ES  Lacunza IH San Sebastián

Regatas of Donostia – San Sebastián

Fishing boats competing “against the wind and the tide” for the flag of ´La Concha´. 

If you visit San Sebastián during the first two weeks of September, you will get to know and enjoy the ´Regatas of La Concha´, a competition between fishing boats (with oars) that´s been held in the city since 1879. 

The Sport

The rowing with oars on these fishing boats is a great maritime tradition in all of ´Cantabría´ and especially in the Basque Country. The crew of a boat consist of 13 rowers and one skipper.

The origin

In the past, the boats were used to carry out the work of the fishermen, in this specific case to fish in shallow waters, which was done with a rowing crew before the arrival of the steam boat. The boat that arrived to shore first was able to sell for the best price so that is where the competition comes from. 

The vessel

The materials with which the rowing boats are made have evolved considerably. Years ago, the boats were made of cedar wood and beech wood. Nowadays, the boats are made of carbon fiber and kevlar and they have gone as far as copying advanced techniques made to build airplanes, similar to the ones used to build the Airbus 380.


The two first Sundays of September the flag of La Concha is fought for and it´s considered to be the Olympics of the regatas. 123 years of history have turned this into the sports spectacle of the year in the Basque Country. No other event is capable of filling the coastline, including the beaches, up until ´Monte Urgul´, ´El Paseo Nuevo´, ´Monte Igueldo´, and the island of ´Santa Clara´ to witness the battle between the rowers with the sea as the star of the show: 

With this edition of 2018, the qualifying rounds are held the 30th of August and the two Sundays, the 2nd and the 9th of September. 25 boats with male rowers and 17 boats with female rowers will fight for a chance to take home the most prestigious prize in this unique sport. Until now, the team of a nearby fishing village called Orio has the most victories to its name with 32. Will they go for a repeat or will there be a surprise?