ARC USA is a great way to end the Caribbean sailing season. Participants sail in company from Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI to St George's Bermuda, then on to Portsmouth, Virginia or other East Coast ports, or from Nanny Cay to Fort Lauderdale via the Old Bahama Channel.
Most people join a World Cruising Club rally for the security and peace of mind of an organised event; for the camaraderie and friendship of a large group of like-minded people; and for the fun of sailing in a fleet of boats. Sailing ability isn't the deciding factor for joining a rally; some of the crews join the rally every year and have sailed with the USA ARC many times, over tens of thousands of ocean miles. It's the peace of mind that comes from having the support of a professional team in port to help before departure and to meet you on arrival, plus daily weather information, radio contact and satellite tracking at sea.
Each World Cruising Club rally is unique - some are small and intimate, while others involve hundreds of people and lots of fun parties. There will be lots of fun activities organised ashore to help participants relax, meet fellow cruisers and enjoy the preparations for sea.
The social atmosphere of the rally continues at sea, with the daily Radio Nets. These are the glue that keep the rally together, and a way for crews to share thoughts on the weather, swap fishing tips and request advice. SSB radio is an advantage for ocean cruising, as the range is far greater than VHF.
Knowing you are sailing the same route as a number of other boats, crewed by people you know and like, can be a great comfort. It is easy to ask for help and advice, and support is readily given. Every year ralliers help each other with spares, advice and support. Social ties formed at rally parties help build self-sufficiency at sea.
Each boat will be equipped with a YB Tracker before departure. They will wake up every hour to transmit data through the Iridium satellite network to YB HQ. This data is then visualised on to a fleet tracker which is available at the Arc USA website. These transmissions keep friends, family and loved ones at home updated with the fleet progress with just a few clicks of a mouse.