World Cruising Club’s transatlantic rally, ARC Europe 2016 begins!

World Cruising Club’s transatlantic rally, ARC Europe 2016 begins!

ARC Europe 2016 BVI to Bermuda

Thirty-eight boats have left the BVI’s and are heading to Bermuda before continuing across the Atlantic ocean. A majority of the vessels have less than twenty nautical miles between them. A distance that is outside VHF radio contact but only about four hours travel time if assistance is needed. Communication takes place via satellite-phone-based devices that also transmit a GPS location to the club’s base camp and an online map for the friends, family and fans to enjoy.

ARC rally from Virginia to Bermuda 2016

Also there are just three cruisers that have started their rally from Virginia. That’s where Lindsay and I plan to start with Makara next year. As you may recall, we had planned to be a part of the rally this year. It didn’t take long after purchasing Makara in December and sailing her down the east coast to realize that we didn’t have enough time to prepare for the open ocean by April. We have decided to sit this one out at the Historic Sea Port of Key West, Florida for a year.

Watching the ARC Europe 2015 rally on the “Fleet Tracker” was helpful in making a decision to purchase a catamaran over a monohull. Last year, a Leopard 48 sailed (and probably motored some, too) faster than ALL OTHER BOATS in the rally, both monohulls and catamarans included! It’s important to note that this was only during  the DOWNWIND leg, however it is the longest leg. The catamaran was not fastest was the wind was coming from the beam (the side), while travelling between the BVI’s and Bermuda. Here is a screen shot from last year showing skipper Albert Levy in the lead at the halfway point. That lead was maintained all the way to the Azores. I was impressed by Robertson and Caine’s Leopard catamarans from that point on. I started my search for used Leopards and found Makara soon after!

Halfway to the Azores

Let’s see what we have for multihulls in the rally this year:

5 catamarans out of 41 boats

3 Leopards

2 are 45 feet long

Makara is 47 feet long, so I will be cheering for both of the 45 footers this time! I will wait for the downwind leg, however…..