The ARC Rally, organized by the World Cruising Club, is an annual transatlantic sailing event, starting in the Canary Islands and ending in Saint Lucia, covering about 2,700 nautical miles. Participants receive support and guidance from the club, including safety briefings and weather updates. The event also welcomes various types of sailboats: both monohulls and multihulls and is open to experienced ocean sailors as much as those embarking on their first transatlantic crossing.
The 2023 edition of ARC/ ARC+ is quite unique in the sense that this is the first time ever such a large number of Outremer catamarans have registered. A total of 7 Outremer owners have decided to take on the challenge of the ARC+ (composed of an additional leg, with a stopover in Cape Verde) and another 3 will be sailing the traditional ARC route. This makes for a wonderful variety of Outremer catamarans: five Outremer 51s, two 5X, two 55s and one 49 will be sailing side by side with the ARC/ ARC+ fleet. Find out why our group of owners chose to register, and how they are preparing for the event…
Why register for the ARC/ ARC+ rally
When we asked owners why they chose to take part in the ARC/ARC+, these answers came up the most: the desire to outdo themselves, to test the performance aspect of their Outremer, and to get together.
For Outremer owners, crossing the Atlantic is much more than just a challenge. It’s an opportunity to live a once in a lifetime experience, discover new destinations and create strong bonds with their crew and other participants.
Owner of the Outremer 51 Manta Jo said: It has been a lifelong dream of mine to sail around the world… And more recently, my wife has decided that it would be a good experience for her also!
In late 2022, I approached a milestone in my career […] When she suggested that, instead of taking a more senior continuous career pathway […] that we go for a circumnavigation together… It was an offer that I could not refuse.
Owner of the 49’ Enja says: we take the ARC as an advantage to meet nice people, have fun and learn from the ARC Experts for our first Bluewater trip and the racing part is not very important for us.
It came to no surprise that one of our favorite Portuguese couples, onboard the 5X Nuvem Magica would also join in the fun, saying We learned about the ARC before getting our Outremer and after getting it, it seemed the obvious choice to get support to cross the Atlantic while we wait for the GLY World Odyssey 2025 😉
Why an Outremer is the ideal boat for ARC/ ARC+
Easy to handle, lightweight but safe, and comfortable, an Outremer makes for an excellent transition whether you’re from the world of monohulls or have no experience at all. Outremer owners often say that she offers the best of both worlds. She is a well-rounded sailing vessel easily capable of crossing the Atlantic:
We looked at several cats and we finally decided on the Outremer 51. […] We bought a secondhand, but relatively new Outremer 51, which had already been tested in one Atlantic Crossing and return back to France.
I have almost 40 years of sail racing experience, and during the last decade have competed in a number of cat 1 offshore races, all on monohulls, ranging from 40 to 60-foot performance boats.
The performance of the boat for me is key to enjoyment and experience of the ocean.
The comfort and safety aspects are key to us as a couple and family with friends. Therefore, the right balance was the Outremer 51.
After months sailing around the Mediterranean in conditions rising from calm to 45 knots, we have nothing but compliments about the boat.
How Outremer owners are preparing for the ARC/ ARC+ rally
Preparing for an Atlantic crossing and taking part in events such as the ARC and ARC+ requires meticulous preparation and attention to detail. The owners shared with us the challenges they faced such as logistical planning, safety at sea and on board.
They also stressed the importance of:
- Specific training such as the courses taught at Outremer Academy,
- Multiple sea trials,
- Ensuring that their Outremer was ready to face the demanding conditions of the Atlantic Ocean
Outremer 5X owners say: We’ve done multiple 5-night sailing passages in the Med on our catamaran and also, before, we did the RYA Trainings which are 4-night coastal navigation using charts. ARC is extremely well organized. They have checklists for everything and also run inspections. Just having access to those have been a huge help in getting the right mindset to feel confident we are not missing anything.
Outremer 49 owner adds: To be honest the most important help to get the boat ready for the trip was Sylvain and Pierre [Outremer Refit & Brokerage]– they reacted always very fast when I had questions about the technical details from the boat when it was built. They also did their best to bring solutions for problems I was facing, and I could only solve with some input from the technicians of Outremer. Without this support and information from the former production of the boat it would have been much more difficult.
Another said: The preparation for the event has really been progressive, the boat is all really well set up, but we have been continuously reviewing the systems and hardware of the vessel and either upgrading now or putting in place a program to upgrade before September this year in order to be well placed for the crossing. Most of the information and reparation guidance has been my own, or from blogs, such as the author of our owner’s group, or friends. We decided to engage a technical coach for the first week on board in early April, it was a terrific decision. He led us in an intense week- not so much in sailing- but to understand and get my hands dirty with the technical systems on board.
The strong sense of community amongst Outremer owners particularly stands out at these kinds of events and we’re very proud to see so many get together on the water.
Fair winds to all!
Outremer 51 becomes a testing platform for solar sails
Sea trials: Héole solar sails composed of flexible organic photovoltaic (OPV) membranes and fabrics were tested on an Outremer 51.
First circumnavigation of an Outremer 45
Mais Uma is the first Outremer 45 to have completed a full circumnavigation. We gathered the couple’s feedback after their return in La Grande-Motte.