Canary Islands, April 2016 – The Canary Islands’ varied natural resources are the ideal setting for the most demanding competitions on the international sporting agenda, which will continue its trajectory on the archipelago over the next few months. For its singular nature, the Canarian orography is “The Extremesphere Reserve” of the most outrageously beautiful challenges that take place among leafy forests and desert lava scenery over volcanoes and on the waves of the clean island seas.
Drawn by the Atlantic breeze and “the best climate in the world” that the archipelago enjoys year-round, the world’s leading competitors will meet on the Canary Islands over the coming months to face the greatest variety of land, air and water sports competitions held each week at any time of the year, many of them earning points for the most important international circuits and drawing thousands of participants from around the globe at each edition.
Together with the archipelago’s extensive hotel offering and the quality of its modern facilities and sports equipment, the seven islands, just over a three-hour plane ride from the centre of Europe, are benchmark sports centres to shine again and fill the spring-summer season with energy.
22nd International Paragliding Concentration, El Hierro
“Frontera, the Paragliding Mecca”. The southernmost town in Europe will be the new base camp for paragliders between 29 April and 2 May, when they meet for the longest-running paragliding competition in Spain. It is also one of the largest concentrations of paragliders from around the world, from where adventure lovers take off from the hillsides surrounding El Golfo valley to enjoy a unique view of El Hierro island.
The challenge includes a precision-landing competition for the world’s best pilots and once again will feature Spanish National Acrobatic Paragliding Team and the world’s elite in this sports discipline recognised by the International Aeronautics Federation.
Transvulcania, La Palma
“Ultramarathon on ‘the Pretty Island’“. At a length of over 73 kilometres, this mountain race has become a tourist draw card on La Palma and the island expects over 700 international participants for the competition it is gearing up to hold on 7 May, a trail that’s as tough as it is stunning for the Bastón Route, an itinerary that gives participants the feeling they are flying over Caldera de Taburiente National Park, leaving behind an astonishing sea of clouds as they ascend Roque de los Muchachos. The 2016 event on ‘The Pretty Island’ is expected to attract over 2,500 people for non-competition events as well, such as the Encuentro de Senderistas hikers’ meeting, held at the same time as the long-distance races.
La Transvulcania has different courses: Ultramarathon (74 kilometres), Marathon (45), Half Marathon (24) and Vertical Kilometre (7.6 kilometres over ground that rises and falls by 1,203 metres). The Transvulcania Ultramarathon has been part of the Skyrunner World Series since 2012. Indeed, it kickstarts the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) circuit. The event is also included as a qualfier for the Skyrunner National Series in the Ultraseries (Ultramarathon) and Vertical (Vertical Kilometre) modes, respectively.
“Triathlon Titans”. The island of Lanzarote is preparing for the 21 May celebration of one of the toughest competitions on the planet: Ironman. Its name speaks to the tough challenge the triathletes face as they test their resistance to nearly four kilometres of open-ocean swimming, 180 kilometres of cycling over uneven land and a demanding marathon that leads them through volcanic landscapes and which offers 40 qualifying spots for the Hawaii World Championship, only worthy of true “men and women made of iron”.
Playa Grande, at Puerto del Carmen, is the island’s largest tourism centre and the setting of the swimming competition which kicks off the competition, although the true challenge for the athletes, because of the normally strong winds, comes during the cycling event which takes participants around the island and sees them cover a total of 2,551 metres of falls and rises with stunning views. After cycling for 180 kilometres, the triathletes leave their bikes behind and run 42 kilometres to the southeast of the island, with the endless ocean framing the leagerly-awaited final event.
Tenerife Bluetrail, Tenerife
“From sea to sky”. Teide National Park is one of the great appeals of this competition, which has the novelty of starting from the beach and rising to an altitude of 3,550 metres at one of the emblematic volcano summits. That’s why it’s known as the “highest” race in Spain and is considered by trail running experts as the hardest Ultra Trail on the Islands and one of the most important in Spain.
The 97-kilometre Ultra trail is the reference point, although the plural nature of the event sees it offer three alternative routes for all types of athletes keen to take on the island’s volcanic landscapes in a 43-kilometre Marathon, the popular 21-kilometre Half Marathon or the eight-kilometre, handicapped-friendly Bluetrail Challenge.
11 June will see over 2,300 participants meet in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to run ‘from sea to sky’ and entrants from more than 14 different countries are already training for a “#Brutal” edition of this Tenerife Bluetrail, a key event on the international calendar which earns points for the demanding Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), considered the toughest mountain race in the world.
PWA World Tour, Gran Canaria and Tenerife
“Trade winds at full sail”. Gran Canaria and Tenerife will this summer host two world windsurfing championship competitions run by the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA). The impressive competition will take place at Pozo Izquierdo, in the southeast of Gran Canaria, a place known around the globe for its optimal windsurfing conditions, from 3 to 9 July. A southerly is nearly always blowing at El Arenal beach and tends to be strong and constant. The waves can reach nearly three metres, making Pozo Izquierdo the ideal destination for gifted windsurfers keen to enjoy incredible leaps and air acrobatics.
A few weeks later, the world championship will be held at El Médano in the south of Tenerife, dates yet to be confirmed. Trade winds are common at El Médano and act as a magnet for the top international windsurfers who will compete this summer in the setting of a mountainous horizon beside extensive golden beaches three kilometres long.
About the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands is the place with The best climate in the world for enjoying exceptional holidays any time of the year. Seven different and unique islands, perfect for disconnecting from your daily routine, recharging your batteries and returning home feeling physically and mentally refreshed. The beaches, volcanic landscapes, lively and hospitable lifestyle and the possibility of choosing from all sorts of outdoor activities, as well as a wide range of quality accommodation and leisure activities, mean that the majority of visitors repeat the experience more than once.
About Promotur Turismo de Canarias
Promotur Turismo de Canarias, an entity attached to the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, oversees the promotion of the Canary Islands tourism brand. Created in 2005, the main goal of this public company is to study, promote and market the huge tourist offer the Canarian archipelago affords, in conjunction with the other institutions on the islands related to the tourist sector.
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