#ARCrally – Two Irish boat preparing for a trip of a lifetime on the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) have had to delay their plans in Las Palmas but only for 48 hours as gales have postponed the start of the rally for the first time since 1989.
Dun Laoghaire sailor Hugo Karlsson-Smythe together with his family on board the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39i the just Nuts! will most likely slip their lines on a 4,500 km passage across the Atlantic Ocean from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to St. Lucia in the Caribbean on Tuesday.
But when Hugo, Annica and children Axel, Louvisa arrive on the other side the voyage is far from over because they intend to sail a little further south to the island of Petit St. Vincent, where on the 8th of January 2013 (and after a brief sixteen year engagement according to Hugo) Annica and Hugo will tie the knot.
The ARC entry list stands at 227 boats, the majority of which are family cruisers, sailed by family and friends on the adventure of a lifetime. Multihulls are again popular, with 19 booked for the crossing.
A second Irish boat, a Dehler 36 Indulgence skippered by Aidan Heffernan is also in the cruising division.
Because of the strong winds ARC Skippers have been offered choice of departure date
It was announced at yesterday's Skippers' Briefing in Las Palmas that the start of the ARC will be delayed for the cruising divisions.
For the first time since 1989, the start of the ARC has been delayed due to predicted high winds. A low pressure system is predicted to bring winds of 25 knots or more on Sunday night, making uncomfortable conditions in the wind acceleration zone south of Gran Canaria.
Skippers have been offered two start dates; one as planned on Sunday 25, and one on Tuesday 27 November.
The low pressure system is predicted to bring southerly winds of 25 knots or more, with 35 knots plus in the wind acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. Boats are expected to be in this area for their first night at sea on Sunday night, and whilst not unmanageable, the conditions are likely to be uncomfortable for the majority of the family cruising boats.
The announcement was met by spontaneous applause by the assembled 1250 skippers and crew at the briefing.
Skippers were offered the choice of starts; to take the original start on Sunday 25, or a rescheduled start on Tuesday 27 November. The majority elected to wait until Tuesday 27, remaining in habour in Las Palmas while the winds blow through.
Stronger winds do provide ideal conditions for the racing fleet, and these boats are expected to take the start on Sunday, as planned.