Canoeists such as Sete Benavides on the Lago Esperanza | Teresa Ayuga


It was flagged up a few weeks ago and on Wednesday it received the full official treatment. Three million euros are to be spent on creating a regatta channel in Alcudia. The big lake, Lago Esperanza or Estany dels Ponts as it must now be referred to, will house this channel, and its significance demanded a major institutional turnout at Can Ramis.

The presidents of the Balearics and Mallorca, Francina Armengol and Catalina Cladera, were there; the heads of tourism with the Balearic government and the Council of Mallorca, Iago Negueruela and Andreu Serra, were in attendance; Mayor Barbara Rebassa; other town hall councillors; Joan Gaspar Vallori, a former tourism councillor at the town hall and now a director at the Council of Mallorca; representatives from the Majorca Hoteliers Federation, the Alcudia hoteliers, nautical businesses. Have I missed anyone? Oh yes, champion canoeists such as Sete Benavides.

The regatta channel, it was explained, is part of the project to recover Estany dels Ponts, for which there is separate funding - four million euros from the town hall for the lake and its environs as well as for the Maristany wetland. The three million for the regatta channel comes from EU Next Generation funds and is within the territorial plan for tourism sustainability - the Council of Mallorca will oversee the project, which also includes environmental restoration.

As well as revitalising the area, this will be an innovative development for tackling tourism seasonality that will make the lake a global reference point for sport, tourism and nature.
And so it may well become. There have been false starts in the past with sports initiatives to address seasonality - the Estación Náutica fiasco, for instance - but as this one seems to have all the necessary institutions and entities on board, the chances of success seem good. Let’s hope so.