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The regatta - which includes a rounding of Cape Horn - aims primarily to strengthen bonds between the Navies and nations participating. Whilst the festivities in port play a key role in this, the time at sea is also significant in that crew exchanges will be held between the many participating tall ships, a challenge found to be significant in developing professional, intellectual and cultural awareness among the 1,500+ crew members who take part.
Now officially held every 4 years, Velas LatinAmerica was originally organised in 2010 to celebrate the bicentennial for the first actions for independence in South America (Chile and Argentina in 1810). Velas LatinAmerica 2018 will celebrate a number of key milestones and bicentenaries for many South America nations, including the Proclamation and Oath of the Independence of Chile in 1818.
Velas Latin America 2018 begins in Río de Janeiro, Brazil on March 25th before heading south to Punta del Este and Montevideo in Uruguay then Buenos Aires and Ushuaia in Argentina. From there the fleet will round Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) on May 8th before turning north to events in Punta Arenas, Talcahuano, Valparaíso and Antofagasta in Chile, Callao in Peru, Guayaquil in Ecuador, Balboa in Panama, Curaçao, Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, La Guaira in Venezuela, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and Cozumel in Mexico. The finale event will then be held in Veracruz, Mexico from August 27th to September 2nd.