The Monte Real Yacht Club hosted the gala of the National Sailing Awards


The awards sponsored by Terras Gauda wineries celebrate their thirtieth edition, rewarding the most outstanding sailors and teams on the Spanish nautical scene

The winners of this edition of the National Awards – Photo Lalo R Villar

Some of the most outstanding athletes on the Spanish nautical scene were honored this Saturday in Baiona at the National Sailing Awards gala, which were delivered at the Monte Real Club de Yates within the framework of the 37th Prince of Asturias Trophy.

In a club decorated for the occasion and in front of a crowd of spectators, José María “Pichu” Torcida, Nuria Sánchez, María Perelló, Marta Cardona, Javier Banderas, Piti Estébanez and Rafael Díaz went up on stage to collect their awards for best sailor , the best project, the best dinghy sailing team and the best boat. The only one who could not attend was the Spaniard Pablo Santurde, winner of the award for best sailor, whose tribute coincided with his wedding day.

Hosted by the Galician Television presenter, Carlos Macía; and the head of communication at Monte Real, Rosana Calvo; The event began with welcoming speeches by the president of the organizing club, José Luis Álvarez; and the president of Bodegas Terras Gauda, José María Fonseca Moretón, sponsor of the national awards. Both agreed to point out the importance of an event that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and that throughout its history has served to recognize the successes of Spanish sailing.

After the welcome speeches, the winners followed one another on stage to collect their award. The first to do so was José María “Pichu” Torcida from Santander, who received the award for the best sailor for his victories in the Spanish and European J80 Championships. He thanked all those who accompanied him in the world of sailing for so long for the award. “Crew, owners, sponsors, family and especially my wife.” He had a souvenir also for his J70 crew, without which, he said, “This award would not have been possible.” And he ended by congratulating Monte Real for next year’s J80 World Championship and for the work it is doing to promote the J80 fleet.

The Mariano Aguado Communication Award went this year to the program “Atando Cabos” from the production company TacTic Audiovisual, and it was its director, Vicente Robles, who was in charge of collecting it. “After 20 years giving coverage and support to sailing, we thought that this sport did not have a specific program -said Robles- and thus Tying Cabos was born. And almost 200 shows later, what we’ve achieved has been amazing. This National Award is the icing on the cake”.

The next award of the night, for the best female project, was collected by Nuria Sánchez, for her initiative “We want to make history” , a proposal that, for years, has tried to spread and promote the figure of women in the world of sailing. In her speech, the sailor from Alicante said that they will continue working to be messengers of equality. “In these four years we have worked hard, creating and reaping the fruit that we are now. We involve the smallest, we bet on young promises and we also reach out to veterans and legends. And we can only thank all those who bet on us”, said.

With a sporting career spanning a quarter of a century behind them, the people from Malaga at the Teatro Soho Caixabank, led by Javier Banderas, collected the award for best ORC boat after achieving their sixth victory in the Copa del Rey. Accompanied by sports director Piti Estébanez and crew member Rafael Díaz, Banderas thanked Monte Real and Terras Gauda for an award that, he said, is the fruit of long experience. “The secret of our crew is that we have been sailing together for 25 years and it is now that we are reaping the rewards. It is a pride for all of us to collect this prestigious award in Baiona” .

The last prize of the night went to the youngest of the gala, the Majorcan sailors, 17 years old, María Perelló and Marta Cardona. They were distinguished by their gold medals in the World and European 420 class. “Values such as teamwork, the desire to excel, respect, perseverance, overcoming limits, self-discipline or responsibility are some of the values that make sailing for us more than just a sport, which be a whole lifestyle”, assured before concluding that “We have achieved many things this year, but we like to think that the best is yet to come”.

Moments before the start of the National Sailing Awards gala – Photo Lalo R Villar

To this thirtieth edition of the National Sailing Awards, in addition to the presidents of the Monte Real Yacht Club and Terras Gauda wineries, organizer and sponsor of the event; the commanding director of the Naval Military School, Pedro Cardona; the territorial director of ABANCA, Walter Álvarez; the mayor of Baiona, Carlos Gómez; the territorial delegate of the Xunta de Galicia in Vigo, Marta Fernández-Tapias; the deputy for sports from the Pontevedra Provincial Council, Gorka Gómez, and the widow of Mariano Aguado, Pilar de Sas.

A display of fireworks and a party enlivened with live music put an end to the gala held within the framework of the Prince of Asturias Trophy, which will hold its final tests tomorrow, Sunday, and will crown its winners.