La Ruta de la Sal originally began as a
commercial race during the year of 1846 by a fleet of large
working sailing boats from the port of Barcelona. These merchant
sailors would come here to the island, load up their vessels
with salt and then race back to the mainland to be first at
the market to sell and get the best price for their cargo
of salt from Ibiza.
The Mediterranean Offshore Sailors' Association
then formed La Ruta de la Sal as an annual regatta in 1989.
The first event of this sailing boat race was over a route
that started from the mainland of Spain at Port Ginesta and
went across the Mediterranean to the island Formentera in
which a total of 36 boats took part in the initial occasion.
This annual sailing event that is held during
this period of the year has had the highest number of participants
throughout Spain. It's brought together over two thousand
competitors in an assorted fleet of sailing boats, which cross
the Mediterranean in remembrance of the voyages that were
made centuries ago by the merchants sailing boats from Barcelona
to the Pitiüsas islands of Ibiza and Formentera in the
pursuit of salt.
There is a yachting category for sailing
boats which partake in the La Rita de la Sal and the individual
groupings are as follows:
ALFA: For modern type sailing boats
which were made from 1st January 1982
BRAVO: Classic sailing boats which
were made before 31st August1981
CHARLIE: Vintage sailing boats which
were made before 31st August 1971
DELTA: Multi-hull sailing boats and
it's necessary that the hull to has a cabin.
ECHO: Racing and cruising sailboats
that are in accordance to the formula FAP ³ 100.
KILO: Sailing boats with an IMS Cruiser
LIMA: Sailing boats with certificates
for IMS Cruiser Racer and IMS Racer.
FOX-TROT: Sailing boat for a solitary
GOLF: Sailing boats with a crew of
only two sailors.
HOTEL: Sailing boat which only comprises
of a (male and female) couple.
To form a category it will be necessary
to have a minimum of five sailing boats. If there are five
or more of the identical model of sailing boats in the same
category then a sub-category will automatically be formed.
These sailing boats will compete against each other in real
time and at the same time in compensated time in accordance
to the boat's category.
The categories FOX-TROT, GOLF and
HOTEL are restricted to mono-hulls in accordance with
the IRC system. Subject to the number of participants, each
category will be sub-divided by the Regatta Committee into
groups according to the length and size of each individual
sailing boat. The minimum length for a sailing boat that takes
part in this regatta is 8.50 metres. However, the regatta's
committee might make exceptions and allow sailing boats to
enter the race with an over all length of between 8.00 metres
and 8.50 meters.
This year's La Ruta de la Sal event is the
fourteenth regatta of its kind and the organizers have limited
the number of official entries to 300 vessels. This varied
fleet of sailing boats has been then split up into two separate
versions of 150 sailing boats in each group to make up this
year's race from two separate starting places on the mainland
of Spain and across the Mediterranean Sea to Ibiza.
The first group to depart from the mainland
of Spain is the Northern Version, which sets sail from Barcelona's
Real Club Marítimo at 12 o'clock noon on Thursday 12th
April. Without having a fixed route the boats in this group
should sail a minimum distance of 159 nautical miles before
their expected arrival in the harbour of Ibiza on the 13th
and 14th April.
The second group to depart from the mainland
of Spain is the Eastern Version, which will leave from the
Port of Denia Náutico at 4'oclock on the same afternoon
of Thursday 12th April. The boats in this group of the race
will add a further 13 nautical miles to their course by having
to keep the islands of Formentera and Tagomago on the port
side and they should travel a minimum distance of 117 nautical
miles before arriving in the harbour of Ibiza.
The real time winners in both versions of
the regatta will each win a trophy. The overall winners of
each version are the two boats which arrive first according
to the general classifications of the race. Furthermore, the
first three boats of the same type in each category and sub-category
of each of the two separate versions will also each win a
The regatta's trophy presentation ceremony
will take place during the La Ruta de la Sal celebration dinner
which will be held at the Palacio Ferial in Ibiza on Saturday
14th April 2001.
The Regatta Pont Marítim Pitisüs-Formetera
2001 will take place on the final day of La Ruta de la Sal
which is Sunday 15th April. This is a 12 nautical mile race
which begins from the port of Ibiza and finishes at the port
of Sabina in Formentera and all the sailing boats entered
here can compete against each other.
Finishing up: During the sailing boat race
La Ruta de la Sal 2001 safety measures and telecommunications
play an important part in a regatta. Therefore, a boat from
the organization will follow the fleet on the Northern Version
of the race and in this year's event a new control system
will follow the regatta in real time by Internet.