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Dear Islanders

2020 never ceases to surprise or amaze us!

A month ago, we were all pretty optimistic on the tourist front, with hotels and restaurants re-opening, and now here we are just a few weeks later and the season has pretty much ended for anyone connected to the tourism industry. I feel desperately sorry for those concerned, and I have to say our local government are not covering themselves in glory, with acts such as helicopters clearing the beaches before the 9.00 pm curfew. Why do they think the virus is more deadly during the hours of darkness??!!

This month would normally be the month when all the Boatshows get underway, but with Cannes, Monaco, Southampton all cancelled for September, METS cancelled for November, there is just Genoa in early October and FLIBS late in October flying the flag. FLIBS seems especially odd, considering that Florida is a Covid hotspot, maybe be a case of money before health?

It’s good to see some regattas taking place, and locally we have Palma Vela taking place between 22- 25th October. With an impressive 80 boats already registered, including the infamous Comanche, a 100 ft flyer ! Over 100 entries are expected, and in todays climate this is an excellent result. (Now postponed until 2021) The Cannes Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai also kicks off on Sept 22nd, with over 50 Dragons and 80 classic yachts entered, again a first-class effort by the organisers.   Les Voiles s de St Tropez, probably the most anticipated event in the Mediterranean regatta calendar, is also due to start immediately following Cannes, and again, it’s very commendable that they have managed to comply with the necessary legislation to get this iconic regatta on. We certainly wish them all well.

I am happy to report that the refit season seems to be starting well, and hopefully this will keep Palma firmly on the map as a yachting hotspot this winter. We have seen new businesses opening up here, which bodes well for the industry going forward.

We haven’t heard too much about yachts heading across to the Caribbean as yet, maybe they are all waiting to see which islands remain open to visiting yachts before making their decision. Another warm winter option, and closer to home are the Canary Islands. Very different of course, but worth a look at. Jens Oomes of Invisible Crew has written a piece on this option in our “ Crew Matters” section  of this issue.

So long as the yachts are being used, and need work to keep them going, we are happy!


Fair Winds!

Simon Relph