When the evenings start to draw in and the winter woolies come out of the back of the wardrobe, our main focus at Solent Events is planning for next year’s events. With wash up meetings, venue & client visits we don’t make like a tortoise and hibernate….. far from it as there’s plenty to keep us busy!
Typically we tend to run our water based events until mid-October (with the exception of our River Thames Clay Shoots), but when a client of ours was wanting to run a client hospitality sailing regatta at the end of October to include some sunshine, we thought it best to look a little further afield. Our first thoughts turned to the Caribbean having extensive experience in this area with plenty of tried and trusted contacts, but as there was a time restraint on the duration of the event our attentions turned to somewhere a little closer.
Finding a fleet of good quality matched yachts in a suitable location took a fair amount of research but we eventually decided on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Known for it’s temperate climate and reasonably predictable winds, what better place to get great sailing conditions at this time of year? Next job was to find a quality hotel and restaurants for lunchtime and fine evening dining. This proved easier than expected with a 5* hotel just five minutes’ walk from the impressive Puerto Calero Marina (just 10 minutes from the airport) that boasts many good restaurants to cater for all tastes.
Run over 2 days, the event started with a morning of training as most of our guests had not sailed before. Each yacht had a professional & patient skipper to guide and train the guests to ensure that the racing on day 2 would be a safe and exhilarating experience for all. Professional race management was on hand from a large Rib doubling up as a safety boat.
Following a typically Canarian lunch back in the marina, the afternoon was spent at the nearby Karting track to further stir up the competitive juices evident within our party! The track operators run a professional series of races with computerised results including lap times and live leader board. An evening of fine dining was rounded off with a nightcap at the nearby hotel with our advice of an early(ish!) night to ensure all were ready for the racing day tomorrow!
Day 2 consisted of 3 short races in the morning, some time to hone skills learned, lunch in the Marina and a further 3 races in the afternoon. The Sun shone and the breeze built steadily during the day to provide the most perfect conditions with a stunning backdrop of the volcanic Island to ensure that all came off the water smiling regardless of their placing on the scoreboard!
Being the final evening a prize-giving preceded the most wonderful meal at Lanzarote’s top restaurant, ‘La Tegala’ under the watchful eye of renown head Chef German Blanco (rumoured to have a Michelin star in its way soon!). This would be a meal never to be forgotten with the most amazing flavours and presentation that left many including your author simply speechless!
All in all a superb event that has since received glowing feedback from both guests and our client with a request for available dates in March and October 2016.
This bespoke regatta is testimony to our belief that events are limited only to your (or our!) imagination. We are always happy to look at fresh new events or deliver the tried and tested with fresh twists!