A record ARC fleet is looking at a fast start and some cracking tradewinds


This blog is going cruising?

It’s ARC time in Las Palmas, and there are over 200 yachts in the marina here ready to set off on Sunday on the 2,700 mile crossing from Las Palmas to St Lucia. As ever, an incredible range of boats have congregated for the annual pilgrimage, from 23-year-old Dorset sailor Henry Adams’s Folkboat Ariel, all the way up to a Truly Classic 78 owned by Dutch sailor Jan Hart.

The ARC is lining up for a record entry, with around 240 yachts due to cross the line. A fast crossing invariably makes for a happy event, so the good news is that the weather disturbance that has been sucking the life out of the tradewinds (and robbing the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Barcelona World Race of some decent armchair action), is at long last moving off.

Weather expert Chris Tibbs is predicting north-easterlies of 20-25 knots for the start and tradewinds on the traditional, southerly route that look like making it a quick event this year.

Chris explains: “The low pressure disturbing the weather at the moment is near the Azores and it is moving towards Portugal. High pressure will move south and intensify and a low pressure over Africa will produce a squeeze zone that will start up the tradewinds.”

Lots more from the ARC start upcoming in the next few days.

Meanwhile you might like to agree with me/beg to differ/exit enraged by reading my top 10 transatlantic tips , plus the subsequent improved V2.0 tips