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Great Escapes Yachting

Corporate Sailing, Sail Teambuilding and Private Luxury Crewed Yacht Charter

with yachts sailing in the UK, Caribbean and Mediterranean
including British Virgin Islands, Antigua, St. Martin, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sardinia, Corsica, Croatia and the Balearics

ARC 2014 - aboard Great Escape

ARC Crew
Great Escape ARC 2013 Crew
From its inception in 1986, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers or more commonly referred to as "The ARC", has become a firm favourite with those making their first ocean crossing. The concept has been so successful, that many have returned, in subsequent years, to repeat the experience.

ARC 2014 leaves Las Palmas on 23rd November and follows the traditional Clipper route to the West Indies. Christopher Columbus followed the same route when he discovered America. It is normally downwind sailing all the way to St Lucia following the warm Easterly Trades. The passage takes on average approximately 17 to 20 Days, with a distance of 2,700 nautical miles.

However, participants must realize that you are at the hands of the weather and 2010 took 22 days with the trades not setting in properly until we were halfway.

Crew will be expected to join the yacht in Gran Canaria any time after 19th November but before 22nd in order to help prepare the yacht, provisioning etc for the trip. There is of course time to join in the many fun events and lectures in the run up to the start.

ARC Tradewind sailing
ARC 2012 Tradewind sailing
Although primarily designated a rally, there is a race element involved and prizes to be won. For 2014 we believe that some crew training/team bonding should be conducted in the UK prior to joining in Las Palmas. To this end we propose running a weekend training session to cover spinnaker flying, night sailing and watch keeping.

You will be on the start line on Sunday 23rd November in amongst 200 or more other yachts, a very exciting moment. After leaving the Canary Islands, the yachts separate and drop out of sight, leaving you to sail the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean apparently alone. Whilst it is impossible to accurately predict the arrival time in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, around 17-21 days would be a good estimate.

Great Escape
Great Escape snapped at close quarters by
Skyelark Mid Atlantic during ARC2010

Great Escape snapped at close quarters by Skyelark Mid Atlantic during ARC2010 Great Escape is a Jeanneau SO 52.2. She is fully equipped for Ocean Sailing and operates under a Category 0 MCA Coding. She has completed ten ARC's from new. Accommodation is in four double cabins, she has 4 heads with Showers. The total number on the boat is limited to 9.

Your skipper will be Matt Pike who will have completed the round trip in 2013/4 as skipper of Great Escape.

Matt skippered ‘Edinburgh Inspiring Capitol’ one of ten identical 68-foot stripped down racing yachts, each of which are sponsored by a city, region or country in the 09/10 Clipper around the world Race. He was in charge of a team of 42 people, managing the mix of personalities and the major challenges that were presented to them. The team made up of people from all walks of life, took part in this 35,000-mile round the world yacht race. It is the only global ocean race in which anyone, regardless of background or sailing ability can take part. This may have been the toughest challenge to date but the decision to take part came from a decade of skippering amateur crew in off shore races. From a teenager Matt was a regular in RORC ‘Royal Ocean Race Club’ meetings and his more local East coast regattas. When not successfully campaigning race boats, skippering professional deliveries or sail training matt works with adventure sailing groups like the combined services and Outward Bound. This work has taken from the Arctic Circle to the southern Ocean and literally around the globe.

The price for 2014 will be £3,650 and includes: Sextant practice (if interested), rally entry fees, mooring and berthing costs, your berth, food, and soft drinks during the crossing. Participants can arrive from Wednesday 19tht November and are welcome to stay for 2 days after the finish; whilst in harbour food will be taken ashore at your expense.

All crew will be expected to undertake the weekend training session during the summer prior to joining in Las Palmas. The cost of this is included in the price.

It is also mandatory that crew have personal insurance cover, which specifically covers Atlantic sailing, air/sea rescue, and includes cancellation; we use’s Mariners policy. Or Topsail Insurance Silver Policy.

Crew will be expected to take an active part in sailing the boat as well as standing watches including cooking and general maintenance whilst at sea.

It is also preferable that crew have undertaken the RYA Sea Survival Course prior to the trip. This can be arranged through Southampton Maritime Institute or the RYA. This is also included in the cost of the trip. Details of the ARC2013 can be seen at the Yacht blog at

Our Skipper is happy to talk to prospective crew about the trip prior to committing.