25 September 2008

Funchal 500 Regatta has left Ílhavo

The Funchal 500 Tall Ships' Regatta, which was started in the English port of Falmouth on Saturday, September 13th (for details see my entry from that day), is now in its second stage.

Having reached the port of Aveiro in the municipality of Ílhavo in Portugal by September 20th as planned (some of the faster ships and vessels arrived even ahead of schedule), they had four days of rest, recreation and shore activities in this traditional fishing port.

Ílhavo, and the port of Aveiro (photo left), are situated in the north of Portugal, in a plain coastal area between the Rio de Aveiro and the Ocean.
They have a long maritime tradition, and during the last century Aveiro was an important centre for the building and repair of ships. Nowadays, fishing - both shallow water and deep sea - along with cod drying and fish processing play a vital role in the local economy.

Ílhavo is a municipality that has the sea engrained in its culture, history and geography. It is the sea that brought commerce and prosperity to the region, and the sea which provides food and an income for many of those who live and work there. Today the region flourishes also as a main tourist destination, and visitors from many countries are attracted to the area by the beautiful beaches of Barra and Costa Nova.

After their scheduled days in port, the regatta fleet left Aveiro with a traditional Parade of Sails on Tuesday, September 23rd, in order to begin their second race to Funchal, capital of Madeira, whose all-year celebrations of five centuries of Portuguese settlement is the reason for the regatta.

However, a lack of sufficient wind off the coast prevented the start of the race as scheduled. The fleet moved further out, but a second start attempt had also to be abandoned.
Yesterday the fleet was proceeding to the third attempted race start, a further 75 miles towards Funchal. Wind in the area remained at 5 knots, but the race control vessel reported an "optimistic forecast", saying that there will be slightly more wind today, which will enable the second race to finally start officially.

Challenger 1 (UK) and Challenger 4 (UK) have both gone into Cascais to get more fuel. They will both catch up with the fleet as soon as possible.

The large barquentine Pogoria (right) from Poland, who did not leave Ílhavo with the rest of the fleet, has now had her crew change. She will be slipping today and motoring down to join the rest of the fleet.

And the beautiful schooner Capitan Miranda (left), sail training vessel of the Navy of Uruguay, is accompanying the fleet at present, but will not take part in the race, as she is required to make an official call in a Spanish port. However, she will re-join the fleet later in Funchal to participate in the Festival do Mar 2008.

I hope there will eventually be good weather conditions for the second race and wish all the ships and vessels, as well as their masters, officers and crews, fair wind and a safe journey to Funchal, where they are scheduled to arrive by October 2nd.

The Emerald Islander

SITUATION UPDATE from this evening

The Regatta fleet continues on its journey south along the track of Race 2, though sadly still under motor, due to the continued lack of wind.
In order to conserve fuel, Spaniel (Latvia) is being towed by Mir (Russia) and Gedania (Poland) is being towed by Sedov (Russia).
Meanwhile Pogoria (Poland) has left the Port of Aveiro in Ílhavo at 1315 GMT and is following the fleet.
Challenger 1
(UK) and Challenger 4 (UK) are both on their way to rejoin the fleet as well, after stopping for fuel in Cascais.
(UK) is ahead of the fleet and has been able to set sail in around 10 knots this afternoon, increasing the likelihood of an actual race start coordinated by the communications vessel tomorrow at 1200 GMT.

For a further update on the regatta see my entry from September 30th

No comments:

Post a Comment