Emilio Espinosa' THE Conde de Barcelona classic yacht regatta is taking place in Palma this week and this year the event is a special one. “The 19th Almirante Conde de Barcelona Trophy”, 2003 will mark the tenth anniversary without the presence of its founder HRH Don Juan de Borbon.
The participants in the 9th Trophy can recall the spectacle of hundreds of boats, gathered from nautical clubs all over Spain to pay posthumous homage to Don Juan. Under the orders of the then Commander of the Naval Sector, the yachts paraded before Their Majesties the King and the Queen, and HRH the Condesa de Barcelona, and scattered flowers in those waters he knew so well. It was on this occasion that His Majesty donated to the Marín Naval School the yacht Giralda on which his father had always presided every past celebration. I recall the Giralda's lines on the horizon as she came into view during the 8th Trophy Barcelona–Seville. Don Juan closed in on the fleet to watch the event as he took much pleasure in seeing the competitors while ever watchful over us. Following his dealth in 1993, many worried about the Trophy's survival. Thus, the formation of Fundacin Hispania de Barcos de poca was founded with the aim of preserving both the Trophy and the memory of its Founder. Pursuing this objective the Fundacin Hispania located and purchased the ”Hispania” formerly owned by H.M Alfonso XIII. The aim is to restore this fine lady to her former glory, a task that we hope to accomplish with our collaborators and resolute friends. We also got wind that the Giraldilla was on sale at Cascaes. Driven by the same passion, we purchased her and are in the process of restoring her. There will be nothing better than to see her competing once again in our waters for the Trophy, as she had done with The Royal Family so often in the past. Previously owned by Don Juan as a replacement for Saltillo, this yacht took part in many international regattas under the Spanish flag. The name Giraldilla was later substituted for Giralda when Don Juan purchased a larger boat and gave her the name Giralda. The Sparkman– Stephens designed Giraldilla was built in Denmark as a racing yawl with a view to providing her owner many days of glory. We all wanted to have her ready for this 19th Trophy, but in order to give her a fitting restoration we have had to allow a little more time and it has not yet been possible to re–launch her. We who love both these boats and our Trophy eagerly expect the day we shall see them, the Saltillo owned by the Bilbao Nautical School, the Giralda owned by the Navy, and the Giraldilla” owned by the Fundacion Hispania, sailing together and maybe competing for the next Trophy. Once we had to move the regatta's headquarters from the Real Club Nautico de Palma to the Paseo Maritimo.
Then some works in this area made us change quarters again, this time to the fishermen's piers. Now by express desire of His Majesty and the collaboration of the Institutions and concessionaires of the new moorings we are back to the Paseo Maritimo at Marina Port de Mallorca, a far better area for the people to enjoy the view of the moored boats as they do in other Mediterranean ports lodging similar Vintage Boats meetings. It is easy to understand that much effort and dedication are needed to keep our Trophy going. Besides organizing the regattas we devote ourselves to the retrieval and rescuing of yachts from oblivion. It is not easy to keep this continued collaboration after the disbandment at the end of the regattas. Aiming at overcoming this problem the Foundation thinks it might be interesting to set up a Vintage Boats Nautical Club as nucleus for strengthening our relations and for setting new tasks worth our collaboration. Thereupon I ask for your kind help and views while working together to keep alive the spirit of the Founder of our beloved regatta. *President Fundacion
Hispania Barcos de
Epoca which organises the regatta.


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