Rally Time 2019

The Salty Dawgs arrive in the Caribbean and the ARC leaves Gran Canaria.

ARC fleet
A record-breaking ARC fleet leaves Gran Canaria.James Mitchell

The end of the Atlantic hurricane season marks the beginning of the annual cruising migration to the Caribbean, and this past week the Salty Dawg Rally arrived in Antigua and Eleuthera, Bahamas, and the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers departed the Canary Islands for their transatlantic run.

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association hosted its ninth Fall Rally to the Caribbean with 69 boats participating. Monohulls made up 67 percent of the fleet, but the 23 multihulls taking part in the rally made this the largest fleet of multihulls ever to depart the U.S. in an organized event!

ARC boats leave Las Palmas
Spectators watch as the ARC boats leave Las Palmas.James Mitchell

Captains in this year’s rally, which departed Hampton, VA on November 2, could choose from two arrival ports—Antigua or Eleuthera, Bahamas. Both locations welcomed the sailors with open arms and a week or more of planned activities.

Salty Kids
Salty Kidscourtesy of Salty Dawg Sailing Association

These “Safe Arrival” celebrations honored everyone’s offshore accomplishments with happy hours, yacht club receptions, an official Safe Arrival Dinner and much more. The boats in this year’s rally hailed from seven different countries and ranged in size from 30-70’ with the majority in the 40-49’ range.For more information and to join the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, visit the SDSA website.

Salty Dawg ralliers
Salty Dawg ralliers celebrate a successful passage.courtesy of Salty Dawg Sailing Association

Over 1,000 sailors on more than 250 boats crossed the 2019 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers starting line in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on November 24. The majority of boats will take 18 to 21 days to make the 2,700-nautical-mile Atlantic crossing, arriving in Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia. Whatever time they make landfall, every boat will be met at the dock by Saint Lucia Tourism Board and World Cruising Club staff bearing a welcome rum punch and cold drinks. There is a full schedule of events in Rodney Bay for all ARC crews and their friends and families, culminating in the ARC prize giving on 21 December. Learn more about the ARC and track all of the boats as they make their way to the Caribbean at the World Cruising Club website.