Now is the time to pencil in the dates for the the next charity yacht rally. In 2020 the event will take place over the weekend of 29 May to 31st May. Pencil in the date in your diaries and email email@example.com to be added to the distribution list for updates on the rally. Have any doubts? Read on to find out how the participants enjoyed the 2019 event.
On Friday 23rd August despite easterly winds that sometimes exceeded 30 knots a large number of boats docked at Tanja Marina Bay on what was to prove to be an exceptional weekend. As the yachts tied up they were greeted with a traditional group of Moroccan drummers. Moroccan and French TV cameras were there to record the first ever arrival of the Gibraltar – Morocco Yacht Rally at the brand spanking new Tanja Marina Bay installations. The fleet made the national TV evening news in France and Morocco. Representatives from our two headline sponsors Alcaidesa Marina and Tanja Marina Bay were at the dockside to welcome the weary sailors.
An excellent weekend was on order. Proceedings started with our day of arrival champagne reception except that this year instead of holding the reception on the pontoons we were provided with a fine hall at the Royal Tanger Yacht Club. It was an opportunity for the crews to get to know each other better and for the organisers to layout the activities for the weekend. We were delighted to discover that thanks to Tanja Marina Bay and Mnar Castle we were all invited to a 4 hour free sand buggy excursion in the pine forests that overlook Tanger Bay where they provided a fantastic picnic.
On the Saturday morning walking tour of the new Tanger Port area and the souk was laid on for us. In the afternoon half the group disappeared into the “bundu” on the buggies. During this time the organisers, Boatshed Gibraltar, were frantically preparing for the prize giving, auctions and raffles.
At 20:30 the participants convened, in extravagant fancy dress, at the “El Chiringuito” restaurant for a magnificent dinner hosted by Tanja Marina Bay. Encouraged by the auctioneer and superb atmosphere the purse strings were generously loosened. In the event a total of £12,050 was raised for the Red Cross. I have yet to discover if anyone entered the 555 night club but I do know that most of the crews did not retire until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sunday was a day of rest except for those who had booked their buggy ride for the Sunday morning.
Most of the boats departed on the Monday but a few, knowing that a westerly would blow on Tuesday and carry them back to Gibraltar, opted for another day in Tanger. The city is virtually unrcognisable from 10 years ago. I would encourage everyone to go and see the most sophisticated and exciting city within 100 Km of Gibraltar.