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Formentera revives municipal dive school

Foto jordi vidal i alex buchauThe Formentera Council's Office of Sport has announced that next Wednesday, May 31, a group of students from Marc Ferrer secondary school will be the first to try out the new facilities of the municipal dive centre. The students, winners of the “Aules netes” prize, will take part in nautical activities at the newly reopened school.

Surf club partnership
Under a €18,000 deal with the CiF, Club Surf Formentera takes responsibility for hiring and operations at the centre while the Council oversees administrative functions.

The agreement, expected to be signed into effect next week, will formalise the Council's collaboration with the centre, an organisation headed up by Alex Büchau i Jacques Lauren whose commitment to nautical sports goes back to 1981.

Sport councillor Jordi Vidal described the move as “a renewal of the Formentera Council's policy of supporting inclusive sports centres” and affirmed the municipal diving school “is in sync with the administration's promotion of positive values in sport, active participation in local community, fitness and health”. The effort, says Vidal, reflects the Council's ongoing commitment to sustainability.

New location
The new “Escola de Vela” is located at the crossroads of carrer de s'Almadrava and camí de Sa Bocana de s'Estany. Equipped with permits from Ses Salines park and coastal authorities, the centre's facilities will remain provisional through summer, awaiting public tender of the plan to construct a Centre d'Esports Nàutics (“nautical sports centre”) in La Savina.

For complete information about activities at the dive centre, or to take part in June signups, visit the Antoni Blanc sport centre or the emaf.cat website.

On Saturday, 2,800 runners have a go at paradise

Foto presentacio mitja marato 1The administration's president and head of sports were joined today by a top member of the Balearic government in unveiling details about Formentera's latest fixture for runners. CiF officials Jaume Ferrer and Jordi Vidal together with Biel Barceló talked about the upcoming Mitja Marató (“half marathon”) now in its ninth year. Also in tow were Núria de la Torre and Josep Verdera, spokespeople of the event's two biggest sponsors (Trasmapi and CaixaBank, respectively) as well as Manuel Hernández, director of the firm overseeing coordination of the run.

A total of 2,800 runners will take part in this Saturday's race; 1,900 are registered for the half marathon and another 900 are scheduled to run the 8 kilometre (K) circuit. This year marked the first that organisers abandoned first-come, first-served signups in favour of a random drawing in which 7,000 entered. Organisers put the run's overall draw, counting families and friends of competitors, at 7,000.

Remembering the 101 runners who turned up for the inaugural run nine years ago, the Council president hailed the event's success over the years and thanked the sponsors, large and small, and volunteers too, for making it all possible. One of this year's pre-eminent backers was the Agència de Turisme Balear. Mr Barceló himself spoke about the ATB's commitment to the annual run, an event he credited with “filling out numbers in the mid and low season”.

Timetable and traffic interruptions
The 21K race will start at 5.30pm at the lighthouse in la Mola. Runners in the 8K equivalent will set off at the same time from kilometre marker 6.2 on the Sant Ferran highway.

The stretch of road connecting la Mola's town with the lighthouse will be closed to vehicle traffic from 3.00pm. Access from es Caló to la Mola will be cut from 4.30pm and two stretches of highway—from Sant Ferran to es Caló and from la Savina to es Pujols/Sant Ferran—will be closed starting at 5.00pm. Normal traffic will resume following the passage of participants bringing up the rear; they are projected to arrive at the finish line between 7.30 and 8.00pm.

Council and GEE partner on seven sport events

Foto conveni geeThe Formentera Council's president, Jaume Ferrer, and Juanjo Escandell, head of local sport club Grup Esportiu Espalmador (GEE), have signed a pledge to work together promoting, coordinating and presenting sport fixtures throughout 2017.

The Council will give GEE €7,000 to organise seven events, Far a Far (April 23), Trofeu Illa cycling race (March 26), BTT Es Cap Challenge (May 7), Milla Urbana (July 22), Pujada a la Mola (October 12), ATB tour of Formentera and la Mola Challenge (October 27–29) and John Tunks memorial run (December 6).

One role of the island councils is to “promote, plan and execute sport activities across the social strata of the island”. Today's agreement with GEE is intended to foment such gatherings.

