Figueira da Foz is located on the western Atlantic coast of Portugal, halfway between the ports of Aveiro and Nazaré, about 60 kilometers away; and less than 200 kilometers north of Lisbon. It has immense beaches to the north and south of the mouth of the Mondego River, an entry by sea that is not easy in bad weather.
In the case of the port of departure, the French port of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is located about 27 kilometers north of Le Sables d’Olonne. Location where the organization of the regatta has planned a Pro-Am test on Sunday June 5, which does not score for the general classification, where the Figaro 3 fleet in A two will set sail next Monday towards the Portuguese of Figueira da Foz.
The high altitude stage, which will run through the waters of the Bay of Biscay and the Galician and Portuguese coasts, will be a direct route, there will be no intermediate crossing points in the almost 600 miles of the route between the French and Portuguese ports.
“We will offer a free course, to give sailors a wide variety of options”comments the regatta director, Guillaume Rottée. “While crossing the Bay of Biscay in a north-south direction is common in ocean regattas, the return trip is less so, and the great interest of this Sardinha Cup is to return to the international stages, which have lately been lacking!”
About 22 teams will compete in A Dos aboard the Figaro 3 one-designs. Crews made up of experienced skippers and young people who want to enter the offshore regatta circuit. We will see Alexis Loison with the young Élodie Bonafus aboard the “Queginer – La Vie en Rose”, Morgan Lagravière with Tom Laperche on the “Région Bretagne – CMB”, Jörg Riechers and Robin Marais with the “Alva Yachts” or Pierre Leboucher with Maël Garnier at the «Ageas – Team Baie de Saint Brieuc».
Team Vendée Formation director Estelle Graveleau is also delighted that the Sardinha Cup is going beyond the shores of France, especially as the regatta has always tried to open its doors to foreign sailors: “The A Dos format allows us to go looking for young people and/or foreigners, who can come to see the boat and discover the Figaro Beneteau circuit together with the most experienced skippers, and we are very attached to this principle of finding sailors from abroad.
To take note. The Sardinha Cup is also very committed to its regatta-school concept, which is an opportunity for young people to discover all the trades related to organizing a regatta, making them participate in the Team Vendée Formation team: communication, relations with partners, technical preparation of the boats, logistics, referees, measurers… The ambition is also to show this hidden face to the general public, through the numerous editorial contents (video, photo, text) that are disseminated on the different media Communication. But also to open the doors of the environment close to a sailing regatta, highlighting the different trades of the sea: fishermen, maritime police, teams from Port-la-Vie and the host municipalities, Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez…
It is estimated that the fleet will arrive in Figueira da Foz on Friday June 10, a Pro-Am test will also be held on Sunday the 12th and the start of the second stage towards Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is scheduled for Tuesday the 14th. of June.
The forecast weather conditions will not be easy, for the first stage winds are expected from the third quadrant of about 10 knots with gusts of 17 knots in the starting area. Wind that will roll towards the West as the fleet enters the Bay of Biscay towards the Northwest of Galicia, but which will later return to the South until the Aveiro parallel for next Thursday, at which time it is expected to roll to Northwest/North until the arrival in Figueira da Foz.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism