By Hamish Goddard
IT’s been one hell of a hectic month for someone like me who loves boats, bikes and, basically, anything fast!
It all began with the Palma boat show, now in its 34th year, and well established as one of the top nautical extravaganzas in the Mediterranean, with visitor numbers topping 35,000 over the five days.
As a busy exhibitor at the event, the show represented a fantastic opportunity for us and our industry colleagues to present our products and interact with buyers (and a few fender-kickers…), sellers, colleagues and friends.
There is little question that the market has seen a significant turnaround in the last year, with a transformation from a buyer’s to a seller’s market in certain areas.
My company, Baxter Marine had a great show, displaying the offerings from Pearl Motor Yachts and finding ourselves in a position where, with second hand boats, we have more buyers than boats…
Cape to Cape
I needed a few ideas for entertaining my US-based brother and Marseilles-based motorcycling journalist nephew who arrived a few weeks ago.
And up popped the idea of riding a decent motorbike on the ‘Cape to Cape’ trip from Andratx to Formentor along the MA-10 road that runs along the entire north coast of Mallorca.
It is arguably one of the most picturesque routes on earth, let alone our small Mediterranean island.
We rented the bikes from Rentabike – a brace of BMW 800GS – and spent nine hours touring the island, with plenty of stops for coffee and a longer lunch in Puerto Soller.
Dodging the ubiquitous cyclists and distracted hire car drivers (oh so much easier on a motorcycle…), we also found time to stop by the Gorg Blau lakes on the roof of the island – a ‘little Switzerland’ in the Med.
The magic continues all the way to Cap Formentor, with the final stretch to the Cape itself also engineered in 1932 by the same Italian, Antonio Parietti, responsible for the celebrated Sa Colobra road – and in much the same style.
Our slightly numb bums and fingers eventually arrived back in Cala Major by 7.00PM. What a day.
Ancient and Modern…
I am off this weekend to enjoy the Classic Car Club’s monthly shindig – with 40 plus classic cars – organised by my rallying chum Gordon Cox. It is always wonderful to be in the company of so many beautiful and valuable cars that are unlocked from garages all over the island.
I alas don’t have one and have rented an Austin Healey 3000 from Rent A Classic Car Mallorca, which will be fun.
The Healey will definitely differ from the Ferrari 458 Spyder that I drove this week.
The Ferrari 458 is the last of the normally-aspirated two-seater prancing horses to be built by Maranello, as all supercar manufacturers – including Ferrari – embrace hybrid technology’s efficiency and power.
It has made the free-breathing 458 an instant classic, now replaced by the turbo-driven (although I suspect equally impressive) Ferrari 488.
However, if you can find a good 458 and your eyes don’t water too much at what you might pay, it may look very cheap in a few years’ time…
As for driving it? Truly intoxicating – and maybe even a little ‘bipolar’… Potter along to get the milk and it’s a relatively peaceful if firm ride. Open up and the world changes very fast indeed both aurally and visually. Throw in that smell of fine leather, that steering wheel straight off an F1 car and just give me an empty road.
Shame there’s not too many here.
Hamish Goddard has lived in Mallorca for two years – arriving as a yacht skipper in 2015, after which he was due to head off to the Caribbean as a sailing instructor. He works for Baxter Marine in Porto Portals in its new sailing yacht division. He previously worked in the UK in sports and retail marketing, working within Formula One, the Ryder Cup, the Olympic Games and yachting events