ARC Race 2013

ARC Race 2013 Starts Sunday 24th November 2013

ARC Race 2013 will see the maximum number of yachts participating some 245.  So much was the demand for the ARC Race 2013, all places were filled by January, that the World Cruising Club decided to organise another race called ARC+ .This rally will leave Gran Canaria on 1oth November (two weeks earlier than the official ARC Race). ARC+ has a stopover in the Cape Verde Islands before heading across the Atlantic to the finish in Rodney Bay, St Lucia.

The ARC Race is one of the largest trans-Atlantic rallies in the world.  The first race was held in 1986 and has proved to be very popular with sailing enthusiasts ever since.  It features on many a sailor’s bucket list. Anyone can enter the 2800nm race from Gran Canaria to St Lucia. Families with children, experienced racers, cruising couples, big yachts, and small sailboats.  The yachts cross the Atlantic together having adventures along the way.  Friendships are made both onshore in the weeks before departure and whilst under sail over the radios at sea whilst supporting each other.

So what do you need to join the ARC Race?  A seaworthy boat is a must, either your own or a place to crew on someone else’s boat.  A sense of adventure is also necessary and that’s about it….oh and a exiet form (remember those) from work!  The crossing will take on average around 20 days.

Crossing the Atlantic can be a daunting prospect for even the most experienced sailors but the World Cruising Club do help entrants and arm them with the knowledge to have a safe and enjoyable race. The pre-departure schedule helps ensure boats are prepared and sailors become relaxed and confident so they can deal with all eventualities once under way.  Talking to other ralliers is a great way to share knowledge and concerns, and to make new friends too.  The World Cruising Club provides entrants with a comprehensive Rally Handbook that is full of advice on how to prepare your boat and crew. They also run a range of in-depth seminars and quick panel discussions in the UK, USA and Europe.

If you want to participate in the ARC Race 2013 I’m afraid you are too late now for this year, but entries are being accepted for ARC Race 2014.  Just visit the World Cruising Club website.

ARC Race 2013

Related Articles to ARC Race 2013:

Lovesail was lucky enough to have a guest blog last year from the crew of Casamara, a Discovery 55 that took part in the ARC Race and sent back daily reports on their progress during the race.  To gain an idea of what life was like aboard Casamara during the race read Creative Cuisine for the Casamara Crew and then all the daily diary entries follow on from this.

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers or ARC Race

Day 17 – Nearly there…….

Day 17 nearly there..

Sorry I’m late posting this one, busy day, so nearly there and some history about the Northumberland Fusiliers…….

Hi Everyone

Very nearly there and what a great trip. Shame that we have had to motor the last three hundred miles but it has allowed us to clean and tidy Casamara. A few minor repair jobs scheduled for ST L. Thanks to everyone on board and bigger thanks to my wife and family who have indulged me in this adventure. Love to you all. Simon P

Over to Charles for the history lesson and Julian for gastro news.

Battle for St Lucia – the feather in my cap

Charlie’s second contribution and one that he’s keen to write as he has a story to tell; its one that isn’t however related to life on Casamara over the last 24 hours but is pertinent to our imminent “nearly there”arrival to St Lucia. In 1778, the British Army was sent to St Lucia to make battle with the occupying French and restore British sovereignty over the Island. The Northumberland Fusiliers, the 5th of Foot, was the unit selected to take on this task. Battle was joined on St Lucia, and the white feather hackles from the headdress of the defeated French soldiers were taken by the Geordie victors and worn in their hats. The popular myth is that the white feather hackles had red tips because they were dipped in French blood. The truth behind the story is that the Northumberland Fusiliers new addition to their uniform was so admired back in England that all infantry regiments were ordered to wear them; to give the triumphant Northumberland Fusiliers the recognition they deserved they were given a Royal status, thus the red tips. I (Charlie) am a serving soldier in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the descendent regiment of the Northumberland Fusiliers, so have worn the hackle with pride every day of my service and will be wearing one in sailing hat today as we land. A few days in St Lucia gives me the opportunity to understand the detail of the run up to the confrontation in 1778 and visit the battlefield(s); very exciting if that’s what fires your rockets. If you want to know more about the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers do visit the Regiment’s Headquarters in the Tower of London adjacent to the Jewel House. Charlie


Well we are now only 6 hours from our destination, our ETA is just past midnight local time. I do have a similar feeling now to when I finished a trip I did some years ago, when we sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti. That trip was 2,500 miles straight down the middle of the Pacific. Essentially myself and my traveling companion Tom had overstayed our welcome on the US mainland and rather than try to leave via an international airport, we decided to fly to Hawaii (classed as an internal flight) and to slip away by boat instead. Having spent some time on Maui, we left around midnight one night and just sailed off in a 37 foot yacht that was very basic to say the least. It had no engine and no heads and the only means of navigation was a sextant. After nearly 4 weeks at sea and having overcome all sorts of challenges, we landed on Maupiti which is one of the outermost islands in the Tahitian island group and then had the pleasure of visiting Raiatea, Bora Bora and finally Tahiti itself!

