Kontxako Bandera

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The Kontxa

The Kontxako Bandera (Basque) or Bandera de la Concha (in Spanish, meaning "Flag of the Kontxa") is one of the oldest and most famous estropada race along the Bay of Biscay, held annually in the Kontxa, the main bay of San Sebastián, Spain. It takes place on the first two weekends in September and regularly draws crowds of more than 100,000 people and around 20 rowing teams. It was first held in 1879 and has been held most years since with the main exception of the war years.

In Galician it's called Bandeira da Cuncha and Drapeau de La Concha in French.

Background[edit]

The 2005 winners of the bandera at the quay

Estropadak is a very popular form of rowing competition common all along the coast of the Northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

A crew is made up of thirteen oarsmen and the cox, who faces them at the stern. The boats are called traineru (trainera in Spanish, trainière in French) and are derived from 19th century fishing boats.

This is the most important competition in the Bay of Biscay and takes place the first two Sundays in September, within the framework of the Basque Week, with the best teams from all along the Northern coast competing against each other.

The teams must row three nautical miles to a buoy, turn around and return to the starting line. So instead of the normal four lengths, teams only do two lengths in this race.

The final always consists of two races between the eight finalists. To qualify, all teams bar one must take part in a race against the clock on the first weekend, the seven best of which go forward to the finals the following weekend. The eighth team is always from the host town and does not have to qualify. In the finals, the eight teams race in two groups of four across the same distance again.

For example, in the 2007 race there were 21 teams taking part:

Team Time to buoy Time to finish
Hondarribia 11:12 20:56
Urdaibai 11:15 20:58
Zarautz 11:15 21:00
Orio 11:04 21:02
Castro 11:18 21:09
Pedreña 11:15 21:09
Tirán 11:16 21:10
Pasai San Pedro 11:25 21:19
Zumaia 11:31 21:20
Laredo 11:16 21:26
Getaria 11:32 21:43
Pasai Donibane 11:40 21:50
Arkote 11:34 21:54
Isuntza 11:42 21:54
Mecos 11:43 21:55
Cabo da Cruz 11:43 21:56
Sestao 11:43 21:57
Ondarroa 11:56 22:08
Camargo 11:51 22:17
Hernani 12:46 23:44
Urki 12:48 23:49

Of these, the top seven went into to the final which Orio won with a time of 19:16.68.

Statistics[edit]

  • The most successful teams in the Kontxako Bandera are Orio (31 flags), Pasai San Pedro (15 flags), San Sebastián (14 flags) and Pasai Donibane and Hondarribia (10 flags each).
  • The fastest times were achieved by Castro Urdiales (18:59.94 in 2006) and El Astillero (19:05.02 in 2006 and 19:09.10 in 2005)

Winning teams[edit]

Listed here after their town with the name of the team given in brackets:

1879-1900[edit]

The crowds in the old town on the day of the bandera
  1. 1879 San Sebastián
  2. 1880 Pasai San Pedro
  3. 1881 Hondarribia
  4. 1882 -
  5. 1883 San Sebastián
  6. 1884 -
  7. 1885 -
  8. 1886 -
  9. 1887 San Sebastián
  10. 1888 -
  11. 1889 San Sebastián
  12. 1890 San Sebastián
  13. 1891 San Sebastián
  14. 1892 San Sebastián
  15. 1893 -
  16. 1894 San Sebastián
  17. 1895 Getaria
  18. 1896 Getaria
  19. 1897 San Sebastián
  20. 1898 Ondarroa
  21. 1899 Pasai San Pedro
  22. 1900 Getaria

1901-1950[edit]

