Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gibraltar-Morocco yachting rally

GTB withdraws sponsorship

The 4th Gibraltar – Morocco rally will take place over the weekend of 30 September-3 October this year.

It is open to all sailing yachts and power cruisers.

Although the rally had previously been supported by sponsorship from the Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB), this year the GTB “have withdrawn their sponsorship due to tightened budgets,” declared a spokesman for the rally organisers.

“We feel this is disappointing as this event has a wide appeal and will continue to grow. The local yachting community believes that Gibraltar has the potential to become the yachting destination of choice in the Mediterranean and this area of tourism is not exploited to its full potential,” he said.

The last rally, held in June attracted over twenty yachts, largely from the Gibraltar Marinas, however the organisers have now attracted yachts from other marinas on the Costa del Sol and now expect another fifteen visiting yachts to join the event.

As regards this year’s edition, the organisers said:

“As with previous rallies, the event will be friendly and informal, with the focus definitely on having fun with boats! The destination being the peaceful Marina Smir, Morocco.

The program begins with a skippers briefing in Marina Bay on Thursday evening before the massed start from the marina at 1200 on Friday.

This year there is a separate class for Motor cruisers, who can make their way quickly across the Straits. Yachts will be starting under sail, but they will be allowed to motor-sail for any length of time during the crossing, or choose to sail the whole way.

On arrival in Marina Smir, participants will be treated to a traditional Moroccan feast, with traditional Moroccan entertainment!

During Saturday several fun events will be held in the Marina and on the beach. A taxi will be permanently available during Saturday and Sunday for anyone wishing to do any sightseeing or shopping.

A barbeque will be held on Saturday night and the prize giving will take place at the same time.”

Organiser, Derek Pennington said it was his aim that every participating yacht should get some kind of prize, in one of the many categories from first yacht over the line to most sociable yacht, first dolphin sighting and best ships cocktail.
“The idea is mainly to have fun and include everyone,” he said.

On Sunday morning the marina will again be providing a Moroccan breakfast, then it’s another day at leisure or sightseeing trips to Tetouan, or the Caves of Hercules.

Some yachts will be leaving on Sunday but most will be departing after breakfast on Monday.

A guard boat has been arranged to follow the fleet, and a professional photographer will be on it to record the event, both on DVD and stills.

Anyone wishing to enter or having any questions should contact Mr Pennington on the yacht Sun Viking, pier 3, Marina Bay, tel no 0034 650549350 or email divegib@gibtelecom.net

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