REPORT: 46 years of high-altitude sailing on Monte Real

 

Created in 1976 by the Monte Real Club de Yates and disputed without interruption since then, the Conde de Gondomar has established itself over the years as one of the most charismatic regattas on the Spanish nautical scene, with a history full of great names in sailing in Galicia that should not be forgotten, and one of the most exciting tests of Atlantic sailing: the Baiona-Carrumeiro Chico-Baiona, almost 100 miles. In 2020 not even COVID19 could stop it and in 2021 it will celebrate its forty-sixth edition in Baiona under the name of Zelnova Zeltia Banco Sabadell Grand Prix. It will be on July 23, 24 and 25.

Report by Rosana Calvo, head of communication at the MRCYB

 

Although the history of the Conde de Gondomar Trophy begins to be written in 1976, with the birth of the competition, we must go back several centuries to discover the true origin of its name, which arises from an alleged tribute to the figure of Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, first Count of Gondomar.

Son of the governor of Galicia, in military command of the Portuguese border and the Galician coast, Sarmiento was the key figure in the 5,000-man army who, despite being hastily recruited, managed to contain the attack that the most famous pirate of history, Francis Drake, was going to perpetrate against Baiona.

On October 8, 1585, the Count of Gondomar signed one of the most important chapters in the history of the Galician fishing village, forcing the withdrawal of the 30 ships and 1,500 men with which Drake intended to take over the town, and he was named “Governor of the war people of Baiona and the Castle of Monterreal” .

The Count of Gondomar was thus forever linked to the Monte Real peninsula, where the Parador Nacional is located today, which also bears his name; and the Monte Real Club de Yates, which in 1976 decided to baptize the Conde de Gondomar Trophy for a race that, over the years, would become the deep-sea regatta par excellence in Galicia.

Thus was born one of the most important competitions on the Spanish nautical scene, under the mandate of Rafael Olmedo Limeses as president of the club; and with Admiral Rafael Lorenzo (Commodore), Humberto Cervera “Piruchi” (sailing delegate) and Alfonso Paz Andrade, as key figures in its creation; along with Jesús Valverde, José Ramón Fontán, José de la Gándara and Rui Moreira.

On August 19 of that year, 29 boats accepted the challenge and set sail for the Cabo Silleiro area, where an Olympic triangle was scheduled to be held, but in the end it did not take place due to fog. The second of the three scheduled tests, a route between Baiona and Muros, was also suspended, this time due to lack of wind; and the premiere of the Conde de Gondomar Trophy was reduced to a single test that won the “Ardora” (Contention 33) by Alfonso Paz Andrade and Julio Babé, skippered by Gonzalo Romero.

It was the first of the four consecutive victories that the “Ardora” would chain in the first four editions of the Conde de Gondomar, taking among its crew sailing history in Galicia such as Fernando Massó or Gonzalo Romero.

Roll of Honor of the first winners of the Count of Gondomar

In 1980, the competition introduces changes to the layouts that had been initially designed, with a new 120-mile test between Baiona-Povoa de Varzim-Baiona, which is added to the Olympic triangle and an average regatta with a figure-nine route between the Cies and Ons Islands. The victory went to the Irish “Moonduster” (Swan 441), owned by Dennis Doyle, who had arrived in Galicia with the Lymington-Baiona regatta and decided to make his debut in the Conde as well.

In 1980, at the 5th Conde de Gondomar Trophy, the winner of the Conde was Irishman Dennis Doyle’s Moonduster – Photo Archive MRCYB

In 1981 a new modification in the routes takes place. From an idea by Fernando García Tobío (of the club’s Regatta Committee together with Alfonso Paz Andrade, Estanislao Durán and Jacobo Fontán) and in honor of Jesús Valverde, the Baiona – Carrumeiro Chico – Baiona was born, a historic race that continues until currently as one of the most exciting on the peninsular racing calendar.

The winner of that edition, and also of the following one (1982), was a boat from another of those historical sagas that emerged from Galician nautical: the “Vento” by Manuel Fernández, who many years later would receive the gold medal from the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, the highest award in Spanish sailing.

The VII Conde de Gondomar Trophy was held in 1982 with the victory of Vento de Manuel Fernández – Photo Archive MRCYB

After the victories of the “Ardora” and the “Vento” , the different Pairos of José Luis Freire begin to embroider their name on the honor roll of the Count of Gondomar. The “Pairo Tres” won for the first time in 1983, repeated in 1984, and the following models with the Freire the Conde competed for, all under the same name would give him another 4 more wins.

