Archive for October, 2015
Waterski Racing To Make Waves In Puerto Colon

If you like your sport fast, thrilling, and free you should head to Puerto Colon for the Tenerife Open International Waterski Racing Championships on Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November. I love embracing different sports and two years ago I was hooked by the World Championships at the same venue, I was on the edge of my seat, well balancing on the rocks in front of the harbour wall.

The marina just below San Eugenio is best known to holiday makers as the starting point for whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, sailing, and every type of water sport you could imagine. Two years ago that seven day event brought the cream of waterski racing from around the globe and thousands of new converts lapped up the action. Just a month ago the Spanish championships took place up the west coast in Playa San Juan, and previous events have been held in Los Gigantes. This year things are going to get even wetter and wilder as the weekend unfolds.


2.30 to 3 pm Junior Under 21, Euro Kids A & B – 25 mins and one lap

3.40 to 4.15 pm Ladies F1 , F2 ,and Masters – 30 mins and one lap

4.55 to 5.45 pm Men F1, F2, F3 – 45 mins and one lap.


10.30 to 10.50 am Euro Kids, Juniors – 15 mins and one lap

11.00 to 11.55 am Ladies, Masters – 20 mins and one lap

12.40 to 1.05 pm   Men F1, F2, F3 – 25 mins and one lap

The championships will be decided on Saturday but there’s something very special on the Sunday, twin racing with two skiers behind each boat. This is a format usually seen in Australia but rarely in Europe, it’s an exhibition event and very spectacular. Both types of racing need a real team effort with different skills being displayed by the skier, the boat driver, and an all important observer facing out from the back of the boat, reading and relaying what’s going on in their wake to the driver.

This year competitors are converging from around Europe with skiing stars like Nico de Stoop, and Maikel de Block from Belgium, Sabine Ortieb from Austria (Ladies 4th in 2013 Worlds) and many of the top Spanish enthusiasts. There’s British interest with Nadia Jay Mersey holding the rope behind driver Barry Clapson and observer Simon Smith, the Islington crew will be with the boat Novelero. With up to nine boats racing at a time the large oval circuit will be whipped up into a frenzy, and the spectators will feel similar sensations. It’s going to be an enthralling contest of speed, power, and skill, I hope to see loads of you down there at Puerto Colon.

Blood And Guts As CD Tenerife Get Stuck In

What an all action gut grabber of a game, all we ask as fans is for players with as much passion and heart as ourselves. We got that and much more as CD Tenerife put the brakes on Segunda Division leaders Osasuna for a 2-2 home draw. Goalie Dani Hernandez played on despite having a five staple repair job on his head, and the loss to hospital of concussed striker Nano galvanized the 9 players (oh yes just 9) to grab an injury time leveller.

Coach Raul Agne had some big decisions to make pre game, Choco passed a late fitness test on his leg but just how fit would he be, and Suso was suspended. Cristo Gonzalez got the nod over Nano and Omar started as the wing player, there was little time to settle before Torres flighted a long range free kick beyond Dani, it could have been a disaster but was merely a setback. Cristo headed narrowly over and back in defence German was having one of his best games with Alberto always willing to drop back, he did well to rob Pucko as he looked to shoot.

Nino was expected to be the big threat but Kodro was their danger man, our former hero still has a nose for goal though and could have headed a killer strike if Raul Camara hadn’t forced him wide. Dani is always bold and strong in the air, he rose high to deny Miguel with a clearing punch but the players collided and Dani came off worse with blood seeping from his head. The Venezuela keeper struggled on for the final 10 minutes of the half and despite needing Carlos Ruiz to take his goal kicks he still managed a stunning finger tip save. The pain must have been considerable but was made bearable in injury time when Cristo tucked the ball in the visitors net after good work from Omar.

Tenerife re-emerged with Dani’s wound clamped together and within minutes Raul Camara got booked, that takes his tally to an automatic one game ban. Worse followed as Alberto got a straight red for an elbow in the face of Merino, maybe it was payback for previous rough treatment but it wasn’t subtle, and not what we needed. Time for changes, Jairo replaced Cristo in time to see a corner converted by Oier and with a lead secured Osasuna resorted to spoiling tactics, the ref fell for the lot, their goalie Nauzet took every chance to sniff the grass and look in pain.

Choco arrived in place of Raul Camara and looked very sprightly, he was challenging for all the high balls and gave his team mates a big boost. Jairo nearly unlocked the door with a nifty little faint before a shot. Nano was the last throw of the dice but as he came down from a high head clash for a loose ball with Unai Garcia he had to be helped off before collapsing. The sight of the medics loading him on a stretcher and racing down the touchline to the exit had us all fearful. Four minutes of injury time were signaled and the ball fell to Nino with just Dani to beat, but he could only muster a scuffed shot. I’d like to think he didn’t have the heart to finish us off, or maybe our less than perfect pitch caught him out. What a reprieve, only seconds left, Tenerife charged, Choco got a touch in front of goal and German hooked it over the line for an emotional end to a thrilling game. That’s the spirit, that’s the buzz we live for, and that’s why we always dare to hope.