As you know this trip has been somewhat different in terms of the total quality of the vessel we have sailed in, but the feeling of achievement is none the less because of that! I’m not sure quite yet, what we will have as our final supper before heading into the local restaurants for the rest of the time we all have in the Caribbean, but lunch was a filling pasta dish with prawns, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs all wrapped up in a white wine and cream sauce. I have very much enjoyed writing about my culinary adventure on this trip and hope that you have enjoyed reading about it. If you would like to keep up with my cruising cuisine column, you will find it in the Sailing Today Magazine, where over the following few months, I will be featuring some of the dishes that I have prepared over the past few weeks. Also a selection of the recipes will, as always be posted on our website GN Espace or you can always email me directly for information at on any of the issues and galley equipment highlighted on this trip.

One final mention is that of a new GN Espace cookery course that we will be launching at the London Boat Show in January 2012.  Adam Gray, my Michelin starred colleague, who has his own cookery school in Northamptonshire and I will be doing a series of cookery courses, partly land based there in Northamptonshire and partly yacht based in the Solent, for anyone who would like to get more acquainted with the rudiments of galley catering. Again for more details please email me at my email address above or come and see me at the London Boat Show in January 2012.

Thanks again to everyone who has followed our progress and good luck in all your sailing adventures, wherever they may take you. Julian Kimberley 

Image: St Lucia Sunset courtesy of Ardyiii’s Photostream


Day 16 – Crew Overboard on the Penultimate Day

Crew Overboard

I was starting to worry the blog wouldn’t be coming today but now I know why….Caribbean time!  So here we have Day 16 – crew overboard!

Day 16

Hello everyone

Our penultimate day at sea!

There was a hole in the wind predicted a week or so ago where there was little or no wind just off St Lucia. We had hoped by the time we reached the area affected, it would have moved on but no such luck! We managed to keep going under sail slightly longer than other yachts due to our northerly approach, but when the wind moved onto our nose and had dropped anyway to below 5 knots, we too had to concede that the engine would be required to get us in, unless that is, we wanted to spend another week 350 miles away from all the celebrations!

One rather unexpected benefit though of this lull, was the chance to go for an Atlantic swim! Crew Overboard.  Skipper Simon had always said that if the opportunity arose he would be the fist to go in and indeed he was! We took it in turns to dive off the bow and swim to the stern where we had trailed some warps and fenders to catch onto. Even in what was then incredibly calm, almost motionless seas with hardly any wind, the speed at which the boat and you drift apart is quite staggering! All safely back on board and lots of photos taken, sprits were as high as they have ever been!

We decided also to go onto St L time today, so all the clocks and watches got put back 4 hours. It made for a longer day of course and as the decision to change happened at 12.30 GMT it was now 8.30 am Caribbean time. Tim, (quick as ever) chipped in that whilst he had was just waking up for his watch and some lunch, it was now really time for breakfast and fancied a full English! Needless to say this was met with a chorus of approval and I was duly dispatched to do the honors. Lunch was served at 2pm local time and consisted of a Gem and Iceberg lettuce salad, with baby tomatoes, beetroot and a balsamic dressing, accompanied by a platter of cheese, some cold meats and warm baguettes. It is such a lovely lunch of which I never tier and reminds me so much of lazy summer holidays spent with my family over the years in various places in France but more latterly in the Dordogne region just outside Bergerac, wonderful memories! Dinner was beef steaks, cooked medium rare with a mushroom and grain mustard sauce and mashed potatoes. All in all delicious and a thoroughly well fed crew.

Fresh stocks continue to hold up well and we could easily be out here for another couple of weeks and still not have to resort to tins. I have to say too that the galley on these Discovery yachts is a real pleasure to work in and with the integrated galley system that we supply to Discovery and other leading boat builders is extremely safe and efficient. Both Discovery and ourselves regard and describe it as the benchmark for modern galley design and fit.The only other consideration for anyone looking to do long ocean passages with their yacht would be the refrigerated under floor gastronorm container pods and other gastronorm storage options and to perhaps upgrade from the standard/traditional single axis gimbaled GN Espace cooker to our unique multi directional gimbaled version (MDG). All the cookers come with the choice of either gimbals but with the MDG version you have the advantage of a cooker that takes care of pitch as well as heel and has an almost gyroscopic effect, ensuring an even more level, comfortable and safe cooking experience whilst at sea. The other advantage with this particular model is that it gives yacht designers an alternative as to where they can site the cooker in the galley, traditionally on the port or starboard sides of the yacht. With this version it allows for the cooker to be fitted athwart ships if required and consequently can lead to more options in galley design and layout.

