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Gran Canaria Start for ARC until 2010

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) reaches a milestone this year, moving into its third decade.

Big celebrations are planned for the 20th ARC on arrival in St Lucia.

Director of World Cruising Club, Andrew Bishop, Bishop said: “Both the start port of Las Palmas and finish port of St Lucia are very much behind this anniversary year. We are delighted that the Patronato de Turismo and Port Authority of Gran Canaria have signed a contract until 2010, securing the start of the event from the Canaries.”

Commenting on the continuing success of the ARC, Bishop, said: “Last year was incredible, with a full list much earlier than expected. However, entries for this year had been steadily coming in since the end of ARC2004.”

Twenty-one nations are represented in the 2005 ARC fleet, making this not only the largest trans-ocean event in the world, but also the most diverse.

The fleet ranges from the Vancouver 32 Free Spirit of Itchenor from Great Britain, to the largest boat at 104 feet, Kalikobass II from the Cayman Islands.

To date there are 40 children taking part in the ARC, almost double that of last year. The ARC attracts folks who are embarking on a new stage of their lives. Jim and Jane Horner from Ireland are taking early retirement also to circumnavigate the world in their home-built Suncat 40, Lady Jane III.

There are seven Spanish yachts entered in ARC2005, three of those hailing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Long term supporters of the ARC, leading chandlery Rolnautic have their own entry in the ARC this year, a Northwind‚ 59 called Oranda III, owned by Carlos Rodriquez Fernandez.

One team that definitely will not be overlooked, and that proves you can start sailing at any point in your life, is the Turkish all-female crew aboard the Dufour 40 Odienne. All working women between the ages of 29 and 55, some of the crew did not start sailing until they were 50!

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