The Alps Tour 2024 starts from Suez, Egypt


The Alps Tour 2024 starts from Suez, Egypt
© Getty Images Sport - Cliff Hawkins / Staff

The 2024 Alps Tour season kicks off as usual in Egypt with the Ein Bay Open, the first of three events in the Winter Series, within the framework of a 13-event calendar, taking place from February 20th to 22nd at the Sokhna GC (Course A&B) in Suez.

Alps Tour, results

A total of 120 competitors from 21 nations, including Cameroon, Estonia, Morocco, Slovenia, and Venezuela, will be competing. Among them are 29 Italian players, including Jacopo Vecchi Fossa, Filippo Bergamaschi, Enrico Di Nitto, Edoardo Raffaele Lipparelli, Andrea Romano, Andrea Saracino, and Cristiano Terragni, as well as three winners from last year's tournaments: Manfredi Manica (Aravel Golf Open), Gianmaria Rean Trinchero (Fred Olsen Alps de La Gomera), and Giovanni Manzoni (Qualifying Tour 2023, Final Stage).

However, there are also many others capable of making their mark. The field includes Spanish players Mario Galiano Aguilar, Manuel Morugan, and José Manuel Pardo Benitez, French players Benjamin Kedochim, Paul Margolis, and Franck Medale, Irish player Paul McBride, and Swiss player Luca Galliano.

The prize money amounts to 40,000 euros, with the winner taking home 5,800 euros. The Suez Canal on the Mediterranean Sea and Suez (al-Suways) on the Red Sea. It cuts through the isthmus of Suez, allowing direct navigation from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, without the need to circumnavigate Africa via the Atlantic Ocean along the Cape of Good Hope route.

The canal extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik in the city of Suez. Its length is 193.30 kilometers (120.11 miles), including the northern and southern approach channels. In 2020, over 18,500 vessels transited the canal (an average of 51.5 per day).

The canal was inaugurated on November 17, 1869, and was constructed by the Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps based on the design of the Italian engineer Luigi Negrelli, who was of Austrian nationality. It consists of two sections, north and south of the Bitter Lakes.

The construction lasted for 10 years and involved cooperation among many European nations, with France providing the largest contribution. The original canal was single-lane, with passing points at the Ballah bypass and the Great Bitter Lake.

According to Negrelli's plans, it was not supposed to contain lock systems so that seawater could flow freely. Generally, the water in the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows northward in winter and southward in summer. South of the lakes, the current changes with the tide from the Red Sea.

In 2014, the Egyptian government initiated works to expand and extend the Ballah bypass by 35 kilometers (22 miles) to expedite canal transit time. The expansion aimed to nearly double the Suez Canal's capacity, increasing from 49 to 97 ships per day.

At a cost of 59.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($9 billion), the project was financed through investment certificates issued exclusively to Egyptian entities and individuals. The "New Suez Canal," as the expansion was dubbed, was inaugurated with a ceremony on August 6, 2015.

The Suez Canal Authority officially opened the new lateral canal in 2016. This lateral canal, located on the north side of the eastern extension of the Suez Canal, serves the East Terminal for vessel docking and unloading from the terminal.

Before the construction of the new lateral canal, it was not possible to berth or disengage ships at the terminal while a convoy was underway, as the East Container Terminal is located directly on the canal itself.