Following the launch at the Southampton Boat Show today, World Cruising Club has announced entries are now open for ARC Channel Islands 2016.
More than 50 people gathered at the RYA lounge to learn more about the new rally taking place in August 2016. Run in association with RYA Active Marina, ARC Channel Islands offers a mix of preparation advice and support from a lead boat, combined with a cruise-in-company and social activities ashore.
Premier Marina in Gosport will host the start of ARC Channel Islands 2016 with a welcome supper, safety checks and Skippers Briefing organised before the fleet set sail for the first leg to Cherbourg on Saturday 20 August. Following the full day sail, rally yachts arrive in the French port to celebrate a successful Channel crossing with a welcome reception to share their experiences, and crews will have the following day to explore the town and visit the local market. After the passage to Cherbourg, the distances between stopovers are between 30-50nm as the rally visits Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney; the days are planned to combine pleasant sailing with time to explore ashore and meet up with other crews over a rally meal or sundowner on arrival. The overall route and daily schedule is adaptable for prevailing weather conditions and rally staff will be on hand throughout to deliver the shoreside programme, including an island tour of Guernsey and visit to the WW2 Military Hospital, as well as a ride on the Alderney railway. The fleet will return to Gosport following an overnight sail from Alderney, and conclude the rally with a farewell dinner on Saturday 27 August.
Crews joining ARC Channel Islands will receive the peace of mind of being part of an organised event; enjoying social and sightseeing activities with others in the fleet along with time to independently explore. The entry fee includes all berthing for the duration of the rally, GPS satellite tracking of each yacht, the support of a lead boat and World Cruising Club staff on hand throughout the rally.
Aside from the focus on safety and support, there is a comprehensive social programme encouraging the camaraderie between crews to quickly develop during the rally. RYA membership is included in the entry fee for those not already members and discounts are available for existing RYA members.
Guy Malpas, RYA Yachting Development Manager, said: "The RYA Active Marina scheme aims to help boat owners gain more from their boats, and this rally is an excellent opportunity for both novice and experienced sailors to hone their skills on a challenging but enjoyable passage. We are pleased to be supporting this rally, and hope it is encourages more people to get afloat and use their boats."
Due to space restrictions, ARC Channel Islands is limited to 25 boats and places will be allocated on a 'first come, first served basis'.