Fond remembrances of Peter Azevedo


Cruising legend, Jimmy Cornell, has recalled with great fondness the life of Peter Azevedo, 80, the Azorean Café Sport proprietor who died recently:

‘The Cafe Sport in Horta is probably the best known
watering hole among sailors anywhere in the world, passed away last week
shortly after his 80th birthday. At any time of day and long into the
night the blue-fronted café overlooking the port of Horta on the Azorean
island of Faial is full of sailors from the many yachts that call there.
Their autographed ensigns, pennants and club burgees are displayed five
and six deep on the walls or pinned to the wooden ceiling. Interspersed
with the countless flags are many gifts received by Peter from visiting
yachtsmen as a token of gratitude for the welcome extended to every sailor
by this warm-hearted man.

‘According to family lore, the tradition was started by Peter’s grandfather
who greeted Joshua Slocum during the solo navigator’s visit to Horta on
his yacht Spray in 1896. Unfortunately that historic encounter is not
documented, but this is more than made up by the detailed recordings of
the many yachts that passed through Horta in the following one hundred

‘”I try to do my best for everyone, not just for famous people or old
friends” Peter told me when I first called in Horta in 1987. His words
echoed the philosophy of his father Henrique, who was equally famous in
welcoming strangers to those shores. Their name travelled far and wide,
the magazine Newsweek listed Café Sport among the world’s best ten bars
and the modest café has been featured in several television programmes.

‘”Although I get a lot satisfaction from welcoming visitors to my café, I
would like to leave behind something durable, both for myself and for this
island.” Peter’s concern for the future was understandable as a few years
ago he suffered a stroke that left him almost disabled. Peter has now gone
to meet some of his many sailing friends, but he leaves behind a tradition
that is being kept alive by his son Jose. He also leaves behind a warm
affection among the thousands of sailors who were always welcomed with
open arms by this modest and caring man.’