Photography by World ARC Rally/Tourism Queensland
The World ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) Rally has again chosen Mackay Marina Village as their entry point into Australia for this year’s event.
World ARC is a round-the-world adventure taking place over 15 months and covering 26,000 nautical miles. Following the classic tradewinds route, the rally avoids regions of political instability, piracy and the storm seasons in both hemispheres.
Participants can join the fleet in Saint Lucia or in Australia, and sail a half rally or make the whole circumnavigation. Boats leaving after a half rally can join the next edition to complete their circumnavigation.
According to organisers “World ARC is a mix of cruising in company and free time to explore. The pace of the rally allows the fleet to stay together, and to enjoy shore-side activities as a group. There are longer free cruising periods that allow participants to fly home for work or family, or to travel further by air.”
World Cruising Club was born with the first ARC in 1986, the first-ever ocean crossing rally. They now help more than 450 boats and 1,200 people to achieve their sailing dreams every year. Some of their rallies are large, others are more intimate. Whatever the size, they all adhere to the original ethos of safe and social cruising.
The 1150nm leg between Vanuatu to Mackay is scheduled for July. In August, the fleet will cruise the Great Barrier Reef before setting off for Darwin, then Lombok, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Mauritius, Reunion, Richards Bay South Africa, then Capetown to St Helena, onto Salvador Brazil, then St George’s, Grenada, cruising the Windward Islands, then finishing and prize-giving in St Lucia.
While in Mackay, the fleet will berth, stock up on provisions and undertake maintenance, as well as enjoying the local hospitality and heading for Cape Hillsborough and the Hibiscus Coast, plus the various tourist attractions around Mackay, gateway to the southern Whitsundays.
The visit brings with it significant business, media attention, and word of mouth referral from participants.
Twice winner of the MIA’s Marina of the Year award and certified Clean Marina, Mackay Marina is strategically positioned midway between Brisbane and Cairns on a stretch of coastline often referred to as the “100 Magic Miles” – a convenient base for exploration of the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays.
Mackay Marina is a full-service, destination marina with adjacent commercial precinct including the shipyard and hardstand. It is a Port of Entry to Australia with Customs and Border Protection and DAFF on site. The marina boasts 479 berths, including six superyacht berths and 120 multihull berths, 65-tonne travel-lift designed to slip boats of up to 9.2m beam and commercial fishing and maintenance berths, fuel dock and approval to construct a further 49 berths.
With a 140-metre frontage to the marina esplanade, there’s a retail, dining and services village comprising marine trades, plus residential apartments and a hotel.