International race port in Portimão.jpg

International race port in Portimão

The fifth ‘Multi Cup 60 Ambassador Premium Coffee’ yacht race, named aptly after the 60-feet long boats competing and its sponsor, will dock at Portimão Marina in June. Erupting into life, the harbour will house some of the fastest and most sophisticated boats in the world as they prepare for a grand prix from the River Arade (Portimão) to Sagres, between June 13 and 16.

As part of the event’s programme, an exhibition at the marina will be set up for the delight of boat aficionados, with many celebrities expected to make an appearance. The competition, which began on May 8, comprises one ocean race (London-Alpes Maritimes) and five grand prix. In total, the six trimarans will travel around four European countries, racing at speeds of up to 40 knots (almost 70km) per hour.

Organisers selected the Algarvean marina for the excellent weather conditions and accessibility. Luís Serpa, manager of Make Fast, who secured the location of the Algarvean event, was adamant that the race was designed “not only for sailors but for the public who take an interest in these events”.

The race, like the Olympics, takes place every four years and organisers are planning to expand the next competition, to include more countries and eventually span the globe.

In the past, little interest was shown for this type of race and the media did not believe it was newsworthy, so mass publicity was scarce. However, over the years, interest has steadily increased and the race shows the potential to become a major event in the sailing calendar.

For M. Denis Horeau, CEO of Multi Cup SAS, “the arrival of Ambassador Coffee as main sponsor is excellent news. The brand Ambassador Premium Coffee is already deeply involved in sports through its partnerships with tennis and figure skating events.” The hope remains that the media attention can only increase with a sponsor clearly associated with sport, and that this event will soon be “at the same level as the largest international competitions like the Americas Cup, or even bigger,” declares Horeau.

These awesome boats will no doubt impress those who visit Portimão Marina. The competition will end on September 10 in Normandy, France, where around 40,000 well-wishers are expected to greet the tired but fulfilled sailors.