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Synopsis of a Great Sailing (and partying) Weekend - Come to the post rally drinks

5 September 2019
Synopsis of a Great Sailing (and partying) Weekend - Come to the post rally drinks
Imagen de Alcaidesa Marina
Last Thursday, August 22 at 8:00 p.m. Alcaidesa Marina hosted what has become the beginning of the 1st Gibraltar - Morocco - Spain Charity Yacht Rally.  A magnificent welcome cocktail was laid on by Alcaidesa Marina for the Skippers’ Briefing where each of the skippers of the 53 registered vessels picked up a bag full of gifts (screen-printed identifying wristband for the event, embroidered polo shirt for the captain, crew T-shirts, catalogs of nautical stores, discounts and promotions on  fuel supply, floating keychains, pens, corkscrews etc.) They listened as John Alcantara (Boatshed Gibraltar) the organiser of the event along with Tony Valbuena the General Manager of Alcaidesa Marina, explained the route and plans for the  subsequent days.
 
 
On Friday 23rd August despite easterly winds that sometimes exceeded 30 knots a large number of boats docked at Tanja Marina Bay on what was to prove to be an exceptional weekend. As the yachts tied up they were greeted with a traditional group of Moroccan drummers. Moroccan and French TV cameras were there to record the first ever arrival of the Gibraltar - Morocco Yacht Rally at the brand spanking new Tanja Marina Bay installations. The fleet made the national TV evening news in France and Morocco. Representatives from our two headline sponsors Alcaidesa Marina and Tanja Marina Bay were at the dockside to welcome the weary sailors.
 
An excellent weekend was on order. Proceedings started with our day of arrival champagne reception except that this year instead of holding the reception on the pontoons we were provided with a fine hall at the Royal Tanger Yacht Club. It was an opportunity for the crews to get to know each other better and for the organisers to layout the activities for the weekend. We were delighted to discover that thanks to Tanja Marina Bay and Mnar Castle we were all invited to a 4 hour free sand buggy excursion in the pine forests that overlook Tanger Bay where they provided a fantastic picnic.
 
On the Saturday morning a walking tour of the new Tanger Port area and the souk was laid on for us. In the afternoon half the group disappeared into the “bundu” on the buggies. During this time the organisers, Boatshed Gibraltar, were frantically preparing for the prize giving, auctions and raffles.
 
At 20:30 the participants convened, in extravagant fancy dress, at the “El Chiringuito” restaurant for a magnificent dinner hosted by Tanja Marina Bay. Encouraged by the auctioneer and superb atmosphere the purse strings were generously loosened and we are confident that our target (to be announced at the post rally party - see below) was achieved. I have yet to discover if anyone entered the 555 night club but I do know that most of the crews did not retire until the early hours of Sunday morning.
 
Sunday was a day of rest except for those who had booked their buggy ride for the Sunday morning.
 
Most of the boats departed on the Monday but a few knowing that a westerly would blow on Tuesday and carry them back to Gibraltar opted for another day in Tanger. The city is virtually unrcognisable from 10 years ago. I would encourage everyone to go and see the most sophisticated and exciting city within 100 kms of Gibraltar. 
 
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