Wednesday, July 6

Straitchallenge Regatta, the great challenge for sailors in the Strait of Gibraltar


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Nine years have passed since the clubs RCN from Algeciras and CV Vendaval from Ceuta decided to join forces to create one of the most attractive regattas of the year for the Cruiser class, the Altura Straitchallenge regatta. The great challenge of sailors for its route of more than 40 miles between both cities, returns to its usual date and will be held next Saturday, June 4 under the organization of both clubs and the firm Active Sea, thanks to the sponsorship of Circet Spain. , Strait Wear, the Ceuta Institute of Sports, Pilots of Algeciras and the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras, all adding up so that the regatta that pays tribute to the memory of one of its sadly deceased creators, Joseba Eguidazu, once again becomes a success.

There are just a few days left for a fleet made up of more than twenty vessels to face the demands of the Algeciras-Tarifa-Ceuta route, with the key to success being how to resolve the crossing through the Strait of Gibraltar, sailing between two seas and two continents with winds that are usually strong just like the current, which makes tactical management decisive in the search for objectives.

The regatta has all the ingredients to be an experience that is hard to forget and starts from the RCN de Algeciras pontoons, since before entering one of the most interesting oceanographic places on the planet, the fleet will cross a landscape of extraordinary biological value and beauty. This year, moreover, throughout the entire route, the fleet will be accompanied by the patrol boat Medas of the Spanish Navy, whose presence will undoubtedly be one of the unique images that the test leaves us on its ninth anniversary.

The crews will meet on Friday, June 3 at the RCN in Algeciras for paperwork, the last set-up of their boats and to participate in the official welcome by the organizers, and it will also be the day to attend to the instructions of the committee of regattas that will once again be directed by the official Juan Luis Cervera.

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Already on Saturday, 10:00 a.m. is the appointment at the starting line for, from that moment, to start making decisions in order to manage the route to the autonomous city of Ceuta in the best possible way. After releasing moorings in the RCN of Algeciras, the boats will go to the Ensenada de Getares, located within the bay of Algeciras between Punta de San García and Punta del Carnero, from where they will set off in the middle of cliffs, in front of a beach of very fine sand, coming from the contributions of the numerous seasonal streams that flow into the area and the Pícaro River that formed a marsh and a dune arrow in the past.

Attractive and demanding route in equal parts

The fleet will tour the Parque Natural del Estrecho, a space with a highly unique natural wealth. Marked by the harsh climatic conditions of the area and the passage of civilizations since remote times, it shelters a highly adapted flora and fauna, the result of the convergence of very different natural areas. This diversity is reflected in an important resource, the landscape, with cliffs and abrasion platforms on one side of Tarifa and sandy beaches on the other.

Tarifa will be another strategic point of the regatta, where the organization proposes passing through a beacon located in front of the Torre de la Peña campsite, so that no one goes unnoticed by this city full of historical and cultural heritage, located seven meters above sea level. from sea. Within the main population center is the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, Punta de Tarifa or “Moroccan”, a geographical feature that is located on the island of Las Palomas. The cape or Punta de Tarifa also serves as a dividing line between the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, which intersect just in front of the city itself. It is located in the narrowest part of the Strait of Gibraltar, at a minimum distance of 14 kilometers from the Moroccan coast, which makes it the closest European city to the African continent.

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The key point of the regatta will be the Strait of Gibraltar, a challenge for sailors due to the natural consequences of being the confluence point of three seas (Atlantic, Alboran and Mediterranean), two continents and two biologically very different worlds; the north and the south. The Strait of Gibraltar is a global crossroads, it presents unique physical phenomena on the planet and functions as a climate regulation valve at a planetary level due to the impressive and simultaneous exchange of waters. It is also one of the strategic points for bird migration and an extraordinary corridor for fish, since eels, turtles or tuna also migrate, which is why for millions of years human beings have established the famous tuna traps on both shores. .

Arrival at the hospitable Ceuta

After more than forty miles of regatta, the final destination will be the autonomous city of Ceuta, there in front of San Amaro, between Punta Almina and the Marina Hércules, it will be the end of the regatta and the place to start enjoying the hospitality of a city that goes out of its way to welcome sailors.

Ceuta is located on the Tingitana peninsula, on the African shore of the Strait, at its eastern mouth. In turn, it contains a small peninsula known as Almina. It is surrounded to the north, east and south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the west and southwest it is bordered by a neutral zone that separates it from Morocco, specifically from the prefectures of Fahs Anjra and M’Diq-Fnideq, both belonging to the Tangiers- Tetouan. Thanks to its strategic location, the port of Ceuta plays an important role in the passage of the Strait, as well as in communications between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

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In Ceuta, at night, the trophies will be awarded to the winners in a welcome ceremony that will mark the end of the regatta. Boats from Huelva, Cádiz, Málaga, Seville and Melilla aspire to the titles, in addition to the regulars from Campo de Gibraltar and the autonomous city of Ceuta, divided into the ORC and Reduced Crew classes.

The winner of four editions will not be missing, the Grand Surprise ‘Ceuta’ with Sergio Llorca, who after falling short of the absolute title in the Intercontinental Regatta, has before him a new opportunity to recover his dominance of the Strait; the reigning Andalusian Cruise Champion, RC boat El Candado de Málaga ‘Tareis T’ owned by Joaquín Angolotti, champion in its class in the previous edition, as well as the Gran Soleil 45 ‘Balboa’ owned by Ángel Rodríguez; the 53-foot ‘Aviator’ by Gabriel Medem with the RCM Sotogrande flag; the Algeciras-based ship ‘Kouko’ by Pedro Boutron, or the 45-foot ‘Leiden’ by Leonardo Ulecia that will arrive from the CN Puerto Sherry in El Puerto de Santa María, among many others.

The 9th Straitchallenge Regatta, which pays homage to the memory of Joseba Eguidazu, one of its main promoters and a person much loved and longed for by the fleet, is organized by the RCN of Algeciras, the CV Vendaval of Ceuta and the firm Active Sea, and the Sponsorship of Circet Spain, Strait Wear, the Ceuta Institute of Sports, Pilots of Algeciras and Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras

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