Imagine you wanted to join the yacht club whose privilege is to be the Challenger of Record in the world’s oldest and most prestigious sailing competition in order to show off at your friends and boast about over dinner talk. According to the story that Jaume Soler’s blog runs today, this is next to impossible.
Macarena Lainez, a well-known sailing journalist in Spain and director of the monthly magazine “Barcos a Vela”, wanted to write an article on the required procedure in order for someone to become member of the CNEV (Club Nautico Español de Vela) and inform the general public about the organization, activities and services of the yacht club that challenges Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup.
Nevertheless, what was supposed to be a simple task, gather some basic information, turned out to be an odyssey. Lainez finally had to talk to the CNEV’s president, Manuel Chirivella, mostly because the club has only a handful of members; Manuel Chirivella (President), José María Martín Puertas (Vice president), José Ángel Rodríguez (Treasurer and Secretary) and Luis Merino (Director), all of them vice presidents of the RFEV (Spanish Sailing Federation).
According to Soler, Lainez started her inquiry by calling the phone number that appears on the website of the Sailing Federation of the Valencia Region, apparently, the only place where one can find the club’s contact information. After letting the phone ring many times, the call was picked up by Desafío Español’s telephone operator [Note: CNEV's legal address is the Desafío Español base]. She asked whether she could talk to somebody from the CNEV and the reply was negative. After several intents and unanswered calls it turned out the phone number appearing as CNEV’s is apparently Agustín Zulueta’s, general manager of the team, personal number in the base.
As a result, Lainez contacted the communications department of Desafío Español in order to also get additional information on the regatta the CNEV will organize in November in order to fulfill the requirements of the Deed of Gift. There as well it was impossible to answer her questions and she was told she had to call Manuel Chirivella, president of the CNEV. And call him she did.
According to Chirivella, they are “working” on the issue of the club’s organization and their aim is to have all of Spain’s yacht clubs as affiliates of the CNEV, adding that it was not born in order to compete with them. As for the issue of having private members, Chirivella said they were “studying” it but at some stage the club will have private persons as members.
The full story, in Spanish, will appear on the December issue of Barcos a Vela.