Puerto Sherry proves to be the perfect stopover
26 September 2023
As the fleet settles into Race 2: Hundred Years Cup, the Puerto Sherry stopover will no doubt seem a distant memory to many as daily life on board resumes.
However, leaving them in good stead for the journey ahead, the first-time Host Port of Puerto Sherry proved to be the perfect destination for crew members to rest, recuperate and soak up the hospitality at the picturesque Spanish harbour before embarking on the first major ocean crossing of the race.
A shorter stopover on the race circuit, Puerto Sherry certainly didn’t leave the 200+ Race Crew descending on the marina short of things to do – days were spent eating and drinking with the locals, seeing the nearby sights and supporting local initiatives - providing experiences and memories that will no doubt be talked about until long after the race has finished.
By sunshine or moonlight, Nicolas Figueras, Director General, Mariluz Rivero, Commercial Director and Daniel Martinez Becerra, Commodore of Host Port Puerto Sherry, were on hand with big smiles – and plenty of local sherry - to greet all eleven of the Clipper Race yachts as they arrived into port. They were equally met with delighted crew members who couldn’t wait to try the local offerings and show off their gifted carnations – the National flower of Spain - for photos.
Image: Perseverance arrival with Mariluz, Daniel and Nicolas from the Puerto Sherry team
Speaking to Race Crew on their arrival, Nicolas said “Puerto Sherry is proud to welcome the first Clipper Race boats to arrive in our country. We hope that the time spent in El Puerto de Santa María will be a great experience. We have worked hard to make Race Crew feel at home here in Puerto Sherry."
Day two of arrivals saw the pontoon lined with hundreds of supporters, waving Clipper Race flags, and cheering teams in from the walls of the marina. Some of the youngsters from the local yacht club joined the welcome committee, giving them a chance to talk with Race Skippers and AQPs about their sailing careers and socialise with crew about their experience on the race so far.
Image: Dare To Lead with Daniel and Mariluz from Puerto Sherry and the local yacht club youngsters
Tourism and Sustainability
While in port, a nominated crew member from each yacht was invited to attend a tourism activity day, hosted by Puerto Sherry, and giving visitors the chance to experience the culture of the El Puerto de Santa María area. The itinerary included visiting an archaeological site of a Phoenician settlement dating from the 9th to 2nd centuries BC and wine tasting at Casa Viña to taste the famous Andalucian sherries.
Image: Race Crew members at the archaeological site
Clipper Race crew members also got the chance support an initiative in the local area by taking part in a clean of nearby beach, collecting rubbish and cigarette butts. The event was hosted by Keenat - a local organisation that specialises in waste management solutions and assisting communities and companies in the development of circular economy projects.
Cigarette butts contribute to 40% of litter in the Mediterranean, and every butt takes 12 years to decompose, pollutes 500 litres of water, leaves 2500 chemical components in the natural environment and start 10% of forest fires.
Image: Race Crew on the local beach clean activity
Crew member and Marlow Ropes Ambassador Dianne Mcgrath from PSP Logistics said "A few minutes into the beach clean, we noticed that cigarette butts were everywhere. In the end we managed to collect bags full of cigarette butts, creating a small but important impact in our short time in Puerto Sherry."
Always a big hit with Clipper Race fans and local residents is the chance to see what life is like on board a Clipper Race yacht. Our Isles and Oceans opened their boat to visitors allowing the community to come down and a receive a guided tour of a Clipper 70 and meet the crew embarking on the race of their life. Queues along the pontoon and sunny smiles on faces meant the fleet may have gained a few more supporters following it round the world.
Image: Open boat tours on Our Isles and Oceans
The Clipper Race offers a global stage for partners, with stopovers providing a great opportunity for networking and relationship building. Ahead of the race to Uruguay, the Honorary Consul of Uruguay, Jesús Otero Rebollo, and his wife were welcomed as they showed their support for the Clipper Race and Puerto Sherry. Skipper of Yacht Club Punta Del Este, and Uruguayan National, Nano Antia met with Jesús where he was gifted a Yacht Club Punta Del Este pennant as a token of good luck for the race ahead.
Image: Honorary Consul of Uruguay Jesús Otero Rebollo and Yacht Club Punta Del Este Skipper Nano Antia
On Race Start day the Yacht Club Punta Del Este pennant was gifted to Puerto Sherry, and a Puerto Sherry pennant given to Yacht Club Punta Del Este to take with them as they travel to Uruguay.
A prestigious event Race Crew were part of during the stopover was witnessing the raising of the Blue Flag which was recently awarded to Puerto Sherry. The Blue Flag, which is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education, is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable tourism boats. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, Puerto Sherry has gone through a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria.
Image: Group photo for the raising of the Blue Flag
Clipper Ventures Managing Director, Chirs Rushton, was invited to hoist the Blue Flag in the marina square, where Race Crew and supporters had gathered. Major Germán Beardo, Environment Councilor, Millán Alegre, Sports Councilor José Ignacio González Nieto, Valle de La Riva, President of Puerto Sherry and Nicolas Figueras, Director General for Puerto Sherry we also in attendance.
No stopover is complete without a prizegiving celebration. A sunset-speckled terrace, complete with Flamenco dancers and paella, gave crew members a great night of celebration and fired up the competition ready for Race 2: Hundred Years Cup.
Image: Teams gather for prizegiving celebrations
Joining the celebrations were Valle de la Riva, President of Puerto Sherry, Ignacio Gonzalez Nieto, Councillor for Sport of Puerta Santa Maria, and Puerto Sherry’s Mariluz Rivero, Commercial Director, Daniel Martinez Becerra, Commodore and Nicolas Figueras, Director General.
Image: Authorities and Sponsors join the Clipper Race Office and Puerto Sherry team for Prizegiving
Speaking at the event, Puerto Sherry Director General Nicolas Figueras said “I would like to express our gratitude to the authorities, sponsors, Race Crew and the Clipper Race family for this fantastic prizegiving ceremony. In the name of the Puerto Sherry team, we are proud to host one of the stopovers on this prestigious race for its first time in Spain.
“Thank you for visiting and giving us the opportunity to join the exclusive list of ports, making us a new member of your family. I want to address the teams by saying you are our heroes and I hope you will always keep in mind Puerto Sherry as a part of the Race of Your Life.”
The next stop on the Clipper Race route is Punta del Este in Uruguay, where the fleet is expected to arrive from 12-16 October having crossed the Atlantic Ocean. This will be the third time that the South American city welcomes the Clipper Race, and the fleet’s arrival will be marking the start of the Yacht Club Punta del Este’s 100th Anniversary celebrations.Join The Race