Ten Diez Lift The Lid On Their Tenerife Art Box

Bringing art to the people of south Tenerife has been a mission that I have enjoyed following so I was keen to see Art Box, the latest international exhibition from Ten-Diez. Their latest presentation found a modern, stylish home at Baobab Suites, just above Fañabe in Adeje and is on until 14th November.

The exhibition space just beyond reception allowed plenty of room to browse and enjoy the 200 works on offer. Some of the 41 artists were familiar to me from previous shows but as the reputation of Ten-Diez has grown so have the queue of potential exhibitors. The works were mainly photographic this time but Max Mala was the first to catch my eye with a display of richly textured urban sculptures next to a quartet of high fashion photos with a distinct Mary Quant sixties feel. Scotsman Andy McLeod had exploited the infrared spectrum to spin out some atmospheric black and white landscape shots.

Art is a very subjective thing, you can’t please everyone but Ten-Diez make sure there are plenty of diverse styles to cater to individual tastes. A more traditional large portrait came from thee brush of Jesus Martin with his El Arbol, a magnificent study of a tree of considerable character standing out against a Tenerife pine forest.


The artists eye can always pick out the changing moods of nature, reflected in the case of Ana Cristina Perez, by the coast and mountains. Nitgard chose unusual angles and light to make his point, and Dayana Dominguez found art in unusual settings. All the works on display are for sale, you can stretch to 1,550 euros or bag a unique addition to your wall for as little as 35 euros. The haunting faces of Toto Morin drew me to them, he really brought out the character in his eight subjects. Another quite startling collection was the Ghost Images of Los Realejos photographer Ohiane de Felipe, by super imposing two views in one picture it made a real impact.

The artists come from many different backgrounds, fine art, technical, or in the case of Dublin born Phil Crean, commercial photography but he showed in his Fluid Horizons that he can appreciate and capture the soul of an image. Subjects don’t have to be spectacular to attract the lens, Javier Gea made a strong case for the mundane with his black and white close ups of a pencil sharpner, and Jorge Bonet found a rich source in graffiti and an open book. Conflicting emotions were summoned up by David Malledo with a faces parted by darkness, light and shade combined perfectly to offer a new perspective.

Entry to the exhibition is free and hopefully you will find it interesting, uplifting, and inspiring. Opening times are 9 am to 11 pm everyday until 14 November, go and have a look, you may find that perfect unusual gift ready to leap out at you from the Art Box.



A Home Full Of Strangers For Spain v Sweden

Like an out of body experience, it was a surreal feeling to be in the Heliodoro stadium with very few of my CD Tenerife friends around me, and red replacing blue and white as the dominant colour. International football had come to Tenerife, well the under 21 game between Spain and Sweden on the road to the Euro Championships in Poland 2017.

Three of us from the Armada Sur had parked up in the CC Meridiano car park and threaded our way through the back streets and a tide of Spain shirts and flags. Buying a ticket at the sales window (10 euros) was another novelty, the street stalls had loaded up with red scarves and replica shirts and it was pretty busy but I could only pick out a few familiar faces. I better explain at this point that there is a certain resistance to supporting Spain among my football friends, many are proud Canarians, new graffiti outside the stadium underlined that feeling. For me it was a rare chance to see a high profile game and future world stars.

The Heliodoro is owned by Santa Cruz Ayuntamiento (council) and FIFA had hired it for the night, that meant they had control of advertising, announcements etc but that still doesn’t excuse some of the glaring omissions and lack of any publicity for CD Tenerife. There was no programme, not even a team sheet, most of the stadium advertising hoardings had been covered over leaving just the FIFA approved sponsors to push their products. We were offered free plastic Spain flags at the turnstile but declined, inside our usual Popular Baja area was covered in red but I did spot a couple of Canarian independence flags and a few CDT shirts.

Onto the game, Spain dominated the opening exchanges and the Sweden goalie Cajtoft made some impressive saves. I took particular interest in Spain’s captain Deulofeu of Everton, and Bellerin (above) of Arsenal. The atmosphere was subdued, many of the 15,000 crowd were groups like school parties or youth football clubs, it reminded me of Home Internationals at Wembley years ago on school outings, the bits of singing and chanting that broke out were in quite high voices. Spain’s persistence paid off after 19 minutes when the classy Oliver Torres of Atletico Madrid scored from a Deulofeu pass. Both sides were struggling to cope with the poor state of the pitch, it hasn’t been good since rock band Maña performed on it a week before the season started. The ball wasn’t bouncing true, it bobbled when passes were made and little clumps were standing out, in fact the only ones liking the pitch were the flock of pigeons that kept landing and playing dare in front of the players.

