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Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014 to host eight of some of the world’s finest sailing yachts

January 28, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

This year’s 4th edition of Superyacht Challenge Antigua, well known as a unique superyacht event, will be running from January 30 to February 2, hosting eight of some of the world’s finest sailing yachts. The event represents an exciting and friendly regatta, designed as a wonderful celebration of sailing and parties, solely for the enjoyment of superyacht owners, their guests and crew.

Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014, January 30 to February 2

Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014, January 30 to February 2

The challenge is held each year at the end of January, hosted by the Admiral’s Inn in Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua. Whilst the racing is very competitive, the Superyacht Challenge Antigua is dedicated to pure fun afloat and ashore, where all participants enjoy a relaxed party atmosphere free from any commercial endorsements.

There are three days of spectacular racing with ratings and start times being determined by the International Superyacht Rule. Starting just outside English Harbour, the magnificent superyachts take part in daily pursuit races along the stunning south coast of Antigua.

The new superyacht Inoui to participate in the Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014 - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

The new superyacht Inoui to participate in the Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014 - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

For the fourth year in succession, an impressive line up of some of the world’s finest sailing yachts will be racing. This year, eight superyachts yachts, with a combined length of over 1000ft, will be taking part. Half of the fleet are returning from last year and three superyachts are new to the event.

Last year’s overall winner, superyacht Adela is back to defend the challenge. The 182ft Dykstra designed schooner is the largest yacht competing, whilst the smallest is the 90ft Maxi Swan yacht Freya, which will be making its debut. The 102ft ketch Maramar was second last year and will be hoping to go one better. 113ft Germán Frers sloop, sailing yacht Unfurled was third in last year’s event and returns to the challenge and the magnificent 147ft Dubois ketch, luxury yacht Timoneer is also back. Hoek-designed ketch, superyacht Marie returns to the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, the 180ft ketch competed in 2011 and 2012. Whilst the 110ft Vitters Maxi yacht Inoui and the 126ft Schooner, superyacht Gloria will be making their first appearance.

Vitters Sailing Yacht Marie - Image credit to Tom Nitsch Image

Vitters Sailing Yacht Marie - Image credit to Tom Nitsch Image

“We are looking forward to three days of excellent sailing, spectacular racing and great sportsmanship,” commented Paul Deeth, one of the founders of the event. “As always, we will be encouraging all participants to indulge in the after hours social activities, which are aimed at creating an ideal social environment to enjoy the company of the various contenders.”

The schedule for the 4th Superyacht Challenge Antigua starts on Thursday 30th January with an exclusive welcome reception cocktail party and continues with three days of racing and private parties, organised purely for the enjoyment of every competitor.

Three Vitters yachts to participate in Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2014

January 28, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

This year in its fourth edition, running from January 30 to February 2, the Superyacht Challenge Antigua is well known as a unique superyacht event. Whilst the racing is very competitive, the event is dedicated to pure fun afloat as well as ashore. From the Vitters stable, three luxury vessels will be competing this year: the 55m (180ft) Hoek-designed sailing yacht Marie, the recently launched 33m (108ft) Briand-designed luxury yacht Inouï and the well experienced regatta racer, the 45m (147ft) superyacht Timoneer, penned by Dubois.

55m Vitters superyacht MARIE - Photo by Tim Wright

55m Vitters superyacht MARIE - Photo by Tim Wright

There are three days of spectacular racing with ratings and start times being determined by the International Superyacht Rule. Starting just outside English Harbour, the magnificent superyachts take part in daily pursuit races along the stunning south coast of Antigua.

“We are looking forward to three days of excellent sailing, spectacular racing and great sportsmanship,”commented Paul Deeth, one of the founders of the event.

Vitters GANESHA and INOUI Yachts nominated for World Superyacht Awards 2014

January 28, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The leading Dutch shipyard, Vitters, is thrilled to announce that two of its 2013 launches, including sailing yacht GANESHA, as well as superyacht INOUI, have been nominated for the World Superyacht Awards 2014.

Vitters luxury yacht Inoui at the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam for her christening party held last summer

Vitters luxury yacht Inoui at the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam for her christening party held last summer - Image courtesy of Vitters

Luxury yacht Inouï is a finalist in the category 30-40m and Ganesha yacht in the 40m+ size range.

