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Continued growth for ocean rallies

Jan 1, 2003

The 10th running of the Caribbean 1500 Rally will depart Newport, R.I., October 31 for its annual voyage south to the Caribbean Sea. Every year between 60 to 70 boats gather in Newport for the 10- to 12-day passage.

"Voyaging in a rally such as this one gives people the opportunity to share their knowledge and concerns with others. It's a wonderful way to make the voyage south for the winter," said founder and organizer Steve Black. "We usually depart around the first of November, which is when, since hurricane season is over, insurance companies allow northern boats to voyage south of 32°."

Participants in the Caribbean 1500 typically stay in contact via SSB beyond the duration of the voyage. Every morning at 0730 Atlantic Standard Time, the morning chatabout weather, unique destinations, or interesting experiencesoccurs during the rally. "We started the radio 'net' 10 years ago and expected people to use it stay in touch during the Rally and then stop using it. But the morning chat has not stopped for 10 years, and it goes on year-round," Black said. Only Rally participants learn the frequency, he said.

Contact the Caribbean 1500 in Newport for more information: 401-848-0302.

The 14th annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is expected to be the largest ever when it departs Grand Canary in November for St. Lucia. The ARC will have approximately 250 yachts making the 17- to 21-day/2,700-mile passage across the Atlantic. The rally will depart Muelle Deportiva in Las Palmas and finish at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia. Yachts from 20 different nations will be in attendance, according to Jeremy Wyatt at the World Cruising Club in Cowes, U.K., organizer of the event.Why sail in a rally of this sort?"People participate for a variety of reasons. The rally provides a framework of safety and fun, especially for those crossing the Atlantic for the first time," Wyatt said. "Participants get the benefit of our experience and knowledge in preparing for the crossing. Help and information is provided through our participant newsletters and at pre-event seminars (such as our U.S. seminar at Annapolis on October 9). During the crossing there is a position-reporting radio net, and the boats' positions are displayed on our web site, allowing family and friends to follow the progress of the rally. However, the event is much more than this. It is the people who participate that make it so special. Why else would we have participants coming back for second, third, or fourth time? Lasting friendships are made during the ARC, which endure long after the rally has finished."

For more information on the ARC, which crosses from the U.S. to Europe every May, contact Lisa Mari at The Challenge Business in Boston at 617-723-7245.