Supermaxi Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

A great regatta season for McConaghy yachts in USA and Europe

June 26, 2014

McConaghy Boats is proud to announce that it has been a very successful 2014 regatta season for their yachts so far. McConaghy yachts have taken home the trophies in the USA as well as Europe.

Shockwave

McConaghy Yacht Shockwave under sail

NEWPORT BERMUDA RACE

George Sakellaris’s McConaghy built and Reichel/Pugh designed mini-maxi yacht Shockwave crossed the finish line off Bermuda’s St. David’s Lighthouse Monday morning at 6:34AM local time to take Line Honours in the Legendary 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race.

Her elapsed time was 63:04:11, which is fast enough to secure victory in IRC and ORR. Congratulations to George Sakellaris and the team aboard sailing yacht Shockwave for winning this year’s race. The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by their division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race, the 2013 Montego Bay, and the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Originally launched in 2008 as Alfa Romero 3, Shockwave continues her winning ways and adds to McConaghy Boats long history of success in this race.

Esimit Europa 2

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2

GIRAGLIA ROLEX CUP

Igor Simcic’s superyacht Esimit Europa 2 crossed the finish line off Monte-Carlo at 12:35 CEST, to secure the Reichel Pugh designed 100’ super maxis’ seventh Line Honours victory in the offshore race of the Giraglia Rolex Cup. (3 victories as Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo and 4 victories as Esimit Europa).

Her elapsed time of 24 hours, 35 minutes, 56 seconds was well outside her record (14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds) for the 62nd edition of 241-nm race, which she set in 2012 when the race finished in Sanremo. The predicted tricky wind conditions of the past 24 hours put paid to any hope of bettering her benchmark time.

Skipper Jochen Schumann said: “It was perfect to win line honours in this special edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup finishing in Monaco. We were lucky to finish much earlier than expected. Aside from a critical point off Saint-Tropez where the wind was very light we got our strategy just right”.

JP MORGAN ROUND THE ISLAND RACE

Ned Collier-Wakefield skippered his McConaghy built Ker designed Forty(1) Design, Team Concise 8 to a class victory in the 2014 Round the Island race last Saturday. Ned and his crew were 9th boat across the line in a fleet of over 1500 yachts and multihulls. An outstanding result for this exciting new design from Ker which is starting to show its potential in the highly competitive short handed offshore focused Class 40 fleet.

Giraglia Rolex Cup: A symbol of friendship between countries, yachtsmen and yacht clubs

June 26, 2014

The Giraglia Rolex Cup has always been more than a simple yacht race. It represents a symbol of friendship between countries, yachtsmen, as well as yacht clubs. This year’s 62nd edition was no exception. An impressive number of 242 yachts attended the event as a whole, some 206 participating in the offshore race; 20 nations were represented; five clubs from three sovereign states cooperated in the organization; and, yachts from France, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom shared the major silverware. In all respects, the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup exceeded its normal high standards of camaraderie and competition.

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) arriving at the finish off Monte-Carlo to secure her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) arriving at the finish off Monte-Carlo to secure her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Cross-border relations

The dominant story ahead of the race was the decision to finish in Monte-Carlo. Since 1953 tradition dictates the Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race starts in France and ends in Italy, or vice versa. It would take something exceptional to break this convention. The founding organizers, Yacht Club Italiano and Yacht Club de France, were united in the view that the inauguration of a new clubhouse by their twinned club, Yacht Club de Monaco, was appropriate justification. Rolex, a partner of the event since 1997, was fully supportive. The Yacht Club de Monaco is one of its partner clubs. Most importantly, the competitors endorsed the decision with a record fleet participating across the event.

The Giraglia Rolex Cup started life as a 241-nm offshore race linking two nations torn apart by the Second World War. The motive of the founding fathers was to help build bridges through the sport of yachting.  Over the years the course has departed from different ports and finished in just as many. A single constant has been the rounding of the Giraglia, a rock off the northern tip of Corsica. Since 1997, the event has evolved considerably, growing in size, shape and popularity. In 1998, the decision was made to fix the starting port at Saint-Tropez and to add a series of inshore races. 10 years later a prologue race starting from Sanremo, historically one of the Italian start/finish ports, was added.

