|THE MEDITERRANEAN AND ATLANTIC FLEETS ARE MAKING
Both the Atlantic fleet, which left Southampton on Sunday, 16th April and the Mediterranean fleet, which sailed from Genoa on Sunday, 23rd April, are now making their way gradually to the city of Cadiz, the only Spanish port involved in the Tall Ships 2000 event, where magnificent celebrations will be held to mark the beginning of the third milennium. From Cadiz, the fleet will be crossing the Atlantic to the Bermudas.
The climatic conditions confronting each fleet are presently quite diverse, particularly with regards to wind strength. The Southampton fleet is sailing under stronger winds than the Mediterranean fleet and as a result may arrive earlier than foreseen.
The German sloop Peter von Danzig, which departed from Plymouth on the 19th April, is presently leading the fleet, and at 06.00 a.m. was recorded off Farilhao lighthouse at 37.13 degrees latitude North and 09.02 longitude West. A short way behind is another sloop, the British Maiden. Both are sailing at an average of 7 knots.
The Mediterranean fleet on the other hand, sailing in close formation, is travelling at an average of 4 knots, led by the Italian Amerigo Vespucci and the Polish Pogoria.
Although both fleets are on course to reach Cadiz on the dates foreseen by the organization, the Mediterranean fleet has yet to pass through the straits of Gibraltar and it remains to be seen whether conditions will be favourable for a swift passage.
Punta Europa is the target for this first leg of the Mediterranean voyage, and from there the fleet will sail in company to Cadiz, as this stretch of the voyage is not included in the overall race classification.
NO NEWS FROM THE ONO-CIUDAD DE CADIZ
At the time of writing, transmission signals were not good enough to allow direct communication with the crew of the schooner representing the City of Cadiz, ONO-Ciudad de Cadiz and consequently we do not at present know its exact position.
On the other hand, the marquees and other infrastructure to be mounted on the quayside is gradually appearing and will transform the image of Cadiz harbour for the duration of the event. From today onwards and in collaboration with the port authority and normal port activities, a whole theme park will be constructed, based on the world of Navigation and will be the site of some of the most impressive performances and concerts to take place in the city this year.
THE FIRST SHIPS HAVE CROSSED THE ARRIVAL LINE
During the early hours of Wednesday, 26th April, the two ships which have led the fleet from the start in Plymouth on 19th April, crossed the arrival line situated at five nautical miles from the coast at a bearing of 36º30 latitude North and 06º25 longitude West in respect of the Cadiz San Sebastian Lighthouse.
The first to cross the arrival line was the Peter Von Danzig, a Class III sloop, sailing under the German flag. This ship has travelled at an average of 7.64 knots over the distance, although in the last stages she sailed further to the West in order to take advantage of the strong west winds which brought her over the line with a following wind at 06.15 this morning.
The Espirit, another ship sailing under the German flag, was also favoured by the same climatic conditions. Sailing at an average speed of 7.40 knots and like the Peter Von Danzig, the Espirit employed the technique of sailing to windward to take maximum advantage of wind and sea conditions. Leading the remainder of the fleet after the first two stages, the Class CII British sloop, the Maiden, was following behind at a distance of some sixty miles. She may well be the third to cross the arrival line in Cadiz.
According to the information recorded at 05.35 hours Spanish time, the fleet which left Genoa on the 23rd April and is presently sailing across the Mediterranean is led by the Italian sloop Sagittario. The leading group also includes the Hebe III and the Amerigo Vespucci, all sailing at an average of 4.04 knots.
Due to its length and as a precaution against bad weather, the ONO-Ciudad de Cadiz was sailing closer in to the coast. Despite its excellent condition, this ship is, of course, the oldest schooner in to take part in the Gran Regata 2000.
LETTERS HAVE STARTED TO ARRIVE FOR THE SHIPS CREWS.
On Tuesday, some of the post for members of the crews participating in the Gran Regata 2000 began to arrive at the offices of the Conference Centre in Cadiz.
Apart from the numerous e-mail messages and normal post arriving at the Gran Regata 2000 Offices in the Conference Palace, other postal corrrespondence to different members of the various crews has begun to arrive from family and friends at the P.O. Box specially designated and opened for the event (Apartado de Correos 2000).
