Archive for June, 2013
Armada Sur Have A Flaming Good Celebration

The burgers, chops, chicken and sausage had that extra ingredient at this years Armada Sur barbecue – it was success. Promotion after a great season for CD Tenerife had to be celebrated in style and Cho Pancho high above San Miguel was the perfect setting for the annual fun and games.

It was a scorching hot day but the shade of the pine trees and a welcome breeze ensured things didn’t get too uncomfortable – unless you were a Pio of course. In time honoured tradition a large stuffed Tweety (symbol of our nearest and dearest from the other island) was abused, trussed up, and hung over the barbecue flames until it died horribly with its stuffing spurting out.

Two large wheely bins were packed with ice and cans of beer which we worked steadily through during the afternoon, there was plenty of wine for the ladies too and soft drinks for the younger generation. The cricket match didn’t quite get into full swing this year but the football was full bloodied and bruising, several players will have the marks to remember it by.

For anyone not familiar with the picnic areas in Tenerife, they are large, well looked after, and with brick built barbecue stacks to cook on, at Cho Pancho there is a toilet and washing block nearby and pick up points for the rubbish which we dutifully collected together before leaving. Our coach dropped us off and picked up at the end of the service road, some hitched rides down in cars but most of us walked, it’s a pleasure in such beautiful surroundings.

Full marks to The General and his troops for getting there early, setting everything up, and firing up the charcoal. The ladies did us proud with potato salad, pasta, and Kirsty’s wicked mojo sauce that could strip paint of a tank. I’m sure the people at the surrounding barbecues enjoyed our boistrous singing, it certainly made the lizards scuttle under cover. Roll on next year.

Despite being well loaded with beer I managed to drag myself back out at night and down to Los Cristianos for the Noche de San Juan, the traditional bonfires on the beaches way of marking mid summer. It was packed down there, the bars and restaurants can only dream of it being that busy in the daytime. I had a little wander over the sand to see some of the fires and see who was jumping the flames, another tradition, I wisely didn’t attempt any acrobatics and settled for a couple of pints at Goodfellas on the promenade as I watched the scantily clad young ladies wander by. I left at 1am but I’m sure the fun went on until daybreak, it always does, it was a nice hazy end to a very enjoyable day.


Los Cristianos Steps Up Into Saturday Gear

It was quality rather than quantity as a dozen Ferraris purred their way up Calle Berna in the heart of Los Cristianos at the end of the first Salida Ferrari parade. The route had taken them up to Los Gigantes and down the west coast via Alcala, Playa San Juan, Callao Salvaje, Playa Paraiso, Costa Adeje, and Playa de Las Americas.

Slipping into their allotted parking spaces they were swarmed over by a small but appreciative crowd, advance publicity had been pretty ropey, I had expected a few more but maybe the crisis has taken its toll with a few being traded in for something more economical. There was no denying that they ooze class, the sleek lines and curves reduced several admiring men to quivering love struck teenagers. I tried to get a few nice young ladies to drape themselves over the bonnets but they seemed to think it was just a cheesey and desperate chat up line.

From Mondial to Lamborghini, and GTO to Diablo they attracted a steady stream of visitors through the afternoon. The Spaghetti House was doing a good trade as their terrace looks straight out onto the parking area, I noticed someone had parked a car at the edge of the area covered with adverts for massage services – well it’s all bodywork I suppose. Hopefully it will become an annual fixture with better publicity and more entrants.

Another late addition to the social menu was an evening concert in the church plaza by AMAE, a local music, dance, and art academy. This wasn’t in any of the advance listings and the posters only appeared in the cultural centre the morning before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. In the afternoon I passed the plaza and heard a band rehearsing, they were a mix of teachers and pupils and were playing Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd. They were very good, the female singer had a strong voice and the guitarists wrung plenty of emotion out of their instruments.

