A fleet of 18 yachts in the World ARC celebrate completing their voyage in Saint Lucia

Photo above: the World ARC fleet at Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia, before the final parade of sail to Rodney Bay

A fleet of 18 yachts that started the World ARC circumnavigation 15 months ago completed their round the world voyage in Saint Lucia today after a journey that has taken most around 29,000 miles.

Of the 29 yachts that started in Saint Lucia in January last year, most after a transatlantic crossing from Europe, some have stopped halfway, four dropped out and others joined. Their route back to the Caribbean via Cape Town and Brazil has involved some very long legs in boisterous conditions, frequently on the wind, and crews here are understandably tired as well as elated.

One yacht that didn’t quite make it to the finish was Basia, Canadian couple Michael and Basia Neumann’s Privilege 445 catamaran. The yacht was dismasted in collision in a ship off the coast of Brazil, damaged on the port side and holed on starboard after the broken mast holed the hull.

Several other World ARC yachts came to help. Another crew managed to plug the worst hole with underwater epoxy and over the next days they transferred fuel to get Basia to Grenada.

Thee yachts stood by and escorted Basia for the remaining 1,300 miles. The damaged yacht was assessed here and the repair bill is estimated at around US$400,000 because the hulls twisted in the collision causing serious structural damage.

Determined to make the finish one way or the other, Michael and Basia Neumann and their daughter Anna joined a German catamaran, Wolfgang Boorberg’s Destiny (below), for the last legs from Grenada to Saint Lucia. The photo is of the combined crew of the two yachts today amid much celebration.


Several of these round the world crews are couples who have been sailing mostly or entirely double-handed. This is a really special achievement to be celebrated. Among them are David and Susan Mackay from Scotland (below), who took part in the Blue Water Rally round the world in 2007 and are marking the completion of their second circumnavigation.


We will have a full report on the World ARC in our July issue, including advice and recommendations from skippers on preparing for a long-term cruise ranging crew selection to equipment choice, and we’ll also focus in detail at the costs involved.