By Ben Mulvey
The Royal Palma Radio Control Yacht Club, better known by the tongue-twisting acronym RPRCYC, is Palma’s first and only yacht club that doesn’t require a rather deep pocket full of euros to join. Every Wednesday and Sunday these small remote control yachts can be seen whizzing around “The Pond” in front of the Cathedral with a group of curious spectators watching on.
Founded over several beers in October 2020 by Hamish Reid, Ronan McCormick and Liam Manning, this club was set up as a place for like minded people with a passion for sailing to meet and socialise and, most importantly, crack open a few beers.
It is important to explain what “radio control” actually means as I initially believed that this was a group of people playing with toys in a pond – picture the toy boats that are often seen terrorising swans in local parks in the UK. This is certainly not the case as there is a certain degree of skill required to make these boats move as the only motors that are controlled by the radio unit are to move the rudder and the sails. The sailors line up their boats and race back and forth across the pond to compete for the coveted prize of a bottle of rum. Although the whole afternoon is lots of fun, these seadogs take their racing very seriously although ask them nicely between races and they may let you have little go when there isn’t a bottle of rum at stake!
This Yacht Club started with just three boats racing with the founding boys standing at the side of the pond (or in the Guinness bar if it rains) and now has over 45 boats fully built and sailing regularly. The beauty of this club is that membership is automatically granted to those that purchase and build their own boats. As they cost around €250 plus shipping and take around four hours to build, it is an affordable hobby and one that will provide endless hours of fun.
If you are looking for something a bit different to do or to meet some new, friendly and fun people, head down to the Cathedral on Wednesday evenings or Sunday afternoons, crack open a beer and have a play with one of the boats.
For more information about the club check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RPRCYC or pop down for a chat at the Cathedral on race day.