Bernard Vananty's Swan 42 Yacht TIXWAVE on her way to an overall win in the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Bernard Vananty's Swan 42 Yacht TIXWAVE on her way to an overall win in the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Prelude acts

The success of these decisions lies in the number of entries. An impressive 107 yachts took part in the 58-nm sprint from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez. Setting off at midnight on Friday, 13 June, first across the finish line on Saturday morning was the French VOR 70 SFS, skippered by Lionel Péan. Richard Burton’s 35-foot Jet Lag took the overall win on handicap under IRC.

The three days of inshore racing off Saint-Tropez is always a spectacle. This year 172 yachts took part, at times filling the eastern horizon of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez with a blanket of sails. Competition was fierce as yachts across five classes sought to stamp their authority within their own division. Only one, appropriately named, achieved a clean sweep: Jean Marie Vidal’s Easy in IRC B. Most eyes were on the battle of the big boats, those yachts 60-feet and above, which included four 72-ft professionally crewed Mini Maxis. The three-time Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship winning crew on Ràn 5 set the pace, winning race one. The following day, Andy Soriano’s Alegre took victory. The third day witnessed a tense tussle from which Alegre once more emerged triumphant, enough to take the series win from Ràn 5 by virtue of a tiebreak.

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Gian Riccardo Marini and the TIXWAVE (GBR) team, overall winner of the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Gian Riccardo Marini and the TIXWAVE (GBR) team, overall winner of the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The main attraction

The day of the offshore start dawned seemingly unaware of the major race about to leave from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. An insipid sky and no wind set all the crews wondering not when they would finish, but how far from Saint-Tropez they would be that first night. The owner of the 45-ft Alizée and winner of the race in 2013, Laurent Camprubi, was on the one hand excited by a forecast of light winds with the possibility of breeze at the rock. Such conditions might favour his yacht once again. On the other hand, he had a real concern, which he expressed with a smile: “I’m not even sure if I will be out of the Gulf tonight.”

Jochen Schümann, skipper of the fastest yacht in the race, the 100-ft Slovenian Maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2, suggested the concern for the larger yachts would be the finish: “All the models are showing the same: 10 knots in the beginning and then quite a bit lighter at the approach to the Giraglia rock, and the final leg. Tomorrow afternoon in Monaco if we are lucky.”

The models were almost spot on. After starting at midday on Wednesday, 18 June in light airs, the blue Maxi escaped Saint-Tropez unimpeded by virtue of a 44-metre mast-height and mammoth sail-area. Sailing yacht Robertissima 2 briefly spoilt the party by leading off the start line, but superyacht Esimit Europa had established a race winning lead by the time she reached the first turning mark off Cavalaire-sur-mer.

Luxury yacht ALEGRE (GBR) enjoys some downwind sailing during Day 1 of the Inshore Series off Saint-Tropez - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Luxury yacht ALEGRE (GBR) enjoys some downwind sailing during Day 1 of the Inshore Series off Saint-Tropez - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

First home

Rounding the Giraglia by moonlight at 03:00 CEST on Thursday, Schümann’s 11-nation crew, including Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco, faced a difficult last leg to Monte-Carlo. Estimated times of arrival were as variable as the wind. In the end the line was crossed at 12:35: “We were lucky to finish much earlier than expected. Aside from a critical point off Saint-Tropez where the wind was very light and Robertissima was really close we got our strategy just right. We always had breeze even if it was down to 2/3 knots at times.”

Casiraghi, a member of the YCM Management Committee, was delighted to be the first Monacan to finish the race and to dock off the magnificent new clubhouse: “It’s fantastic to [be part of] the first real race to arrive here with this new building. I’m really happy.”