46m Vitters superyacht Ganesha (Hull 3067)

46m Vitters superyacht Ganesha (Hull 3067)

This year’s World Superyacht Awards gala evening will take place at the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam on Saturday, May 3.

Below is a choice of the outstanding charter yachts built by Vitters.

The Yachting World Round Antigua Race, April 26, 2014

January 27, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

A wide range of racing and cruising yachts is expected to participate in the 52-nautical mile race around Antigua, and with Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta coming to its end only a few days before the Yachting World Round Antigua Race, the race will offer an ideal way for plenty of classics to complete their Caribbean racing season. All yachts are welcome and encouraged to enter this amazing one-day race. The race will also offer an excellent day of practice for yachts preparing to participate in the Antigua Sailing Week.

The best view of Antigua: The Yachting World Round Antigua Race - Saturday, April 26, 2014 - Credit: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

The best view of Antigua: The Yachting World Round Antigua Race - Saturday, April 26, 2014 - Credit: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

An international fleet is expected to join local yachts including Bernie Evan-Wong’s sailing yacht High Tension, which won the Antigua Yacht Club Round the Island Race recently: “The boat is going so well at the moment,” smiled Bernie. “I have been putting in a lot of time on the water recently and I guess that is the secret. The start of the race had a lot of upwind work and we had good height and speed and I don’t think High Tension has ever been that fast around Antigua. For me as an Antiguan, racing around our beautiful island fills me with pride and joy and I hope that competitors from overseas enjoy the race as much as the locals.”

Yachting World is once again proud to be the sponsor of the Round Antigua Race and encourages yachtsmen to take on the challenge of breaking the existing Round Antigua Race elapsed time record, currently held by Sir Peter Harrison’s Farr-designed 115-foot charter yacht Sojana, which completed the race in 4 hours, 37 minutes and 43 seconds in 2009. The current holder of the Yachting World Trophy is Whisper, helmed by His Majesty King Harald of Norway.

This April, Antigua will be the setting for one of the biggest gatherings of Oyster Yachts in the British company’s 40 year history. Over 30 luxury cruising yachts will be gathering in Antigua just before the Yachting World Round Antigua Race and Antigua Sailing Week, and Oyster CEO David Tydeman is encouraging the Oyster family to get involved: “With the grand finale of the Oyster World Rally and the annual Oyster Caribbean Regatta both in Antigua this April, there will be a large contingent of Oyster yachts in Antigua. The Yachting World Round Antigua Race would be an ideal opportunity for competitive Oysters to test their boat handling and racing skills. The race organisers have indicated that if a significant number of Oysters enter, there will be a separate class for Oyster Yachts and that is an initiative that I would very much like to encourage.”

82 foot Starry Night of the Caribbean - Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

82-foot sailing yacht Starry Night of the Caribbean - Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

The magnificent 94-foot Frers charter yacht Bristolian, will be a favourite for line honours this year, although two high performance 52-foot race boats, will provide a two pronged threat. Robert Date’s Australian team on Scarlet Runner and the Spanish TP52 yacht Balearia are both capable of finishing first. Bristolian’s skipper, John Burnie, has raced around Antigua more times than he can remember: “The Round Antigua Race has always been a popular event,” commented John. “Like its counterpart in the Solent, it is truly iconic – even though it does not have quite as long a history as its UK relative. However, the Round Antigua Race stands as an event in its own right. With the continued sponsorship of Yachting World it rests as a must-do just before Antigua Sailing Week begins.

“There are many technical aspects to the race and the tactics required in some areas are in direct parallel with those required in either the RORC Caribbean 600 or Antigua Sailing Week. The start is under magnificent cliffs, the Pillars of Hercules leading up to Shirley Heights – the course proceeds in an anticlockwise direction. Passing the magnificent reef off Willoughby Bay towards Green Island everyone is looking for the first opportunity of free wind.

“As the fleet rounds the most eastern point, spotting the marks is critical as the crew look for the first spinnaker hoist. It can be a tight reach at first, providing a magnificent 15-mile sail across the northern shores of Antigua.  A big gybe is expected once north of Antigua and then a fast reach to the marks clearing the reefs off Dickenson Bay and the harbour of St. John’s.

