On Friday, August 25th at 17:00, the LXVII International Regatta of San Ginés for cruising class sailboats, will arrive at Puerto de La Luz on the island of Gran Canaria, with direction to the Commercial Port of Arrecife and valid for the Championship of Spain of Regatas de Altura of the Canary Islands.
This is the oldest and most prestigious competition in the Canarian regatta calendar. Its journey began there in 1947 when sailors decided to organize a regatta between the port of Las Palmas and the port of Arrecife.
Before the International Regatta of San Ginés.
Before this regatta existed, the Arrecife coast already celebrated regattas of coastal boats with a length between seven and eleven meters that fished in the coast of the African continent in pairs and in trips of about four days of duration.
The rivalry between the skippers of these boats led to the celebration of regattas at the patron saint of the capital of Lanzarote. At that time the tour of the regattas took place between the little pier of Arrecife towards La Tiñosa and back to Arrecife. Apart from a trophy, the prize consisted of permission to set foot in the bay of Arrecife and in Juan Rejón.
The progressive motorization of the fishing fleet caused many of these boats to be abandoned and this favored the creation of San Ginés International Regatta as we know it now.
Peculiarities of the race.
To win the challenge two things are key: the ability to sail at night for more than 100 nautical miles, depending on the route, and sail with enough skill the tip of the Tostón north west of Fuerteventura. The time you win there is decisive for the final stretch of the race.
It is necessary to Putting yourself in the shoes of these sailors who in the first years sailed at night without safety harnesses in which it was the hardest test of the national regattista calendar. In the fifties, the only requirement to participate was to belong to a federated club.
In 1959, the Mistic, patronized by Ch. Baerstchey of the Yacht Club of Chicago and the Sea Sprite, patronized by Jack Rahm of the Cruissing Association of Vancouver, according to the chronicles of the time: “Nothing could stand up to the old and Spanish sailors, despite being modern and well-prepared vessels”.
The Regatta in 2017
Nowadays the International Regatta of San Ginés returns to its classic route, with its arrival at the commercial pier of Arrecife, that in previous years was in the Marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca. In addition, on the 26th will be inaugurated a sculpture of almost five meters of height realized with agglomerated basaltic stone and marble of Carrara in front of the facade of Real Club Nautical of Arrecife, as a tribute to all the participants since 1947.