Portugal to host country’s first aviation rally in Torres Vedras

It is an air rally that promises to put Portugal on the world’s aeronautical map. Planned for 2016 in Santa Cruz, Torres Vedras, a weekend of competitive trials is set to start today with teams arriving from France and Cyprus to fly alongside those from Portugal.

As Aeroclube boss João Francisco told Lusa, this could end up becoming an event that attracts thousands in the so-called “sports tourism” niche, as the aerodrome has all the right facilities, hotels nearby and is within easy reach of Lisbon.

This weekend’s trials will also serve to prepare the Portuguese team for the flying world’s equivalent of the Olympic Games, to be held in Dubai in December.

A second weekend of training will come in May 2016, and then the first Portuguese “Mundial de Rally Aéreo” is due to go ahead, with as many as 4000 competitors, on September 4 – 10 next year.

In all 70 teams are expected from 20 European, African, Asian and American countries.

The event will also include air acrobatics displays, live music and aeronautical workshops, said Francisco.

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