Monte Gordo Sand Experience marks debut in Portugal

of the Sand Racing World Cup

The extensive sandy beach of Monte Gordo will host the FIM Sand Racing World Cup. An unprecedented competition in Portugal, between the 17th and 19th of November, promises to bring hundreds of motorcycle and quad riders to the Algarve.

The circuit of around 5 kilometers, entirely in the sand, is the highlight of a motorsports festival promoted by the Vila Real de Santo António City Council and organized by the ACP.

One of the main tourist destinations in the Algarve is preparing to welcome thousands of motorcycling fans, between the 17th and 19th of November: the Monte Gordo Sand Experience is the Portuguese stage of the new Sand Racing World Cup, introduced this year by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM).

Taking advantage of the natural conditions and hotel infrastructure of Monte Gordo Bay, the Vila Real de Santo António City Council designed a three-day motorsports festival, naturally marked by the presence of some of the best international endurance, rally-raid, and motocross. The challenge is to cover a circuit approximately 5 kilometers long, entirely contested on the sand of Monte Gordo beach, in a race that will establish the first winner of the Sand Racing World Cup. Portugal hosts the third and final stage of the calendar, in an event aimed at motorcycle and quad riders, with two races per day during the three days of the event.

The event promoted by Vila Real de Santo António City Council is organized by the Automóvel Club de Portugal.

The FIM competition kicked off at the emblematic Enduropale du Touquet, in February, where more than 2,000 competitors competed in the famous French race. Three weeks later, the World Cup crossed the South Atlantic towards Argentina, for the Enduro del Verano, with the presence of some South American Dakar stars. Now, the world title of the sport is decided in Portugal, with the sports organization in charge of the Automóvel Club de Portugal, under the aegis of the International Motorcycling Federation and the Motorcycling Federation of Portugal.

British Tod Kellet’s favorite for the title, Paulo Alberto among the elite

Some of the most famous names in the sport are already confirmed at the Monte Gordo Sand Experience, such as the current World Cup leader, Tod Kellet (Yamaha). The Briton has won both events in the competition so far, competing for the world title in Monte Gordo with Belgian Yentel Martens (Honda), current runner-up and son of former Motocross World Champion, Jacky Martens. Another sand star who will be in Portugal is Frenchman Milko Potisek (Yamaha), triple winner of the Enduropale du Toquet.

Paulo Alberto (Yamaha) will be one of the biggest attractions for the Portuguese public in Monte Gordo. The Portuguese and Brazilian multi-time Motocross and Supercross champion will interrupt his season in Brazil to travel to the Algarve, where he will compete with the world’s best sand racing specialists. A strong national contingent is expected at the World Cup debut in Portugal, although registration is still ongoing.

Audience with a privileged view of the action

With a shorter circuit than the two previous events, visibility for the public is one of the biggest attractions of the Monte Gordo Sand Experience. Three locations will be available with a privileged view of the entire competition area: rooftops for a higher view; an immense walkway on the beach – which offers an elevated position in relation to the route; and a reserved area on the sand, where one of the main reasons for interest is the proximity to the pilots.

Along the Monte Gordo waterfront avenue, several activities will be held dedicated to the public, who will also have a Fun Park at their disposal for the whole family. An extensive exhibition area dedicated to brands and the sale of merchandise will be a mandatory stop for lovers of two wheels. In addition to all this, there is a vast restaurant area on Monte Gordo beach.

The Environmental Valuation Plan guarantees the sustainability of the event

To avoid any environmental impact, a technical team was created responsible for preparing, implementing, and monitoring the Environmental Valorization Plan.

This plan brings together a set of projects and actions considered important in reducing the carbon footprint associated with the event and in controlling any impacts that the activities may generate.

Actions such as the planting of pine trees, the distribution of information on good practices, and the reinforcement of equipment for collecting unsorted and recyclable waste are also planned. The circuit will also be designed to allow the public to access it easily, using the existing access points (walkways) and not others.

Remember that the test also includes all the opinions necessary for its completion, issued by the competent authorities.

In order to monitor the quality of the sand and water, ARHAlg will carry out analyses of microbiological parameters and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAs). The collection of sand samples will be carried out at three different times, namely, before moving the sand, necessary to create the competition circuit, on the working day immediately following the event, and after the sand has been regularized. All sand movements to be carried out will be as minimal as possible and will be replaced on-site as soon as the test is completed.

Local authority and ACP highlight the partnership

During the official presentation of the event, this Wednesday, in Lisbon, Carlos Barbosa highlighted the local authority’s investment in the ACP team. “The (Municipal) Chamber of Vila Real de Santo António made a big bet by creating this event in November and I am sure that we will have thousands of people in Monte Gordo, including Spaniards. The ACP is not just about cars, we have the capacity to organize these motorcycle events and we will guarantee a great end to the World Cup”, stated the president of the ACP.

The mayor of Vila Real de Santo António, Álvaro Palma de Araújo, revealed the strategy that led to the Monte Gordo Sand Experience. “We wanted to create a new anchor event that will simultaneously be a hub for attracting people to the municipality in the month of November, in the low season, generating a significant impact on the local economy and promoting our territory in dozens of countries, through this global competition”, pointed out Álvaro Araújo, who also highlighted the Environmental Enhancement Plan created for the event. “We have the best beach in the world and we will continue to have the best beach in the world”, he guaranteed.


November 17th

  • 10:00 am / 5:00 pm Recognition of the Monte Gordo Beach walking circuit
  • 3:00 pm / 10:00 pm Administrative and technical checks Vila Real de Santo Antonio Sports Center
  • 8:00 pm Briefing TBA
  • 7:00 pm / 11:00 pm Placement of vehicles in Monte Gordo Closed Park, next to ZA

November 18

  • 09:45 am / 10:00 am Access to the circuit for Class M, MD, MJ1, MJ2, CL1 and CL2 Assistance Zone (ZA)
  • 11:00 am Race of 1h30 for M, MD and MJ2 – Race of 30 45 minutes for classes MJ1, CL1 and CL2 Praia de Monte Gordo
  • 12:30 pm End of race Monte Gordo Beach
  • 12:45 pm / 1:00 pm Access to the circuit for Class Q, QD, and QJ Assistance Zone (ZA)
  • 01:30 pm 1h00m race to Q and QD and QJ Praia de Monte Gordo
  • 02:30 pm End of race Monte Gordo Beach

November 19

10:45 am / 11:00 am Access to the circuit for Class M, MD, MJ1, MJ2, CL1 and CL2 Assistance Zone (ZA)
12:00 am / 01h30 pm race for M, MD and MJ2 – 45 minute race for classes MJ1, CL1 and CL2 Praia de Monte Gordo
01:30 pm End of race Monte Gordo Beach
01:00 pm / 01:15 pm Access to the circuit for Class Q, QD and QJ Assistance Zone (ZA)
02:30 pm 1h00 race to Q and QD and QJ Praia de Monte Gordo
03:30 pm End of race Monte Gordo Beach
04:30 pm TBA awards ceremony

Always confirm with the concert hall or promoter the conditions of access, confirmation of the date or time, ticket place of sale, price, and availability.

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