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Dear Islander

Firstly I would like to wish all our readers, advertisers and collaborators a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020. There goes another decade!

Here starts another January with diets, no booze and full of good intentions for the year. I wonder how long they will last this year ? January in Palma with its umpteen fiestas doesn’t make it easy, that’s for sure!

The Boat Show season returns with Dusseldorf taking centre stage during January. For those who have never been, it’s a fabulous show, with 12 huge halls filled with boats from 8 ft Optimists to 60 ft plus motor and sailboats. It’s the best attended show in Europe, if not the world, with over 200,000 visitors. Well worth a visit.

Palma’s refit season part two gets underway, with STP full to the brim as usual with some beautiful yachts under refit. The month also sees the introduction of a new tax introduced by the Balearic Port Authority in the 5 state harbours under their jurisdiction: Palma, Alcudia, Mahon, Ibiza and La Savina. It’s essentially a 6%  levy to be paid for works carried out in those harbours. There is still some ambiguity and confusion as to the exact extent of this charge and we hope to bring you more detail in next month’s issue, but safe to say this is bound to have an adverse effect on some  of our local businesses involved in refit work. Let’s hope they don’t kill the golden goose!

Many of our local yachts have made the annual pilgrimage across the pond , most having a smooth downwind trip by all accounts. The Antigua Charter Show is taking place as I write this column, a show we very much enjoyed last year, but couldn’t make this time round. Maybe 2020 will see us there again ! The word on the docks is that many of the yachts including the J Class will head south after St Barths Bucket, eventually ending up in New Zealand for the America’s Cup celebrations in early 2021. There appears to be a number of other regattas organised for the visiting yachts, which will make Auckland the place to be in 2021. This migration is likely to impact on the number of entries for Med based Superyacht events this year, including the Palma Superyacht Cup where we are unlikely to see any J’s racing.

Fair Winds!