Archive for September, 2012
Stirred But Not Shaken At Los Cristianos Cocktail Competition

There was a whole lot of shaking going on in Los Cristianos as the mixers and shakers of Tenerife’s cocktail crowd gathered outside the cultural centre to find the most creative bar staff from the seven Canary Islands. The hunt was on to find a classic cocktail and the best gin and tonic – my taste buds had been salivating since I first heard of the Arona based Ruta de Cocteles that offered a month of cheap cocktails at selected bars around the area. So there I was lurking in the crowd with a pint glass in one hand and an extendable straw in the other. Normally I wouldn’t be too bothered about cocktails, ever since that film with Tom Cruise beer drinkers have cursed flash young barmen who want to juggle glasses, squirt juices into the air, and generally do anything except pour your damm pint.

There were 50 bar staff dressed to impress but I was pleased to see that several of them were young ladies, they wore slinky black uniforms and I half expected Robert Palmer to join them to sing Addicted To Love. But enough of my daydreams, this was serious business, the mixing bar was at the top of the centre steps and below a panel of experts prepared the fruit and other accessories in full view so no contestants got an unfair advantage. One immaculately dressed gentleman slipped on a pair of tight white gloves, I thought he might be a snooker ref but he set about dissecting a grapefruit like a brain surgeon while his colleagues teased their cherries and caressed their plums.

Backstage tables were loaded with fresh fruit, juices, syrups, whisks, and syringes. Senior officials in blazers checked clipboards and adjusted stop watches as the first contestants took to the stage and poured liquers, rums, and brandies into tall stemmed glasses. I was surprised to see a large bottle of Sunny Delight on one table but not a Nesquick in sight. The first finished creations took their place on the judging table and it was onto the next batch of hopefuls.

With my curiosity satisfied but not my thirst I headed off for a Dorada, maybe I would go wild and have a pineapple chunk in my pint. I did spare a thought for the judges, maybe they would be seen later staggering up the road singing rude ditties about women of dubious backgrounds whilst wearing a traffic cone on their heads.

The Green Green Grass Of The Spanish Ladies Open

Have you seen my garden? Walking through the dew laden grass at Golf Las Americas I could see Kirby Towers just above a crescent of palm trees beyond the sparkling lake. It was the morning of the Pro Am event just ahead of the Spanish Ladies Open and ok I admit it, the only garden I really have is a very hardy cactus that has survived despite years of my neglect. In contrast my nearby golf course radiated health and beauty as preparations continued for the four day spectacle on the Ladies European Tour.

Over the past four years I have covered the annual ladies golf championships in Tenerife and although not a player myself I always appreciate the skill and dedication of the golfing girls – and of course their alluring fashions and physiques. I managed to grab a few words with Laura Davies at the end of her Pro Am round, she seemed positive and upbeat despite a nagging achiles injury. Something of a veteran now, Laura is still the most well known name to casual followers of the sport and still in the frame at the major championships.

Somehow my attention was drawn to the cavalcade of young lovelies on the practice green, caddies and trainers offered advice as they went through their paces. Surveying the scene from the club house balcony things were coming together well, marquees were springing up around the course, the swans and geese that live around the lake were groomed and smart, and the leader board was clear and inviting for all the contestants.

The food up in the restaurant was very nice, the majestic views across the course added a level of enjoyment and the press room downstairs was slowly filling up with visiting media. During the Pro Am lunch was served in La Carpa the modern function hall opposite the main building, I was very impressed with the décor, layout and fabulous choice of food. Most players were going for the healthy options such as pasta and salad but at one stage there was quite a build up for scoops of varied flavours of ice cream – well they will soon sweat it off out on the course.

I will be dipping in and out as the Spanish Ladies Open progresses to it’s big Sunday climax, the whole event is free so hopefully the public will flock in each day – may the best lady win.

Fourth Victory Never In Doubt For CD Tenerife

Skill, pace, belief, and teamwork, all qualities that made CD Tenerife a pleasure to watch as they took Caudal Deportivo apart 2-0 to keep them top of Segunda B with four straight wins.