Look forward to updating you all on our arrival in St L in around 20 hours time. JK 

For more details on the gastronorm system visit GN Espace

Follow Casamara’s arrival on the Fleet Viewer

crew overboard

Image: Crew Overboard courtesy of someone on board!



Day 14 – Under 700nm to go

700nm to go

700nm to go and Roast Lamb.  This has to be my favourite roast, I hope you managed to cook it without any mishaps…..

Day 14

Hi everyone,

We are now under 700nm to ST L. Today has been quiet with just one gybe to check gear etc.

We have watched films, drunk beer and sun bathed. Had the company of some dolphins for circa 45 mins, which was nice. Have seen one other yacht today. Apparently we are 3rd in our class and hope to maintain or improve this! SP

My watch took me up until 9am this morning, so I went off to bed and slept until midday when my watch started again. I think it’s the first time I have done that and felt fantastic as a result!

Lunch was potato salad with a selection of cold meats and warm baguettes. Skipper asked for the mayonnaise on the potato salad to have some grain mustard in it, so I duly obliged and I have to say it adds quite a bit to the flavour. Dinner was tuna steaks with basmati rice and a cranberry sauce, which I thought might be a little festive now that we are after all into December. Tomorrow is our roast day and we plan to have roast leg of lamb with all the usual bits! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a week since we last had our roast pork, each day just seems to merge into the last but we are certainly eating well!

I promised to mention the vacuum packing and the advantages it has not just over the food but in other areas as well. It is worth mentioning that Adam Gray my colleague and Michelin starred chef, who will also be presenting with me at the London Boat Show 2012 is a specialist in this field. He will have many more tips I’m sure but a few that I have found most useful, are the fact that you can store food in portion controlled bags, which helps reduce wastage and keeps liquids sealed in and not running around the bottom of the fridge. Fresh food that looks like it is about to turn can then be cooked, vacuum packed again and then kept for longer still! The speed marinating that can be achieved with the GN Espace vacuum containers is an obvious one too and the fact that all sorts of pre-prepared meals can be stored in this way. In fact there is so much to write about on the subject and how it helps on such a trip, we may have to give over a whole session at London 2012 just to cover it! Other areas though are equally varied, for example if you want to keeps tools and emergency items secure and free from salt water contamination, or paper charts dry etc, the options are endless.

It often strikes me that racing crews if not already, should take advantage of such ideas, certainly for their food on board. I know from what I have read that they mainly favour the dried food option, which these days can be quite tasty I’m told, but I still wonder if that is the right one for moral? If not continuous, they often have legs at sea, twice that of the one that we will have crossing here and moral has got to be a fundamental issue with keeping those crews in the best possible racing shape both physically and mentally. Fresh food, if it can be made available, would I suggest go along way to helping in this regard. Cooking is a 24 hour issue too and having to race on the edge of each point of sail, must make life in the galley a significant challenge. We need to be talking more to the organisers and participants of such events, to see where we can suggest such additions and alternatives and certainly possible changes/improvements to their existing galley design and equipment. JK 


Main Image: Roast Lamb courtesy of Acme’s Photostream

Other Images:  GN Espace Vacuum Storage.


No fish for Casamara…….

No Fish and oh my goodness, Day 3 already……

Hi everyone, no fish!

Another blue sky day. We are now heading to the north of the Cape Verde islands and going further South to obtain more wind. We had an attempt at fishing which was unsuccessful, no fish. We have fired up the watermaker and it appears to be working. We are all settling into a routine and had a great lunch consisting of a selection of cold meats and cheeses, brown bread and a spinach, red pepper and feta cheese salad.

Both LED lights that I purchased from Marc the LEd shop in Las Palmas have failed which is very annoying. SP

By late afternoon our thoughts had once again turned to food. Our meals are without doubt fantastic occasions, when we all sit together, regardless of who’s on watch and chat about the day. Earlier we tried one of our GN Espace vacuum sealable containers to speed marinate some diced beef with red wine, garlic and a few herbs thrown in. I was truely delighted with the result, as the air was forced out, it created an instant infusion of the marinade with the meat. Really made for a most enjoyable evening’s supper, along with some mashed potatoes and green beans. Tomorrow we are going to get serious about the fishing, so watch this space! JK

no fish

ARC Race details at the World Cruising Club website.

