Rally organisers World Cruising Club have announced that Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina on the island of Grenada will be the new Caribbean destination for the 9th annual ARC+ in 2021. Since its launch in 2013, the annual transatlantic route sailing from Gran Canaria with a stopover at Mindelo Marina in Cape Verde en route has proved popular with cruisers sailing under the ARC banner. So much so that two Caribbean landfalls in Saint Lucia and St. Vincent have been necessary since 2017 to increase capacity to meet demand of the families, couples and cruising friends wishing to sail with the tradewinds via Cape Verde.
From December 2021, all boats on the ARC+ route will now finish together at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, combining the fleet at the finish to add to the camaraderie after their Atlantic crossing. ARC+ 2021 is already fully booked with 100 yachts set to take the start from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 7th November following a pre-departure programme.
The traditional, direct ARC route, which departs Las Palmas de Gran Canaria two weeks after the ARC+ start, will sail to Rodney Bay Saint Lucia with the ARC+ destination change helping to ease pressure on facilities in Saint Lucia and spread boats within the southern Caribbean.
Switching the arrival destination to Grenada, also overcomes the need for ARC+ yachts to vacate berths immediately after the rally prizegiving pending arrival of the direct ARC fleet, making for a more enjoyable and less rushed stopover for all. Further, the change has allowed an extra day to be added to ARC+ itinerary in Mindelo, Cape Verde, in response to suggestions from previous participants.
Speaking about the change, Andrew Bishop MD of World Cruising Club commented, “We are delighted to be working with the Grenada Tourism Authority and Camper and Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina to give the ARC+ participants an exciting Caribbean arrival experience, and to bring the fleet together for the first time. We also hope that those crews that head northwards after their arrival will be able to explore Grenada and enjoy some of the best cruising in the Caribbean as they head north.”
Charlotte Fairhead, Marina Manager at Port Louis Marina in Grenada said, “We are delighted to be the host venue for this year’s ARC+, a globally recognised sailing event. Our marina has recently undergone a fantastic renovation, with extra facilities for an additional 90 new berths, ranging from 12 metres - 22 metres. This enables us to be a premium destination to host international sailing events. We are so excited to welcome the ARC+ and look forward to all of the participants feeling at home at Port Louis Marina for the forthcoming season.”
Promising a warm welcome to the transatlantic sailors, Grenada’s Tourism Minister, the Hon. Dr.Clarice Modeste-Curwen commented “Grenada is excited to host this established world class yachting event whilst observing thorough health and safety protocols. As the Caribbean's mecca of spices and home to the world's first Underwater Sculpture Park, we look forward to welcoming the participants to experience our authentic culture, mouth-watering cuisine, unspoiled natural beauty and splash of adventure.”
The 2021 ARC+ is scheduled to set sail from Gran Canaria on 7th November, with the entire rally running for five weeks including two ocean passages and three ports. The route includes a 4 to 6 day stopover in Mindelo, Cape Verde, from where the fleet will restart bound for Grenada on 19th November. On the other side of the Atlantic, every boat will be met with a warm welcome and an ice-cold rum punch and the majority of the fleet will make landfall at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina from the 1st-6th December. The rally will conclude with the prizegiving ceremony on 9th December 2021.