A dozen tall ships from the Americas and Europe will be participating next year in a regatta that will tour ten Latinamerican countries in the framework of the bicentennial celebrations, which marked the beginning of the end of Spanish colonial rule in the region.
The official launching of the “South American Sails 2010” regatta was announced this week at the Argentine Ministry of Defence with the participation of the chiefs of the Argentine and Chilean navies that jointly sponsor the event.
The regatta begins next February in Rio do Janeiro and will call fourteen ports in ten countries of which five will be celebrating in 2010 the bicentennial of liberation revolutions which opened the way for their independence processes.
Precisely Argentina and Chile are two of the countries which experienced their first independence actions in 1810.
The event has attracted brigantines, schooners, frigates and catamarans from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Holland, Mexico and Venezuela.
During the cruise that is scheduled to begin February 7th in Rio do Janeiro and end the following June 28th in Mexico, 3.500 crew members will be involved in over 150 sailing days, according to an official release from the Argentine ministry.
The fourteen ports tour begins in Rio with calls in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and finally Mexico.
“Fortunately nowadays we have recovered the Latinamerican spirit that strengthens a policy of common dialogue and actions consolidating the regions as a zone of peace and cooperation and with promising experiences such as Mercosur and Unasur”, said Argentine Defence minister Nilda Garré on the launching of the event in Buenos Aires.
The regatta “reaffirms the message of peace and fraternity to all our peoples”, said Chilean Navy commander in chief Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez Robles, who sat next to his Argentine counterpart Admiral Jorge Godoy.
The ports where the tall chips will be calling are Río de Janeiro, Mar del Plata; Montevideo; Buenos Aires; Isla de los Estados; Ushuaia; Cabo de Hornos; Punta Arenas; Talcahuano; Valparaíso; El Callao; Guayaquil; Cartagena de Indias; la Guayra; Santo Domingo and Veracruz.
Some of the tall chips participating include Argentina’s ARA “Libertad”; “Dr. Bernardo Houssay”; catamaran “Ice Lady Patagonia II” and the schooner “Gringo” which is the second oldest sailing vessel in the world in activity. Brazil contributes with “Cisne Branco”; Uruguay with “Capitán Miranda”; Chile with “Esmeralda”; Colombia with “Gloria”, Ecuador with “Guayas”, Spain with “Juan Sebastián Elcano”, Holland with the three masts “Europa”; Mexico with “Cuauhtemoc” and Venezuela with the school schooner “Simón Bolivar”.