The Hansa Worlds Portimão Championship, considered the biggest adapted sailing championship in the world, will take place from this Saturday, October 14th, in Portimão.
Until the 21st, the waters of the Algarve city will serve as «the setting for the largest adapted sailing competition ever held worldwide», says the organization.
Around 230 sailors from 18 countries compete for the title of world champion in different classes, according to their level of disability/conditioning.
This event is organized by the Iate Clube Marina de Portimão and Vela Solidária, a project that is part of the Teia D'Impulsos Association.
«The Hansa Worlds Portimão Championship will be the largest adapted sailing event ever held worldwide, playing a central role in terms of inclusion. The challenge covers all areas of society, including mobility, social inclusion and economic and cultural impact. It is a complex organization with 11 management areas and in which more than 400 people will be involved daily», says Luís Brito, director of the event.
In 2019, the same organization was responsible for holding, also in Portimão, the European Adapted Sailing Championship. In this year's World Cup, the number of participants practically doubled, divided across the five Hansa classes.
The Hansa Class is characterized by having vessels that are almost impossible to capsize, with a low center of gravity and a ballasted beam. It is possible to add electrical controls (servo) that help control the rudder and sails for those with motor disabilities.
Portugal already has an outstanding CV in Adapted Sailing. This year, the duo Guilherme Ribeiro and Pedro Câncio Reis (from Vela Solidária) became runner-up in the world of the adapted RS Venture Connect class, which took place in The Hague, in the Netherlands. This Portuguese team made its debut in world competitions in 2022, the year in which it reached 3rd place on the podium at the Adapted Sailing World Championship in Oman.
At the Portimão World Cup, the presence of big names in adapted sailing is guaranteed, such as the Polish Piotr Cichocki, who has already participated in the Olympic Games and was world champion.
Furthermore, each sailor has “an inspiring story of struggle and overcoming”, such as Mary Duffy, who, despite having no arms, insists on coming from Ireland, her home country, driving her car. Equally remarkable will be the participation of Dutch Wilma Den Broek, who sails her vessel using wind power – she has no arms or legs.