Watch their progress on the Fleet Viewer

Image: Cape Verde courtesy of  BigMikeSndTech’s Photostream 


Day 2 for Casamara’s ARC Race

ARC Race – Casamara’s 2nd report

Day 2 of the ARC Race

Hi everyone,

Another good day of blue sky sailing. Have done 382.9 nm and are cracking along under poled out genoa and solent and main. Yesterday we saw two schools of dolphins and flying fish. one squid landed on deck. we can see two other ARC Race yachts around us. Predicted to be windy tonight so have already reefed the main for safety. everyone is good and the talk just keeps on going. Participated in the radio net at 1400 which was useful. SP

Today we started our day with scrambled eggs and french toast. Lunch consisted of a tomato and onion salad topped off with feta cheese served with warm baguettes, followed by more cheese and biscuits. Wind strengthened just prior to dinner, so we decided to have our bbq pork with mashed sweed and baby potatoes in a bowl. I have been amazed as to how well all the non chilled vacuum packed food has survived so far. We have hardly had to dip into the fridge for fresh food at all.

Tomorrow we plan to put some red meat into one of our GN Espace specialist vacuum containers and speed marinade it for dinner, will let you know the results. JK 

At the time of going to press (Wednesday 23 November 2011 19:00 GMT) Casamara is 80th in the All Cruising Division of the ARC Race and 10th in Cruising B and approximately 500nm north of Cape Verde.  The World cruising Club fleet viewer is a great way to follow their progress.

ARC Race









ARC Race Update from Casamara

ARC Race Update

How exciting, Julian has sent in the first of what I hope to be many first-hand reports on the ARC Race (see previous post Creative Cuisine for the Casamara Crew).  Here it is:

Day 1


Everyone is ok and getting their sea legs at the beginning of the ARC Race.  We did 165 nm in first day.  we appear to have gone slightly more east than others but are now going SW.  have been flying two head sails and main and sailing along at a speed of circa 7.5 knots.


First night was a bit bumpy as we hit the wind acceleration zone but today was all blue skies.


We treated ourselves to a full english breakfast to ensure we weren’t too concerned as to what time we would get lunch. However as things turned out, we had a great start and sat down to smoked salmon and brown bread around three, I had been told when joining the boat that one of our watch leaders Paul, did a legendary spag bol and was going to offer to do supper that first night, I gratefully accepted and have to say the legend lives on!.



To Follow Casamara’s progress visit the Fleet Viewer

ARC Race

Many thanks to Julian from GN Espace

Image: The ARC Race fleet as seen using Fleet Viewer at World Cruising Club


Atlantic Rally for Cruisers or ARC Race

The ARC race

The ARC race is one of the biggest trans-ocean yacht races in the world.  Starting this year in November from Las Palmas Gran Canaria and using the North-East trade winds, over 200 yachts will travel the 2700 nautical mile route to finish in St Lucia about 3 weeks later.


25 November 2012

24 November 2013

The Race

The race is open to anyone that has had a minimum of 500nm cruising experience.   Also the Skipper an one other crew member need to have undertaken a minimum level of training and the boat needs to have certain safety and communication equipment on board.  The World Cruising Club organise a series of seminars and training courses to help prepare the entrants for the rally.  It also helps if you are slightly unhinged!  It is an annual event and very popular.

Arc Race Entries

Entries are taken from October in the year before the race with the deadline for entries being 1st April in the year of the race.  However, it is advised to book as soon as possible.  Register with the ARC Race website to receive notification when the entry list opens.

ARC Race

ARC Race

To get a flavour of the race, Lovesail was lucky enough to post a daily diary from the crew of Casamara, a Discovery 55 which  took part in the race.  To read the entries just see here or look under Sailing and Boating Events and then Racing at the top of this page.

Here is a excerpt: Day 15 – Civilization as we know it and the skipper is chilled; so this blog, my first, is from Charlie – the new boy on the block. Until I arrived in Las Palmas I had not met any of the crew – it was a leap of faith and one that I have no regrets. Day 15, week 2 and my god what an experience it has all been. We have just eaten the most fabulous Sunday Lunch thanks to skipper Simon, with more than a little help from our talented Julian. Roast lamb (laced with knobs of garlic), roast potatoes, cauliflower, leeks in a white sauce and gravy; and this was all consumed with hardly a movement from Casamara. She was bowling along at 7.5 knots on the most delicious broad reach, stable, powerful and purposeful. For we are up against it. The weather is changing. For 14 days we have enjoyed the trade winds which, to quote the book, in November are “almost guaranteed to blow at 15 – 20 knots”‘ … until now. We are 450 nm from St Lucia but the winds are forecast to turn light and fluky 

For more information visit the World Cruising Club website where you can also follow the fleet as they cross the Atlantic.

Image Rogue Nublo, Gran Canaria courtesy of maccanti’s Photostream