The verdict is in; the Clipper 2019-20 Race Crew have deemed the inaugural Portimão stopover a huge success!

The fleet and more than 200 crew from 35 different countries called the beautiful Marina de Portimão home from 8 September until the race to Punta del Este in Uruguay began on Sunday 15 September. The marina literally rolled out the red carpet for the eleven teams, and during their stay, the skippers, mates, and crew were treated to nightly drink receptions, fish and wine tastings, an on-the-water rally, and a prize giving to remember.

IMAGE: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam in Portimão © Rodrigo Moreira Rato/LX Sailing

The fleet and more than 200 crew from 35 different countries called the beautiful Marina de Portimão home from 8 September until the race to Punta del Este in Uruguay began on Sunday 15 September. The marina literally rolled out the red carpet for the eleven teams, and during their stay, the skippers, mates, and crew were treated to nightly drink receptions, fish and wine tastings, an on-the-water rally, and a prize giving to remember.

During an internal survey held shortly before race start, one crew member, who was blown away by the efforts of the Marina de Portimão, commented: “Amazed at how much was provided for the crew. Evening drinks and food tasting were very appreciated.”

IMAGE: The Clipper Race fleet at Marina de Portimão © Rodrigo Moreira Rato/LX Sailing

This is the first time the Clipper Race has based itself in Portugal’s stunning Algarve and the crew certainly embraced all the region has to offer. More than half of the crew surveyed went exploring, with the Portimão Museum, sea caves, and golden sand beaches the most popular destinations.

One crew member surveyed wrote: “Good food, interesting coastline, and beaches, authentic food, unique architecture in the old town. Overall the city is interesting and unique”; while another was succinct in their praise, describing Portimão as: “hot and beautiful”.

IMAGE: Portimão was a huge hit with the Clipper Race crew. © Rodrigo Moreira Rato/LX Sailing

The local tourism industry also received a boost with more than 60 percent of crew staying in paid accommodation, with a quarter booking rooms for the entire stopover.

But the biggest impact was seen in the number of crew who discovered and fell in love with Portimão and Portugal for the first time. More than 90 percent of crew surveyed had never visited the region before, with half of those admitting that they might have never have come if not for the Clipper Race. And after eight days in the Algarve sunshine, 73 percent said they would return and a huge 82 percent would recommend others pay a visit.

IMAGE: the fleet excelled in the great sailing conditions. © Rodrigo Moreira Rato/LX Sailing

The excellent sailing conditions were also very well received. From the three boat rally during the stopover to race start, the teams enjoyed the sporty conditions just offshore from the Marina de Portimão and sands of Praia da Rocha.

This piece of feedback really summed up the feeling across the fleet, with a crew member saying: “Good first stopover. A yardstick for others to match up to.”

Thank you Portimão!

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