The 38th edition of the traditional Olympic Classes regatta Palamós GAES Christmas Race was presented on 11 December at the Espai del Peix de Palamós (Girona). The act was overseen by the Teresa Ferrés, Mayoress of Palamós, Miquel Aviñó, Club de Vela Palamós President; Josep Pujols sport delegate in Girona of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Eduard Sellés, vice-president of Club Nàutic Costa Brava and sailors Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín as well as Gemma Hernández, from GAES Centre Auditius advertising and sponsorship department.
The 38 GAES Christmas Race, to be held from 17 to 22 December, has seen a considerable increase in the number of entries with around 300 teams and 500 sailors representing 25 nations from three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia. Furthermore, Palamós has become the winter training venue for the Polish team. The GAES Christmas Race is one of the trial events for the selection of the 2014 Spanish pre-Olympic team.
Among the participants entered in this edition, there are five Olympic medallists, four Gold medallists with Antón Paz in 49er, Támara Echegoyen in FX and Sofia Toro and Ángela Pumariega in 470 women as well as Slovenian Finn sailor Vasilij Zbogar with an Olympic silver and bronze medal.
The Mayoress of Palamós highlighted that 'the GAES Christmas Race is a main event for Palamós due to its tourist and financial impact and therefore it is a regatta to be fully supported for its utmost importance for the city.'
Gemma Hernández, from GAES Centres Auditius explained that 'for GAES, sailing and other sports in direct contact with nature are a priority as they are a perfect synergy between nature, training, education and environment. It is a sport that requires daily improvement'.
The Sports Delegate from the Generalitat outlined that 'the GAES Christmas Race is an event that will always be supported by the Catalan Government because it is one of the major events and Club de Vela Palamós is one of the main Clubs in Girona'.
Besides the sports scope, Club de Vela Palamós and Club Nàutic Costa Brava have continued the task to open the event to the city and different schools have already programmed visits to the IMOCA 60, that will be moored at the Club during the days of the regatta. This model of boat that participates in the Barcelona World Race and Vendée Globe will also be the spectators’ boat to follow the races during the regatta.
Some conferences have also been organized at different schools on sailing and meteorology.
by Jaume Soler
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3:39 PM Fri 13 Dec 2013GMT
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