Esimit Europa yacht’s arrival did not open the floodgates, as the next arrivals dripped in over several hours. The bulk of the fleet would arrive in the early hours of Friday. However, she did mark the beginning of 48 hours of festivity and celebration in Monte-Carlo.

Bowmen calling the start - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borleghi

Bowmen calling the start - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borleghi

Opening Day

Friday was to be a remarkable day as HSH Prince Albert II, accompanied by the royal family and the building’s architect Lord Foster officially opened the new premises of the Yacht Club de Monaco. It was a historic occasion attended by 4,000 guests, including government ministers, members representing 66 nationalities, and crews taking part in the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

The official part of the proceedings started at 16:00 with the cutting of the ribbon and a blessing bestowed on the building by Monaco’s Archbishop Bernard Barsi. Later that evening, HSH Prince Albert II crossed the harbour by boat to deliver the club’s flag from the old premises to the new. He was greeted on arrival by members of his family, to the cheers of members who lined two levels of the yacht club, and by the Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet, which filled the marina in front of the clubhouse.

HSH Prince Albert II, President of the YCM for the past 30 years, said this about the building: “The flag I have just raised today flies proudly on the mast at the top of our new premises. It marks an important phase in the life of our Club, for Port Hercule and for the Principality. With this architectural masterpiece we wished to affirm Monaco’s yachting identity, our ambition being to continue to orient our country’s future prosperity towards the sea.”

And, of the show of support from the organizers of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, he commented: “We have had a great relationship with the Yacht Club Italiano and the Yacht Club de France for many years. We’ve been talking about this for quite some time and to have it actually come to realisation is a wonderful testimony not only to what these two friendly yacht clubs mean to us and what they wanted to do with us, but I think it’s a tremendous honour and I think it’s a great part of the celebration.”

Close Mini Maxi battle between JETHOU (GBR), ALEGRE (GBR) and RÁN 5 (SWE

Close Mini Maxi battle between JETHOU (GBR), ALEGRE (GBR) and RÁN 5 (SWE) - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

40 years on

Shortly after the ribbon had been cut, the Yacht Club Italiano added to the excitement by announcing the overall winner of the offshore race. The victory of Bernard Vananty and his Swiss-French crew on the 42-ft Tixwave further contributed to an overriding sense that this edition was something exceptional: “It was quite special to do the Giraglia Rolex Cup this year because it is exactly 40 years ago that I did my first one. I was 18/19 years old. It was very windy, we had a prototype boat and we could not finish the race. Last year we came back to do the race again, we were second overall and this year we have won!”

It had not been plain sailing for Tixwave, after effectively managing her race strategy for 241-nm it almost all fell apart: “20 to 30 metres from the finish line there was hole and we were in trouble. We started to check the time, thinking that all our efforts had been ruined in these last metres… it took us 14 minutes to cross the finish line!”

The euphoria on Tixwave echoed that elsewhere in the marina as crews and YCM members celebrated well into the early hours of Saturday morning the closing of another chapter in the history of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the opening of a new one in the history of a yacht club founded by remarkable coincidence in the same year as the race: 1953. Sometimes the script just writes itself.

The final prize giving on Saturday brought the events to a fitting conclusion. Rolex timepieces and trophies were awarded to Vananty and Igor Simcic, the owner of sailing yacht Esimit Europa 2 in recognition of their successes. And, while no one was in the mood to end this year’s festivities, fortunately the “old lady of yacht-racing”, as Carlo Croce, President of the Yacht Club Italiano, described the race will return again next year to provide a platform that proves the passion and dedication associated with yacht-racing knows no boundaries.

Huge success of Royal Huisman yachts at Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

June 25, 2014

Having taken place in the fabulous Mallorca yacht charter destination, positioned in Spain, from June 18 to 21, this year’s Superyacht Cup Palma was marked by great results of Royal Huisman yachts. The Alustar aluminium Frers-designed superyacht Unfurled has become the overall winner of this popular Mediterranean regatta.

