The entry limit has already been reached for this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2002 which starts in November

A total of 225 yachts have entered ARC 2002 (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) making it the largest Trans Oceanic sailing event in the World. Entries have been received faster than previous years, with the capacity number of yachts, 225, reached a month earlier than expected and the fastest on record.

The yachts, from 23 different countries, will set sail on 24 November 2002 from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay in St Lucia. The ARC is now one of the most popular ways for yachts to cross the Atlantic.

World Cruising Club (WCC), organiser of the event and part of Challenge Business, is still taking hopeful entries onto a waiting list, but will only accept these as yachts already entered withdraw during the build-up. However, those without a boat still have the opportunity to participate, whether a fully experienced skipper, or a complete novice. A forum set up on the WCC’s Web site ( acts as a notice board for those requiring crew, or those requiring a boat! Challenge Business will also be entering two of its Global Challenge 67ft race yachts this year, each boat providing an opportunity for 12 more sailors, of any level, to enjoy the 2,700nm voyage.

Established 17 years ago, the ARC is open to cruising monohulls and catamarans over 27ft. The World Cruising handicap is used to calculate results in the cruising classes, while a racing class, under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, is run for those wanting a more competitive crossing. Last year, 22-year-old skipper Ross Daniel completed the event in record time, on Spirit of Diana, in just under 12 days.

Commenting on the continuing success of the ARC, Andrew Bishop, general manager of WCC, says: “It is amazing how the ARC reaches its entry limit earlier each year. 225 yachts is the maximum we can manage, and will provide a great boost for Gran Canaria and St Lucia.”

Asked about improvements for this year, Mr Bishop said, “I am delighted that the Marina in Las Palmas will be improving a number of their facilities with a two-year programme of investment, which has already started. The programme of social activities in St Lucia will also be undergoing some change this year.”

Yacht manufacturers also benefit from the event. For the second time Nautor Swan is the builder with the largest number of yachts, a remarkable 24, representing a fraction over 10 per cent of the ARC fleet. Oyster and Hallberg Rassy both have 15 yachts and, having moved into larger yacht production relatively recently, it is also good to see a strong representation from Moody, including one of the new Moody 64s.

Enrico Chieffi, Marketing Director of Nautor Swan said: “Since 2000, the ClubSwan Racing Office has focused its communication, to our Swan owners, on the six international regattas that make up the Nautor’s Swan Challenge Series. We are delighted that the ARC, one of the regattas in the Series, is benefiting with the steady increase of participating Swans.”

Conceived as a friendly race for cruising yachts to make the Atlantic crossing both safer and more enjoyable, experienced sailors, fleet sailing and daily position reporting make this event appealing for those with little or lots of offshore experience. The programme of entertainment is another incentive for those wanting to cross to St Lucia.