A beautiful corner on the Tagus

It is hard to describe Seixal. It is one of my favorite corners of the estuary. Some say Seixales as a funny reference to the Seychelles archipelago, but unlike the latter, Seixal is no beach destination.
A city of 31,600 inhabitants situated along the Judeu river, just a bit over 1 hour sailing across the Tagus river estuary from Lisbon, the municipality of Seixal evolved over the centuries, always with the connection to the river.
A land of fisherman, it was across the river that the region’s products were carried on sailing boats to Lisbon and various dockyards and shipbuilders began constructing river boats and ocean going sailing ships. Due to the great effects of the tide in the river, several tidal mills were built along the intertidal muddy shores.
It was here that Paulo da Gama was based in his manor house supervising the construction of the fleet of vessels that would take him and his brother Vasco da Gama on their voyage to India in the 16th century.
By the 18th century, the municipality became an aristocratic retreat for the nobility in nearby Lisbon, resulting in the construction several vacation properties or villas which rich architectural heritage endured until nowadays.
A booming oyster industry established here in late 19th century and early 20th exported them mainly to France where they were much appreciated.
Nowadays there is a nautical station on the bay in front of Seixal equipped with a quay and anchorage area besides other support services to the sailing community. While taking a stroll along the river side it is possible to see traditional sailing wooden boats, appreciate the fish cousine, the historic center of Seixal, the natural landscape just opposite where lots of birds migrate to.

 

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When entering the river Judeu it is common to see kids diving from the pontoons next to the Ponta dos Corvos beach
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Another look to the Ponta dos Corvos beach when entering the river Judeu
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Sailing boats from far away in the quay in front of the city
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More sailing boats
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Tidal flat at Ponta dos Corvos beach
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View from the Seixal sailing club with Lisbon in the background

 

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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.