“On a fast reach or run the fleet will see the magnificent rain forest hills rising up to Boggy Peak and tactically the fleet should stay inshore for the flat water of Jolly Harbour and Five Islands.  Here the water changes colour dramatically from pale blue in the shallows to a deep azure. Approaching Cades Reef and often much earlier, the wind heads quickly, kites come down and the crew has a tough beat up towards Curtain Bluff to stay out of the current in the deeper water. All too quickly the finish looms and the race is over but the memory of the fascinating course lingers forever.

“The Yachting World Round Antigua Race is indeed a spectacle – and, even though the crews have to concentrate on the technical aspects of the race, there is plenty of opportunity to see the whole island of Antigua in all its magnificence – long may the race continue.”

Matt Sheahan, Yachting World Performance Editor, took part last year on Grand Soleil 43, Quokka, which tied for first place with First 40, Lancelot II: “The perfect length with a variety of tactical issues,” summarised Matt Sheahan. “The sprint around Antigua is a superb race in itself but it also provides a great way to shake down the boat and the crew and prepare for Antigua Sailing Week. With legs that are long enough to settle into and without the tight turns of a race around the buoys, the Yachting World Round Antigua Race is a great way to sort out crew work and sail selection in a competitive environment. And at the very least it helps you avoid peaking too soon ashore!”

The elapsed time winner of the Yachting World Round Antigua Race will be awarded the Yachting World Trophy after the race at the awards presentation to be held in conjunction with the Antigua Sailing Week Welcome Party. Prizes will also be awarded to the overall corrected time winner and to winners of 1st through 3rd places in each class.

The Yachting World Round Antigua Race is a standalone event on the Saturday between Antigua Classic Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week – 26th April, 2014.

Esimit Europa yacht project supported by President of the European Parliament

January 27, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The Esimit Europa yacht project has been founded by Igor Simčič. He has recently met with one of Europe‘s most influential diplomats, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, who recognizes sailing yacht Esimit Europa 2 and her crew as a strong symbol of European unity as well as cooperation.

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa yacht project - Photo by Esimit Europa

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa yacht project - Photo by Esimit Europa

The Esimit Europa yacht project started in 1995 from a visionary idea of Igor Simčič to provide a symbol of the blurring of European borders with a yacht that joins different nations onboard. The project grew from first connecting two bordering cities, then regions and then countries. The European dimension of the Esimit Europa project was sealed in 2002, when the yacht was granted the privilege to sail under the European flag with the official support of the European Parliament. In 2006, furthermore, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, granted his patronage to the project, and was followed by the official support of many other distinguished European diplomats and businessmen.

In 2010 the Esimit Europa project reached a new level by acquiring one of the fastest and technologically most advanced yachts in the world, named Esimit Europa 2. Its crew is composed of highly skilled sailors, the Olympic Games medallists and multiple time winners of the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailing races, coming from ten different countries. Since its christening in June 2010 the Esimit Europa 2 yacht took line honours at all of its 28 attended races and set 6 course records.

Esimit Europa’s diplomatic efforts are dedicated to promoting the idea of a united Europe and with the support of its endorsers it became a key player in establishing sports, diplomatic and business connections throughout Europe.

The meeting taking place in Berlin on Sunday, 26 January, was an opportunity to present past achievements and future plans of the project to one of its most important supporters – the President of the European Parliament. It is yet another recognition to this prosperous project which promotes values such as collaboration, synergy, responsibility and solidarity through its numerous activities.

At the occasion of the meeting, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament said:
“The European Parliament has been supporting the Esimit Europa project for more than a decade. We have seen its victories not only at sea, but also in the diplomatic and business engagements. The Esimit Europa 2 yacht with its multinational team has successfully represented Europe at many of the world’s most important sailing races. By that, they have also shared the important message of unity and cooperation among European nations. I would like to express my appreciation to Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa project, for his inspirational idea, its most successful realization and his dedication to our common mission.”

Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa yacht project added: “I would like to thank the European Parliament and its President for their ongoing support to our project. It is not only an important recognition of our efforts, but also responsibility for our future endeavours.”

Oyster 125 sailing yacht TWILIGHT among World Superyacht Awards 2014 Finalists

January 24, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Boat International Media have unveiled the finalists of the ninth annual World Superyacht Awards and the well known British shipyard, Oyster, is delighted to announce that its sailing yacht Twilight has been selected by an independent judging panel as a finalist in the ‘Sailing yacht 30m to 40m’ category. Luxury charter yacht Twilight is a beautiful Oyster 125 vessel, designed by world-renowned Dubois Naval Architects.