The final score didn’t reflect the dominance of Tenerife with every player adding something positive to the mix. Only some inspired saves from Caudal’s keeper Segura prevented any goals in the first half. Chechu was a constant menace on the right and exposed the visiting defence with two early raids. Caudal had little to offer against a tight home defence with Yeray doing a superb job of the holding role just in front of them, the only slight concern was a weak back pass from Llorente that Sergio dealt with easily.

After 20 minutes Loro turned quickly and fired in a shot that Segura dived to keep out. It was the start of a golden spell for the keeper as he denied Chechu twice, the second with an athletic full length spread. Loro flashed a header wide and Chechu looped a shot over the bar – what a charmed life Caudal were living. We thought we had a pretty decent ref but he rammed our compliments down our throats in the second half, Martin cursed as his promising break was cut short by a clumsy foul that was ignored.

Suso came on for Bruno for a short cameo role as he played the cat among Caudal’s defensive pigeons. Martin had a more productive run and as the visitors defence hesitated his pass found Chechu whose shot trickled teasingly slow over the line for the first goal after 61 minutes. Llorente was unlucky to see his effort from a free kick cleared by the goalies outstretched boot. Suso charged at the Caudal goal and squared the ball to Aridane who couldn’t quite get the killer touch but a few minutes later Suso tried again and this time Aridane converted perfectly for his fifth goal of the season.

The ref was unraveling fast and making some bizarre calls, Suso was on the receiving end with a second red card and he was heading for the dressing room after just 22 minutes of play. Caudal may have ejected CD Marino from the Copa del Rey but Tenerife were a far tougher proposition and even a man short they looked more than good enough to complete the win. The crowd was up nearly a thousand to 7,340 and if Tenerife can keep up this form and the pleasing style of football there will be more good times ahead.



Good Clean Fun In Las Galletas

How very remiss of me, it’s been a few months since I last made the short hop to Las Galletas, one of my favourite ports of call. So with a volunteer clean up of the beaches taking place last week it seemed a perfect time to see how the neighbours are doing.

Change arrives in small measures for this delightful fishing village, well it would be difficult to do anything major without ruining the natural charms of Las Galletas. The main beach looked much the same, it was never dirty, most people’s beef seems to be with the shingle and stones and their aspirations for sand to be added. When I first went to Las Galletas some ten years ago the beach was mainly large stones, this was scraped clear and a fine shingle added but sun bathers began popping over the road to the waste ground and bring back large stones to peg their towels out – you can’t please everyone.

Anyway back to the clean up, around 60 volunteers pitched in and removed 600 kilos of rubbish, 500 kilos of that was from the sea bed. It was clear to me that some of the older weather beaten small fishing boats had been pulled over to a quiet corner and several other bigger and possibly abandoned craft moored in mid water now had for sale signs on.

Earlier in the week I had noticed the long deserted Yellow Submarine re-located to Los Cristianos quay side. This former under water viewing ship has been a dirty and unloved anomaly at the Las Galletas for as long as most people can remember – it looks like it outdates The Beatles. It will be interesting to see if it is salvaged, the layers of caked on silt will take more than a few cans of Mr Muscle.

The Marina del Sur is a more recent cautionary tale of apathy and bad planning, it is well used by pleasure craft and excursion trips but is still only a shadow of what was intended. 8 years ago. The Policia Local and fishermen never did move into their purpose built new premises and the little cafe at the far end of the marina arm that embraces the bay opened and shut in the blink of an eye.

Despite all this it is still a hub of fishing tradition with some lovely cheap shops, bars and restaurants in the back streets and the undeveloped nature of the main beach ensures plenty of room and I always enjoy a swim along the sweep of the bay with the mountains of Arona as an inspiring back drop.

Third CD Tenerife Win Despite Late Scare

Another win but nearly a harsh lesson as CD Tenerife went from coasting at 2-0 to hang on for a 3-2 win at Ourense. Tenerife were majestic for most of the game but relaxed in the second half and let their hosts back in with a shout. The first 15 minutes belonged to Ourense, Quintairos was a handful and Sergio Aragoneses had to be strong to gather the ball at his feet. Sangines also had a half chance but his weak header hardly tickled Sergio’s hands.

