The forty-sixth edition of the Conde de Gondomar Trophy, organized by the Monte Real Club de Yates, takes the stage this Friday on its opening day the great test of the Carrumeiro Chico, a regatta close to 100 miles considered one of the most complex crossings of sailing in Galicia.
Created in 1981 from an idea by Fernando García Tobío and in honor of Jesús Valverde, the event celebrates 40 years of life with more validity than ever, since there are many who aspire to achieve the regatta record, which has remained intact since 2011. That year, the Cenor & De Dietrich, a Farr 50 of the Real Club de Regatas Galicia led by Martín Bermúdez de la Puente, completed the crossing in 11 hours, 56 minutes and 57 seconds, a mark that has not been surpassed since then.
Whatever happens in this edition, what is clear is that the Carrumeiro Chico test is a real sailing challenge and one of the most exciting tests of the Spanish nautical season. The round-trip regatta between Bayonne and the lighthouse located in the Corcubión estuary will begin, if the weather permits, at 11 am, with the starting honk from inside the Bay of Bahia.
From then on, the sailboats that will dare with the test will head north on a route not marked in advance. The crews may choose to sail closer to land or more open towards the sea, outside the Cíes and Ons archipelagos.
In the latest edition of the competition, the Portuguese skipper Rui Ramada and his crew, aboard the Swan 45 Yess Too, were the first to reach the Carrumeiro, eight hours after leaving Bayonne. They were the fastest (they had already achieved it in 2019), but the compensation of times gave the stage victory to Julio Rodríguez’s Magical, who would also rise as the final winner of the 2020 Count of Gondomar.
On this occasion, the Portuguese from Ramada will not go out on the water, but we will see the Vigo from Magical in the running, trying to revalidate their title. In front of them, some of the most prominent teams on the current Galician nautical scene, such as Aceites Abril of the brothers Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal; the Marías of the Portuguese Manel Marías; the Solventis by Alberto Moro, with Manuel “Malalo” Bermúdez de Castro at the wheel; the Mar de Frades Ronáutica Marinas by Jorge Carneiro; or the Corsair of Jorge Durán, from Vilagarcía.
The Pairo by José Luis Freire, the owner and skipper with the highest number of wins in the Count of Gondomar, will also enter the competition. It adds a total of 6: three in the eighties (1983, 1984 and 1988) and another three in the first years of the new millennium (2003, 2007 and 2009). At the controls of his boat, one of his trusted men, the young Luis Bugallo, who has already completed the Carrumeiro stage with very good times on several occasions.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism