Please select your home edition
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

World ARC 2024-25 - Hats off to Panama

by World Cruising Club 9 Feb 08:15 UTC

The rally's time in Panama is sadly drawing to a close, but for the 26 World ARC boats, it's been a great place to spend a few weeks exploring. Their journey has taken them via some beautiful - and often deserted - islands in San Blas.

It included a private audience with a village chief of an indigenous tribe in the Chagres National Park. And for many it's been a huge tick off the bucket list, as they transited the infamous Panama Canal on their boats.

Reflecting on San Blas, John Lovett from Crazy Horse said, "We enjoyed some of the best snorkelling ever at Holandes Cays. What a great experience." Jane Ogilvie from Dilema, was so taken with Coco Banderos islands, she described them as, "Picture-postcard perfect."

Some participants enjoyed lobster dinners, cooked for them by the local Guna Yala, creating incredible memories of dining by candlelight with their toes in the sand. While one boat skipper sought permission from the island chief to run a film night. They set their projector and screen up on the beach and the film was enjoyed not just by their crew, but also the Gunas living there too!

Amid boat jobs and provisioning taking place while at Shelter Bay Marina, the marina manager, JuanJo Boschetti threw an impromptu party for rally participants. A fun and happy evening was had by all as the rum punch flowed - mixed to the yellow shirts' special recipe - and everyone gathered, excitedly chatting about their forthcoming transit across the Panama Canal.

This year, due to the water shortages in the Panama Canal, the World ARC fleet staggered the transits with all 26 boats going through the Canal within the intended 11-day window.

World Cruising Club's Managing Director, Paul Tetlow said, "This is a huge achievement, representing the close connection World Cruising Club has with the Panama Canal Authority and the comprehensive communications managed by Rally Control and Roy Bravo, our agent. The transit schedule was always going to be a different this year and we were grateful for the understanding of the World ARC crews and their trust in our team of 'yellow shirts' to get the job done on time."

It's clear from the many photos posted by rally participants on social media that, they've all had an amazing time. As his boat entered the Pacific Ocean, one skipper summed up his Panama Canal transit as "a phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Another huge hit was a specially arranged tour to the Embera Tribe Village. Set deep within the rainforest of Panama Province in the Chagres National Park area, access to the village is via boat, and involves a 30-minute journey to the top of the River Chagres in handmade dugout canoes.

Following a warm and hospitable reception from the tribespeople, the village chief spent time explaining the history, culture, and traditions of the village, happily answering many personal questions. Culminating the visit, the women of the village put on a show and later invited the audience to dance with them. It was an incredible and honest insight into a traditional tribal community.

An additional popular excursion was a five-hour trip around old and modern Panama City by bus, followed by a walking tour of Casco Viejo (the old town).

There's just time now for one last Panamanian adventure and the chance to explore the charming islands in Las Perlas, located 30 miles out of the city. A great place for the skippers and crew to catch their breath before beginning their sail to Galapagos. The pretty island of Contadora is also the place for the World ARC prize-giving and finale party.

So many amazing memories created. Doffing the hat to Panama and its famous palindrome: A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama.

Related Articles

World ARC - A marvellous Marquesan celebration
Welcome event hosted by World Cruising Club and Comité du Tourisme de Nuku-Hiva With a 'Welcome to the Marquesas' event being hosted by World Cruising Club and Comité du Tourisme de Nuku-Hiva, the World ARC rally boats congregated in Taiohae Bay, on the island's southern coast. Posted on 10 Apr
World ARC 2023-24 in the Caribbean!
Returning to Grenada in style after transiting the Panama Canal Having transited the Panama Canal, leaving the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea some 14 months ago, the World ARC 2023-24 fleet have returned to Grenada in style! Posted on 24 Mar
World ARC - A closely sailed start from Galapagos
The sky couldn't have been bluer as 22 boats in the fleet departed Santa Cruz World ARC 2024-25 Update - Galápagos: The sky couldn't have been bluer, as 22 boats in the World ARC fleet departed Santa Cruz, Galápagos today, setting sail for the 3,000 nautical mile journey to Hiva Oa in French Polynesia. Posted on 8 Mar
Preparing for Ocean Sailing
World Cruising Club shore-based events are designed to help you get ARC-ready Our shore-based events are designed to help you get ARC-ready, whether you're signed-up or dreaming for the future. Posted on 6 Mar
ARC Portugal 2024: Social Cruise South
Start your voyage to the Mediterranean or delivery to the Canaries Start your voyage to the Mediterranean or delivery to the Canaries with this relaxed and intimate cruise in company. Meet in Plymouth for social and safety activities, before a mass crossing of the Bay of Biscay to Bayona. Posted on 6 Mar
World ARC - World wildlife day in Galapagos
For the World ARC 2024 fleet it's an honour to be in the Galápagos Islands Celebrating World Wildlife Day on 3 March - and for the World ARC 2024 fleet it's an honour to be in the Galápagos Islands on this day, where over 80% of the land birds and 97% of reptiles and land mammals are totally endemic to the archipelago. Posted on 3 Mar
World ARC 2023-24 depart Cabedelo
The fleet are on the home straight back to the Caribbean The World ARC 2023-24 fleet have departed Cabedelo and are on the home straight back to the Caribbean! Our journey in Brazil started in Salvador at the start of February and since then we have travelled North up the coastline to reach Cabedelo. Posted on 2 Mar
World ARC - Beautiful beaches in Santa Cruz
Currently enjoying free sailing around the beautiful islands in the Galapagos The World ARC rally is currently enjoying free sailing around the beautiful islands in the Galapagos, and those anchored in Santa Cruz are relishing the diverse range of tours, activities and diving. Posted on 27 Feb
World ARC 2024-25 - Discovering San Cristobal
Half-day tour with the World ARC rally participants As the bus climbed higher into the hills, the scenery became greener, the clouds descended, and it got noticeably cooler. Posted on 24 Feb
World ARC 2023-24 in Salvador!
The sailors have been enjoying their time in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil World ARC 2023-24 have been enjoying their time in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil after crossing the South Atlantic from Namibia, via St. Helena. Posted on 16 Feb
Selden 2020 - FOOTERJ Composites J/45GJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - Footer