Popping back in the evening for the start of the main event I caught a band doing a rock and classical mix in front of a full plaza mix of seats and standing at the edges. These musicians were also top notch and there were plenty of young artists gathered in the backstage area awaiting their turn. I just had time to watch two dancers, Julian and Carlisle perform a lively routine to the Tina Turner track Rolling Down The River. I shall be looking out for future events from AMAE, miles better than the no talent contest drivel that BBC and ITV serve up each Saturday night.



Dropping Anchor In La Laguna And Santa Cruz

Not a sail billowed and not an oar paddled as I stood surrounded by the Cutty Sark, Victory, and The Golden Hind, well they were models and I was in Casa de Los Capitanes in La Laguna. It was a deliberate stop off and nothing to do with the drizzle outside. I had expected to drop five degrees as the tram linked me from Santa Cruz to La Laguna but the rain had little more than novelty value – after all worse things happen at sea.

The free exhibition is by former mayor of Guimar, Rigoberto Gonzalez (above) and he was happy to chat about his 16 models ranging from 40 cms to 2 metres long. “I have been making these for 35 years, my uncles taught me their carpentry skills and I made some earlier ones from moulds but had to apply to different countries naval departments to get historic plans for them as they got more involved.”

They were all very intricate with everything made from types of mahogany imported from Germany, and that includes the tiny anchors and canons. “ Most like the Endevour took 18 months but the Victory took two years.”

As someone who struggled to do a basic Airfix Spitfire without pasting myself to the ceiling, I was very impressed. The exhibition goes onto 14 July 10.30 to 2 and 5 to 8 Monday to Friday.

Back outside the rain was fading so I had a quick tour to check all was well in La Laguna, the cathedral is still making a slow recovery but the boards and a lady in tourist information assured me it will be complete by this December – we shall see. At the top end I had my usual peak at the wonderfully cheeky mural on a garage door, it always makes me chuckle. With plenty more to do I jumped on the tram and grooved on down to Santa Cruz and 40 minutes later I was back in 23 degree sunshine. I had a review to do at new American style rock and roll burger café Mary Ann’s, you will have to wait for that but the word yummy comes to mind.

Parque Garcia Sanabria was looking good with a new design on the flower clock but no summer film shows yet so I veered off to the port, a regular call which is now easier to get to across Avenida Anaga as the Via Litoral underpass is open and above ground the new expanse of pedestrian zone has allowed everyone to spread out and enjoy the space under the transplanted laurel trees. There was a shortage of surprise new ships but the Lagaren was moored up but seemed as deserted as the Marie Celeste. It’s a 34 metre long school ship from Sweden, we get a lot calling by as they educate young crews in the ways of the sea and team building.

A short stop at TEA – Tenerife Espacio de los Artes to see check out the library and gather some more forthcoming events – secrecy is still the usual form of publicity in Tenerife – and I was on the return Titsa bus to Los Cristianos. Both trips were quicker than usual, I put it down to the new snazzy uniforms, I hear Posh Spice is so impressed she wants to move here and become a bus bunny.


CD Tenerife Bid A Strange Farewell To Segunda B

It’s extremely doubtful that referee Ramon Arias Madrid had to send a Fathers Day card on Sunday, well that was the popular opinion among CD Tenerife fans and players. The jolly joker gave Alaves the softest of penalties and then booked one of their players twice without sending him straight off. The away goal in the 2-1 home win meant that Alaves got the Segunda B trophy after their 2-0 home win last week. Tenerife huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow down the visitors door despite having a two man advantage for the last 30 minutes.

We needed a whirlwind start to get back into the tie and that’s just what we got, Aridane went close from a first minute Cristo cross and Guillem Marti came out second best from a duel with the Alaves keeper a minute later. The team showed changes again, Guillem had a rare start and looked keen to mark the coach’s card for next season, he was floored as he put a ball into the box but Aridane saw a gap and nipped in to rob a defender and put the ball in the net for a 1-0 lead after 6 minutes – the chase was on.