Sail Yacht TWILIGHT -  Main

Sail Yacht TWILIGHT - Main

Available for the Caribbean yacht charter during the winter months, superyacht Twilight provides deluxe accommodation to up to 8 guests in 4 lovely and comfortable cabins, all with their own private heads and shower. Moreover, she offers a vast, split-level, living area, providing fantastic views from the upper saloon. There is also an intimate lounge, as well as separate dining area at the lower level.

Sail Yacht TWILIGHT -  Formal Dining

Sail Yacht TWILIGHT - Formal Dining

The high standard of finalists and a magnificent new venue sets the stage for the gala evening at Amsterdam’s National Maritime Museum on Saturday 3 May 2014.

Esenyacht completes investment in its joinery and furniture shop

January 24, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Esenyacht, the prominent new Turkish superyacht shipyard, has concluded a final round of investment in its joinery and furniture shop, that now permits it to take on yacht projects from third parties. Even in a country that has a history of wood-working dating back thousands of years, Esenyacht’s new facilities stand out for their quality as well as breadth of capability. The workshop is currently working on the 50m sailing yacht Troy, penned by Tim Saunders Yacht Design and the company’s in-house design team. She is scheduled for launch later this year.

New 50m sailing yacht TROY currently under construction at Esenyacht

New 50m sailing yacht TROY currently under construction at Esenyacht

Headed up by Ferhat Kaya, the strength of the workshop is based on its combination of modern technology and old-fashioned craftsmanship. At its core lies over fifty individual craftsmen with skills ranging from cabinet making, joining and machining to marquetry, inlay and carving. They are supported by technology that includes a four-axis CNC milling machine, a computer controlled calibration machine, a range of heat and humidity controlled ovens and climate-controlled storage, alongside the more usual sawing and woodworking tools.

Together these resources give Esenyacht the ability to create every element of a yacht’s hull, interior and exterior made of or constructed in wood, including highly artistic items such as inlaid tables and carved detailing.

Esenyacht completes investment in its joinery and furniture shop

Esenyacht completes investment in its joinery and furniture shop

The production techniques applied at Esenyacht have also been developed to match the highest standards to be found anywhere in the world of superyacht building. Any potential issues in the layouts of interiors are resolved prior to production via the use of full-scale mock-ups created within the workshop. High-quality manufacturing is ensured by the use of high–strength panels and cage (carcass) systems. High-strength glulam (glue laminated timber) and LVL lamination technics are also used in production.

“We are dedicated to delivering international standard projects to our clients with a view to gaining total customer satisfaction,” explains the company’s founder, Kadir Esen.

The development of a comprehensive joinery and furniture capability is in keeping with the Esenyacht ethos of building yachts that are handcrafted down to the finest details. Not only does this create a level of personalisation that cannot be achieved with a long and complex supply chain, it also gives a greater degree of control over critical elements such as quality control and on time delivery, thereby helping to ensure that projects are delivered on schedule and to specification.

A number of third party projects are currently under discussion, and the quality and scope of the facility is expected to attract further enquiries from both marine and residential / commercial designers and project managers.

New Truly Classic 126 Yacht TC126 nearing completion at Claasen Shipyards

January 24, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The respected Dutch manufacturer, Claasen Shipyards, was commissioned by a repeat client to build the new Truly Classic yacht TC126 in November 2012. The company has constructed plenty of such yachts, all of which have been beautifully penned by Hoek Naval Architects, and are characterised by a mixture of classic lines and advanced technologies. The construction of the 126-foot sailing yacht TC 126 started at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw in Makkum in the summer of 2013 and is currently nearing completion. The video from construction of TC126 can be found here.

Hull of Truly Classic 126 Yacht TC126 turned around

Hull of Truly Classic 126 Yacht TC126 turned around

The new superyacht TC126 will be the largest in the Truly Classic range. She is being built in accordance with MCA LY2 regulations, allowing the yacht to feature in competitive sailing races as well as being used privately or for luxury yacht charter. The deck layout is based on the successful concept of a private owner’s cockpit aft and a guest cockpit and deckhouse amidships.

