The fourth of five events on the 2023 44Cup set sails next week over 18th-22nd October in a new venue for the high performance owner-driver one design circuit on the Spanish mainland.
Located next to the border with Gibraltar, Alcaidesa Marina is in La Línea de la Concepción and faces west into the Bay of Gibraltar. While in previous years the 44Cup has raced 10 miles to the north in the Mediterranean Sea out of Sotogrande, where the Rock of Gibraltar served as a distance backdrop, for the 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina the mighty British rock, one of the ‘Pillars of Hercules’, will be its magnificent next door neighbour.
Racing next week will take place in the Bay of Gibraltar and in the famous Strait connecting the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay is open to the south so offers protection and flatter water in the prevailing southwesterly or easterly winds. This may prove a blessing since the wind can be accelerated as it funnels through the Strait with the long term forecast at present predicting a blustery westerly on the final Sunday.
The 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina is being hosted by Peninsula Racing’s John Bassadone, who welcomed the nine teams: “I am honoured to welcome the 44Cup to our home waters – the Bay of Gibraltar. Having grown up here, I am proud to be able to showcase everything we have to offer from the hospitality to the sailing experience.
“The Gibraltarian and Andalucian way of life is uniquely ours. It knows no bounds and there are so many exciting things to experience. From prehistoric caves to world famous golf courses and everything in-between, you will be left wanting for nothing.
“I am certain this leg of the Championship will produce some very exciting races and nail biting sailing. The backdrop of the Rock of Gibraltar and the Atlas Mountains in North Africa are known as the Pillars of Hercules and what a fitting setting for the 44Cup.”
Bassadone has previously raced J/80s out of Alcaidesa Marina. He adds of the conditions: “In October you can get anything here from very blowy to quite calm - you have to prepare for anything at this time of year in this part of the world. We will control the controllables. There will be good entertainment ashore and no one will go hungry!”
Alcaidesa Marina offers deep water access in all weather conditions and has 624 berths for yachts ranging from 8 to 90m in length. It also features a modern boatyard equipped with a 75 tonne boat hoist and specialist marine businesses on site.
The 44Cup Alcaidesa Marina will follow the usual format of events for the RC44 class with practice racing on Wednesday 18th October followed by four days of typically three windward-leewards per day over Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd October.
The venue will be novelty for most of the crews not being on the regular yacht racing circuit. However Team Nika’s British tactician Nic Asher many years ago trained out of here while preparing for his 470 Olympic campaign. Aside from the potential for good conditions he remembers the outstanding marine life that populates the Bay.