Sendoa tested Roberto in the home goal, he was equal to the weak shot and Sergio Rodriguez was in good defensive form, this week in the left back slot. Alaves got away with some theatrical dives and rolls and the refs inaction just encouraged them. Aridane was brought down on the edge of the penalty area without even a free kick as consolation. Loro added fuel to the cause by sending in a well floated corner that Aridane’s head powered into the net (top pic) from the edge of the box – that’s 27 goals for the season but strangely some fans still seem unconcerned with him possibly leaving in the summer.

Alaves were quick on the break, they should have reduced the arrears quickly but skied a shot high over the bar. Never mind the ref was about to lend a hand, Juanma brushed past Sergio and went down and a booking and a joke penalty award followed, Viqueira slotted it past Roberto (above) and suddenly the task looked mammoth. Sergio made a good run at the other end and was floored trying to put in a goal line cross, then mayhem broke out as the ref booked Juanma a second time. He showed the yellow and just went on with the game, Tenerife tried to point out that the player should be off but he wouldn’t have it and the arguments raged as the teams went off for half time.

Someone must have shoved a rule book in the refs face as Alaves came back out for the second half without Junma. Tenerife had trouble settling but were handed a get out of jail card when Manu Garcia got his second booking – and the red after 59 minutes. Anything was possible now but Tenerife tried to be too subtle in front of goal instead of blasting from all angles. A triple substitution brought Carlos, Medina, and Ayoze on for Alberto, Bruno, and Sergio and although the pace of Carlos helped down the right flank, the finishing was still wayward. Urtzi in goal made some fine saves including one stunner from Ayoze but the game fizzled out with Alaves content to soak up the pressure.

It was a bit of an anti climax and with some younger fans running on to the pitch at the end the club cancelled a lap of honour from the players, a great shame as not all of them will return next season, they deserved the full praise of the 10,142 crowd for giving us back a higher level of football.

Another Rung On Another Ladder For Atletico Granadilla

Only in Tenerife, we were nearly late for the promotion play off game in Granadilla as the car was stuck behind a house on wheels. Athletico Granadilla’s first leg was on the morning of the big Romeria fiesta and the traditional rural house style cart was loaded up with revelers in Canarian costume. The big game was a curtain raiser for the celebrations to come in the centre of town and many supporters were fully dressed and enjoying a few beers in the sunshine.

My only previous trips to the Estadio Francisco Suarez had been for evening pre season friendlies with CD Tenerife and didn’t do justice to the beautiful setting with the pine forests of Vilaflor rising in the distance. Granadilla took time to settle, their first decent chance came after 20 minutes when their keeper made a desperate punched clearance under pressure. Encouraged, the home side pushed forward, Amray was persistent on the right wing, veteran stiker Noah (I think he is the one from the bible) has lost some speed over the years around the southern clubs but is still good in the air and caused Jose in goal a few worries.

There wasn’t much to choose between the teams, maybe the visitors were a bit more direct but Marino (pink shirt) in thee home goal coped with them well. His rival stopper looked a weak link and had to scramble away a shot just before half time. Jony of Oviedo had a great opening early in the second half only to be denied by some smart work from Marino. Former CD Tenerife striker Ruben Rosquete arrived from the bench and could have opened the scoring within minutes if the ball had been passed to him in an unmarked position.

Oviedo were hoping to nick an away goal to give them a strong launch pad for the return leg and they started to apply more pressure on the Granadilla defence. Marino took a clout and had to go off with Alexis Oval taking over the gloves. The replacement did ok and Granadilla had the better of the later play, they thought they had scored but the ref ruled it as offside. The game drifted into injury time and Oviedo were under siege, it paid off as captain Ivan Martin floated the ball in from a corner and amid the jostling for position it ended up in the net the ball to the delight of the 1,100 crowd.

It’s a slender lead but the clean sheet could prove vital next week as Granadilla look to get through to the final home and away pair that can lead into the Segunda B. The late goal certainly helped the mood and as we left people were streaming down the hill into the town centre to mix football celebrations with the Romeria fun and games. There would be a few wobbly wagons later in the day.

