On November 7, the Caribbean 1500–the largest and longest running sailboat cruising rally in North America–will leave Hampton, Virginia for the British Virgin Islands and the Abacos in the Bahamas. More than 60 boats are expected to participate in the 22nd annual race. Cruisers ranging from first-timers to salty dogs will begin arriving in Hampton on October 30, spending the week prepping their vessels for the long ocean voyage.
While in Hampton, sailors will attend social functions, including “dine-around” parties, safety equipment demonstrations, and lectures on cruising issues. Events surrounding the rally preparations include welcome reception at Hampton Public Piers, the Downtown Hampton Dine-Around, and seminars at Crowne Plaza Dockside Ballroom Monday. The Caribbean 1500 has no age limit, and ralliers include adults and children alike. Boats vary in size with the smallest boats being a Sabre 462, Island Packet 37, and a Valiant 37. A Bill Tripp-designed custom 78-footer and a Haylas 70 make up the largest boats in the fleet.
Friends, family, and interested parties ashore can follow the action on the Fleet Viewer, with data provided by a satellite tracker on each boat at www.carib1500.com. For more information on the Caribbean 1500, call 757-788-8872 or go to www.carib1500.com.