Yacht Industry News Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Azimut|Benetti Group to showcase 16 luxury yachts at 2015 Miami Boat Show

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

Following the recent success of the latest European boat shows, the Azimut|Benetti Group is planning to participate in the 2015 Miami Boat Show, running in the glamorous Florida yacht charter location – Miami from February 12 to 16. During the event, the Group will showcase an amazing fleet of 16 yachts.

radition Supreme 108 super yacht MY PARADIS to be displayed at the 2015 Miami Boat Show

radition Supreme 108 super yacht MY PARADIS to be displayed at the 2015 Miami Boat Show

This will include the two new models Azimut 50 Fly, recently awarded the prominent title of “European Powerboat of the Year 2015″, as well as Azimut 55S White, a special edition of the model from the sportiest collection, produced especially for the American market.

Once again, Azimut|Benetti takes the US by storm with two new exclusive models, underscoring the commitment and attention paid to this important market. The Group’s network of dealers in the Americas is becoming increasingly solid and widespread, and has recently been enhanced with the opening of Azimut Yacht Mexico.

In terms of new models, the Azimut 50 Fly will be making his first entrée into the U.S. market. Having just debuted at the autumn shows, it has already earned the title of European Powerboat of the Year 2015, the prestigious and much-coveted award given at the recently concluded Boat Show in Düsseldorf. The unmistakable ‘family feel’ of the Flybridge collection reveals concepts and contents that have already determined the success of its older brother, superyacht Azimut 80, yet this time masterfully enclosed in just 16 meters.

Visitors and fans of the Italian brand will also be able to enjoy a new version of the Azimut 55SS. This model from the Group’s sportiest, hi-tech collection dons a total white look in the version aimed exclusively at the American market – a special tribute dedicated by the Italian brand to some of its most loyal admirers: the Americans. With the Azimut 55S White, the Italian company celebrates its consolidated bond and relationship with this continent. On board, plenty of interesting features are sure to capture the public’s attention.

Smaller vessels are also represented with the Azimut Atlantis 34 and 38 on show at the Convention Center.

With this substantial and well-displayed fleet, the Azimut|Benetti Group sets out to reiterate its confidence and satisfaction in this strategic market, as confirmed by the sales figures: while in late October 2014, the sale of 102 Azimut Yachts units was registered in the US and South America (excluding Brazil), in early February 2015, just one month into the new year, as many as 89 yachts have already been purchased in the same territory.

This is clearly an extremely important and fast-growing market, which is why, in September 2014, Azimut Yachts signed a new dealership agreement to open a showroom in Mexico, thus bringing the number of stores in the Americas to over 40.

The Mexican market is proving to be highly promising for the Group: in just a few months, four vessels have already been sold, including one of the newer models, the Azimut Grande 112.

Azimut Yachts Mexico avails of an extensive sales and service network, with offices in Mexico City, Cancun, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. This comes on top of a successful network of dealers already active in Canada, Alaska, Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile.

The vessel selected to convey the elegance and style of Benetti is the 33-meter Benetti Tradition Supreme 108’ motor yacht My Paradis, which had its world premiere at the Cannes Boat Show in September.

Benetti Yachts at MIBS 2015

BENETTI TRADITION SUPREME 108’

Azimut Yachts at MIBS 2015

AZIMUT ATLANTIS

AZIMUT ATLANTIS 34 – displayed at the Convention Center

AZIMUT ATLANTIS 38 – displayed at the Convention Center

AZIMUT ATLANTIS 50

AZIMUT MAGELLANO

AZIMUT MAGELLANO 43

AZIMUT MAGELLANO 53

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE

AZIMUT FLIBRIDGE 50 – USA PREMIERE

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 45

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 54

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 60

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 64

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 70

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 80 DA CONFERMARE

AZIMUT FLYBRIDGE 84

AZIMUT S

AZIMUT 55 S – WHITE EDITION – (special edition for USA)

US Broadcast Rights for 35th America’s Cup acquired by NBC

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

The America’s Cup has chosen NBC Sports Group as its partner for the forthcoming edition of the America’s Cup. This includes the America’s Cup World Series events (2015-16), as well as the America’s Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs and America’s Cup Finals (2017). Competition in the next America’s Cup will kick off in June 2015, with the first event of the America’s Cup World Series to be hosted by the lovely Cagliari yacht charter destination, nestled in Italy‘s Sardinia, from on June 6 and 7.