Moyano looks better with each game, his 16th minute intervention on Pillado in the penalty box was timed to perfection and straight after that he went on a run that ended with a cross into the danger area that out witted the defence and his team mates. Yeray was the surprise selection for the injured Medina and he forced a save with a glancing header after good work from Chechu and Martin.

Loro opened the scoring in style with a delicately stroked free kick into the top corner of the home net. Tenerife were in control now and the second goal was a real team effort. Moyano put the ball in from a deep position, Aridane brought it down for Martin and he touched it back to Aridane to slot past the keeper. Tenerife were lining up to shoot with Martin and Aridane have a dig before Loro shot wide.

Bruno made a great block to snuff out a raid by Quintairos early in the second half, Suso came on for Chechu and hustled the ball off a home defender before curling his effort just wide of the target. There was more frustration as Suso shrugged off two defenders only to see his shot bounce back off the post. The win seemed secure then but 2-0 is never enough and as Tenerife eased off Ourense came forward. Josu flashed a long ball across the goal mouth, Sergio did well to finger tip it over to safety. With five minutes left the ball came into the Tenerife area and Jona had a free header that left Sergio stranded. Another great move looked to have closed the door on Ourense, Suso put the ball into Aridane, he turned two defenders and passed to give sub Bravo a simple tap in. Even at 3-1 up and in injury time there was more drama, a free kick into the box and a hand ball penalty was called against Loro, Claudio put it wide of Sergio to reduce the arrears just before the final whistle blew.

Tenerife are staying in mainland Spain through to Wednesdays Copa del Rey match at Alcoyano so they will have plenty of free time to mull over today’s lessons. It was still a fine win and the squad is developing nicely, new striker Guillem Marti may well get his debut along with several changes on Wednesday.


Aridane Inspires Another 2-0 Scorcher From CD Tenerife

Confidence and competition for places, two driving forces that can take a football team a long way, and for CD Tenerife things look good on both those fronts after a second 2-0 win in the opening two league games. Rayo Vallecano B came calling to Santa Cruz and like CD Marino last week they looked very average but Tenerife cruised to a comfortable victory with plenty of plus points to enjoy.

Aridane was again outstanding using his bulk and presence to lead the line but there is much more to this player and his deft touch to set up the second goal was a delight to witness. Rayo were a scrappy side relying on crunching challenges instead of skill, Tenerife were a little nervous in defence early on but after Aragoneses had saved from Jorge and Manquillo had put a shot wide CDT took the game to their visitors. Chechu was again hard to mark on the right and the opener came from his move down the right teeing the ball up for Aridane to score after 15 minutes. Loro is now showing his true form and after a defensive howler nearly resulted in an own goal the ball fell to a closely marked Aridane so he back heeled the ball to Loro for an easy finish.

The floodgates could have opened then if the referee had let the game flow, to be fair he was hampered by a slow linesman who seemed to be in another time zone. Chechu did well to ride a crude tackle when cutting in towards the goal but the ref somehow awarded a free kick against him. Llorente was turning defence into attack on the left and Moyano at right back chipped in with a good interception to set up a goal chance only to hear the whistle interrupt his progress.

The second half brought more chances for Tenerife, coach Cervera gave a run out to local youngster Yeray replacing Medina in midfield and he showed some good touches. Jorge for Rayo spurned a great chance chipping high and wide of the home goal and the visitors began to tire in the intense heat. Suso came on for Loro and showed how much he has grown since his early spell with Tenerife, strong and determined he took over the main striking role with Aridane dropping back a little. Cristo Martin had a half chance that the Rayo keeper juggled before holding and Suso skied the ball with the goal open before him.

Abel was the final home sub, on for Martin, and he too slotted in well. Suso used his strength to shrug off a defender and run the ball along the byline before slipping it to Abel whose shot hit the post. If I wanted to be picky I could say that we should have added more goals but 2 wins, 4 goals scored and none conceded will do nicely. Another good team performance with Victor Bravo, Josmar Zambrano and new striker Guillem Marti still to come. The first proper away game next Sunday at Ourense should give a better indication of how we stand in the pecking order.