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GJW Direct 2020

ARC Portugal: All ahead for Figueira da Foz

by World Cruising Club 1 Jul 09:04 BST
ARC Portugal 2022 © World Cruising Club

A light airs morning greeted the fleet as they prepared for the start off the northern breakwater. Clube Naval Povoense very generously provided the committee vessel and at 08:00 the fleet set off from Povoa de Varzim for Figueira da Foz.

The fleet started to arrive from late afternoon and after the first boat the remainder followed in quick succession. With help form Sea Crusader's new crew all were moored without incident and crews were able to head to the Yacht Club bar for grilled Sardines.

These kept coming until the last boat arrived just before 23:00hrs making sure everyone was fed, even the Yellow Shirts.

The following morning, most crews gathered for a tour to the town of Coimbra. An hour's bus ride from Figueira through the countryside of rice and corn fields, with a quick stop halfway for legendary coffee and pastries.

Coimbra houses one of the oldest universities in operation in the world and is the oldest in Portugal dating back to 1290. A tour of the university included their famous library. Following the tour, there was a chance to have a leisurely walk and lunch in Coimbra before leaving for Montemor Castle, built in 1088.

The last day in Figueira the fleet had an opportunity to enjoy a tour of the town itself taking in the art exhibition in the newly refurbished Tourist Office, a look behind the scenes at the Bull Ring and then on to a viewing point above the town before heading to the Quinta Das Olaias the local council's historic venue.

Here the fleet receive a formal welcome from the council's Vice-President and Commodore of the local Yacht Club before enjoying some local refreshments outside in the gardens and prize-giving for leg 3.

With a number of boats leaving Figueira early the results were prepared for those that took the line and having sailed all the way, despite the lack of wind at the start, the leg was won buy Nick White and his crew on Bolero.

Before the fleet left the town there was one more surprise event with an impromptu drinks reception overlooking the marina sponsored by Clube Naval Figueira da Foz and our thanks go to it's Commodore, Miguel Amaral for his hospitality.

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