Palma.— The 28th Palma boat show drew to a close on Sunday evening and many of the exhibitors and the yachting community at large hope that this year's trade fair has served a real purpose.

This year's event was not just about drumming up business, it was also used as a platform for the domestic and international nautical industry to voice, or rather “hoot” its opposition to the hugely unpopular and discriminatory matriculation tax charged by the Spanish authorities.

Over 30'000 people visited the fair this year and many would not have been able to ignore the daily high noon blasting of yacht horns in protest against the tax.

Certainly, the Balearic President, Francesc Antich, would have heard it from his office just across the Paseo Maritimo from where the boat show was taking place.

The daily demonstration had been well prepared with the yachting community well informed of the protest before the boat show began and, to bring the show to a spectacular close, the yachting community used the final day to try and set a new world record for the longest and loudest “hoot”.

Five minutes
At midday on Sunday, yachts of all sizes moored in Palma joined the record attempt and it was certainly noisy and it lasted at least five minutes.
However, Guinness are expected to take until tomorrow to study all the data provided before they rule on whether a new world record has been set.
But, for the nautical sector, the cause is much more important than the world record and over the past few months, real headway has been made in not only drawing the government's attention to the burning issue which is costing the Balearic nautical industry some 600 million euros a year in lost business and hampering the expansion of the sector and the creation of new jobs but also the European Union.

Brussels has been presented with a case that the tax is discriminatory and goes against the free movement of trade and people, therefore breaking European Union law.