Your Local Broker, Internationally

Berthon UK
(Lymington, Hampshire - UK)

Sue Grant
0044 (0)1590 679 222

Berthon France
(Mandelieu La Napoule, France)

Bruno Kairet
0033 (0)4 93 63 66 80

Berthon Scandinavia
(Henån, Sweden)

Magnus Kullberg
0046 304 694 000

Berthon Spain
(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Simon Turner
0034 639 701 234

Berthon USA
(Rhode Island, USA)

Jennifer Stewart
001 401 846 8404

World ARC – Sailing Your Dream

By Rachel Hibberd, World Cruising Club

Sailing with blue skies above and dolphins in your wake. Dropping anchor in gin-clear water near a palm-fringed beach. Catching tuna for the freshest seafood supper. Meeting interesting people and enjoying the solitude. The dream of ocean cruising is seductive, especially when the reality is a beat to Cherbourg in never-ending drizzle.

This is ‘the dream’, but making the dream come true takes planning, time and support. It can be difficult to create the space for bluewater between commitments to work, children, grandchildren, elderly parents or pets. Is it a grown-up gap year, or an open-ended voyage of discovery? What does your dream look like?

American Lane Jacobs sums up the aspirations of many sailors:

“I’ve wanted to sail around the world since 1976, and it’s taken me almost 50 years to learn to sail, save the money, get the right boat and find the time to do it. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here at last for the start of World ARC.”


Even if you’re not selling-up and setting sail for ever, you can still have a transformational adventure. A six-month window could be a leisurely sail to the Mediterranean or round the Baltic, or even an east-west Atlantic crossing. Lay-up in Grenada or Trinidad and fly home to return the following winter, or book a place on a yacht transport ship and bring your yacht back to Europe.

A year expands your horizons for a classic Atlantic circuit – crossing east-west in the autumn for a Caribbean winter, returning to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores in late spring before hurricane season. Come back to the UK, or head from the Azores to Portugal and into the Mediterranean for the European summer.


Want to sail round the world but need to get back to work? A 21-month sabbatical could see you sailing from Europe across the Atlantic for a Caribbean Christmas, before transiting the Panama Canal and on across the Pacific visiting the Galapagos, French Polynesia, Fiji and Australia. Into the Indian Ocean to Indonesia, Cocos, Mauritius, Reunion and then South Africa for your second Christmas away, perhaps at a game lodge.

Departing South Africa in the New Year, you’d cross the Atlantic to Brazil for the famous carnival season before heading up to the Caribbean, crossing your outbound track in March. Complete your circumnavigation with a leisurely cruise up through the islands, leaving in May to cross the Atlantic back to Europe.

Circumnavigating in under two years does require a sense of pace, but there is also time to explore and wonder. If you have no deadline for return, then yours is the luxury of time, with your route and landfalls dictated only by weather systems and visa requirements.

world-arc-sailing-dream-1© WCC

world-arc-sailing-dream-2ARC 2018 © JAMES MITCHELL

world-arc-sailing-dream-3COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS © WCC

world-arc-sailing-dream-4ARC 2022 © WCC


Alongside the social atmosphere and focus on safety, one of the key reasons for joining a Rally is the timetable. Having a start date means that yacht and crew preparations come together at the optimum time – there is a target to aim for. The momentum of the Rally itinerary, especially for a multi-destination voyage like a circumnavigation, balances supported visits to far-flung destinations with personal exploration, keeping participants the right side of seasonal weather systems and able to return to home and work commitments as planned.

A circumnavigation doesn’t have to be a ‘one and done’ dream, as Helmut and Babsi Laxen explain.
“This is the second time we’ve done World ARC. We love it so much, particularly the camaraderie among the sailors. Our favourite destination, which we can’t wait to return to, is Fakarava in French Polynesia.”

As Helmet Laxen highlights, camaraderie is a big aspect of cruising with a Rally. The in-port Rally activities are designed to help sailors finalise their preparations and to meet fellow ralliers. While not literally in the same boat, the rally participants share common goals and challenges, whether they’re the proud owner of a Westerly Konsort, an Oyster 565 or a 30m custom build.

When the Rally is at sea, even when yachts are mostly out of sight, there is an element of safety in numbers – someone to offer advice over the SSB net (now more often the Starlink WhatsApp group), or to donate a vital replacement part. In last year’s ARC Plus Transatlantic Rally, a Wauquiez 47 was unexpectedly de-masted. Other Rally boats came to her aid, transferring enough fuel to allow the yacht to safely return to Cape Verde.


Some of the shoreside activities for Rally participants include kids’ clubs – the Transatlantic Rallies are popular with young families – as well as talks by industry experts and excursions inland. One of the more unusual activities during the ARC and ARC Plus rallies in Gran Canaria is to plant trees in the ‘ARC Forest’.

In 2010 World Cruising Club joined forces with local not-for profit Fundación Foresta to support their project revitalising the ancient Doramas Forest for the benefit of wildlife, water management and carbon capture. Every year, a busload of sailors heads into the mountains to admire the incredible views, learn about the importance of the forest and to plant trees. Almost 4,000 laurisilva trees have been planted by Rally sailors and carefully nurtured by Fundación volunteers.

Giving back and volunteering can be an important element of the bluewater dream, and World Cruising has helped sailors to get involved with a range of projects around the world, including raising funds for Caribbean youth sailing projects, humanitarian relief in Vanuatu and litter picking on Pacific islands.

world-arc-sailing-dream-5ARC 2011 © WCC

world-arc-sailing-dream-6ARC 2023 START © WCC


world-arc-sailing-dream-8YELLOW SHIRTS TEAM 2023 © WCC

world-arc-sailing-dream-9ARC 2022 © ARTHUR DANIEL


Cowes-based World Cruising Club has been organising Sailing Rallies since the first ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) in 1986. Founded by Jimmy Cornell and run for decades by Andrew Bishop and Jeremy Wyatt, the organisation is now led by Paul and Suzana Tetlow after a management buy-out in 2023.

Paul and Suzana have many years of experience in leading Rallies, working with port officials and overseas partners to deliver the adventure of a lifetime for the sailors. Paul heads up the company as Managing Director, and Suzana brings her unique mix of organisational and language skills to the role of Operations Director. The pair are supported by a small permanent team and wider network of ‘yellow shirts’ during events, many of whom have themselves crossed oceans with us.

Read Another Article
Download Market Report 2024 (6.33MB)