On the threshold of the reform of the nautical qualifications, which is an indispensable step for the future of the recreational yachting in Spain, we - as the defendants of the interests of the sector, have the obligation to look ahead and continue on the path we set out on in 2010.
Then, becoming aware that the Spanish nautical sector could not carry on ignoring the development in the sector elsewhere in Europe and in the world, at ANEN we started the battle with the Administration to plan and defend the necessary and inevitable reform of the nautical qualifications.
With an out-dated and inadequate normative that didn´t correspond with the reality of our enterprises or the aficionados, neither national nor international, we were not navigating on the right course.
After years of work and negotiating with various representatives of the Administration, we have managed to initiate a law change that will finally allow us to harmonize our nautical qualifications, which will also increase our competitiveness and number of devotees - objectives we all within the sector agree upon.
While it is difficult to make everybody happy, and while we all have to adjust and update our models to deal with everyday situations, we can´t let the opportunity pass, nor resign ourselves to the familiar patterns of the past.
The proposal of Draft of Ministerial Order for the nautical qualifications remitted by the Direction General of the Merchant Navy barely three weeks ago maybe has some rough edges to polish, but all in all it is a bet for the future, an opportunity to gain market shares internationally, and imperative for the popularization of the recreational yachting.
Our challenge at the moment is to fine tune the final text of the reform to be able to reach these objectives. ANEN is dedicating a great effort to this task, specially towards securing that the beginners segment - which is the future of the sector - will be favored and protected by the future normative. We hope that nobody will be alarmed by some opinions that dismiss this reform with a reference to safety at sea, as this has been one the most meticulously prepared sections of the reform.
Only by paving the way towards the recreational yachting and by making it more accessible , will we manage to make the yachting an attractive activity for the users, and an opportunity to generate business.
Carlos Sanlorenzo is the general secretary of the National Association of the Nautical Enterprises (ANEN).