by Staff Reporter
Pictures: S Amengual
THE Giraldilla, a vintage yacht whose first captain was the Count of Barcelona, King Juan Carlos's father, has been restored and prepared for competition, under an agreement signed between the Council of Majorca and the Hispania Vintage Boats Foundation.

She was presented yesterday by Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council, and Emilio Espinosa, chairman of the Foundation. Also present were Miquel Angel Borras, head of the Council's environment department, Bartomeu Calafell, its director general, and the eight crew members of the yacht.

Under the agreement, the Council can use the boat for receptions, exhibitions and regattas for a period of ten years, during which time it will be responsible for its maintenance. She will be based in Palma, possibly in Porto Pi, and will fly the Majorcan flag.

Espinosa pointed out that the Count of Barcelona had been her first captain in 1962, and gave her the name Giralda. He sailed her until he acquired his yacht, also called Giralda, and her name was changed to Giraldilla.

He explained that after she left the Count's hands she had several owners, and had not been maintained, until the Foundation discovered her languishing in 2002.

She was restored at the shipyards in Cartagena, with the help of the Spanish Navy and today is one of the star attractions in the Almirante Conde de Barcelona classic yacht regatta which has attracted entries from 14 countries.

Munar also expressed her confidence in the Balear, restored recently by the Council's master shipbuilders' school.
She said she was convinced it would do well in the Admiral Count of Barcelona trophy which is organised by the Hispania Foundation.
The Balear is a traditional Balearic fishing boat which was built in 1924. Borras said that by taking part in the regatta, it will help bring residents “closer” to the world of the sea. He also called on other institutions to help in the future maritime museum, a project aimed at recovering Majorca's nautical history.

The regatta is open to vintage boats (launched before December 31, 1949) and classic yachts (launched between January 1, 1950 and December 31, 1974). Replicas, designed in those periods but launched at a later date, are admitted, providing their original plans and the same techniques and materials as their original period have been used.

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