Balatonfüred, 2014. július 10. MTI Fotó: Turcsi Gábor

In less than 37 days the 47th Kékszalag (Blue Ribbon) Árkád Grand Prix will be organized at Lake Balaton. This year, more than 600 sailing boats will be competing on Europe’s biggest international long-distance regatta from 2nd to 4th of July, reported.

The route of the long-distance race is: Balatonfüred (start) – Balatonkenese – Siófok – Tihany Strait – Keszthely – Tihany Strait – Balatonfüred (finish). The distance (measured in beeline) is approx. 150 km.

Initially, the aim of the Kékszalag was to start a sailing competition where all class of boats can participate, testing not only the work of constructors, but also the navigation knowledge, toughness, and aptitude of the sailors concerned. However, the regatta has now become Europe’s oldest, longest, and biggest international long-distance regatta, attracting more and more participants and spectators each year.

After demolishing restrictions that influenced the regatta over the past few decades, any kind of sailing boats may participate in the competition, making it an open race for competitors that meet the requirements of the Hungarian Yachting Association. Participants of the Kékszalag have been growing year by year, ranging from professional sailors, including world champions, to less experienced ones sweeping across the lake, competing against each other and the elements.

The current record of the Kékszalag was set in 2014 by the 50 feet long twin mast catamaran called Fifty-Fifty by completing the 150 km course in 7 hours and 13 minutes. With wind speeds of 10 knots the Fifty-Fifty achieved speeds of 24 knots.

Apart from the competition on the water, Kékszalag Festival also offers programs that may be interesting for the visitors ashore in Balatonfüred.

The prize giving ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6 pm on 4 July at the open-air Kisfaludy Stage at the entrance of Balatonfüred Port.

based on the article of
translated by Gábor Hajnal

Photo: MTI


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