The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2020 started on Sunday 22nd November 2020 from Las Palmas – Canary Islands.
The ARC is a renowned, friendly and well supervised transoceanic cruise race, created in 1986. The Rally departs from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and arrives in Saint Lucia.
57 yachts, 300 crew members, at the start of this 2020 edition.
The fleet is divided into several categories, including one dedicated to the 15 multihulls in the rally.
2 NEELs took the start
For this edition, two NEELs took the start, a NEEL 47, Minimole, winner in all categories, of the ARC+ in 2019 (a variant of the ARC which departs from Mindelo – Cape Verde), with an Italian crew on board, and a NEEL 51, the Octant with a French crew.
To the question “Why did the owner choose a NEEL trimaran?” the skipper of the NEEL 47, Patrick Phélippon, answers: Having the objective of participating in the ARC and if possible winning it, the owner, Aldo Fumagalli, went to various boat shows to consult the multihull offer, his choice quickly fell on a trimaran which offers a strong potential for cruising races while having the necessary comfort for summer holidays with his family. The owner first chartered a NEEL 45 to make sure of his choice, he was particularly satisfied with the boat’s behaviour which confirmed his decision to acquire the NEEL 47 with which he won the ARC+ 2019. For this new crossing, in addition to a new parasailor, the boat was equipped with several gennakers and a downwind staysail. The system of the spinnaker poles and the system of routine manoeuvres for trimming the headsails have been perfected. We have also upgraded the mainsail sheeting system for better control of the sail leech.
Stéphane Fribolle, the owner of the racing NEEL 51, explains his choice: For me, the NEEL trimarans are the best compromise between seaworthiness, safety, comfort, pleasure and speed. Eric Bruneel, the founder of the shipyard, has perfectly understood what many sailors and their families or friends are looking for. A unit on which to feel the joy of sailing in total fluidity and the quality of life on board are two notions perfectly in phase… The model of the 51 allows to approach the ideal surfaces to live there with several people while having an important living space for each one on board. For this rally, the Octant has been equipped for racing but without optimisation. She will take part with her original sails and rigging like a normal boat which is leaving for a family transatlantic race.