© ACEA / americascup.com

34th America's Cup - San Diego America's Cup World Series - ACTV © ACEA / americascup.com

“We are delighted to announce this agreement with NBC Sports Group,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “This is a great deal for the America’s Cup, our teams and our partners. NBC Sports Group’s continued interest reflects the growing popularity, as well as potential additional growth, of the America’s Cup as a major television sport.”

NBC and NBCSN were the US television home for the last America’s Cup, in which ORACLE TEAM USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sport to retain the trophy for the United States. The television coverage was widely acclaimed and saw the development of the Emmy Award-winning on screen graphics package, AC LiveLine, which enhanced the viewing experience by making the sport more engaging and more easily understood, especially for new fans.

“We are excited to once again showcase the best sailing in the world to a national audience,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC and NBCSN. “The 2013 America’s Cup served as the setting for one of the greatest comebacks in recent sports history, and we will again leverage the full collection of broadcast, cable and online platforms of the NBC Sports Group to present the race for the oldest trophy in international sports.”

Highlights of the agreement between NBC Sports Group and the America’s Cup include:

* Live coverage on NBC on both weekends of the America’s Cup Finals 2017

* Extensive live coverage of the America’s Cup Playoffs (and additional America’s Cup Finals racing) on NBC and NBCSN

* Coverage of all America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 and 2016 on NBCSN

* Live-streaming of all NBC and NBCSN telecasts on NBC Sports Live Extra

“It’s encouraging to have a partner like NBC who is highly motivated to return and help build and promote the event and increase the profile of our athletes and our teams. I have no doubt that over the next three years we will touch more viewers, in more ways, through the reach of NBC Sports Group’s platforms,” Schiller concluded.

BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival 2015, March 30 – April 5

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival provides a unique Caribbean regatta experience. Hosted by Nanny Cay Marina, a beautiful British Virgin Islands yacht charter destination, the racing is suited to a huge variety of one-design as well as keel boats. The Sailing Festival has two fabulous coastal courses and the BVI Spring Regatta boasts three race areas in a natural archipelago of over 50 tropical islands.

Smile and Wave enjoy Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival: © Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta

Smile and Wave enjoy Warm Water, Hot Racing, Cool Parties at the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival © Todd vanSickle/BVI Spring Regatta

Entries for this year’s BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival already include yachts flying the flags of seven different countries from Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Racing classes include Bareboat, Jib & Main, One-design, Racing and Performance Cruising.

The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival has something for everyone, whether they come to race, cruise or just party! The weeklong BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival sails throughout the beautiful British Virgin Islands.

“The BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival realised the importance of having different courses for different kinds of boats and with phenomenal sailing grounds and high quality race management, that makes this a great event,” commented Jaime Torres, skipper of Smile and Wave. “The sweetness of the regatta is that everything you need is right there in Nanny Cay; the parties are right in the marina and so are all the facilities that you need. On top of that, the regatta team are well known for their fantastic hospitality, the regatta is their big event of the year and they personally take care of everybody. Even the new people that come in are greeted by their names – it is like an exotic home town regatta.”

BVI Sailing Festival:  30 March – 2 April

The BVI Sailing Festival kicks off on Monday 30 March with a three-day programme of parties and coastal racing. Monday, 30 March, is registration and a welcome party at Nanny Cay Marina. It is a great time to meet up with the regatta crowd and features a Beach BBQ and DJ. Racing the Sailing Festival kicks off on Tuesday 31 March with The Round Tortola Race and racing concludes on Wednesday, April 1 with a race from Nanny Cay to Jost Van Dyke, one of the most beautiful settings anywhere in the Caribbean. Thursday, 2 April is Maritime Heritage Day, with all manner of activities at Nanny Cay Marina for all the family, including the Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge with beautiful 100-year-old sloops racing in their Caribbean style. The party goes on well into the evening with live music and the Mount Gay Rum Welcome Party for the BVI Spring Regatta.

BVI Spring Regatta: 3 April – 5 April

The BVI Spring Regatta follows the festival with three days of highly competitive racing in three different race areas in and around the Sir Francis Drake Channel. With a myriad of different courses, using fixed marks and the islands as natural way points, the racing is as good as it gets in the Caribbean.

“The BVI Spring Regatta is really spoilt for choices when it comes to course design,” commented Bob Phillips, Chairman of the BVI Spring Regatta. “We can provide short, sharp windward leeward for one-design and race tracks for performance cruisers and production yachts. The BVI Spring Regatta really can provide racing that suits just about anybody, all in an outstanding location.”