The Pairo III (which gave the first two victories of the Count to JL Freire) in a promotional image of the competition

Until now, José Luis Freire is the one who has achieved the greatest number of victories in the competition. Add 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). Currently, at 84 years old, “Tibu” continues to participate in the Conde (not only as an owner, but also aboard its boats) and, although he has not achieved any more victories, he is always among the favorites.

– The different Pairos of José Luis Freire (one of them in the foreground) are the ones that have won the Conde de Gondomar Trophy the most times – Photo Jacobo Bastos
Very protected with a mask and screen José Luis Freire participated at the age of 83 in the last edition of the Count of Gondomar held in 2020- Photo José Ramón Louro

Following in its wake we find “April Oils” by Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal; that add up to 4 victories, the same ones that Paz Andrade’s “Ardora”, “Castrosúa” led by Willy Alonso and Julio Martínez Gil’s “Alaxe” achieved in their day. The boat of the Ourense brothers has been the undisputed protagonist of the most recent years, taking the grand prize in 2013, and chaining three consecutive golds in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The April Oils of the Pérez Canal brothers are missing 2 victories to reach the record of the Pairo of José Luis Freire – Photo Archive MRCYB 2018
Willy Alonso (in the photo collecting the 2002 Count of Gondomar winner’s award) is one of the most successful skippers in the competition
Julio Martínez Gil’s Alaxe is one of the boats with the most victories in the history of the Count of Gondomar with a total of 4

In the last two years, the winners were the team of the Portuguese Rui Ramada, who in 2019 repeated with the “Yess Too” the triumph he had achieved in 2014 with the “Fifty ”; and the “Magical” by Julio Rodríguez, who in 2020 rewrote his name in the history of winners of the Count, who had already signed in 2001 with the “Starfisher” .

Nearly 40 boats participated in the last edition of the Count of Gondomar (held in 2020 in the framework of the COVID19 pandemic) – Photo José Ramón Louro
The Magical of the owner and skipper Julio Rodríguez was the winner of the last edition of the Count of Gondomar – Photo Clara Giraldo

Paz Andrade, Julio Babé, Gonzalo Romero, Manuel Fernández, José Luis Freire, Jaime Rodríguez Toubes, José María Lastra, Pedro Campos, Julio Martínez Gil, Gonzalo Araújo, Willy Alonso, Javier de la Gándara… are some of the most outstanding figures in the history of sailing in Spain who have passed (and continue to pass) the Conde de Gondomar Trophy.

Contested without interruption since 1976, the Monte Real Club de Yates competition has established itself as one of the most charismatic regattas in Spain and in 2021 it will celebrate its forty-sixth edition under the presidency of José Luis Álvarez. It will be held in Baiona on July 23, 24 and 25 under the name of Zelnova Zeltia Banco Sabadell Grand Prix.

It will include, as has become a tradition, the historic test of the Carrumeiro Chico, about 100 miles away, whose record is held by “Cenor & De Dietrich” , a Farr 50 from the Real Club de Regatas Galicia, which in 2011 smashed the figures that the Basque sailboat “Zorongo” maintained since 1992. The crew from Arousa, led by Martín Bermúdez de la Puente, completed the ascent and descent to the Carrumeiro Chico from Baiona in just 11 hours, 56 minutes and 57 seconds, lowering the numbers achieved by the Basques 19 years earlier by more than 30 minutes.

One of the boats of the Conde de Gondomar Trophy turning the Carrumeiro Chico in 2008 – Photo H.Blein
The mythical lighthouse of Carrumeiro Chico (in the Corcubión estuary) where the sailboats must turn in the long stage of the Count of Gondomar

 

is a report by Rosana Calvo, head of communication at the MRCYB // THE PHOTOS included BELONG TO THE HISTORICAL ARCHIVE OF THE MRCYB

 