TC126 Yacht under construction

TC126 Yacht under construction

The construction of the interior of TC126 yacht – also from the boards of Hoek Design – is also in full swing. The yacht will have a classic interior with various unique details in the woodwork. The walls and floors are made of Sweatania mahagony, while the floor borders are accentuated with maple inlays. The cabin ceilings will be finished in white to increase the sense of spaciousness. The combination of fine materials and finish will create a serene ambiance for owner and crew alike.

Hull of superyacht TC126

Hull of superyacht TC126

The hull of the TC126 superyacht was turned by Bloemsma Aluminumbouw in Makkum several weeks ago and will soon be transported to the yard in Zaandam where the yacht will be finished for delivery in 2015. Claasen Shipyards builds its yachts using the most advanced technologies while ensuring that all onboard systems are easy to use and maintenance-friendly.

TC126 Yacht - Saloon

TC126 Yacht - Saloon

TC126 superyacht - Owners Cabin

TC126 superyacht - Owners Cabin

In addition to the new Truly Classic 126 yacht TC126 the yard has two Truly Classic 90ft yachts under construction and will soon start the build of a new J-class.

New images and videos of 80m DART Yacht Concept by Royal Huisman and Andrew Winch

January 24, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The prestigious Dutch shipyard, Royal Huisman, has unveiled the new images and videos of the impressive 80-metre DART yacht concept, developed in partnership with the world-renowned UK design studio, Andrew Winch Designs. Mega yacht DART concept was officially presented at the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show.

80m motor yacht DART concept by Royal Huisman and Andrew Winch Designs

80m motor yacht DART concept by Royal Huisman and Andrew Winch Designs

Inspired by the natural world, enhanced by the most advanced energy-efficient technologies, optimised for ultimate performance and lifestyle in sailing yacht or motor yacht interpretations, superyacht DART is an 80m/ 262ft vessel that totally connects with its ocean environment.

DART superyacht concept - Layout

DART superyacht concept from above

Luxury yacht DART like no other, is a yacht that celebrates an intimate relationship with the surrounding ocean. Where some yachts project an image that is alien to their marine environment, DART has sleek and sinuous lines in harmony with the surrounding. Where the amenity of some yachts feels akin to that of a prestige city hotel, DART offers the ambiance of the ultimate shore-side boutique hotel; she has a beach deck and pool that provide the perfect connection with the surrounding waters when at anchor or underway; a dramatically sculpted and glazed hard chine above the waterline, bringing in reflections of ocean light and a window on the marine world. The sea-level amenities are complemented by magnificent panoramic outlooks from top decks and flybridge.

80m superyacht DART

80m superyacht DART

Luxury motor yacht DART

Luxury motor yacht DART

80m sailing yacht DART

80m sailing yacht DART

With her remarkable styling, her close connection with the marine environment, her unsurpassed efficiency and performance, superyacht DART is a yacht for truly discerning individuals seeking a lifestyle that, only in the fullness of time, can be experienced let alone be appreciated.

Below is a video showing the new 80m motor yacht DART design:

Below is a video showing the new 80m sailing yacht DART design:

New developments for Yacht Haven Marina Phuket

January 23, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Nestled in Thalang, in the northern part of the fabulous Thailand yacht charter destination – Phuket, the Yacht Haven Marina Phuket is currently undergoing an expansion. This will enable the marina to comfortably accommodate superyachts measuring up to 100m in length.

A rendering of newly extended Yacht Haven Marina Phuket - Image credit to Marinetek

A rendering of newly extended Yacht Haven Marina Phuket - Image credit to Marinetek

Marinetek, who have been awarded the building of the marina’s next phase, will supply a new 265m attenuating pontoon with 50m fingers piers. The pontoon will have pedestals with 200 amp, three-phase supply and 60 amp single-phase supply. The completion is planned for August/Sept 2014.

Considering the marina presently has motor yacht Wabi Sabi, charter yacht Douce France & luxury yacht Sapphire waiting for dockage, this next phase is eagerly awaited.

Yacht Haven Marina Phuket also plans the very first Phuket Yacht Charter & Brokerage Show, set to run from February 12 to 15, 2015, as it believes the time is right for Phuket to hold such an event and the new docks will make a great platform for the show.