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La Ruta de la Sal Yachting Regatta, Ibiza

Biggest sailing event in the Spanish Calendar - and Ibiza is involved. Don't miss out on this spectacular event this Easter Weekend.

The biggest and most talked-about annual regatta on the Spanish sailing calendar is about to take place this coming Easter weekend.

La Ruta de la Sal originally began as a commercial race in 1846, when a blockade of Barcelona by the Carlist army during the "Mariner's Revolution" of the nineteenth century, led to a desperate lack of salt in the city. A local businessman came up with the idea of running a competition between the best of the merchant sailors; he would pay them to transport salt from the salt pans of Ibiza to Barcelona, with the first to arrive back receiving the best price for their cargo.

To commemorate this, in 1989, the Mediterranean Offshore Sailors' Association formed La Ruta de la Sal, which has run every year during Holy Week ever since.

Participants can choose from two routes, both concluding in the Port of San Antonio, Ibiza. The northern route of 140 nautical miles starts in Barcelona, with the eastern route (which was set up in 1991) of 120 nautical miles starting in Denia. Neither of these long, deep-sea crossings are easy, and both present their own set of demands, complications and challenges to the amateur owners and crews taking part.

Still, the success of this regatta has been explosive, in terms of participation, as well as widespread coverage by the media, plus the support of the town councils of Barcelona, Denia and Ibiza. From 36 yachts taking place in the first regatta, more recent years have seen the numbers sky-rocket to over two thousand competitors in an assorted fleet of more than 300 boats, ranging from classic cruisers to multihulls.

This year, the race commences on Thursday 28th March, and the Easter weekend will see San Antonio pulling out all the stops, with special events and activities, exhibits, stalls and live music providing a special mariners' atmosphere for the conclusion of the regatta, and to celebrate the arrival of the boats and their crews after four days at sea.

Definitely not to be missed if you are in Ibiza this weekend!

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