Extreme Sailing Series
After what their website describes as a “successful debut in 2016….on the beautiful Madeira Islands”, the Extreme Sailing Series is ready to return for the third round of the 2017 season. The fleet of seven super-fast GC32 catamarans, including wildcard Team Extreme skippered by Portugal’s Olympic sailor Mariana Lobato, will race off the coast of Funchal, from 29 June – 2 July. The event schedule is here. A couple of the teams were already in evidence practicing in the bay yesterday.
Also visiting Funchal for a short stay is the “maxi yacht” Sorceress. The sleek 29 metres carbon-hulled vessel was only launched earlier this year in S. Africa, amid much publicity in the yachting world, and will not make her racing debut until September of this year in the Rolex Cup in Sardinia. Eight people can be accommodated in the owner’s cabins forward and three en-suite guest cabins amidship. There are two crew cabins.
The day of Saint John (24th) sees a weekend of celebrations both on the island and on the mainland. Locally the biggest festival is in Vila Baleira on Porto Santo (pictured), where it marks the start of the summer season. Other events are held in Ribeira Brava, where there is parish named after São João, Porto Moniz, Gaula and Caniço de Baixo. Festivities in Funchal this weekend coincide with the closing firework display of the Atlantic Festival, which by all accounts has been a great success.
The biggest festival on the mainland is the famous Festa de São João do Porto held last night in the city of Porto, where thousands of people come each year to the city centre and more traditional neighbourhoods to pay tribute to Saint John the Baptist, “in a party that mixes sacred and profane traditions” to quote Wikipedia.
The traditional launching of Chinese lanterns in Porto as part of the celebrations has been prohibited this year in after the tragic forest fires that have so badly affected the Pedrógão Grande region in the middle of the country. Transgression can be punished by a fine varying between €140 and €60,000, and the Porto PSP has warned that it will carry out surveillance during the festivities.
Aerial means of firefighting to be investigated further
The Diario reported during the week that the regional government had confirmed receipt of the report on the feasibility of using aerial means in firefighting on the island. Apparently the report, commissioned by Central Government as detailed in a previous post is on balance in favour of this option. According to Regional Secretariat for Inclusion and Social Affairs, the report “indicates that the use of air resources in forest areas and urban areas in Madeira is possible, taking into account the specific characteristics of the territory”, and the same body has committed to “immediately create a mission structure that, within 60 days, will present a proposal for the implementation of these means of firefighting, where costs, resources and actions to be undertaken will be clearly identified“. The outcome of the further investigations will be debated by the regional government.
Airport Security Strike 24th and 25th June
Just been alerted to a a notice on the easyJet website, posted yesterday:
23/06/2017: easyJet has been advised of security strike action in Portugal on 24 and 25 June which will likely impact queue times for all passengers going through security at Portuguese airports.We are advising passengers to allow extra time to get through security, ensuring they arrive at the departure gate on time. Passengers can check their hand bags in free of charge to ensure faster security checks.easyJet will operate its full flying programme to and from Portugal on 24 and 25 June. The industrial action should not affect arriving passengers.We recommend that all passengers travelling to and from Portugal on these dates check our Flight Tracker on easyjet.com for live updates.Although this is outside of our control, we would like to apologise for the inconvenience.