Royal Huisman Sailing Yacht UNFURLED - Photo by Claire Matches

Royal Huisman Sailing Yacht UNFURLED - Photo by Claire Matches

In addition, the Super-J Class yacht Hanuman shared the King’s 100 Guinea Cup with luxury yacht Lionheart after finishing tied on corrected time.

The Bruce King designed Royal Huisiman charter yacht Maria Cattiva became overall 2nd in class, while sailing yacht Heartbeat was awarded as winner of this class (possibly like last year’s victory, again with a little help of Huisfit).

Royal Huisman congratulates to all owners and teams.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014: Overall victory for sailing yacht LIONHEART in J Class

June 24, 2014

With a victory in the fourth as well as final race, a fast 30-mile coastal course with over 20 knots of brisk sea breeze back and forth across the lovely Mediterranean yacht charter destination – the Bay of Palma, sailing yacht Lionheart lift the trophy that they consider the season’s most prominent and hardest to win, triumphing in the five strong J Class at the Palma Superyacht Cup.

Luxury superyacht Lionheart under sail - Photo by clairematches.com

Luxury superyacht Lionheart under sail - Photo by clairematches.com

Having missed out on overall victory on the last race here last year when they could not recover from a poor start, this time Lionheart fought back from a modest opening to the first upwind and took the lead when they went to the far left of the upwind, making a big gain to lead charter yacht Ranger around the first buoy.

From there they were challenged only when the breeze went soft at a leeward mark and the leaders compressed closer, but with excellent speed upwind and downwind Lionheart yacht proved comfortable winners.

With their second win from four races, also sharing Wednesday’s King’s Hundred Guinea Cup with superyacht Hanuman, the team which has Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe Bekking as tactician win their second J Class regatta in a row, after winning in Mahon, Menorca last month. Consistency proved key for the Erle Williams skippered Ranger which took an excellent second overall, pipping last years champions Hanuman by half a point.

Today’s coastal race brought the series to a fitting showdown. With just one point separating regatta leaders luxury yacht Lionheart from Hanuman, the latter made poor start and only on the final run to the finish did they rescue fourth place when they passed superyacht Rainbow.

The well drilled, diligent Lionheart yacht team learned from their own mistakes from Friday’s race, and their extensive post race de-briefs this time offered a pointer towards today’s improved start.

Even if the five boats did not all hit the line at the same time, within seconds they were all bow to bow for a remarkable few minutes of intense action. A long fast reach down across the bay saw no place changing, but on the return leg all the way back to a mark under Cabo Blanco, Velsheda yacht held low and were able to pop through into second which they held to the finish, their best score of the regatta.
Bekking, who returns tomorrow to skipper’s duties on the Volvo 65 in Kiel, was delighted with the Lionheart win:

“This was the one we wanted to win because this is where we have the five boats. Last year we were leading until the last day and then we lost it. We had a bad start then and could not get back. Today we got a good start and got bounced back a bit but we got back into it and clawed our way back to first and from there on it was quite easy.

We have such a nice group of people and are always having a good time. We work very hard at it. We always do three full days of practice and every race we do a big, full debrief for at least 45 minutes to an hour with video integrated and even like yesterday we had a bad start and we executed on that today.

In Minorca we had speed upwind and downwind so the other guys have caught up or perhaps it is the venue a bit, some boats go really well at a venue, Ranger has gone fantastic at this event, some boats just fit certain events.

I have won a few events here so I was pretty confident when we went to the big left. I was a bit amazed the others let us go. After that it was game over.

I think we have been sailing well and I think our crew work is among the best here. And the owner driver has made huge steps in the last two years and now with two events in a row it is finally paying off.

It is so great to win here. This is for the owners because they look after us and so it is good to give something back.”

