It wasn’t long ago when Port Calanova was a sleepy little marina, best known as the Spanish National Sailing School. Its facilities become somewhat tired and was ready for a makeover. After presenting their project a concession was granted to Port Calanova in 2013 to run the facility until 2042.
Turn the clocks forward just 4 or 5 years and it is now transforming into a super modern international marina with state of the art facilities, due to its new private management. The marina always suffered from a big swell in southerly winds, often causing damage to the moored boats, not ideal for a place where people moor their boats for shelter !
Almost immediately upon taking ownership of the concession of the marina, the management drew up plans for the transformation, and the first priority was to stop this dangerous swell from entering the safe haven. This they did in under a year’s work, no mean feat I can tell you. By engaging with marine engineers and architects they calculated that by adding a 90 degree return to the entrance this would prevent the back wash of waves from the rocks of Cala Major which caused all the problems in days of strong southerly winds.
The work was done with the minimum of disruption to the day to day working of the marina, although many yachts had to leave the port or move whilst some of the work was completed. The results have been amazing, in terms of the increased protection the marina gives, and its aesthetical appearance. There was a wholesale change in the direction the business wanted to go. There has been an overall reduction in the number of berths on offer, but a shift to offering larger in order to be up to date with the new licences and needs for the modern demands of international marinas. The marina is fully subscribed with a waiting list, so they have clearly researched the market accurately!
Alongside this work, they wanted to increase the hardstanding so that the shipyard services offered to the berth holders was commensurate with the sizes and quality of yachts now based in the marina. A new travelift of 75 tons was purchased and commissioned in 2015, facilitating the hauling out of every yacht in the marina. The yard is already working at full capacity.
The previous usage as a school is still a major priority, and again is proving very popular, with courses being run pretty much all year round. The busy residential courses are based around the school summer holidays, and up to 200 dinghies can be seen out participating in the various levels of instruction. I can vouch for the enormous success these courses and to see and hear the kids having such fun is a pleasure to behold.
The next phase of the transformation is currently well underway. This includes the demolition and rebuilding of the accommodation residence, making them to a much functional standard and all with a great view ! The new offices are now finished, giving a much more modern and professional impression. There will be a fitness centre coming on stream, together with new restaurants / bars.
One of the aims of the business is to attract international sailing teams to base themselves in Calanova, especially during the quieter winter months. This has happened even before the accommodation has been completed, with multiple World Match racing Champion Ian Williams from the UK basing his team here since October. Iker martinez, a Spanish Olympic Medal winner has also been here all winter , sailing from Calanova virtually every day for the past 5 months, along with several other teams from around Europe. I’m sure once the facilities are completed we will see many more International and Olympic teams basing themselves at this fantastic facility.
I keep my RIB in Calanova, and I cannot speak highly enough of all the staff who work here. They are very efficient without being officious, and the marineros are super vigilant, especially when needed in stormy weather. I am very happy to berth my boat here, and hope to do so for many years to come.