It was announced yesterday (Sat 24th Nov)) at the Skippers’ Briefing in Las Palmas that the start of the ARC will be delayed for the cruising divisions.
For the first time since 1989, the start of the ARC has been delayed due to predicted high winds. A low pressure system is predicted to bring winds of 25 knots or more tonight (Sun), making uncomfortable conditions in the wind acceleration zone south of Gran Canaria. Cruising and Multihull division skippers have been offered two start dates; one as planned for today, and one on Tuesday 27 November.
The low pressure system is predicted to bring southerly winds of 25 knots or more, with 35 knots plus in the wind acceleration zone to the south of Gran Canaria. Boats are expected to be in this area for their first night at sea tonight (Sun), and while not unmanageable, the conditions are likely to be uncomfortable for the majority of the family cruising boats.
All cruising skippers were offered the choice of starts; to take the original start on Sunday 25, or a rescheduled start on Tuesday 27 November. The majority of skippers elected to wait until Tuesday 27, remaining in harbour in Las Palmas while the winds blow through.
Stronger winds do provide ideal conditions for the racing fleet, and these boats will take start on Sunday, as planned.