Ranger skipper Erle Williams was almost bemused to have taken second, but with four times America’s Cup winner Murray Jones sailing his second regatta as tactician, and solid, dependable crew work to build from their excellent starts ñ they started four times off the left, pin end of the line, their success was well earned:

“We are thrilled because the newer boats are fast and are being sailed well and they are hard to beat. Last year we struggled and it was hard. There are some great sailors out there sailing these boats. The whole J Class story here is a great success story, having five boats here, different winners on each day has been fantastic. But here consistency has been good for us in a tough field, we didn’t win this time, but maybe next time.

Lionheart is extremely fast, they had pace today. They were tucked in behind at the start and they just sailed around us but they are sailing well. But the rest of the boats are very even. Today we saw Velsheda sail better for second. Ranger has form as a team. The boat is set up nicely and the guys are trimming very nicely. Our sails are nice. The boat is kind of heavy and hard work at times, but I think we are sailing it well.

We don’t have as much stability as the others, about six to ten per cent less, and so the stronger breeze was not so good for us, we struggle a little. Apart from Lionheart I think all the boats are pretty even and I think it is down to who sails the boat best and gets off the line and can keep clean air. That has been the big thing for us, to have a regatta where we have been able to sail in clear air. We have started off the pin and that has worked well for us.”

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 attended by five Claasen yachts

June 24, 2014

Taken place in the popular Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma in Spain from last Wednesday to Saturday, the recently concluded Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 was attended by 26 top sailing yachts from around the world. The fleet of giants comprised five jewels built by the Claasen shipyard, namely charter yacht Atalante, Heartbeat, sailing yacht Lionheart, Drumfire and luxury yacht Firefly. All five performed exceptionally well in the fabulous location of the Bay of Palma as the crews were pushed to their limit in a series of amazingly exciting and extraordinarily close races.

Claasen yachts at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Claasen yachts at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

The fierceness of the competition makes it all the more admirable to report that Lionheart and Heartbeat yachts both came out top in their class. Lionheart won two of the four J-class races outright and shared the King’s 100 Guinea Cup with superyacht Hanuman on another. Luxury yacht Heartbeat won Class 3, coming first in two races and second in the other.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Sailing yacht Drumfire was third in Class 3 and Atalante yacht sixth, while Firefly came sixth in Class 1. With such small margins of victory, all our yachts can be delighted with their performance and we congratulate the owners, the crews and designer Andre Hoek!

Classen Shipyards has released a short video to capture a flavour of this successful four-day event in the stunning Palma yacht holiday location.

Always exceptional Giraglia Rolex Cup

June 23, 2014

This year’s 62nd edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup has recently come to its end. Bernard Vananty’s sailing yacht Tixwave from Switzerland has become the overall winner of the offshore race, while Igor Simcic’s superyacht Esimit Europa 2 took the line honours trophy as the fleet’s fastest boat.

Final prize giving of the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 at the new Yacht Club de Monaco clubhouse - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Final prize giving of the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 at the new Yacht Club de Monaco clubhouse - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup ended in true style, befitting “an old lady of yacht-racing” as Carlo Croce, President of ISAF and the Yacht Club Italiano described the Mediterranean’s top offshore race during his prize-giving remarks. Hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco on the upper level of its new clubhouse, the occasion was a mix of emotion, pride, celebration and humour as the winners were rewarded for their efforts.

206 yachts including 12 double-handers – a first for the event – took part in this classic contest that attracts crews from around the world. 189 finished this year’s race that began with light, troublesome winds, offered most competitors an unusually easy rounding of the Girgalia rock, and, for some of the smaller yachts, a welcome steady beat to the finish.

Overall winner, Bernard Vananty, took to the stage with his entire Tixwave crew to receive deserved plaudits for a job well done. Vananty was awarded the Rolex Trophy and a Rolex Timepiece.

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) sailing her last miles to Monaco - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) sailing her last miles to Monaco - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Vananty came second overall last year and was delighted to have gone one better this year. It had not been plain sailing though: “This year’s race was more complicated than last year given the wind conditions. We had to avoid losing contact with the bigger boats and constantly find ways to profit from the opportunities presented by the wind. We handled this quite well, especially during the night, when we managed to keep up with the bigger boats on the leg from the Giraglia rock to Monaco.”

