The concession in Andratx has been a trigger for protest. | Club de Vela Andratx


On April 15, the Real Club Náutico de Palma will stage a protest in defence of "social and sports sailing" and in demanding legislation that protects the activities of yacht clubs. This protest is the consequence of what yacht clubs, not only Palma's, describe as a 'gentrification' process that compromises their futures as social and sporting entities.

The Balearic Association of Yacht Clubs (ACNB) says that there is "a very serious situation that requires the adoption of urgent measures". "Otherwise, the public ports in the Balearics will become the private business of a few and the islands will be deprived of valuable maritime heritage."

The trigger for all this was a decision by the regional ports authority, PortsIB, to initiate the procedure for the concession of the Club de Vela in Puerto Andratx to a company Iniciativas Portuarias de Mallorca (IPM Group).

The ACNB makes clear that it wishes to "prevent clear situations of market dominance", noting that the IPM Group already operates four marinas plus two dry docks. It states that the yacht club in Puerto Andratx, "as a non-profit entity, has stood for the promotion of sailing, grassroots canoeing and inclusive sports, something that is not part of the plans of the IPM Group nor any of the companies that in recent years have been gaining control of the ports of the islands".

The association goes on: "The political class cannot continue to turn its back on the process of gentrification of Balearic marinas, where the pressure of large companies threatens to result in the disappearance of yacht clubs and the closure of access to the sea for local residents." It is calling on state and regional authorities to establish a legal framework that guarantees the survival of yacht clubs and the promotion of sport.

In the case of the Real Club Náutico in Palma, it is said that the concession for this is up in the air, as are concessions for other "emblematic" yacht clubs in the Balearics.