Queen Sofia.

Queen Sofia of Spain yesterday officially opened the Queen Sofia Balearic Islands Sports Technique Centre at Calanova yacht club. Her majesty, accompanied by Balearic President Francesc Antich, arrived at the club at 11am, where she was presented with a bouquet of flowers by a little girl in traditional Majorcan dress and greeted by other local dignitaries, including central government delegate to the Balearics, Catalina Cirer. The sports centre into which the Balearic government has ploughed some 300 million pesetas, is able to accommodate 75 sportsmen and women at any one time and is equipped with the very latest sporting facilities. The residential sports centre will be primarily aimed at yachtsmen and women, however, the centre's doors will be open to competitors from all sports. The residence is equipped with a fully-fitted gym and swimming pool. Francesc Antich said that the opening of the new centre will further establish the Balearics' importance in the nautical sports world. Antich pointed out that the Balearics have staged some of the most important regattas in the Mediterranean for many years and have also produced some of the best yachtsmen and women, thus it is openly fitting that the region has its own special sailing centre. Antich also thanked the Spanish royal family, not only for the support its members have given the Balearics, but also the support they have given to sailing in the region. King Juan Carlos, Prince Felipe and the two Princesses, the Infantas Cristina and Elena all regularly race in Majorca's big regattas. The opening of the new centre was also proclaimed as an “important step forward for the elitest sport and is a symbol of how much the Balearic government supports local sport.” The centre has actually been in operation since the start of the year, it has taken four years to complete and was used as one of the accommodation centres during the Student Games. Last night, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia threw a special dinner to thank local dignitaries at Almudaina Palace.


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