Vananty felt things were going well, until the final moments: “We arrived in windy conditions, but 20 to 30 metres from the finish line there was hole and we were in trouble. We started to check the time, thinking that all our efforts had been ruined in these last metres… it took us 14 minutes to cross the finish line!” Their concerns were without foundation. Tixwave had sailed well enough to correct out 3 minutes 36 seconds ahead of their nearest rival, Thetis. Luca Locatelli and Thetis’ consolation was to win the Trofeo Challenge Marco Paleari for the Combined Classification of Sanremo to Saint-Tropez Race + Saint-Tropez Inshore Series + Offshore Race.

Igor Simcic, a member of the Yacht Club de Monaco and owner of Esimit Europa 2, won a Rolex Timepiece, the Rolex Trophy and the Trophy Rene Levainville for first place on elapsed time and the Beppe Croce Trophy for the first yacht to reach the Giraglia rock: “The race was perfect. In the beginning we had some light wind, which made it a little tricky in deciding which tactic to follow. Then it became much easier when the fresh breeze came in during the night and we were really fast. For me it was the best finish in my life. It was a unique idea to finish the race in Monte-Carlo.”

Bernard Vananty's Swan 42 TIXWAVE on her way to an overall win in the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Bernard Vananty's Swan 42 Yacht TIXWAVE on her way to an overall win in the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Line Honours: 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race
Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic, 
24 hours, 35 minutes, 56 seconds

Overall Results: 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race
1. Tixwave (GBR), Bernard Vananty
2. Thetis (ITA), Luca Locatelli
3. Magic Twelve (ITA), Francois Pailloux

Official opening of new Yacht Club de Monaco premises

June 23, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014, saw HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II inaugurate the Yacht Club de Monaco’s new premises, as well as showcase for the Principality’s ambitions in the yachting sector.

HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II inaugurating new Yacht Club de Monaco premises

HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II inaugurating new Yacht Club de Monaco premises - Image credit to Eric Mathon

HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, accompanied by the royal family and the building’s architect Lord Foster officially opened the new premises of the Yacht Club de Monaco of which he has been president for 30 years. It was a historic occasion for the 4,000 guests, which included all government ministers, the Minister of State Michel Roger, President of the National Council Laurent Nouvion, YCM members (1,300 society members, 66 nationalities), friends of the Club from around the world, and all those taking part in the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the first time in its history that this prestigious offshore race has finished in Monaco.

On Friday 20th June starting at 4.00pm, the official part of the proceedings started with the cutting of the ribbon and a blessing bestowed on the building by Monaco’s Archbishop Bernard Barsi, before the Prince toured the building. Shortly after 7.00pm, to symbolise the continuity between the two buildings, HSH Prince Albert II closed the old premises on Quai Antoine 1er by lowering the YCM flag.

New Yacht Club de Monaco Premises from above - Image credit to Carlo Borlenghi

New Yacht Club de Monaco Premises from above - Image credit to Carlo Borlenghi

Then accompanied by the Club’s General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri they brought the flag across the harbour in a “pointu” (traditional Mediterranean fishing boat) to Quai Louis II where the new building is moored. The Sovereign was welcomed on the quay by HSH Princess Charlene and nearly all members of his family, to the cheers of YCM members dressed in formal yachtsmen attire in a prolonged spontaneous ovation for their President.

YCM 2014 ©Guillaume Plisson

YCM 2014 ©Guillaume Plisson

Welcome aboard!

“The flag I have just raised today flies proudly on the mast at the top of our new premises. It marks an important phase in the life of our Club, for Port Hercule and for the Principality,” said the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as he officially opened the doors to the harbour’s new flagship, and home to the Yacht Club de Monaco and Société Nautique rowing club. He continued: “With this architectural masterpiece we wished to affirm Monaco’s yachting identity, our ambition being to continue to orient our country’s future prosperity towards the sea.”

