In 1977, before I was born and with my one-year-old brother, my father, a film director from Madrid, discovered the sea and sailing. An experience that would completely change his life and consequently ours.
At that time, the world of cinema was one of the most sacrificed and cumbersome, with post-production techniques that put all the work done at risk, where it was mounted with scissors and tape, in short, a mess. In an attempt to escape from everything, he went with his little brother to the coast of Valencia. Walking along the beach, his brother Fernando saw a man with a small sailing boat and insisted that they had to go sailing, that he knew how to sail (he had no idea) and that it would be something fun. Somehow he managed to convince my father and by talking to the man they got him to let him have his boat. That first experience was so magical, that at that precise moment he thought - absolutely everyone would have to practice this, it's wonderful. He felt the need to pass it on. He left everything and moved to Valencia to learn to really sail. Trying to find someone who could teach him about all of that. He dropped by the only thing there was at that time, a "Real Club Náutico" where when they entered the first thing they did was shut up and look him up and down as if analyzing if he was up to the task of entering that elite club. And it is that sailing until that moment was that, an elitist sport and accessible only to a few members with the purchasing power to buy a sailboat. But what about the rest of the people? Didn't they have the right to enjoy sailing? He toured several clubs but found more of the same in all of them. From that moment his greatest ambition would be to break with that image and make sailing a true sport accessible to everyone. To acquire experience, a whole year would be spent sailing and sailing, writing notes and looking for a didactic way of transmitting it. Meanwhile, and to live, he dedicated himself to painting, something he had always done, until now without profit.
On a research trip to the closest border country, France, he was pleasantly surprised that there were indeed schools there that taught you to navigate in a more open and close way, with some atmosphere and young kids. There was more love of sailing! They even had the occasional teaching book. This trip would motivate him enormously and would make him see that his goal in Spain was not so unattainable and that it also had a better climate.
In 1978, what would become one of the first sailing schools in Spain, the B.E.N., opened on Cullera beach. o Nautical Teaching Base, which gradually attracted more and more people. In 1981 I was born, my father was still combining BEN with painting, because the candle was still not enough to eat. And so everything would continue until the end of 1984, my father hooking more and more people into sailing and seeing his dream take shape, and me running and playing ball between the boats and my brother starting to sail alone. Unfortunately, the city council would soon withdraw the concession to allocate that space to more umbrellas, which was basically what Cullera lived on at that time. A lack of vision? definitely. Something that would put my father in a bind.
In 1985 a definitive objective was proposed, to travel the entire Spanish coast until finding the best place for a center of nautical activities. A place that brings together natural beauty, charm, safety, but above all ideal conditions for the initiation and improvement of this sport. Therefore, it could not be a place with excessive winds that would complicate learning, but neither could it be too marginal to not be able to take the courses. On the other hand, he had the education of his children very much in mind, so there must have been a good school in the area. This would take him 3 years, giving each possible place enough time to study and analyze it in depth. The Mediterranean coast from Gerona to Tarifa, the Atlantic coast from Tarifa to the border with Portugal and later the entire Bay of Biscay. It would be 3 years of packing and unpacking boxes in a constant move, with the house in tow and her 2 children constantly changing schools. They were not easy times, it weighed heavily on her that her children had to go through that and sometimes she tried to convince herself that "that" was the place, in order to stabilize herself and put an end to so much movement. But he gathered strength again and we returned to the charge in search of "the definitive place".
We arrive at 1987, we have traveled the entire coast and my father has to draw his conclusions. He tells us, "Do you remember that cove, Les Basetes, between Valencia and Alicante? Well, in my opinion, it is the place that brings together everything we are looking for. A stable wind regime of force 2 to 4, a natural reef that creates a protected bay of the ideal wave for initiation to windsurfing, in turn within a wide and sheltered bay with perfect conditions for light sailing and catamaran.In addition to its spectacular coastline of coves with rocky bottoms, poseidonia meadows a sign of good life, Crystal clear waters, vegetation and pine forests reaching sea level, the imposing mass of the Peñón de Ifach, the Cape of Moraira. It is the Mediterranean at its best. I think it borders on perfection. Let's give it a chance and spend some time there, to see How does it work?" Pitu and I loved the idea. We had good memories of that area. We would soon realize that this little corner not only met expectations, it exceeded them. Since then we have put all our energy, effort and passion into making it the benchmark for water sports that it is today.
Why "LAS ANTIPODAS"? Mariam, my father's love, very aware of our entire trajectory and of what my father was looking for, said: "You have to call yourselves Las Antipodas" because what you want to create is the opposite concept to the conventional yacht club sailing school".
|Vicky Sánchez E-360
2009 IFCA Freestyle World Champion