The second half got off to a bad start for Spain, Saul got a second booking and was off, this derailed the reds and they never really recovered. Sweden seized the initiative and put the Spain goalie Kepa under siege. Despite the keepers valiant efforts Sweden broke through after 59 minutes with a goal from Engvall. From them on a draw seemed the likely outcome and it proved to be the case. As the players took their applause and left the pitch, Oliver Torres trotted down to our end of the ground and gave a Spain shirt to some female fans, well they were Atletico supporters as well, but a nice gesture. Sweden had done their PR bit the day before by inviting a large group of young Swedes from a local language school to their training session and they added a pocket of yellow high up in the far stand. It was nice to hear the PA blasting out Tenerife Adelante as we left the stadium, it all went off pretty well and there is more talk of a full international soon – best sort that pitch out though.


Improved CD Marino Shaded In Close Contest

A shuffle of the young CD Marino pack brought an improved performance and plenty of spirit after the 7-0 defeat at Ibarra but they still ended on the wrong end of a 1-2 defeat at home to Lanzarote.

The visitors have built a strong, experienced squad over the last few seasons but were made to work all the way in an exciting game. There was an early warning as Javi pounced on a loose ball before shooting just wide of the post for Lanzarote. Sandro forced a free kick as he burst between two defenders down the left flank for Marino but Alberto missed the target. Coly started the game in midfield for the home side and what a terrier he looked with plenty of strength and determination in winning the ball and prompting some good Marino moves. Lanzarote were pinned down for much of the first half hour and were grateful to keeper Adrian for some timely saves.

The reds were full of danger and eager to shoot from distance but the home defence held firm and Cicovic cut out the hopeful high balls when they chanced their luck. The pace of full backs Bradley Mills and Connor allowed them to overlap and support the attack, Gaizka was struggling to shake off his markers and miss judged a tempting ball in from Sandro with the goal at his mercy. Sandro followed up with a stinging volley that the goalie did well to turn away one handed, at the other end it was Cicovic to the rescue as Vladimir cut in from the right but the home stopper was down to clear the shot away.

It needed something special to get the scoreboard moving, Coly had the perfect answer on the half hour, he used his strength to shrug off two defenders and create space for the opening goal. Marino fell for the sucker punch, straight from the kick off Lanzarote surged forward, switched the ball from right to left in front of goal and there was Javi to level. Both sides fancied their chances of taking a lead into the break, Kevin Castro unleashed a speculative shot that wasn’t far off the net and Lanzarote replied with their own long range effort that dipped just a little too late. It was a well balanced contest with plenty of promise for the second half.

Javi tested Cicovic within minutes of the restart, he snatched at his shot and the ball was met with a safe pair of hands. The blues keeper was at his best again a few minutes later with a two fisted punch clear when under pressure. Kevin Castro had recovered well from a knock to the head at the end of the first half and he blasted a shot just clear of the Lanzarote crossbar. It was still anyone’s game but Lanzarote were pushing forward, a ball into the box was partially cleared and fell to defender Miguel who smashed a long shot that flew over everyone’s heads and settled high in the net for a 1-2 lead.

Marino tried all their subs, Suso replaced Sandro and flew down the right wing before floating in a teasing cross that was just beyond the reach of Gaizka. The game was slipping away and Lanzarote sub Andrea missed two glorious chances, both hit across the face of the Marino goal. Marino had one last attempt in injury time when Cicovic became a roving goalie taking the ball up the field to Suso, his cross looked good but Mendy couldn’t keep his shot down and it cleared the bar as the referee blew the final whistle.



Tight At The Back And Slack At The Front Equals CD Tenerife Draw

If Alberto’s injury time header had gone up, down, left, or right, instead of plumb at the Leganes keeper, CD Tenerife would have been celebrating a jammy 1-0 home win. But if doesn’t count for anything in football and a miserly 7,763 crowd were left to bemoan a dull 0-0 draw. Let’s not put it all on the young centre back, he had a good defensive game and there were plenty of other reasons why the revival spluttered this week.

Nano continued as the stand in striker for Choco who has continued his rich vein of form with Honduras in the Olympic qualifiers. Pedro could have set the tone for the game with an early goal but he dragged his shot wide of a gaping goal after a perfect feed from Suso but otherwise Tenerife’s game was littered with sloppy passes and a general lack of cohesion between the players. It was a blow losing Cristian Garcia with injury after 20 minutes, Ricardo replaced him, and had a dreadful game, I’ve seen broken subbuteo players spread the ball better .