Competing for the Flag of Kontxa
  1. 1901 Orio
  2. 1902 -
  3. 1903 Getaria
  4. 1904 -
  5. 1905 -
  6. 1906 Pasai San Pedro
  7. 1907 -
  8. 1908 -
  9. 1909 Orio
  10. 1910 Orio
  11. 1911 Getaria
  12. 1912 -
  13. 1913 -
  14. 1914 -
  15. 1915 San Sebastián
  16. 1916 Orio
  17. 1917 Pasai San Pedro
  18. 1918 San Sebastián
  19. 1919 Orio
  20. 1920 San Sebastián
  21. 1921 Pasaia (La Unión)
  22. 1922 San Sebastián
  23. 1923 Orio
  24. 1924 Pasai Donibane
  25. 1925 Orio
  26. 1926 Ondarroa
  27. 1927 Pasai San Pedro
  28. 1928 Pasai San Pedro
  29. 1929 Pasai San Pedro
  30. 1930 Pasai San Pedro
  31. 1931 Pasai San Pedro
  32. 1932 Pasai San Pedro
  33. 1933 Orio
  34. 1934 Orio
  35. 1935 Pasai San Pedro
  36. 1936 -
  37. 1937 -
  38. 1938 -
  39. 1939 Orio
  40. 1940 Orio
  41. 1941 Hondarribia
  42. 1942 Orio
  43. 1943 Hondarribia
  44. 1944 Orio
  45. 1945 Pedreña
  46. 1946 Pedreña
  47. 1947 Hondarribia
  48. 1948 Hondarribia
  49. 1949 Pedreña
  50. 1950 San Sebastián

1951-2000[edit]

  1. 1951 Orio
  2. 1952 Orio
  3. 1953 Orio
  4. 1954 Sestao (Iberia)
  5. 1955 Orio
  6. 1956 Pasai Donibane
  7. 1957 Aginaga
  8. 1958 Orio
  9. 1959 Sestao (Iberia)
  10. 1960 Aginaga
  11. 1961 Pasai Donibane
  12. 1962 Pasai Donibane
  13. 1963 Pasai Donibane
  14. 1964 Orio
  15. 1965 Hondarribia
  16. 1966 Hondarribia
  17. 1967 Hondarribia
  18. 1968 Hondarribia
  19. 1969 Lasarte
  20. 1970 Orio
  21. 1971 Orio
  22. 1972 Orio
  23. 1973 Lasarte
  24. 1974 Orio
  25. 1975 Orio
  26. 1976 Pedreña
  27. 1977 Santurtzi
  28. 1978 Sestao (Kaiku)
  29. 1979 Santurtzi
  30. 1980 Sestao (Kaiku)
  31. 1981 Sestao (Kaiku)
  32. 1982 Sestao (Kaiku)
  33. 1983 Orio
  34. 1984 Zumaia
  35. 1985 Santurtzi
  36. 1986 Pasai Donibane
  37. 1987 Zumaia
  38. 1988 Pasai Donibane
  39. 1989 Pasai San Pedro
  40. 1990 Pasai Donibane(Koxtape)
  41. 1991 Pasai San Pedro
  42. 1992 Orio
  43. 1993 Pasai San Pedro
  44. 1994 Pasai San Pedro
  45. 1995 Pasai Donibane(Donibaneko)
  46. 1996 Orio
  47. 1997 Orio
  48. 1998 Orio
  49. 1999 Pasai Donibane(Koxtape)
  50. 2000 Orio

2001-date[edit]

  1. 2001 Castro Urdiales
  2. 2002 Castro Urdiales
  3. 2003 El Astillero (El Astillero)
  4. 2004 El Astillero (El Astillero)
  5. 2005 Hondarribia
  6. 2006 Castro Urdiales
  7. 2007 Orio (Orio Arraun Elkartea)
  8. 2008 Castro Urdiales
  9. 2009 Sestao (Kaiku)
  10. 2010 Bermeo (Urdaibai)
  11. 2011 Bermeo (Urdaibai)
  12. 2012 Sestao (Kaiku)
  13. 2013 Hondarribia
  14. 2014 Bermeo (Urdaibai)
  15. 2015 Bermeo (Urdaibai)
  16. 2016 Bermeo (Urdaibai)

References[edit]

External links[edit]