A view on the Atlantic
Yacht Class n°22 (sept-oct-nov 2020)
1938 - Portugal
Created en 1938, the Clube Naval de Cascais (CNC) can boast a strong training and regatta program, for which it is renowned worldwide.
Texte : J-M. M et A.T. - Photos : João Ferrand / JFF, Assunção Castello Branco, Luis Fragas, CNC et DR
Located on the Bay of Cascais, right on the Atlantic Ocean and 11 miles from Lisbon, the Clube Naval de Cascais has been, since its creation in 1938, primarily dedicated to the promotion and development of sailing in Portugal, and to the upholding of the traditional values of sportsmanship in the pursuit of excellence, that has been reached by many of its sailors at both national and international level. To that end, the club has for many years focused on training its members. Since the 1950s, the CNC has operated a sailing school for all age groups, and it has also be running since 2006 a disabled sailing program. Both programs are presently the most active in Portugal. CNC also instructs competition teams in different classes (Optimist, 420 and Laser). Actually CNC sailors have frequently constituted the majority of the Portuguese Olympic sailing team. From monthly club races to regattas for international centerboard and keel boat classes, like national selection, regional, national championships, the CNC offers every year 115 days of racing. On its active schedule, major regattas such as World, European, Northern Hemisphere and Iberian championships and Gold Cups in classes such as the Optimist, 470, Laser, Finn, Star, Snipes, Dragons, Laser SB3, Mini Ton, Match Race, Windsurf, etc. The club also hosts the Cascais Vela, its major national annual event both in sailing (IRC/ORC yachts, dragons, LaserSB3 and classic yachts) and in social terms (Bye Bye Summer party – the now traditional largest annual Cascais social party). The facilities of the CNC can easily accommodate all of the sailing and social activities thanks to its Club House with a bar, a library, several multipurpose modular rooms, a junior lounge, a small gymnasium and a restaurant. The club also offers about 8.000 square meters of open air dry storage area for boats up to 12m with two cranes, two large ramps, 3 disembarkation pontoons and 30 moorings for boats up to 9 metres. Also, it is worth noting that the club is located near the Cascais Marina, which has a capacity for 650 vessels and a Mega Yacht Quay.
Président Gonçalo Esteves
"To win the next Ocean Race around the world with 'Race for the Planet"
A third generation of sailors trained at Clube Naval de Cascais, Gonçalo Esteves started to sail at a young age. Vice president of the Club for 6 years, from 2008 to 2014, he has been ever since its dynamic president.
What are the specificities of your Yacht Club?
We sail a lot in Cascais. 2019 was another successful year and the activity was intense, with 31 events held throughout the year, making a total of 80 sailing days.
Just as a reference in 2019, we hosted the Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week, the Cascais 44 CUP, the Snipe South European Championship, and the Cascais Vela, the local sailing week with more than 1 000 sailors, so competition sailing is one of our main drives.
Last season was also a good year for the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing School, which received 650 students, who came to learn how to sail for the first time or to improve previously acquired knowledge, from our sailing classes for children and young (Optimist, Laser Pico, Laser Bahia, Raquero, Hobie Cat) to adults (Sprinto and Windsurf).
Competition teams are also an important activity in Cascais, Optimist, Laser and 420 and the Parasailing project.
Since June 2005, disabled Sailing is one of our main activities and provide free sailing for the disabled of Cascais. From the day we started until today we have made 1 657 sessions and 17 096 outing
How many members do you have? And what is the percentage of foreign members?
We have 600 members and 200 young members. The young members are majority Portuguese, while the full members are 80% Portuguese and 20% from aboard. However, in the last 5 years, new members are 75% foreigners and 25% Portuguese.
What are the key events organized by the Yacht Club?
There are many. ISAF Worlds 2007, Americas Cup Series 2011, VOR 2012 and 2015, RC44 and TP52 almost every year since 2008 are the most relevant events. Besides we have to host several Europeans, Worlds, and Gold Cups of our 2 dinghy resident classes Dragon and the Tony Castro SB20
What is your best memory as President?
I have numerous fantastic memories and many of them are also very diverse and rewarding.
From hosting the world's leading high-performance sailing events in our club, the 52Super Series almost every year, to receiving and hosting the prestigious ICOYC (International Council of Yacht Clubs) European Forum in Cascais are some of the very important and enriching moments for me. At the end of 2019, I presented a project with a clear ambition: to win the next Ocean Race around the world with the boat "Race for the Planet" by the Mirpuri Foundation racing under the CNC flag, which was also an extraordinary moment. And last but not least, that our sponsorship agreement was recently signed with Rolex. A unique and important relationship that will last for at least three years.
What would you consider to be the advantages of twinning with the Yacht Club de Monaco?
Our relationship with Monaco is exceptionally solid. Our Commodore Horta e Costa wife Miss Diana Polignac is a cousin to H.S.H. Prince Albert II, and that is the main reason we were always so connected. Last fall H.S.H. Prince Albert II was in Cascais and I had the opportunity to share our club's vision, strategy, and progress past five years. Apart from that, there is an important number of members of our clubs that are members of both clubs, and our members really enjoy having the opportunity of being received in Monaco.