Thankfully home keeper Dani was as bright as a button and was as good as an extra defender, he rushed out to clear danger with his feet and followed up with a solid low take. Raul Camara overlapped well on the right but fired wide of the target and Dani came to the rescue when Borja got in a clear shot only to see the goalie smother it. Time after time Tenerife moves broke down, Nano was struggling to make the most of pitiful service.

Pedro spurned a good chance after the break and Borja led the line for Leganes with two dangerous raids, both were dealt with by Alberto, the first shielded well for Dani to grab the ball and the second mopped up with a headed clearance. More attacking options were needed for CD Tenerife so it was an unwelcome surprise when coach Raul Agne swapped wide player Jairo for Nano after 60 minutes. The change earned some dissent from the crowd and failed to ignite the team. Suso came the closest to troubling the visiting keeper and with just 20 minutes left we hoped that Cristo Gonzalez or Tommy Martinez would be the swap for Aitor Sanz, instead we got another wide player Omar Perdomo. Highly rated Argentinian Tommy hasn’t had much chance to show his creative flair and must be picking splinters out of his rear after so much bench time.

Suddenly it was Omar overload as Leganes brought on former Tenerife youngster Omar Ramos, his recent rebuff of calls to return home and comments about returning later in his career when it suits him ensured he got plenty of unwanted advice from the crowd. Pedro thought he had redeemed for his earlier miss when he ran through to score but was called for a tight offside. Leganes had their chances to nick the game, Carlos Ruiz made a superb intervention to rob Ramos just outside the box and Borja launched himself at a free ball but directed it over the woodwork. That just left that last second Alberto header, Choco’s return can’t come soon enough but a bit more of last weeks spirit from the Almeria away draw would also be very useful.




Snaps Shops Ships And Sales In Santa Cruz

How do you like your art Mr Kirby? As strange as possible please. Well the first part of my Santa Cruz and La Laguna trip delivered on that request. It was nice to walk into the super cooled lobby of the Hotel Atlantida as the digital read outs of Santa Cruz were panting at 35 degrees from the calima that continued to hang over Tenerife. The photo exhibition was simply called 801 but after going up and down in the glass lift overlooking Avenida Tres de Mayo it took another trip to reception before the artistic penny dropped.

I’ve seen galleries, street art, and strange figures banging gongs in the nearby El Tanque converted petrol tank but never an exhibition in a hotel room. I knocked on the door of room 801 and was welcomed in by top photographer Alfonso Bravo and his attractive female assistant. We had met before a few years ago when I was invited to shadow the Peroni calendar shoot 2 years running, Alfonso was the director, snapper, and creative genius. This current batch of life size studies of people was laid out around the room, I counted five but was then told there were two more in the bathroom. At one stage I saw a plate of food and a bottle of beer and wondered if it was for visitors, I realized just in time it was his dinner. The photos were excellent and the setting very different, and as a bonus I got some nice panoramic shots of Santa Cruz by hanging out of an 8th floor window.

I usually have a few targets on my trips, this Sunday visit coincided with the latest Sal 2 shopping promotion day in the capital. The streets were noticeably busier, the Africa indoor Market by the TEA art gallery was surrounded by the sprawling weekly Sunday market with its bizarre mix of antiques, trash, and bargains. It was strange to see the sculpture of the fishermen swamped by a rising tide of old typewriters, books, and ancient radios. I’m sure if the offer was right they would have sold the sculpture as well, getting it home on the bus might have been a tad difficult. Pushing on into the heart of the city everyone was laden with shopping bags, trade was good. There were 45 mini marquees around the streets selling old stock from shops, and many premises that normally close on a Sunday had flung their doors open to tempt a few in. Music, face painting, and bouncy castles helped to fuel the spending boom.

One of the hotspots was Plaza del Principe with loads of food and drink stalls around the park bandstand, outside I was pleased to see the official CD Tenerife stall doing a roaring trade in smaller shirts of recent seasons. The cash till bonanza was also benefiting from the arrival of two cruise liners in port, I’m not too sure how impressed the high rollers on the Celebrity Eclipse were to be moored so close to a rusty oil exploration ship. It didn’t seem to deter anyone from spending, there was a steady stream of shop carrier bags returning to the big ships.

The big item on my agenda was the Circo On Ice in La Laguna so with an eye on the clock I caught the tram, always a pleasure. Here’s a couple of photos to give you a taster of the circus, I really enjoyed the show, it took me back to some of the smaller rinks I visited when following Oxford City Stars ice hockey team. The circus is in town until 2 November, look out for my revue at . I asked them about becoming a clown but they said I was over qualified. Two hours later I was heading back down south on the Titsa bus to Los Cristianos with a thirst like a coal miner. Yep, that was a good day that was.