Over in Alaves it was a much more low key game for CD Tenerife in the first leg of the championship decider for Segunda B. There were changes galore as fringe players were given a run out, Roberto in goal, Sergio Rodriguez at right back, Jesus Alvaro at left back and Ayoze as the main striker with Aridane putting his feet up.

It was a uninspired performance with Tenerife not troubling the home goalie until Sergio had a 58th minute shot. Alberto, Roberto, and Sergio were the pick of the bunch but Alaves had the better forwards with Viquera opening the scoring on the hour. It should have ended as a 1-1 draw as Tenerife had a clear penalty denied for a foul on Chechu in injury time. From there Alaves broke and Viquera scored again as a very disgruntled Chechu got sent off for a second booking. It will be hard to turn it around in next Sundays home leg to lift the trophy but it will be more about thank yous and farewells at the end of a very special season.


What, No Egg And Spoon?

Well that gives you a pointer to how bad I was at athletics at school. In the summer months I longed for something easy like the sack race or egg and spoon, instead we got the Triple A tests. Thankfully there were only a few flashbacks to those trying times as I covered the Arona Combined Events for The Tenerife Weekly at the Estadio Olympico, a venue that has become a semi regular call for me when CD Marino are playing.

Jessica Taylor

Jo Rowland

It’s always good to see the experts doing sport properly and an international field included eight GB athletes ready to run, hurdle, vault, jump and much more in the heptathlon, octathlon, and decathlon. The run of cloudy weather had broken and hot sunshine bathed the stadium as I arrived and picked up my rather fetching dark green press bib and went mooching around among the competitors down at trackside.

Martin Brockman

I soon met the GB bunch, they were a nice friendly lot and the ladies 100 metres was just about to get under way so I hung around to check out the GB ladies, purely in a sporting way of course. The organization was good, plenty of back up volunteers, as the runners shed their layers ready for the racing small laundry baskets were filled with each runners gear, that seemed like good service, a free wash and spin. I never realized what a clunking bit of kit the starting blocks are, at school we just had the veiled threat of a sadistic PE teachers boot to inspire us.

100 metres.Grace Clements (2nd from right) Emma Buckett (4 from right).

As I squatted down to get some pics I became aware that the long jump was facing the other way and the first practice runner was thundering down towards the sand pit, I normally go to the beach if I want sand kicked in my face. Martin Brockman and Peter Glass both looked fired up but so did their rivals, Moving to the far end of the stadium for the high jump I noticed the local kids were also slotting their races in between the main events. There were medals galore for the young future stars, featuring local discus champion Mario Pestano’s imposing figure.

The stadium has a thriving athletics club and the facilities are first class, when I am lurking behind the goal to get photos at the CD Marino games I have to resist the urge to have a sneaky bounce on the large padded mattress that catches the high jumpers. There were two jumps going on at once with the ladies propelling themselves over the ever rising bar, again there was an interesting contrast between the short and long run ups and the GB ladies were up there with the leaders, Jessica Taylor, Emma Buckett, and Jo Rowland had great technique.

Emma Buckett

Jessica Taylor

Returning after the afternoon break I got the chance to watch the ladies shot putt, Grace Clement and Jo Rowland were on good form. There were several individual coaches in the crowd signaling useful tips to the ladies and it was noticeable that the GB party were very supportive of each other, those awaiting their next action made sure they gave plenty of encouragement to those competing. At the end of the day Grace Clements kindly made time for me to interview her, everyone thinks after the London Olympics that athletes are up there with other top sports but they have to work hard to get sponsors. Grace had been a teacher but is now doing part time work at her adopted Lee Valley track to support her quest for glory. At least the Arona tournament was able to offer all the competitors three nights free accommodation at the nearby Hotel Noelia Sur.

