Statement: Garages & Marina Office Eviction

Statement: Garages & Marina Office Eviction

Dear Members,

Following a communication sent earlier on this week in relation to the Club’s eviction from the garages and marina office, we would like to give you an overview of the timeline of events leading to this situation, an overview of the effort the Club has put in over the years and the repercussions that the Club is suffering in view of this decision.

Although it is a bit of a long read, it is important that you are fully aware of the situation.

Please read on…

A Timeline of Events
June 2000 –  Parliament approves granting of lease to Malta Playing Fields Association (MPFA);
29th August 2002  – The MPFA signed a 49 year lease agreement  with Government;
23rd February 2003 – The MPFA applied for a building permit to house a sailing school with catering facilities;
13th February 2006  – A building permit was issued to the MPFA;
5th July 2006 – The MPFA received a licence to operate a sailing school with catering facilities;
6th July 2006 – The MPFA advertised in the Times to receive applications to construct, furnish and maintain a sailing school and catering facilities;
27th June 2008 –  Declaration by the President to expropriate the land from the MPFA;
2nd July 2008 – The Ministry of Finance, Economy, Investments and Lands by decree Nr L778/1962   expropriated the land from the MPFA . The MPFA had refused a compensation of €12,000;
3rd July 2008 – The MPFA entered into an agreement with Balco Limited to start the construction;
18th July 2009 –  MPFA files case (8/2009) against Government to revoke the requisition or receive a just compensation;
23rd. September 2009 – The RMYC signs 49-year lease agreement with Government;
15th July 2014 – Hon Judge Joseph McKeon ruled that the expropriation was not in the public interest citing one of the major reasons being that the RMYC was a private member’s club;
30th October 2015 – Constitutional court of appeal (8/09 JZM), Judge Silvio Camilleri, Judge Giannino  Caruana Demajo, Judge Noel Cuschieri did not accept the appeal;
7th April 2016 – With case Nr. 241/2016 JVC the MPFA file for eviction;
22nd November 2017- Case 596/2017 MPFA files for damages against the RMYC and Judge Silvio Meli issues a garnishee of €350,000 ( this is the amount the RMYC had to deposit in court) ;
In 2009, as soon as the RMYC moved into the premises, it set the wheels in motion to setup a professionally run Sailing School.  The RMYC re-developed the property to meet the requirements of an Internationally recognised sailing hub.  It is through this investment, funded by members and lending institutions that this was made possible. 
The Sailing School has, over the years, build a strong reputation for its facilities and coaching capabilities, so much so that annually the school has attracted high level athletes – Olympic medallists and Olympians just to mention a few, who regularly come to Malta during the winter months for training. This has had a positive effect on the Maltese community, which has been inspired and motivated to take on sailing as a sport having been exposed to the likes of such athletes.  Suffice to say that some of our students are now vying for a place on the Team Malta at the forthcoming Games of the Small States of Europe which are taking place in Malta in May/June of this year.
The area, is vital and instrumental for the Club in the hosting of high calibre and international events, like the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the forthcoming ORC European Championships, the 2024 SB20 European Championships, the EurILCA Masters Series, which has been hosted several times here in Malta.
Such events carry a positive economic impact on the local community. This was confirmed by means of an audited Economic Impact Assessment, which showed an economic impact of the Rolex Middle Sea Race on the Maltese economy to the tune of nearly €5m. Additionally, a further €2.6m resulted in the PR value of media exposure that the Race received, all contributing to the promotion of sport and high value leisure tourism,  such events create for Malta.  
Following the court decision of the 13th October 2022, the RMYC was notified. Immediately the RMYC sought to engage in discussions with various authorities as well as approached the MPFA for mediatory discussions in the hope of reaching an amicable and equitable solution for the benefit of all parties involved.  
Unfortunately, in spite of various attempts by Ministries and the Club, these discussions never materialised.
The RMYC is a victim and injured party in this long drawn saga, which arose in the Government’s haste, at the time, to make the RMYC vacate its premises on Fort Manoel, to make way for the Midi development – a project which was certainly of national importance.
To add insult to injury, not only was it enough for the RMYC to be injured party, it further suffered more grievance through the issuing of a garnishee order to the tune of  of €350,000  – which the RMYC had to deposit in court. Until the RMYC deposited a full amount in court, all the Club’s bank accounts were frozen.  Were it not for the financial sacrifices of the Club Committee, the hundreds of Club members, staff and supporters,  this action would have stopped the Club in its tracks.
The RMYC has fully abided by this court order and will do its utmost to carry on with its Sailing School operations, even at great sacrifice to the students and our instructors. We are looking towards finding a long term solution whilst trying to mitigate the irreparable damage this situation has brought upon the Club, and the sailing fraternity in Malta.
Least to say, today we officially announced the hosting of the 2023 ORC European Championships, which will take place in Malta between the 23rd April and 1st May and for which this situation has tarnished the reputation of not just the Club but Malta as a host country for such international events.
All our past efforts to develop our reputation amongst the international sailing community, as an ideal destination for professionally run sailing events have been weakened, making it more difficult to host such events in the future.
David Cremona                        Mark Napier
Commodore                              Hon. Secretary
RMYCSailing School
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