Saturday's protest at the yacht club and by the ports authority's offices. | Emilio Queirolo


On Saturday, some 2,000 people took part in a demonstration "to save the Real Club Náutico", the yacht club in Palma that is this year celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The club's sports director, Manuel Fraga, told the demonstrators: "We don't know what is going to happen, but the Real Club Náutico de Palma is the gateway to the sea for the city of Mallorca and we want it to be that way for many years to come."

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He was referring to the concession for the club. This is at risk of passing into the hands of a large company which, according to the association for yacht clubs in the Balearics, has no interest in the social and cultural traditions, in particular the role that yacht clubs play in training sailors and those involved in other water sports. Around 6,000 people use the facilities in Palma each year, as do some 1,000 children.

Demands for an extension to the concession were shouted outside the offices of the Balearic Ports Authority (APB). In the case of Palma, the APB is the body that makes decisions, as it does for the other four state ports in the Balearics. At two of these, Ibiza and Mahon, there are similar concerns to those in Palma. At other ports, the regional government's PortsIB authority makes decisions, and representatives from all the yacht clubs in the Balearics were in attendance, as were members of two opposition parties - the Partido Popular and Vox.