The Monaco Government chose Lord Foster to design the YCM’s new flagship, as the renowned British architect is famous for his hi-tech approach to the environment. “When designing this building which is open to the sea, at the centre of the harbour and embracing the city, we wanted to preserve the traditional spirit so dear to the Principality,” said Lord Foster, adding that if this building was a real liner he would call her Free Spirit.

New Yacht Club de Monaco Premises by night @FranckTerlin

New Yacht Club de Monaco Premises by night @FranckTerlin

Sleek and elegant with an LOA (length overall) of 200m, the building blends harmoniously into the site, and was built in partnership with the Monaco architect Alexandre Giraldi, supervised by the Public Works Department. Designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and state of the art, it has been constructed to HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) standards. A stunning showcase, the building symbolises Monaco in the third millennium, looking ahead to the future and the sea.

Inauguration Ceremony YCM Lord Norman Foster

Inauguration Ceremony YCM - Lord Norman Foster - Image credit to Carlo Borlenghi

A new jewel in the crown of the yachting sector in Monaco

The Principality of Monaco now has a tool to develop and promote Monaco’s position as the World Capital of Yachting, with a series of initiatives that include establishing a Yachting Cluster (a focus for improving competitiveness), setting up a training centre issuing internationally recognised professional certificates, and increasing the number of regattas and nautical events.

The festivities continued throughout the weekend with the Giraglia Rolex Cup prize-giving, with Pierre Casiraghi in the team that took line honours on superyacht Esimit Europa 2 and an exclusive presentation of the 122’ motor yacht Mythos, the largest Riva ever built (37m). Symbolising the YCM’s attachment to its maritime heritage, the four surviving International 15M class yachts (Tuiga, Hispania, The Lady Anne and Mariska) were racing over the weekend, with victory going to Mariska (1908).

Next rendezvous: the Challenge Inter-banques – Trophée Eri (28-29 June 2014), followed by the first edition of the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup (10th to 12th July), a race meeting for around 30 solar-powered boats designed by young engineers from international universities. The Yacht Club de Monaco has embarked on a new chapter in its history. And it looks very promising.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014: Day 3

June 21, 2014

The penultimate day of the currently running Superyacht Cup in the fabulous Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma saw another exciting race, this time along the coastline. The sea breeze was much easier to read during the Mag5 Race on Friday than had been the case Thursday. As the upwinds fell much more in line with conventional logic, the key to success was the ability – and at times luck – to navigate a smooth passage through the crowded field. All the crews had to be super alert and the value of advance training was priceless.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

In the J-class race, yesterday saw only 38 seconds separate the first three Js across the line – sailing yacht Hanuman, charter yacht Ranger and Lionheart yacht. In the words of Kenny Read, Hanuman’s skipper-helm: “It does not get any better racing-wise than this. This is as good as it gets, high quality, high powered racing.” Claasen’s Lionheart is still in pole position in the overall J-class rankings with a one point lead over Hanuman.

Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Turning to the other Claasen yachts, superyacht Heartbeat and Drumfire yacht came second and third in their class respectively, although Firefly yacht and charter yacht Atalante had more of a torrid time. As we go into the fourth and last day of races, Heartbeat is second in Class 3 and fifth overall. If she is to repeat her feat last year of winning overall she must overtake luxury yacht Ganesha and superyacht Inoui (Class 1), charter yacht Maria Cattiva (Class 3) and current fleet leader Unfurled yacht (Class 2).  The St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort Race starts at 13.00.

A great success of Claasen yachts at currently running Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

June 20, 2014

Following two days of the Superyacht Cup 2014, running in the fascinating Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma in Spain, the owners, captains, crews, as well as designer of the five attending Claasen yachts, Andre Hoek, have much to be proud of. Wednesday, June 18, the opening day of this prominent gathering of sailing superyachts, saw an amazingly exciting race between the five J-class yachts that was neck and neck throughout. The Claasen-built sailing yacht Lionheart ultimately shared the King’s 100 Guinea Cup with luxury yacht Hanuman, after finishing tied on corrected time.

