Down on the waterfront, close to the trawlers and warehouses that line the harbourside of Europe’s biggest fishing port, stands a fiercely independent club. Club Rápido de Bouzas have been a permanent fixture in this industrial quarter of Vigo for over 100 years, a century that has seen the club sail its own course and resist the overtures of city’s larger clubs. And now, 103 years after forming, Rápido has reached Segunda B for the first time.
Club Rápido de Bouzas was formed in 1914 and in the early years was an autonomous section of Real Fortuna. Those early years saw the club play at Fortuna’s Campo de Bouzas, which disappeared in the late 1920s following Fortuna’s merger with Real Sporting to form Celta Vigo. Rápido went its own way in 1917 and over the next decade built a name for itself in the second tier of the Galician Championship. They won the second division title in 1922-23 and went on to be proclaimed Campeón de la Serie B, effectively the national champion for teams in the second tier of Spanish football. They finished runners-up in 1928-29, but just as the club was looking to make a name for itself at a regional level, the focus moved sharply to a national stage with the formation of the La Liga. That first season of league football would not feature a Galician team, but soon Celta Vigo became the area’s dominant force and Rápido’s success was confined to runs in the Spanish amateur championship.
For the next few decades, Rápido continued to play at a regional area, mostly against teams from Vigo & Pontevedra. Then in 1965, the club won promotion to the Tercera (then the third tier) and stayed for there for three seasons, including a high of eighth in 1965-66. Rápido dropped back to the regional leagues in 1968 and it would take another thirty years before they would return to the Tercera. Since promotion in 1999, the club has recorded twelve top-10 finishes, including the Tercera title in 2004-05. A first-ever Copa Federación de Galicia was secured in 2012, with a 4-2 victory over CCD Cerceda at the Estadio San Lazaro in Santiago de Compostela. Rápido’s third appearance at the end of season play-offs was rewarded with a promotion to Segunda B in June 2017. Comfortable victories over CD Cáyon & UD Villa Santa Brigada earned them a place in the finals against the Catalans, CF Peralada. Rápido eventually prevailed thanks to away goals after the two-legged final finished 3-3.
Rápido’s home since 1999 has been the Campo Municipal de Bouzas – Baltasar Pujales. Prior to this, the club played at the appropriately named Campo de Fútbol das Gaivotas (Field of Gulls) which was adjacent to their current home, on a site now occupied by a sports centre. Baltasar Pujales Estévez was president of the club from 1973 – 2007, and the municipal stadium that bears his name is a simple single-stand affair. This is situated on the north side of the ground and features a raised seated deck of 600 yellow & black seats. The main facilities are based below, along with a bar, whilst hard standing on the other three sides of the enclosure takes the capacity to 2,500. The local council added an artificial surface in 2009.