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The King Emeritus returned to Spain. After 21 months in Abu Dhabi, Juan Carlos set foot again this Thursday, May 19 on Spanish soil. Infanta Elena (the eldest daughter) and Pedro Campos, a close friend and much more, were waiting to welcome (and kiss) her at Peinador airport, in Vigo. He created a sailing category just so that Juan Carlos could continue to compete and it is in his house that the emeritus stays when he visits the region.
Pedro Campos met King Juan Carlos in 1983: “He introduced me to his great friend, the shipowner José Cusí. Until then, I had only seen him on television. in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2019. The passion for the sea and sailing created the waves needed to sail a friendship that still remains today, just as the businessman still calls his friend and ex-ruler by “El Jefe”. .
Born in Pontevedra, Pedro Campos Calvo-Soltero was born in 1950 into good families in the region. He is the son of Marcial Campos Fariña, an engineer from Endesa who owned the Termas de Cuntis, a historic development in Galicia with a hotel and spa, which is currently managed by his sons. His mother was Enriqueta Calvo Sotelo, descended from a line of important political figures. Of the couple’s 11 children, Pedro is the fifth and only one to devote himself professionally to regattas, but he is also a keen skier.
Pedro Campos began studying naval engineering, but soon decided to devote himself professionally to regattas. He says he started competing late, at the age of 17, and in 1976 he won his first world title in Monaco. It currently has 17 and to these are added 11 “Copas del Rey”. At the age of 43 he married the Basque Begoña Gil de Barroeta, they had two daughters, Begoña and Paloma, but eventually divorced. He remarried in 2017, this time to Brazilian Cristina Franze, and King Juan Carlos was one of the guests at the ceremony.
One of the reasons Pedro Campos’ name has been in the press is the fact that Juan Carlos will be staying with him during his short stay in Spain these days. It is located on the outskirts of Sanxenxo, on Áreas beach, very close to the yacht club and has been Juan Carlos’ favorite place since his abdication in 2014 when he visited this area. Your hosts reserve the entire top floor of their villa for you. It is also in this house that Juan Carlos stayed in the days leading up to his departure for Abu Dhabi in August 2020. However, the king emeritus is not the only royal guest in the house of Pedro Campos and Cristina Franze, the Infanta Elena and even queen sophia have already settled there to attend regattas in this region, second at Vanity Fair.
Campos is an entrepreneur and his chosen field seems to be sailing. He founded a company that would result in a merger with the biggest global brand in this industry, North Sails, in which Pedro Campos not only has a stake but also chaired it. He is currently 72 years old and is the president of the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo.
His passion for the sea began when he was only three years old and he started sailing with his father along the Arousa estuary, in a boat he rented in the summer. “It’s like starting to walk, a person does not remember how it was”, Campos tells Vanity Fair.
After a lung operation in 2010 (one of eight he underwent between that year and 2014), Juan Carlos had to give up water sports and will have commented on how much he missed sailing. “I had already given up when one day we coincided in a regatta. He commented that what he loved most in the world was returning to racing. And then we got to work,” says the King’s Emeritus Friend. The solution he and other friends found involved classic boats (dated between 1929 and 1947) that allowed the crew to sail seated in a cabin on deck and had the particularity of being very narrow and therefore safer. “El Jefe stays in place and there is no risk of him falling. It is a great merit that the king competes at the highest level and in such a difficult boat, “explained Campos. The mill set the tone for the creation of the Rey Juan Carlos regatta, which takes place in Sanxenxo, of course. In 2015, the former monarch returned to competition and , tell the worldto win this regatta bearing his name aboard a 1929 sailboat, the Acacia, which belonged to the pilot Mauricio Sánchez Bella, who will also be part of the restricted group of Galician friends.
Juan Carlos began to visit Sanxenxo in 1957, it was there that he entered the Naval School of Marín to undergo military training while still a prince. The ground connection has been maintained and the The world writes that in Sanxenxo, Juan Carlos remains the king because the people adore him. In August 2017, Vanitatis had that it was in Galicia that the King Emeritus took advantage of his free time after his abdication, between the sea and meals in the company of friends. This is where there is a group of intimates, like Pedro Campos, who is also joined by the aforementioned José Cusí, a sports fan who was an Olympic shooter and who is also a businessman and shipowner ( the name given to the owner of a boat in nautical slang), who has known Juan Carlos since the 1970s.
Juan Carlos’s friends remained close during these almost two years of stay in the United Arab Emirates. The King Emeritus returned to Spain this week to participate in the InterRías preparatory regatta for the next World Championship, which will take place precisely in Pontevedra between June 10 and 19. Nevertheless, According to El País, will not compete. This Friday, he went to the Club Náutico de Sanxenxo where he was received by many popular and shouts of “Viva el Rey!” and follows the activity from a support boat. He was accompanied by his friend and club president, Pedro Campos. One of the few people, or perhaps the only one, who can tell the story of when he threw King Juan Carlos of Spain into a swimming pool. It took place in 1993 at the Club Náutico de Palma de Mallorca after winning the Copa del Rey. “It was the tradition to throw the boss in the water. The prince came to congratulate us and gave us the final impetus”. He also says that photography has traveled the world as an example of a monarchy close to its people.