The Sailing Portugal Regatta is one of four World Match Racing Tour events and will take place for the first time in Lisbon between Wednesday and Sunday with the participation of two Portuguese teams.
In competition there will be 12 crews, two of them made up of national sailors, and eight catamarans, who will discuss in the Tagus River, next to the Cruise Terminal of Lisbon, the stage that precedes the final, the Match Racing World Championship in Shenzhen, in China, between November 8 and 12.
The first edition of the Portugal Regatta, with free entry, brings to Lisbon some of the best sailors in the world, such as six-time world champion Ian Williams and Australia’s Torvar Mirsky, winner of the World Match Racing Tour in 2017 .
Representing Portugal will be two teams with little experience in this class, as Bernardo Freitas admits, and “in a boat that does not yet exist” in national territory.
“We have been together for three days and we have been working on coordination between the crew because we are still adapting to a new class. We have to be aware of our position in this type of regatta, there is little experience at Match Racing level world in Portugal and even less in this type of boats, “began by explaining Bernardo Freitas, ‘skipper’ Adamastor Racing.
Alongside the Olympic athlete, who has competed for the Match Racing Tour in a foreign team for two years, will be Frederico Melo, Gil Conde and João Matos Rosa, in a crew that has as strategy “to do regatta after regatta, to try to evolve, to give the maximum and try to take advantage of the opponents’ mistakes. ”
As a final goal, Freitas points out, the idea is also to try to “put a Portuguese team to make the whole circuit next year”.
António Fontes, one of the crew members Team Portugal, formed by the skipper Hugo Rocha, Mariana Lobato, Jorge Lima and Hélder Basilio, emphasizes the importance of “many currents and difference of winds” in the regattas in the Tagus.
“It will be a good thing to get into Match Racing, which is reserved for the top eight. All the other teams train every day and make it a living, while we are the first we are doing this race together, but we have good sailors, “said Fontes, who, like Bernardo Freitas and Frederico Melo, competed in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The competition will be held in two formats, with the qualifying phase to be played by the 12 teams in a fleet race (the catamarans sail simultaneously), on Wednesday and Thursday, to determine the eight finalists.
On Friday, after the starting shot, at 12:10, given by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, from the Sagres Ship School, starts the qualifying round, Match Racing, which will culminate with a final and a ‘petit’ (small) final on Sunday.