Lagoa, Algarve’s Watersport Capital

Lagoa was the watersport capital of the Algarve last month, having hosted two big events on the weekend of October 20 and 21.

On October 20, the town welcomed the last stage of the national sea canoeing championship. However, strong south-eastern winds forced organisers to change the original path, with canoeists starting the race at Senhora da Rocha beach in Porches. The finishing line was at Praia Grande in Ferragudo.

The race was a ‘bumpy’ one due to the waves and some athletes even struggled to get into their canoes. The good news was that they were able to take advantage of the waves to compete at high speeds, with the average speed of the front-runners reaching averages of 14km/hour.

João Ruivo (Clube Naval de Sesimbra) and Sara Rafael (Clube Náutico do Litoral Alentejano) won in their respective categories, adding even more brilliance to their national titles which they had already secured.

As the council points out, “canoeing is a top sport in Lagoa” which is why the local authority continues to support this and other watersports such as kayaking.

On October 21, Lagoa was one of the three municipalities alongside Silves and Portimão to host the 21st ‘Subida Internacional do Ria Arade’, a kayaking event that brought over 400 athletes and 31 clubs from all over Portugal and Spain to the Algarve.

The event started at Portimão’s Clube Naval and came to an end at Silves’ riverside, benefitting from “excellent weather conditions”.

Lagoa council highlighted the performance of the local KCAA (Kayak Clube Castores do Arade) kayaking club which finished third in the overall ranking, and also saw seven of its athletes reach the podium.

Sports tourism is becoming an increasingly important niche for Lagoa and was responsible for generating around €350,000 in revenue in October alone.