A record number of entries across six sailing classes took to the water in Cascais, Portugal, for three days of racing over July 7-9.
Recognised by UNESCO as an Ocean Decade event for the regatta’s work to promote and raise funds for ocean health initiatives, the event is becoming known as one of the highlights of the European summer sailing calendar and a signature event for the city of Cascais and the organizers, Clube Naval de Cascais.
Established in 2020 to help raise important funds for marine conservation, the entry fees for the sustainability-focused regatta are donated to ocean health projects by the event’s founder, the Mirpuri Foundation.
One hundred and seventy-one boats across six classes competed in the event held in the bay of Cascais, a popular European tourist destination, considered the Riviera of Portugal and renowned for its reliable north westerly breeze that fills the bay in summer.
Action in the three-day regatta got underway on Friday, July 7, when the Snipe South European Championship took to the water for the first day of racing. Belgium duo Manu Hens and Alexandre Tinoco dominated all but one race and were crowned champions on Sunday after their strong performance over the weekend.
On Saturday, July 8, the full fleet of 600 sailors across all classes lined up for two days of racing and were supported by the Marinha Portuguesa vessel NMP, which fired the ceremonial start cannon from its deck at 12:30 local time.
The expected north-westerly breeze arrived as predicted and filled the racecourse with 12-15 knots, perfect conditions for boat racing. In the premier cruising category, two classes competed for both the perpetual trophy for line honours, as well as four divisional titles based on corrected time. In the line honours race it was a battle between the two giants of the fleet, the impressive 106ft superyacht Green Eyes and the Cascais-based professional outfit the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, competing onboard their thoroughbred VO65 Racing for the Planet. Skippered by three-time Portuguese Olympian Diogo Cayolla, the professionals fought hard to take line honours on both days and secured the impressive Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy for the third time.
Cayolla commented: “The team did an amazing job in both races this weekend and didn’t miss a beat. I’m pleased we were able to secure the line honours and continue the team’s winning legacy in our home regatta.”
In the hotly contested corrected time race Syone Panther took home the top prize in the ORC division, while 2Hot2Handle won ORC B. In the NHC division Gurosan/Pedemar took first place and Barba Rija was classified the fastest on corrected time in the NHC mini division. In the former Olympic Finn class, Filipe Silva’s dominant performance saw him win all six races, while Tiago Morais took victory in the SB20 dinghy class. The popular junior Optimist class with over seventy boats competing, was won by Diogo Reis. Karolina Leite took first place in the girl’s division and Luisa Neumann won the under-12 category.
In addition to the competitive awards, the Mirpuri Foundation Ocean Award in partnership with ICRI, the International Coral Reef Initiative, was awarded to Tamara Stuij for her work on the potential of humic substances to improve coral reef resilience. The prize is designed to provide the opportunity to receive global recognition and gain exposure for their exemplary environmental work.
Paulo Mirpuri, Chairman of the Mirpuri Foundation, said: “This year’s event was undoubtedly one of the best yet both on and off the water. The racing was close and exciting across all the classes and having the Snipe South European Championship decided here was an event highlight. In addition, having a record number of entries also means increased funding for our beneficiaries in ocean sustainability.”
The 2024 edition of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy will take place July 6-7, 2024, in Cascais, Portugal.