part of the ARC+ – the sister event to the popular ARC – which ends in Grenada after a 4-6 day stopover.

Rob Roy III crosses the ARC+ start line. Photo James Mitchell/COE

The multihulls were taken by the Outremer 51 with a French crew, Red pepper (red pepper), and US Neel 47, big bird.

Beneteau Oceanis 40 crossed the finish line in the monohull category, room from Norway, followed by Irish Moody 54DS, Hibernian and the Norwegian Najad 490, Albicila.

Red bell pepper led the start of the multihull class. Photo Jesus de Leon/ COE

Launched in response to the popularity of BOWwhich takes sailors directly to Saint Lucia, the ARC+ attracts many families, with 40 children this year, from Caruso Coxhead, 22 months, to big bubble to Kim Rouge, 16, on brain wave.

The biggest boat, the smallest boat

Eight Oyster yachts are taking part in ARC+ this year, including the biggest boat in the rally, Latobean Oyster 72. The smallest participant is a British yacht, Night and daya 31ft Malo 40H owned by friends Nicholas Adams and Alex Smith, who took a year off to go sailing.

Navigate the world

Some crews – like the Styles family from Bristol – have left their lives behind to sail around the world. The family lived aboard their Vagabond 47, chulain Cardiff, but after moving to a small village, starting his own business and accepting a lectureship, life became too busy.

Jo and Joe Styles with the Vagabond 47 they hand restored

We missed the simplicity of living on a boat; having nature right outside and hearing the rain bouncing off the decks,” Jo said.

During confinement Jo and Joe replaced Chula’s hand leaking teak deck, and made the big decision to sell and leave the UK.

I took a year off so I can’t go back,” Jo said. “We can’t afford to buy our own house. It’s a giant experiment right now. We still feel like we’ve taken that huge leap, and we don’t know if we’re going there.e successfully or if we will fail!”


big bubblea Skimmer 39

Moored beside chula in the marina of Las Palmas, was a German boat, big bubble. Verena Coxhead, a book editor, had always intended to return to work when her son Caruso turned two, but instead the family of four will spend his birthday in the middle of the Atlantic.

Cruise delayed due to Covid

The Coxheads had planned to do ARC+ last year but were delayed due to Covid. Making the decision to leave family and friends behind, when life was just getting back to normal, was difficult, says Verena, but since the trip through France, northern Spain and Madeira, she has is adapted to life on board.


Verena Coxhead and her son Caruso, 2

“The family pontoon in Las Palmas is fantastic,” she said. “We hoisted our ARC flags as soon as we entered Spain and have already encountered some of the boats. It’s nice that the children can also play with each other in the Caribbean.

Mast break in Gibraltar

Unfortunately, a boat that did not start the ARC+ was Dragonfly, owned by the Pollock family of New Zealand. An accidental jibe in Gibraltar caused the mast to crack, and it now needs to be replaced. They hope the new mast will arrive in time for the start of the main ARC on November 21.

The family of six sold their home and possessions last December to buy the Oyster 56 and sail around the world. After six months of refitting in Spain, they are desperate to get back to sailing. the ARC activities for kids — which included dinghy sailing, Halloween face painting, and beach games — provided a temporary respite from life in such nearby neighborhoods.

“We don’t see the children at all, they are so happy to play with all their new friends,” says mum Amandine. “There’s an incredible sense of community here.”

ARC+ start

PBO was at the start of the ARC+ to wave to the boats, and will be there in Grenada to find out how everything went. The yachts will end up at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina. The recently refurbished 227 berth marina is in St George’s Harbor and is well placed to land after crossing the Atlantic.

ARC+ yachts encountered strong winds and rough seas at the start line in Las Palmas. Photo James Mitchell/ WCC

Grenada is located at the southern end of the Windward Islands chain, with many beaches, coves and islands – a great place to cruise north through some of the best cruising areas in the Caribbean.

You can read more about the Atlantic Rally for Cruising (ARC) on the World Cruise Club site, and more on the island where ARC participants congregate, at

Read the full stories from ARC+ participants in the February 2022 edition of Practical Boat Owner.

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