Gibraltar - Morocco Yacht Rally Returns After Two Year Absence

The August Bank Holiday Weekend 23rd-26th August 2019) will see the return of the much loved “most sociable yacht rally in the world”. After years of using Marina Smir on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast the large number of boats arriving together (up to 50) and management issues at Marina Smir made that destination unfeasible. Luckily six months ago a brand-new marina was inaugurated in Tangier. Tanja Bay Marina has agreed to host the rally. 

The rally is used to raise funds for the Gibraltar branch of the British Red Cross. In 2016 the rally raised over £11,000 from entry fees, sponsorships, raffles and auctions. This will be a difficult target to beat but we will try our best. The outlook is good; within 24 hours of announcing the new date and destination over 20 boat owners had committed to join the rally. This year we will make a push for increasing the number of local boats and transiting yachts with invitations going out to members of the Ocean Cruising Club and others.

In 2016, after years of providing a patrol boat to create the start line, we were especially lucky because the Royal Navy joined the flotilla providing safety cover which was much appreciated by the rally crews. Brexit makes it imperative that strong relationships are forged at every level with Morocco. The yachting community will do its bit in this respect.

The rally itself will be more challenging for sailors than the sail to Marina Smir which was essentially a relatively easy beam reach across the prevailing westerly or easterly winds. With Tangier as a destination there will always be an upwind leg into the narrowest part of the Strait of Gibraltar requiring good navigational and pilotage skills for the second busiest shipping lane in the world! In contrast to Marina Smir Tanja Bay Marina sits just over the road from the souk and medina. An ideal location to provision with local delicacies and handicraft to bring back as souvenirs.

Any boat owners interested in joining the rally should email to be added to the mailing list to receive the regular updates as we move towards the August Bank Holiday weekend. Likewise, any local or international businesses that want to market into the boating community should also contact Boatshed Gibraltar to become a sponsor.