ROLL OF HONOR COUNT OF GONDOMAR TROPHY

1976 ARDORA / Owner: A.Paz Andrade – J.Babé / Skipper: Gonzalo Romero

1977 ARDORA / Owner: A.Paz Andrade – J.Babé / Skipper: Gonzalo Romero

1978 ARDORA / Owner: A.Paz Andrade / Skipper: Fernando Massó

1979 ARDORA / Owner: A.Paz Andrade – J.Babé / Skipper: Gonzalo Romero

1980 MOONDUSTER / Owner: DNDoyle / Skipper: Denis Doyle

1981 VENTO / Owner: M.Fernández / Skipper: M. Fernández

1982 VENTO / Owner: M.Fernández / Skipper: M. Fernández

1983 PAIRO TRES / Owners: JLFreire / C.Freire / B.Logares/E.Durán / Skipper: JL Freire

1984 PAIRO TRES / Owners: JLFreire / C.Freire / B.Logares/E.Durán / Skipper: JL Freire

1985 CUTTY SARK / Skipper/owner: J. Lastra / J. Gándara

1986 KOCHAB / Owner: Armada Española / Skipper: Carlos Pardo

1987 XEITO – J&B / Owner: JM Piñeiro / Skipper: JM Piñeiro

1988 PAIRO CUATRO / Owner: JL Freire / C. Freire / B. Logares / Skipper: JL Freire

1989 PALACIO DE ORIENTE / Owner: JL Freire / C. Freire / Skipper: JL Freire

1990 COTE / Owner: Armada Española / Skipper: Jaime Rodríguez Toubes

1991 SONY / Owner: Castor Alonso / Skipper: Castor Alonso

1992 FARO FINO 3000 / Owner: Antonio Roquette / Skipper: Javier Gándara

1993 DEAR HENRY (IOR) / Owner/skipper: Jean Claude Sarrade // RABISCO (IMS) / Owner: Rafael Olmedo / Skipper: Rafael Olmedo Jr.

1994 CONSERVAS MIAU (IMS Regatta) Owner/skipper: José María Lastra // ALAXE (IMS Cruise) / Owner/ skipper: Julio Martínez Gil

1995 CONSERVAS MIAU (IMS Regatta) / Skipper: José María Lastra // GALICIA CALIDADE (IMS Cruiser) / Skipper: Alberto Viejo

1996 TERRAZOS RIEGO (IMS Regatta) / Skipper: Carlos Monclús // CUTTY SARK (IMS Cruise) / Skipper: Pablo Boiznet // ALAXE (IMS Amateur Cruise) / Owner: Julio Martínez Gil

1997 GALICIA CALIDADE (IMS Regatta) / Skipper: Pedro Campos // ALAXE (IMS Cruiser) / Skipper: Julio Martínez Gil

1998 PORTOS DE GALICIA (IMS Regatta) / Skipper: Javier de la Gándara // ARROUTADO (IMS Cruiser Regatta) / Skipper: José María Pérez // NORO (IMS Cruiser) / Skipper: Gonzalo Araújo

1999 PORTOS DE GALICIA (IMS B) / Skipper: Javier de la Gándara // ARROUTADO (IMS C) / Skipper: José M. Pérez

2000 TELEFÓNICA MOVISTAR (IMS B) / Skipper: Gonzalo Araújo // ALAXE (IMS C) / Skipper: Julio M. Gil

2001 STARFISHER (IMS – B) / Skipper: Julio Rodríguez

2002 TELEFONICA MOVISTAR (IMS 600) / Skipper: Guillermo Alonso // SALSEIRO (CRUISE) / Skipper: Manuel Blanco

2003 PAIRO IX / Skipper: Francisco Moret

2004 CASTROSÚA – CARSA (IMS 600) / Skipper: Guillermo Alonso

2005 CASTROSÚA – CARSA / Skipper: Guillermo Alonso

2006 SWISS NATIONAL INSURANCE / Patron: Javier de la Gándara

2007 PAIRO VIII / Patron: José Luis Freire

2008 CASTROSÚA – CARSA / Skipper: Guillermo Alonso

2009 PAIRO VIII / Skipper: Laureano Wizner

2010 SOLVENTIS / Patron: Manuel Bermúdez de Castro

2011 XPLOSION / Skipper: Carlos Mendonça

2012 CASTROSÚA / Skipper: Willy Alonso

2013 APRIL OILS / Patron: Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal

2014 FIFTY / Pattern: Rui Ramada

2015 CORSAIR VI / Skipper: Javier Durán

2016 APRIL OILS / Patron: Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal

2017 APRIL OILS / Patron: Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal

2018 APRIL OILS / Patron: Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal

2019 YESS TOO / Pattern: Rui Ramada

2020 MAGICAL / Patron: Julio Rodríguez

 

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