The Atlantic Rally For Cruisers

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If you love beautiful sailboats and the thrill of being on the sea, you are going to love everything about the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers! With Capella Marigot Bay also being a Marina, we are all very excited about this amazing nautical event that concludes right here in Saint Lucia.

Started in 1986, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers has taken place every November as a way for sailing enthusiasts to safely cross the Atlantic together.

World ARC fleet at Cocos Keeling (c) Sarah Barthelet

The Rally begins in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. During the first leg of the journey, the boats sail to Mindelo, Sao Vicente in Cape Verde. During the second leg they sail to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia! The boats typically arrive anytime between November 29th and December 3rd.


Though the rally is not a race, some friendly competitive sportsmanship definitely plays a part. Handicaps are given based on factors such as the type of boat or the number of people in the crew. On December 9th, once all the boats have arrived in Rodney Bay, an awards ceremony is held and awards are given out in different categories such as “First two-manned boat to cross the finish line” or even fun titles such as “prettiest boat.”

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Over 200 boats and 1200 sailors participate in the yearly event which attracts everyone from casual sailing families with children to serious racers, from big boats to small boats and everything in between. Those who do not wish to calculate their results are not obligated to do so and can simply enjoy this fun, social and safe way to sail across the Atlantic! The ARC has created a supportive community based in friendship and a shared interest in sailing.

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The social aspects of the ARC are witnessed by all who visit Rodney Bay during this time period. The achievement of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a small sailboat is celebrated and regardless when each boat arrives, the crew is greeted with refreshments and rum punch. As the ARC says “No matter what time of day or night, the welcome party will be waiting for you!”

The popularity of the Rally has attracted the attention of so many sailors and sailing enthusiasts that a second category called the ARC+ was opened and these boats come to our very own Marigot Bay! The entire event is an exciting part of St. Lucian island life that provides a fascinating look into the world of sailing. You can even view the sailing progress of each of the boats online by clicking here. I certainly hope you will join us for the excitement either in person or at very least on social media!

Please let me know if you will be partaking in this year’s ARC so that I can follow along on Social Media.  I would love to share your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Good luck to all of the participants!

The Zihua Sail Fest

One of the most popular sports in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is sailing.  Every year, thousands of sailing aficionados come to enjoy and practice their favorite sport in the beautiful natural setting of Zihuatanejo.  The Zihua Sail Fest, which is celebrating its twelfth anniversary, has become one of my favorite events of the year.

In true spirit of a “rendezvous”, vessels start arriving in November from as far away as Alaska and the Caribbean and drop anchor until February to participate in what is becoming one of Mexico’s premier sailing events.

The Zihua Sail Fest is a five-day festival that combines fun and games, heart-felt volunteerism and an outpouring of international friendship.  The general mood of the event is light-hearted, but participants’ goals are pretty serious:  To raise funds for the education of Zihuatanejo’s disadvantaged children.

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Sailboat and dinghy races, cocktail parties, concerts, live auctions, kids’ day, beach parties, chili cook-offs, regattas and school events are just some of the activities that highlight this gathering.  (In fact, Capella Ixtapa’s seafood chili recipe won the contest last year!)

Last year, bolstered by grants from Rotary International, materials donations from the city government, and the volunteer labor of dozens of parents, the event raised $474,000 pesos.  The money provided our community with a new kindergarten and primary school.  Projects funded by the last Zihua Sail Fest benefited five schools and more than 400 children.

This year the festival takes place from February 5th until February 10th.  Last year 102 vessels registered and we are hoping for even more this year!  If you are interested in partaking in this year’s events, please join me at Capella Ixtapa and your Personal Assistant will happily help in your planning.  For more information on the fundraiser & foundation visit


Photo by: Christian Ramiro González Verón via Flickr

El Zihua Sail Fest

Uno de los deportes más populares en Ixtapa Zihuatanejo es la Vela. Cada año, miles de aficionados a la Vela vienen a disfrutar y practicar su deporte favorito en el hermoso marco natural que brinda Zihuatanejo. El Zihua Sail Fest, el cual cumple su 12º aniversario, se ha vuelto uno de mis eventos favoritos del año.

Con un espíritu real de “cita”, las embarcaciones comienzan a arribar en Noviembre de puntos tan lejanos como Alaska y el Caribe y anclan hasta Febrero para ser parte de un evento que ya se considera entre los mejores eventos de Vela de México.

El Zihua Sail Fest, es un festival de cinco días que combina ocio y diversión, voluntariado de corazón, y una efusiva amistad internacional. El ambiente general del evento es relajado, sin embargo, las metas de los participantes son muy serias: Recaudar fondos para la educación de los niños con desventajas de Zihuatanejo.

 Zihua Sail Fest

Regatas de Veleros y Vela ligera (dinghy), cocteles, conciertos, subastas, día de los niños, fiestas en la playa, parrilladas de Chili al aire libre, clases públicas y eventos escolares son solo algunas de las actividades que enmarcan este evento. (De hecho, la receta para el chili de mariscos de Capella Ixtapa ganó la parrillada del 2012!)

El año pasado, apoyados por donaciones del Club Rotario Internacional, materiales por parte de las autoridades municipales, y la labor voluntaria de docenas de padres, el evento recaudó $474,000 pesos. El dinero sirvió para habilitar un nuevo jardín de niños y una primaria para la comunidad. Los proyectos apoyados por el Zihua Sail Fest beneficiaron a 5 escuelas y más de 400 niños.

Este año el festival tendrá lugar del martes 5 al domingo 10 de Febrero. Durante la edición anterior 102 embarcaciones se registraron y esperamos aún más este año! Si estás interesado en participar en los eventos de este año, por favor, acompáñanos en Capella Ixtapa y tu Asistente Personal estará encantado de ayudarte a planear tu asistencia. Para más información sobre la fundación y recaudación de fondos visita:


Imagen por: Christian Ramiro González Verón via Flickr