A SHOONER WILL REPRESENTED CÁDIZ IN THE GRAN REGATA 2000
On February 11 th, Cadiz Town Hall and the telecommunications company ONO signed an agreement by which a schooner will sail the Mediterranean sea under the name of ONO-Ciudad de Cádiz (City of Cadiz). The city will therefore not only be the organising port of the event but will also participate in the regatta itself. This agreement also involves the University of Cadiz which, as one of the Spanish and European universities that is most closely linked to the sea, will have the privilege of providing the crew for this schooner, made up of young students from the Nautical Science Faculty.
The signing of this agreement was presided by the Mayor of Cadiz, Teófila Martínez, who underlined the opportunity it provided for the people of Cadiz to become involved in this event. She also pointed out that this agreement reinforced Spanish participation in this international event.
The Rector of the University of Cadiz, Guillermo Martínez Massanet, expressed his satisfaction at being able to provide the human capital for this project and described it as a welcome opportunity for the university to become involved in such an activity which also provides a useful link between theory and practice.
THE CARNIVAL QUEEN IS PRESENTED WITH A FENI PIN
As part of the activities in the city during Carnival week, the Organising Committee was able to familiarize the people of Cadiz with the regatta. During the Tribute to the Carnival Groups, the President of the Committee, Jesús de Sobrino, presented the Queen of the Carnaval 2000 with a golden Feni pin (the mascot of the Gran Regata 2000). The Carnival Maids of Honour were also presented with silver Feni pins by municipal representatives.
DE CÁDIZ" THE OFICIAL NEWSPAPER
The Municipal Society for the Promotion of Cadiz 2000 and Federico Joly & Co., the publishers of the local newspaper Diario de Cádiz, signed an agreement making it the official Regatta newspaper. The signing of the agreement took place in the Conference Centre in the presence of the Mayor, who signed on behalf of the Society, the President of the Society, Enrique García-Agulló, and on behalf of Federico Joly & Co., by the President José Joly Martínez de Salazar and the Chief Executive, José Joly Palomino. Teófila Martínez underlined the importance of this agreement which will help to publicise this great nautical event.
Under the terms of this agreement, on each of the fifty days prior to the regatta, the Joly Group will print a headline incorporating the regatta logo on the front page of the newspaper, including the caption "... days to go". There will also be a special Gran Regata 2000 section with an identifying surround on the page, and from the 3rd to the 8th May, a 16-page special supplement. In addition, the Joly Group will edit the official Gran Regata book.
THE GRAN REGATA 2000 WAS PRESENTED IN EXPO-OCIO
On 17th March, Jesús de Sobrino, the president of the Organising Committee, presented the regatta at a press conference in Madrids Juan Carlos I Exhibition Centre during the leisure fair Expo-Ocio.
The councillor stated that sailing and maritime enthusiasts, and especially the thousands of people from Cadiz who enjoy the beauty of the ocean, should make sure they are in Cadiz from 4th - 7th May. He pointed out that it is the only Spanish port where these majestic lords of the ocean can be seen, ships that have travelled thousands of miles training their crews and officers.
Jesús de Sobrino also commented that during the time that the two fleets are in this city, at the southern edge of Europe, there will be a full programme of social activities to allow the participating crews to fully appreciate the special nature of Cadiz in the spring and to experience some aspects of the citys culture, such as flamenco and carnival.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN THE PORT DURING THE REGATA
The municipal Organising Committee of the Gran Regata 2000 announced the names of the firms which will be providing restaurant and bar services in the harbour and along the Paseo de Canalejas during the regatta.
There were three bids for the marquee-bar, only one of which was successful: the one presented by the temporary union of three well-known local firms, La Mirilla-Fabripan-Persígueme. This groups offer includes a series of performances and a hot-air balloon which will give free rides offering panoramic views of the regatta. They also include an Andalusian breakfast for the two thousand children participating in the school swimming and sailing programme.
The restaurant and bar sites have been awarded to the following firms: Hermelor, the owner of a famous seafood bar; Pablo Grosso Catering, a well-known restaurant owner, and Empresas Ordóñez, a prestigious local company. The tenders submitted by Iniciativas Hosterleras La Espuma and Dunas de Cortadura S.L. were also accepted.
The selection committee took into account the quality of the installations and their degree of compatibility with the overall appearance of the Theme Park, as well as the price and gastronomic selection on offer.
