A navigator for the modern times

The renown Portuguese solo sailor Ricardo Diniz as embraced another sailing project. This time he is going to race on the 15th Original Singlehanded Transatlantic Race edition, OSTAR, between Plymouth UK and Newport, Rhode Island US, on 29 May 2017 on board his Open 60 Taylor 325, being the first Portuguese entrant to do so.

The port wine route

Besides being a solo sailor, Ricardo Diniz is also an entrepreneur and for that he put up a promotion campaign in partnership with his main sponsor, the famous Port wine brand Taylor’s, currently celebrating their 325th anniversary.

The promotion campaign main objective is to reenact the first Taylor’s port wine exports done by sea from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal to London, UK. This way, on board his Open 60 he is going to transport a cask full of port wine part of a limited edition celebrating the 325th anniversary.

The race

For the second part of this project, Ricardo counts not only on his 5 Atlantic crossings and over 100,000 miles sailed all over the world but also on his Taylor 325.

The OSTAR is a single-handed race against the prevailing winds and current across the Atlantic over a distance of around 3,000 nautical miles It takes over than 20 days and was held for the first time in 1960 and happens every 4 years since then. Five yachts sailed from Plymouth to New York and, remarkably, all five finished with Francis Chichester coming first in Gipsy Moth III.

The second OSTAR in 1964 was won by Eric Tabarly in Pen Duick II and many famous sailors since then took part in this race such as Loïck Peyron, Francis Joyon, Yves Parlier, Franck Cammas, Ellen MacArthur, Thomas Coville or Samantha Davies.

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The yacht

Taylor 325 is an Open 60 designed by the British architect Philip Morrison, built in 1990 and has already raced on two OSTAR editions in 1992 and 1996.

Characteristics:

Length: 18,28 m

Breadth: 4,20 m

Draught: 4,30 m

Mast high: 23 m

Ballast: 5 ton

Displacement: 12,5 ton

Into this yacht was also applied portuguese cork in different areas aiming to increase the comfort and safety inside and outside the vessel.

Once again Ricardo Diniz joins forces with Portuguese companies to promote the best of Portugal through sailing.

We will follow closely Ricardo Diniz as he takes the name of Portugal across the seas.

 

Top 5 water experiences to do in Lisbon

You have seen everything on your list, don’t feel like do more walking, bored of doing every time the same thing, want to try new things or want to surprise someone. Here are a few exciting things that will change your routine and put a smile on your face.

Top 5 water experiences sailing tour
A creative engagement proposal

Sailing Tours

These are my favorite. There are plenty of sailing tours companies mostly located at one of several marinas but not all of them are the same. Some of them have scheduled sailings for which you can buy a ticket and you will sail together with other people. It is really easy. Just buy the ticket and sail. Other offer a more personal tour where you book a trip. You can take your partner on a romantic sunset tour, do a bachelorette party, have dinner onboard after a birthday party and even stop for a swim. The limit is your imagination.

Speed Boats

Speed and adrenaline are your thing and you are not afraid of getting a bit wet? If so, this is the right experience for you. This high-speed ride is done on powerful rigid inflatable boats with much horsepower. You will be taken in a high-speed run with lots of turns that will make you feel like in a roller coaster. In between of all these emotions there is also time to enjoy the views towards Lisbon and see some of the riverfront iconic monuments.

Helicopter Tours

See things from another perspective and be blown by the view over the city, the 25 de Abril bridge, the Cristo Rei, the full extent of the Tagus estuary and see the blue ocean stretching as far as the view can see. Sit back and enjoy the unique views over some of the most iconic landmarks. There are several routes you can choose from.

Surf

Certainly, you have heard about the giant waves at Nazareth beach and Garret McNamara. If they are too much high for you there are lots of beaches to choose from around Lisbon being the nearest and most popular Carcavelos which is served by the urban train. Other near destinations include the beaches at Costa da Caparica located south of Tagus. New to surf? No problem. You can always find some surf schools at the most popular beaches and if you already have the skills there is material for renting.

Amphibious Bus

Have you ever taken a bus that also goes on the water? Pretty cool no? These bus tours start on dry land and take you on a sightseeing tour to some of the best locations in Lisbon and there is a guide onboard that will give you an explanation of what you are seeing. Then at some point of the tour you will be driven down a ramp leading to the river and that is when you start doubting if your bus really floats. With a splash on the water all your doubts start to disappear as you cruise calmly through the river waters. During this second part, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the view and see some of the most iconic riverfront landmarks.

Feeling already excited about these experiences?

Have you ever tried on of these experiences?

Lisbon the capital of the Atlantic

There is no doubt Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, has become one of most popular destinations in Europe and not only for tourism. It is considered one of the coolest cities with a vibrant culture and a hotspot for entrepreneurs, artists, surfers, international students or scientific researchers.

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Terreiro do Paço Square

What many people don’t know yet is that Lisbon is becoming the city of sails of Europe.

If you already had the pleasure of being in Lisbon it is certain that you noticed this city gives you a sense of being at the beach and this is special true at the riverfront.

This is due to the combination of its Mediterranean climate that produces long warm summers and short mild winters and the presence of the imposing river Tagus.

Its estuary area is around 320km2 and since the beginning of the first settlements in the Neolithic, people took advantage of this mighty river for their subsistence. It was from here that naus and caravels departed during the Portuguese Discoveries in the XV and XVI centuries and later in the XX century a vibrant fishing industry established. Nowadays we are beginning to see a rise of its usage for recreational purposes.

Anchored yachts in front of Caxias beach, Lisbon
Anchored yachts in front of Caxias beach, Lisbon

It is home for several types of fishes, mollusks, crustaceous and especially thousands of birds who stop here during their annual migrations reaching 50 000 individuals.

If you take a stroll along the riverfront on a sunny day you will notice the fair amount of sailing boats elegantly making their way across the calm waters.

This image became part of Lisbon’s landscape and you can also enjoy a relaxed tour on one of this sailing boats through several existing tour companies.

I recall one summer afternoon when I was quietly sailing past the old quarter of Alfama, looking to the packed white houses with red roofs along the hill mixed with ancient stone religious buildings and traces of green foliage and colorful flowers, and being stricken by the beauty of this never before seen perspective of the city.

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View towards Alfama old quarter

Moreover, Lisbon has become known for hosting events such as the America’s Cup World Series in 2010, the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2012, the La Route des Princes in 2013, the Tall Ships Races in 2012 and 2016, the Extreme Sailing Series Act 7 and currently it is where the Volvo Ocean Race boatyard is located preparing the boats for the next Volvo Ocean Race edition following the city’s aspirations of one day becoming the VOR headquarters.

PENTAX Image
Emirates Team NZ and Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup World Series Cascais

There is still much to be done but it is absolutely undeniable that the river Tagus together with the sunny weather and charming Lisbon offer one of best packages for a truly unforgettable sailing experience.

Here is a selection of some nautical moments from around Lisbon.

Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 2012 Lisbon Stopover
Volvo Ocean Race 2011 – 2012 Lisbon Stopover
Tall Ships Races Lisbon 2012
Tall Ships Races Lisbon 2012
Cunard Line Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth meeting at Lisbon in 2014
Cunard Line Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth meeting at Lisbon in 2014
Team SCA and Vestas Wind at Volvo Ocean Race 2014 - 2015 Lisbon Stopover
Team SCA and Vestas Wind at Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – 2015 Lisbon Stopover