The Atlas of IMTC. Built 1974 as Stella Scarlett, later Gelting Syd (1981-1999).
The Al Mansour of COMANAV. Built 1975 as Stena Nordica, later Hellas (1978-1979 & 1980, 1981), Stena Nautica (1982-1983), Reine Astrid (1983-1997), Moby Kiss (1997).
A crossing on a grey day out of Tangier Med provides a perfect opportunity for two vintage ferries to see who can be first beneath the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar, before completing their journey around the breakwater and into Algeciras harbour. There can be no real favourites in this one: the Atlas has never been particularly speedy whilst in her Belgian days as the Reine Astrid the Al Mansour was a notorious plodder.
We're underway, and from this distance it's difficult to see who has the edge - but perhaps the Al Mansour just has her nose in front.
But now the Danish-bred Atlas is fighting back...
... and she looks to have opened up a slight lead.
Now it's Al Mansour clawing back.
This is going to be tight!
Trying not to be distracted by the filly heading in the opposite direction, Al Mansour looks to be edging it!
And on the line the Al Mansour wins by half a length!
Off to the Winner's Enclosure.
No ferries were hurt in the making of this photofeature.