FENI WENT TO THE CADIZ-DOS HERMANAS FOOTBALL MATCH
The official logo of the Regatta and its mascot, Feni, were presented to the thousands of spectators who went to the Carranza Stadium to see the match between Cadiz Football Club and Dos Hermanas.
Eight girls and boys from the sailing teams of the Elcano Nautical Centre carried a huge banner with the logo of the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000 around the pitch just before the start of the match. This was seen by many football fans all over Andalucia on the regional television channel Canal Sur, which broadcast the match live.
Two life-size Fenis added a cheerful note to the evening.
SUCCESSFUL PROMOTION OF THE GRAN REGATA IN FITUR
On 26th January, the Organising Committee of the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000 presented the Regata at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in the stand which represented the province of Cadiz. The aim was to give detailed information to the publications specialised in tourism which are always present in the country´s most important tourism fair.
The presence of the Mayor of Cadiz, Teófila Martínez, who was accompanied at all times by Feni, the mascot of the regatta en Cadiz, aroused the interest of the public, many of whom approached the stand of Cadiz.
The invitation extended by the Mayor to the King and Queen of Spain during their visit to the province´s pavillion was received by King Juan Carlos with the words: "The Queen and I are very pleased because the organisation is going tremendously. You will hear from us soon." The great interest shown by the Monarchs during their conversation with the Mayor were a real pat on the back for the municipal delegation who had travelled to FITUR to promote the Regatta.
LOCAL BUSINESSES WILL SELL GRAN REGATA CADIZ 2000 ARTICLES
The Town Hall of Cadiz has made it possible for local traders to be authorised dealers of the line of products created to promote the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000.
The Councillors responsible for Sports and Commerce, Jesús de Sobrino and Rosario Soto respectively, held a meeting on 26th January with all the local Traders Associations to present the Town Hall´s offer and ask for their participation in the sale of these articles.
The sale of this type of goods before the event itself will mean that the people of Cadiz and visitors to the city will be able to purchase in advance the articles they would like for the celebration of the regatta.
THE NATIONAL TELEVISION COMPANY TVE CONFIRMS COVERAGE OF THE GRAN REGATA CADIZ 2000.
In order to ensure that this regatta does not fail to make an impact on a national and international level, as was the case with the Columbus Regatta in 1992, the Organising Committee has reached an agreement with TVE by which the main public television company will transmit this nautical event on its national and international channels.
The agreement signed by the Mayor of Cadiz, Teófila Martínez, and the Director General of RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television), Pio Cabanillas, not only allows for coverage on the daily news programmes, but also special programmes which will be made during the days that the fleet of tall ships is in Cadiz.
THE MILLENNIUM NAUTICAL GATHERING
To celebrate the start of the year 2000, the waters around the Elcano Nautical Centre were filled with a multitude of sails to mark the count-down to the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000.
This celebration organised by the Municipal Sports Authorities was given the name `The Millennium Nautical Gathering´. Almost two hundred vessels, including catamarans, cruisers, jet skis and dinghies, took part. At 11.00, everyone met for a traditional breakfast, much needed after the celebrations of the previous night. Then the fleet set sail and was on the water until 15.00 when all the participants, including the driver of an amphibious car (Anficar), enjoyed a lunch with a nautical flavour.
Prior to this, the Mayor unveiled a sign showing the number of days to go until the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000.
PRESENTATION OF THE GRAN REGATA CÁDIZ 2000 IN THE BARCELONA BOAT SHOW
On November 27th, in the Barcelona Boat Show, a delegation from the Town Hall headed by Jesús de Sobrino (President of the Organising Committee) and including Enrique García-Agulló, (Deputy Mayor), and José Ramón Pérez Díaz-Alersi (Committee of Experts) presented the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000.
The main aim was to promote this great event in the biggest boat show in Spain, and to establish contact with specialised publications of the nautical sector, offering them the latest figures on participation.
PRESENTATION OF THE MASCOT AND LOGO
At the end of December, the offical mascot and logo, designed to give corporate identity to the Gran Regata Cádiz 2000 (Tall Ships 2000 Cadiz) were presented to the local media in the Town Hall.
The mascot, designed by a national agency, was given the name Feni as a reference to the Phoenician origins of the city.
The logo incorporates the bow and stern of a Phoenician ship to the official ISTA logo. This makes it easily identifiable with the design of the mascot, and, at the same time, gives a local flavour to the Spanish version.
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