Claasen yachts at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Claasen yachts at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Yesterday also saw another thrilling race between the Js, and Lionheart came out clear winner in the second windward-leeward race of the series. Lionheart took the lead on the second beat and extended progressively to win by 65 seconds ahead of superyacht Rainbow after three laps of racing.

Meanwhile, yesterday also saw the 21 other yachts make their debut in Palma in the Pantaenius Race. Facing progressive changes in pressure and wind direction, it was the teams which had the best handle on the big picture and could second guess the changes which rose to the top of the three classes.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Stuart Pearce

And it turned out to be a very satisfactory day indeed for the four Claasen boats in the fleet. Luxury yacht Heartbeat was the winner of Class 3, coming in four minutes ahead of her nearest rival. Drumfire yacht came third and charter yacht Atalante fourth. Meanwhile, superyacht Firefly came third in Class 1, with Ganesha yacht coming first thanks partly to the local knowledge of navigator Nacho Postigo.

Fourth Line Honours victory for sailing yacht Esimit Europa 2 at Giraglia Rolex Cup

June 20, 2014

This year’s Giraglia Rolex Cup saw the impressive 100-foot maxi sailing yacht Esimit Europa 2 cross the finish line off Monte-Carlo at 12:35 CEST. Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 has thus secured her fourth Line Honours victory in the offshore race of this popular regatta.

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) arriving at the finish off Monte-Carlo to secure her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) arriving at the finish off Monte-Carlo to secure her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Her elapsed time of 24 hours, 35 minutes, 56 seconds was well outside her record (14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds) for the 62nd edition of 241-nm race, which she set in 2012 when the race finished in Sanremo. The predicted tricky wind conditions of the past 24 hours put paid to any hope of bettering her benchmark time.

The arrival was a special moment. The Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) is the home-club for the Slovenian yacht and owner, Igor Simcic, and the race crew featured Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco and a member of the YCM Management Committee.

Luxury sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) sailing her last miles to Monaco - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Luxury sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) sailing her last miles to Monaco - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Quotes
Jochen Schumann, Skipper, Esimit Europa 2
“It was perfect to win line honours in this special edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup finishing in Monaco. We were lucky to finish much earlier than expected. Aside from a critical point off Saint-Tropez where the wind was very light and Robertissima was really close we got our strategy just right.

“It was better than expected because we never stopped 100%. We always had breeze even if it was down to 2/3 knots at times. Usually in this race it shuts down and gets very glassy off the tip of Corsica, but on this occasion we had 13 knots of wind and sailed around with 14/15 knots of boat speed.”

Igor Simcic, Owner, Esimit Europa 2
“The race was perfect. In the beginning we had some light wind, which made it a little tricky in deciding which tactic to follow. We made a compromise in the beginning to cover the competition. Then it became much easier when the fresh breeze came in the night when we were really fast. Even here at the end when we were expecting it to be really tough there was enough.”

“For me it was the best finish in my life. It was a unique idea to finish the race in Monte-Carlo. We were prepared to win. With Jochen everything is clear. We have to choose the best members for the crew, not just as sailors but also as a person because we are a big family and are happy when we are sailing together.”

18:00 CEST Update
Six yachts have currently finished the race, with sailing yacht Robertissima III second boat home. Today will see a flood of yachts arriving and the docks in front of the new Yacht Club de Monaco clubhouse filled will crews enthusiastically joining the festivities and ceremony surrounding the inauguration of the building by HSH Prince Albert II, President of the YCM, today afternoon and evening.

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup race started on June 18 at 12:00 CEST. The final prize giving will take place on Saturday, 21 June at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Rolex has been a partner of the event since 1997.