Two hundred plus cyclists expected for third Trasmapi race

Foto presentacio formentera tracksSunday, April 9, Formentera will host the third edition of Trasmapi Tracks de Formentera, announced the administration's Office of Sport today. With technical support from the Balearic cycling federation and backing from the Formentera Council and Trasmapi, the bike race billed as Non Stop has also been yoked by its organisers at Club Trideporte to another cause: Save Posidonia Project.

Cyclists have until Saturday at 9.00pm to register on elitechip.net. To date, 235 individuals have already signed up. The limit is set at 300. According to CiF sports councillor Jordi Vidal, more than half of those due to ride aren't from the Balearics.

In its time, the competitive trial has come to stand as a symbol of nature, bicycle touring and outdoors sightseeing. Participating cyclists will make their way down a combined 85K of roads and trails.
Tracks de Formentera is composed of two modalities:

Non Stop Silver, 85K, starts and finishes in la Savina port
Non Stop Bronze, 45K, starts in Sant Francesc and finishes in la Savina port

Numbers will be available for pick-up Thursday April 6 from 6.00 to 8.30pm at Eivissa's Club de Camp, Saturday April 8 from 6.00 to 8.00pm in la Savina port, or on Sunday April 9 from 9.00 to 10.00am, again in la Savina.

The starting shot of the Silver race is set for Sunday at 10.30am and riders will return to the port to finish. Bronze participants start out in Sant Francesc and conclude their ride in la Savina port as well. The route includes three cross points and three provision spots.

This weekend on Formentera, it's time to get physical

Foto ciclismeThis Saturday the island welcomes the Formentera All Round Trail and, as CiF sports councillor Jordi Vidal pointed out, the event is expected to draw more than four hundred to the island. At 8.00am runners will set out from la Savina on a 72.5K circuit snaking along the Formentera coastline. Starting out at es Arenals beach, a 41K half run takes place at 11.30am and the 21K Tros de Fart at 1.00pm

Participants in the day's second run, a half circuit cutting out from els Arenals beach, will set off at 11.30am. The shortest trail—Tros de FART—is 21K and will have runners hitting the pavement at 1.00pm. The three circuits share a finish line in la Savina's port and respective time limits of 13, 9 and 4 hours have been established. Another feature of the event, co-sponsored by Elitechip and Formentera Island Council, are the five refreshment points that runners will find along the trails.

Athletes can sign up through Thursday at 10.00pm at www.elitechip.net and pick up their numbers between 5.00 and 9.00pm at the event tent in la Savina. Numbers can also be picked up Saturday morning for runners on the two shorter circuits, and shuttles will take people to els Arenals (Half Round) and es Caló (Tros de FART).

Councillor Vidal described the competition as “the starting shot for a pre-season period full of popular sports meets” and shared his hope runners would be blessed with good weather. Wishing participants a pleasant run, he encouraged them to be respectful of their natural surroundings and uphold the environmental protections in place.

Vidal, who thanked agencies like the Balearic Islands' port and coastal authorities and the regional department of environment for helping ensure the event's continued growth over the years, also commended Formentera local police, civil guard agents, members of the civil protection service and volunteers for assuring safe conditions.

Cycling and other events
Also this weekend is the fourth Trofeu Illa road race, a gathering of more than seventy cyclists, taking to the road this Sunday at 10.00am in la Mola before descending the hill and embarking on a quintuple loop around Estany Pudent. In the process they will pass Sant Ferran, es Pujols, la Savina and Sant Francesc before finally heading back up the hill for a 12 noon arrival in la Mola.

Trofeu Illa is organised jointly by Grup Esportiu Espalmador and the Council. Road traffic will be cut during the event and in the interest of everyone's safety, the councillor encouraged residents to heed indications of traffic officers, civil protection services and volunteers throughout the event.

Motorcycle buffs have also got something to look forward to too, this Sunday from 10.00am to 2.00pm, when the Balearic championship of motorcycle trials arrives in Cala Saona. The event, hosted by Motoclub Illa de Formentera and the Balearic federation of motorcycling, will see roughly sixty athletes from all four Balearic Islands taking part in eight categories.

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