Last modified: 2020-01-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: watersports |
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Flag of SNA - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
Sport Nautique d'Alger (SNA) trains some 110 athletes in rowing and canoe-kayak.
In the late 1980s, the Admiralty basin, used by SNA since its foundation in 1867, was allocated to the armed forces, which prompted the last yachtsmen and rowers to leave the place. The historical, wooden club-house of the SNA, however, was not destroyed and is still used by the club.
In spite of its difficult situation caused by money shortage and lack of institutional support, SNA is the most titled rowing club in Algeria; its members composed most of the national teams that won more than 25 titles in African and Pan-Arab competitions, and the first Algerian water sports team to compete in the Olympic Games (Beijing, 2008).
[El Watan, 27 April 2018]
The club's emblem (image) features a flag horizontally divided in 13 stripes, in turn red and white.
Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
Sport Nautique d'Alger
Burgee of SNA - Images by Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
Sport Nautique d'Alger (SNA), the oldest yacht club established in Algeria, was founded in 1867 by Félix Guende. The club was based in the Admiralty basin, once the trading, fishing and military port of Algiers. The French colonial authorities built a new port in the south, re-allocating the Admiralty basin to yachting.
The early club members belonged to the French elite (engineers, lawyers, medical doctors, municipal councilors, bankers, landlords, officers...). In 1892, the General Assembly of the club unanimously adopted a rule stating that "no Jew can be part of this society and no member can welcome Jews on his boat". There is no doubt that the Arab population was not welcomed, either. These rules appear to have been abolished after 1945. René Soliveres, a member of the rowing section of SNA in 1957-1961, confirmed that the club had at the time a few Muslim members.
Through the organization of brilliant regattas, nautical festivals and banquets highly prized by the civilian and military authorities of the town, the SNA soon became the place-to-be for the colonial elite of Algiers.
On 5 May 1889, the club organized a Venetian festival in the port to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. Water jousts were organized on 25 May 1930 to celebrate the centenary of the French presence. Membership was 700 that year.
The SNA was progressively joined by other clubs: Club Nautique in the 1920s, Rowing Club and Yacht Club in the 1930s, Racing Universitaire Algérois in 1950.
[Nick Pas. 2017.
Burgee of SNA, two other representations - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
A color plate (image) of unspecified origin, earlier than 1930 (the port town of Sète is mentioned under its old name, Cette, dropped in 1927) shows the burgee with a plain anchor. The reliability of this particular source cannot be ascertained.
Lloyds Yacht Register 1902-1903 shows the burgee (image) with a golden yellow anchor.
Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
Sport Nautique de Philippeville
Burgee of SNP - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019
Sport Nautique de Philippeville (SNP), established in 1889 in Philippeville, remained active until the independence of Algeria. At the same time, the coastal town of Philippeville, originally named for King Louis-Philippe, was renamed to Skikda.
SNP emerged in La Marinelle, the borough inhabited by modest fishers, mostly of Italian and Maltese origin, who were regarded as "matsam" (scum) by the town's colonial elite of French origin. A group of retired people fond of dusky grouper fishing built a small hut to store fishing devices and the tools used to repair their modest ships.
The club was ruled by the "senators", the elder who could no longer sail but reluctantly admitted to be challenged by the younger, often richer members. To be considered, the new members had to demonstrate their fishing skills, mostly by bringing back a big fish or finding out a hitherto unknown fishing spot.
With time, the SNP built a more comfortable club house equipped with lockers. Its family-oriented snack-bar became popular thanks to an Arab cook famous for his skewers.
Mostly dedicated to motorboating, the SNP attracted younger members after the establishment of a sailing section.
In spite of its increasing success, SNP maintained the spirit of the founders, deliberately opposing to the "posh" yacht club of Bône (today, Annaba), the neighboring town. The SNP eventually challenged its neighbors in a regatta that remained famous for the prizes offered by the shop owners of Philippeville to "their" club; the locals lost the regatta but the prizes impressed the winners for long. More generally, the regatta contributed to establish more friendly connections between the two towns.
On 7 August 1960, the motorboating festival organized by the SNP (10 races involving more than 40 boats) were watched by more than 15,000 spectators.
SNP winded up after the independence of Algeria, the club house being replaced by an oil depot.
[Il était une fois Philippeville]
The burgee of SNP (Skikda Magazine) was horizontally divided white-red wit two blue pentagons placed along the hoist and charged with a white star and a white crescent, respectively.
The burgee is also featured on a color plate (image) of unspecified origin, earlier than 1930 (the port town of Sète is mentioned under its old name, Cette, dropped in 1927).
Ivan Sache, 7 December 2019