Maresmar aims to promote Maresme’s economy and tourism, spread culture and maritime heritage and disseminate trades related to the sea.

The maritime festival Maresmar – Centennial Meeting 2018 has been presented in Barcelona, which will be held in Arenys de Mar and in Maresme’s waters between 8 and 10 next June. The Maresmar is a gathering of centenary and historical vessels organized by the company of Arenys Varador 2000 in which will take part a score of boats headed by the Santa Eulàlia –the flagship of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona– and the Sirius, both of them this year turn 100 years and still sail. Other historical ships such as Sant Ramon, Far Barcelona, Bon Temps and La Courtisane, among others, will also be participating.

The meeting is supported by the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, the Nautical Faculty, Ports de la Generalitat, the Diputació de Barcelona, the Consorci de Promoció Turística Costa del Maresme, the Consell Comarcal del Maresme, various town councils of this region headed by the one of Arenys de Mar, and other institutions, entities and associations, as well as several private sponsors. The presentation has taken place at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona and has counted on the participation of its general director, Roger Marcet; also the dean of the Nautical Faculty, Agustí Martín, and of Xiqui Mas, CEO of Varador 2000, the organizing company of the event.

According to what Xiqui has explained during the presentation, “the Maresmar pursues a threefold objective: promoting the economy and tourism of Maresme and its municipalities, spreading culture and maritime heritage, and disseminating trades related to the sea”. According to Mas, “the main objective of the meeting is to turn it into a first-rate tourist attraction”. As he has said, “Maresmar also has to be a driving force, an event that serves the economic and tourist development of Maresme and its municipalities”. The head of the Maresmar has added that “the nearest example we have to visualize the economic expectations that a meeting like this can generate on our territory is the Escale a Sète, which began its voyage in this Occitan city in 2010 with a lot of modesty and nowadays attracts thousands of visitors, many of them Catalans”.

Mas has pointed out that Maresme is currently one of the main driving forces for the dissemination of maritime heritage and culture in the country, and that’s why “we thought it would be good to go deeply in this line and help spread it and bring it closer to the citizens, so that you could come to feel as your own a very close past that we still keep”.

Besides the dissemination of culture and maritime heritage, Maresmar also has as an objective to disseminate trades related to the sea, given that Maresme, as Mas has noted: “brings together an important centennial tradition focused on the training of navigators (their pilot schools were famous) and on the construction of boats, many of which served to trade with America and to expand the productive and industrial fabric of Catalonia”.

Historical boats, nautical journeys, exhibitions, conferences…

The Maresmar – Centennial Meeting 2018 proposes, as its name implies, a gathering of hundred-year-old and historical vessels in Maresme during the second weekend of June 2018. The visiting public will be able to contemplate and visit the ships as well as the zones enabled for different collaborators, industrialists and forum space. The program of activities also includes a Boat Race on the Maresme’s Coast, in which the entire fleet will participate and all the popular fleet who wants to add (private boats or nautical clubs). The crossing will leave from the Mataró Marina Barcelona nautical base; it will go through the coast and end up mooring the boats to the port of Arenys de Mar. Surely, a great visual spectacle to enhance the maritime and tourist resources of the county.

In the port of Arenys de Mar there will also take place a lot of parallel activities during the Maresmar. Photographs of historic ships and sea trades (in some ships and in the forum space), conferences, roundtables, talks, activities for children (competitions of knockouts, handles, drawing, etc.) are planned. In addition, there will be tents for organizations and associations of the maritime world and for the institutions and companies that collaborate with the event. On June 10, the Santa Eulàlia centennial small schooner will be specially honored with a series of official acts presided over by the president of the Diputació de Barcelona Mercè Conesa.

During the presentation of the Maresmar, Roger Marcet, general director of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, and Agustí Martín, dean of the Nautical Faculty of Barcelona have also intervened. Marcet emphasized the importance of these historic ship meetings, which are especially important in preserving the historical memory of our maritime heritage, and he has reminded us of the participation of the Maritime Museum and its historic fleet in the event.

For his part, Agustí Martín, has presented a small tasting of what will be the conference he will give in the framework of the Maresmar about the golden age of shipbuilding in Maresme county. The dean of the Nautical Faculty has underlined the important centurian tradition in the construction of boats, many of which served to trade with America and to enlarge the productive and industrial fabric of Catalonia. These boats were built by the seashore of the beach, in shipyards scattered around the county that would be unimaginable today. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the shipwrights of the region completed a lot of schooners, frigates and brigs that pierced the seas around the world. Maresmar will give them a well-deserved tribute.

Photos: Jordi Induráin and Erik Tarrés