Kids to experience freedom of sailing at 2015 Gold Coast International Marine Expo

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

Kids will have a unique opportunity to stretch their sea legs and experience the freedom of sailing at this year’s Gold Coast International Marine Expo. Free lessons will be on offer, as part of the event’s commitment to introducing families to the joys of boating.

Free kids sailing lessons will be on offer as part of the Expo's commitment to introducing families to the joys of boating in 2015

Free kids sailing lessons will be on offer as part of the Expo's commitment to introducing families to the joys of boating in 2015

The lessons will be conducted under the expert tuition of the Southport Yacht Club in the Expo’s ‘on-water interactive zone’ – a fun new area specifically set aside for people to experience a vast array of water-based activities.

Expo Event & Marketing Manager Emma Milne said sailing is a great way to encourage an appreciation of nature, and to also instill a sense of confidence in people of all ages.

“Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself,” said Ms Milne. “Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford.

Southport Yacht Club conducts regular school holiday camps and weekend training for budding sailors

Southport Yacht Club conducts regular school holiday camps and weekend training for budding sailors

“It’s often said that harnessing nature to move across the water is more than just a sport – it’s a lifestyle.”

Absolutely no experience is necessary to get to know the ropes through the free Funsail lessons at the 2015 Expo – the boats used are x3 dinghies with 2-4 children per boat, depending on conditions and each individual’s skills.

Bookings will be taken on a first-in, first aboard basis at the ‘on-water interactive zone’ at the Expo and all participants will receive a free Funsail pass to continue their lessons with the Southport Yacht Club at either Main Beach or Hollywell on weekends.

The Southport Yacht Club (SYC) is widely acclaimed for its sailing programs and school holiday camps, with almost 1000 people enrolled across its regular activities including many national and world champions.

These champions include three-time Mathew Belcher, who started sailing with SYC at the age of 6 and is an Olympic Gold Medallist in the 460 Class. Mathew has also won many awards for his dedication to the sport including World Sailor of the Year and Queensland Sport Star of the Year awards.

Fellow Gold Coasters Joel Turner and Lewis Brake – competing in the 49er Class – recently secured first place in the Australian Championships in Jervoise Bay, Western Australia, while junior sailors Angus Sherring and Jackson Foort recently won the Sabot 2-Up at the National Sabot Championships in Townsville.

Not to be outdone, Kyle O’Connell and Tom Siganto competed against 30 of Australia’s finest youth sailors to win first place in the 29er division, placing above the reigning Junior World Champions from Sydney.

And while the long list goes on – it also includes Brian Sherring who placed second in the World Championships for the Scow Moth division at the 2015 International Moth Australian and World titles in Sorrento, Victoria.

Ms Milne said these strong results on the world and national stage were an indication of the high level of tuition available at Southport Yacht Club, and of the commitment of its members to the sport of sailing.

“Expo is very proud to partner with SYC in this new initiative for 2015,” she said. “Creating the opportunity for children to get on the water and experience boating is at the core of Expo’s philosophy.

“We are also very excited that we are able to assist in promoting the sport of sailing and, hopefully, several national and world champions of the future will get their first taste of the excitement of sailing at the 2015 Expo.”

Ms Milne said the Expo 2015 – spread over three marinas and five event sites at Coomera – will showcase many world and Australian premieres from the industry’s leading brands and feature everything from superyachts to jet skis, kayaks to fishing equipment … and everything in between.

“The Expo has a firm heritage of being family-friendly and will offer interactive entertainment and live demonstrations every 15 minutes across our expanded event site, which includes a 3km-long display circuit,” she said. “We will also be offering factory tours of the biggest luxury yacht and aluminium boat-building facilities in the Southern Hemisphere, namely Telwater’s massive Quintrex facility and Riviera’s yacht-building facility.

“We have many more exciting announcements scheduled for the next 16 weeks in the countdown to the 2015 Expo – new attractions, new initiatives and new product and boat launches – in fact there’s so much to see and do people will need more than a full day to enjoy everything on offer.

“If you love boating, the Gold Coast is the place to be from 21-24 May 2015.”

Marine15 to be 15% bigger than its predecessor

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

The marine15 International Conference and Trade Exhibition is well ahead of its predecessor, marine13, on all the key performance measures. The event was last hosted by the popular Australia yacht charter destination – Sydney in 2013.

