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Atlantic Rally for Cruisers awarded the Medalla de Oro by the City of Las Palmas - World Cruising Club's Andrew Bishop and Mayor of Las Palmas City Augusto Hidalgo
The Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Las Palmas City Hall) has honoured the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) with the city's prestigious Medalla de Oro (Gold Medal) marking the 30th anniversary of the world's most popular sailing rally and its contribution to the city's maritime profile. The official Awards Ceremony was held on 23rd June at the Perez Galdós Theatre, as part of the Foundational Festivities of the Capital City of Gran Canaria. Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club accepted the award from the Mayor of Las Palmas City, Augusto Hidalgo, to rapturous applause.


During the Awards Ceremony, the Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also recognised 22 personalities and groups due to their social, sports, commercial, scientific and cultural importance for their contribution to the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The ceremony is the start of the celebrations associated with the foundation of the city on 24 June in 1478, marked at midnight by a spectacular firework display watched by a crowd estimated to be 100,000 as they gather along the sea front promenade of Las Canteras beach to join in the festivities of San Juan day.


"Being presented a Gold Award by the City Hall of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a great honour for World Cruising Club as we celebrate the 30th edition of the ARC this year." said Andrew Bishop. "Since the first Atlantic Rally for Cruisers in 1986 Las Palmas has been the start port for the event. This award recognises the excellent relationship between our two organisations, and the contribution the ARC makes to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria each year. Personally it was a great honour to receive the Gold Award on behalf of World Cruising Club at such a prestigious and historically significant ceremony."


Each year since the ARC was first held in 1986, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has hosted the 200-boat fleet for their pre-rally preparations and spectacular start, providing the city with economic and tourism benefits from the thousands of sailors who visit to take part. The city-scape and local services have evolved over the years, but the warm the welcome that participants receive from the City and excellent facilities it provides for preparing for a transatlantic voyage, continue to make it perfect starting port for the world's largest transocean rally.


The international flavour of the ARC has been a unique trait of the rally for the past three decades. Over 25 nationalities are represented annually, including Great Britain and Germany with the largest number of boats, alongside entries from France, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, USA, Canada, Switzerland and Spain. Such a wide number of countries represented give an idea of the international impact of this regatta and the tourist promotion of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as a sailing destination, along with the economic benefits for the city.


As the rally celebrates its 30th edition, interest continues to be exceptional for both ARC starts, with the traditional ARC route and ARC+ Cape Verdes both expected to reach capacity once again in 2015. The route choice for ARC+ Cape Verdes has proved popular with many ARC veterans keen to discover another archipelago en-route to the Caribbean and is limited to 75 entries for the start on 8 November. The ARC+ fleet sail from Las Palmas to Saint Lucia via Sao Vincente, Cape Verde followed two weeks later on 22 November by over 200 boats sailing the direct route.

Photo : ARC
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