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BCN: Huge rally in the streets of Barcelona today as Madrid moves to oust the Catalan government and

BARCELONA, ESP – To be sure Sailing Illustrated is an online sailing magazine, not a political blog. But having lived in Spain (Valencia, which has no love lost for Catalunya) during the eight years before and after the 2007 and 2010 America's Cups, we have a lot of sailing and sailing-related friends in that amazing country. Not to mention that Spain is a great sailing nation, whether Olympics, Offshore, providing the headquarters for the Volvo Ocean Race and start of that race off Alicante tomorrow, mustering several AC challengers over the years, serving as the only country in Europe that has hosted the America's Cup Match and much more. (Only four other countries have hosted the Cup: Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand and the USA.)

We are thinking of all our dear Spanish friends as things heat up in the secession and governance battle that has dramatically escalated today. Hopefully it will remain a war of words, and somehow cool heads will prevail – whichever Catalunya stays or goes.

To give you a feel for what's transpired in Barcelona this afternoon, and is continuing now into their evening, check this YouTube video live-streamed earlier by Ruptly TV. Hears hoping the rally(ing) remains peaceful, and stay safe everyone!