Grace Clements

Sunday was a busy day for me with the CD Tenerife away promotion decider on TV Canarias in the morning but I managed to sandwich a few more hours of athletics in between that and hitting the south airport to see CDT return. Mens javelin and discus were underway at the stadium, sat on the grass just in front of the launch area for the javelin seemed a good place to be. Harry Sutherland the youngest of the GB group was chasing the points as the competition hotted up. The distances some of these chaps were getting was quite staggering, I thought Roque del Conde might end up looking like a porcupine, the majestic rise of the metal spears was almost hypnotic as they leveled off and then plunged down to impale the grass beyond the centre circle – the groundsman was probably crying somewhere in a darkened room.

Martin Brockman

Harry Sutherland

GB – Emma Buckett, Jo Rowland, Harry Sutherland,Peter Glass, Martin Brockman, Jessica Taylor, Grace Clements

The discus was also going on from inside the netted circle and Mario Pestano was attracting a lot of interest, he is very big in Arona, or anywhere else come to that, but some of the other throwers were truly mammoth power houses. The longer running events were the climax of the day, alas I only got to see the qualifying runs, Harry Sutherland and Roger Skedd had a fair bit of ground to make up, at the final reckoning Martin Brockman was the highest GB male in the decathlon in third but the ladies excelled with Jo Rowland winning the heptathlon closely followed by Grace Clements in second and Jessica Taylor in third. Full marks to all of them and the organizers for such a cracking competition, I now have a renewed admiration for athletics.



Safe Landing In Segunda For CD Tenerife

The linesman was on a loser, even at 1-0 down on the day and five minutes to go his pleas to the CD Tenerife bench to sit down were wasted – they were ready to taste promotion. The late away goal for Hospitalet in the 3-1 first leg win in Santa Cruz should have reminded us that it’s never that easy and a defensive lapse to give Cirio a 55th minute goal had strained the nerves. The wide open defence will be forgiven as they had an otherwise outstanding game and Aridane’s two missed sitters also pale away compared to his 25 goals this season, but it did all make for a nail biting, gut grabbing finish.

Tenerife’s tactic of containment in the first half had worked well all season and at a goal less half time it looked spot on again. Both sides had chances, Sergio Aragoneses was on top of his game to deny a header from Angel and reacted well to snuff out a Hospitalet shot after Bruno had missed a tackle. Bacari was the home sides most dangerous player as he had been in Santa Cruz, he wasn’t just a scoring threat, his high studs in Ros’s chest were like something from a martial arts movie and team mate Viale was lucky to avoid a red card after a childish slap to Cristo Martin’s face.

Bruno showed his better qualities to shield the ball back to Sergio as Bacari threatened at the opening of the second half. The defence was all over the place though for the goal after 55 minutes, Bacari worked his way past three static defenders and set up Cirio to score. Another unanswered home goal would have won the promotion place, thankfully Tenerife decided to chase the game rather than sit back. Suso came on for Cristo and Ayoze for Chechu. Aridane had another good chance, this time he hit it straight at the keeper and Suso hesitated when he should have shot, allowing a defender to get a foot in the way.

The last 20 minutes were agony to watch at home, the 1,300 CDT fans in the stadium did us proud and kept the vocals going as Tenerife forced a couple of late corners and Hospitalet launched one last assault in injury time that Sergio cleared with calm nerves. The ref blew the whistle and the Tenerife bench emptied onto the pitch but it was for a free kick so they had to withdraw for a few more excruciating seconds. The next whistle really was it and all the emotions spilled out as the celebrations began. Good bye Segunda B, it’s been interesting but we hope not to see you again or your early morning kick offs and agricultural pitches.

In the evening I headed for the airport and in the company of almost 2,000 delirious fans we welcomed the team back from their charter flight. The reception was amazing and left a lot of visitors impressed at what a show the tourist board had put on just for their benefit. The joy on the fans and players faces made all the set backs in Segunda B worthwhile, even President Concepcion managed a smile – or was that wind. The home game against the other promoted side Alaves for the Segunda B overall title should be another party and then the planning begins to ensure we are competitive back at the higher level. It’s going to be a good summer.