Rally Portugal 2012 came to an end on Wednesday night, when all the crews from the sixteen participating boats got together for their final Prizegiving dinner, hosted by the event sponsor Marina de Lagos.
The last sailing leg of Rally Portugal had provided the fleet with some light winds, but it was a relaxed journey down the coastline from Sines, where the boats had been based for a couple of days. Cruising chutes and spinnakers filled in the warm afternoon sun as the winds picked up, and there was plenty of friendly banter between the boats on the VHF radio.
Marina de Lagos provided the crews with a fantastic meal of seafood soup, roasted chicken and homemade cake at Prizegiving the following night, before the presentations of awards got underway, with World Cruising team member Nick Martin summarizing the memorable moments and recalling some anecdotes from the past few weeks.
Specially engraved plaques were presented to all the participating boats, and Marina de Lagos also presented each boat with a hardback book complete with many artistic images of the town, which the crews then signed for each other as a memory of their time together.
There were some stunning entries from the crews for this year’s Rally Portugal photo competition, and the four winners were also given a bottle of white port when they came up to collect their other awards.
All in all, Rally Portugal 2012 has been a great adventure of sailing, culture, and new-found friendship, as the fleet have shared challenges and laughs over the past few weeks. It was summed up at the end of Prizegiving by the words of Russ from the boat Enterprise:
"For some it is quiet contemplation, for others it is almost hysterical banter, for all of us it is pride and a profound sense of achievement..."
Don’t forget to check out all the photos from Rally Portugal 2012 on the Gallery Pages