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Race across the Atlantic from the canries to St Lucia in the ARC.

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) began as a safe way to cross the Atlantic in numbers. Today, it's become more of a race, with faster, bigger boats competing each year. Over 200 yachts take part in the largest trans-ocean race of it's kind. The start in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, has a festive atmosphere with plenty of Carribean style parties to celebrate the crossing on the other side. This is an almost exclusively downwind sail in the tradewinds and each day will get hotter as you approach the tropical climate of the Carribean.

The sailing in the ARC is often magical. If the trade winds play ball (and they usually do) you should have day after day of the wind on the quarter, a long Atlantic swell, a few cumulus clouds and a setting sun on the bow.

The ARC attracts a wide mix of nationalities, families, yacht owners and professionals. The atmosphere is of bon homie.

You will sail about 2700nm and forge friendships that will likely last forever.

Once in the Caribbean there is the option to stay on board and cruise up island to Antigua.

Finishing the ARC

The Yacht

The boat we use is a tried and tested 72ft Challenger, built to race around the world, a feat it has accomplished twice. However, she is far from a stripped out racing yacht. Everyone gets their own comfy pipecot, there is a spacious saloon and galley area, two heads with showers, and a watermaker.

She is coded to MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Category Zero which means she is fit to go anywhere in the world in trms of her structure, the safety equipment she carries and the qualifications of the skipper and mate.

Caribbean beach


You don’t need to have racing experience to join the boat. You need to be healthy and reasonably fit. You need to have a willingness to get on with others and get stuck in.

You will be expected to get involved in all aspects of sailing the yacht. From helming and trimming sails to cooking and cleaning.

Sailing across Atlantic Ocean in ARC


9/10 November - Training weekend - Start and Finish in Portsmouth

21st November - Arrive at yacht in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria Island in the Canaries

24th November - ARC 2019 to St Lucia starts

16th December - Depart yacht in St Lucia

16th - 20th December - Optional extra - help deliver/cruise yacht to Antigua.

Sailing across Atlantic crew on rail


The price is £4295 and includes the training weekend, insurance, fuel/gas, all food on board, oilskins and mooring fees.

The island hop from St Lucia to Antigua is £350 and is only available to those that have just done the ARC on the boat.

ARC Crew

How to Book

Staged payments can be made. For more details or to book online with our sister company First Class Sailing. You can read some blogs from past races including last years’s have a look here: Arc Blog

ARC Sailing
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Fantastic days sailing with friends on a wonderful boat. It certainly helped that we had 3 very experienced sailors with us, would highly recommend Firstaway sailing if you want a day on the water in the Solent. - Clive B

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Thanks Sally and Eric for great service and a brilliant day with Firstaway Yacht Charters. Excellent first experience of sailing. Skipper Eric was great and let us all take a turn at the helm. A great way to celebrate special occasions. Boat was clean and well maintained with good facilities too. Would recommend Firstaway to anyone wanting to take a trip sailing. - R & A Jenner

May Bank Holiday Charter of Cascadeur

We were 7 onboard this Jeanneau 12.5 m and while there wasn't much wind, with what little there was we managed 7 kts. Cascadeur is a great charter boat - roomy, clean, well equipped. Eric and Sally were very helpful and clearly know their stuff. - Peter R

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Wonderful people. Sally in particular couldn't have been more helpful. The skippers were professional and experienced, but also good fun and made the whole experience very enjoyable. Thanks all! - Sam N

Day trip with great skipper

Excellent company, with a very well appointed boat (Zara). Nothing was a problem to them, despite me chopping and changing a lot. Our skipper - Gavin - was fantastic. Knowledgable, friendly and great company. I would certainly use this company again.- ASQC

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I arrived with no expectations and ended up having an amazing time on "Elissa" The Skipper was super friendly and got us involved with the sailing. Overall was a phenomenal experience and I highly recommend to anyone considering!! 5 STARS - Virginia Water

Fantastic Service, Again, Thank You!

Firstaway run a great charter business: their yachts are in very good condition, always well prepared, properly cleaned; nothing is too much trouble; friendly and professional. I have been chartering from Firstaway for nearly 20 years and would always recommend them and never look elsewhere! - Mackeaj

Great experience in Solent with Firstaway

I chartered with Firstaway 3 days a Gib'Sea 37ft yatch. Very well kept and clean. excellent service and assistance, very easy checkin-checkout process. we did some 60 miles chilling around the Solent, Yarmouth harbour was also an excellent experience. highly recommended. - Tommaso M

An exciting day

A beautiful day on the water around the Solent... I was slightly anxious as I don’t have webbed feet but Eric and Sally were great hosts and competent sailors... now looking forward to my next seafaring adventure. - Karen

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