Long sails the Baiona Angra Atlantic Race

· The ocean regatta organized by the Monte Real Yacht Club and the Angra Iate Clube set off this Sunday from the Bay of Baiona towards the Azores archipelago

· Miguel Lago’s Saint Maxime, Ignacio Sánchez Otaegui’s Txole, José Carlos Prista’s Xekmatt, and Unai Basurko’s Pakea lead the fleet

· If the wind conditions continue, the fastest boats could complete the 865 miles to Angra do Heroismo in just five days

Great expectation this morning in the bay of Baiona to attend the return of the Monte Real Club de Yates to international regattas with the Baiona Angra Atlantic Race, a competition that the Baiona yacht club organizes in collaboration with the Angra Iate Clube de Azores.

Very punctually, at one in the afternoon, nine boats set out for Angra do Heroismo, on the Terceira Island of the Azorean archipelago, where the first ones are expected to begin arriving within five days. Although at the time of the start the wind blew with very little intensity and did not allow a quick and lucid advance towards the uncheck mark, once the Carallones mark was passed, the wind increased in intensity and the regatta gained momentum.

It was then that the two groups that differed from the first moment began to consolidate. In the lead, standing out from the rest, the Saint Maxime, a 50-foot carbon very agile in navigation even with light winds, skippered by Miguel Lago. Very close to it, another ship from Monte Real, the Txole de Ignacio Sánchez Otaegui, 47 feet. And without detaching himself from them, José Carlos Prista’s Xekmatt, from the Lisbon Naval Association, also navigates, accustomed to the waters of the Atlantic after having completed several regattas from Lisbon to Azores.

The Pakea of the national sailing prize Unai Basurko and the Cleopatra led by José Rafael Ribeiro are also sailing these first few miles at a very good pace, with about 9 knots on average. A little further back are Iván Prieto’s Atlantis, Yann Lascan’s Free Spirit, and Alejandro Pazó’s Brumario. And closing ranks, Antonio Díaz’s Moflete.

Henril Olsson’s Dulcamara, which was going to race for the Monte Real Club de Yates, could not finally go out to sea due to an engine problem, which gave failure hours before departure and prevented the boat from complying with the safety requirements required by the race committee.

Therefore, nine boats are competing, starting today, for victory in the first stage of the Baiona Angra Atlantic Race, which will increase in excitement as the boats get closer to the Azores. If the forecasts are met, it is more than likely that the wind, which will be favorable at the beginning, will begin to drop in the last 100 miles, which will force the crews to make the most of all their navigation techniques and tactics.

The evolution of the Baiona Angra Atlantic Race can be followed minute by minute on the internet on the page http://www.localizatodo.com/regata/?id=141, where the data for each boat (sail , model, manufacturer, dimensions, rating, etc.), the names of the skipper and the owner, the longitude and latitude at which they are located and the speed and course at which they are sailing.

In addition to this system for monitoring the fleet via the Internet, a control center operates 24 hours a day at the facilities of the Monte Real Yacht Club from which to monitor the boats and establish contact with the crews. The boats will receive calls from the organization every eight hours to check their situation and navigation conditions.

This center is part of the security protocol implemented by the Monte Real Yacht Club, a strict system that includes equipping the boats with two satellite telephones and a location device. All measures to maintain an exhaustive control of the fleet that, according to the president of the regatta committee, Fernando Giraldo, allows the crews to cross the Atlantic more calmly.

The first stage of the Baiona Angra Atlantic Race will end on July 13 in Angra do Heroismo with the award ceremony for the winners. A day later the second stage will start, back to Baiona.