Starting from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia in January 2012, World ARC rakes you on a sixteen-month trip of a lifetime, sailing the whole way around the world, crossing three of the five great oceans.
I think that is the best way to put it - "rakes you on... trip of a lifetime".
A back-of-the-envelope calculation of approximately 18000 miles at 5 knots average speed means 150 days of sailing out of 420 days of rally, a little more than one day out of three for the entire event. These rallies have to be quick to use the weather
windows available, so keeping up with the group is important. When I was in Tahiti
a couple of years ago, two rallies came through; they stayed, one after the other, at Marina Taina (upscale) and socialized among themselves. They could have been anywhere warm and humid; their chart plotters told them it was the Society Islands. It felt like a wet version of a Cook's Tour. Arrangements for arrival and berthage had been made in advance for them and support by way of parts
was available, but the whole package came at an enormous price
. If you like to sail - a lot - and you are on a schedule, this might be a niche for you, but...
Many people have found a year in the Caribbean not long enough. If you do find it long enough, there are a few thousand miles of US east coast
worth exploring, plus the Canadian Maritimes, on your way to Ireland
and northern Europe
following the Gulf Stream
a la Columbus. Or go the other way to Brazil
and perhaps even Argentina
on your way to Gibralter. There are many ways to enjoy your 20 months at your own pace.