RACV Royal Pines Resort

RACV Royal Pines Resort

According to the marine15 Vice Chairman Darren Vaux, 2015 is tracking to be at least 15% bigger than its predecessor. “Sponsorship has already exceeded budget by 15% and we still have good prospects from a number of businesses from across Australia. The strong support from leading government agencies and corporate sponsors demonstrates the commitment to the future success of the industry and support for the boating community,” he said.

Exhibition sales for marineX@marine15 are 20% up three months out from the event when compared to marine13. Marine15 Committee member Colin Bransgrove, from the Marina Industries Association, said marina suppliers have a good history of participating in business to business events. “For marine15 we are growing the understanding of the benefits of exhibiting at a business to business event across the broader recreational boating industry. In light of the very positive feedback from marine13 we are seeing more businesses coming on board. Outdoor large-format exhibits will be a new feature with the site well suited to such displays,” he said.

According to Boating Industries Alliance Australia General Manager Nik Parker the conference content is even more compelling than that of the previous event. “There will be 52 conference presentations across three streams; one pre and three follow-on forums; two additional workshops plus two technical tours and a vibrant social program including golf. The Committee is very confident participants will be extremely satisfied with their investment,” he said.

Delegate registrations two weeks out from the close of the early-bird rate are also up when compared to the previous event. The Organising Committee is expecting a record 500 delegates to register for the event which is being held 3 – 5 May on the Gold Coast.

IBEX to celebrate 25th Anniversary in September

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

This year’s 25th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will be hosted by the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville from Tuesday, September 15 to Thursday, September 17, 2015. Nearly 90% of exhibit space on the show floor has been already sold out. Celebrating over two decades of marine innovation, technology as well as excellence, IBEX – the largest trade event for boat building, design and maintenance – will offer valuable networking events and educational opportunities.

logo

“We are looking forward to celebrating our 25th IBEX Show this year in Louisville and bringing the marine industry together for this milestone event,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “IBEX  2015 is already shaping up to be the best event ever with the addition of several new show experiences focusing on trends, materials, and technology.   As our industry continues to rebound, we look forward to sharing the future of marine technology and innovation with our attendees in Louisville in September.”

Exhibitors will have the unique opportunity to promote new products and technology, increase sales, network with peers, conduct strategic negotiations, and monitor cutting-edge trends at the 2015 IBEX show. In addition to securing booth space there are also several networking and sponsorship opportunities available for exhibitors, including the Opening Night 25th Celebration, the Bourbon & Brew Happy Hour, and the Composite Cocktail Competition.  Each of these events will provide attendees and exhibitors a chance to network with industry professionals from all over the world, discuss upcoming trends, and form lasting relationships.

ICOMIA Marinas Group meeting to be hosted by Puerto Calero

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

Puerto Calero in Lanzarote, a beautiful Spain yacht holiday destination, will be the host venue for the ICOMIA Marinas Group (IMG) meeting, set to take place from May 8 to 10, 2015. During the three day visit, IMG members will meet with local operators from the Canary Islands to learn more about the region’s boating activity and share new theories of best practice.

Puerto Calero - a fantastic Spain yacht rental destination

Puerto Calero - a fantastic Spain yacht rental destination

Dr. Roberto Perocchio, president of the group, described their reasons for choosing to Lanzarote for their international meeting: “IMG has recognised the strategic role played by the Canary Islands as an emerging international hub for year-round boating activities. Calero Marinas’ facilities in Lanzarote with Puerto Calero and the latest development in the island’s capital, follow a global trend that sees modern private marina chains expand their capacity and their appeal for customers who are looking for standardised, quality services with good flight connections.

Lanzarote will be an ideal location to get together with local marina operators and analyse the growth of yachting in the Canary Islands. The IMG group represents today 40 countries from all over the world and these discussions will provide content and inspiration for the upcoming 2016 World Marina Conference and our work managing the many global issues of the international marina branch.”

IMG member Jean-Michel Gaigné (CMM) described his pleasure at the prospect of revisiting Puerto Calero: “I first came to Lanzarote in 1999 on a research trip for the Mini Transat. I met the charismatic D. Jose Calero and believe that his willingness to host the race set this remarkable venue on the path towards their reputation today for world class sailing events. Through TransEurope Marinas we have had the pleasure of continuing to work with the Calero team and I am now really excited about returning with my colleagues to explore the new Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife.”

D. Jose Calero, president of Calero Marinas was enthusiastic about the decision. We are delighted to be hosting the IMG members in Lanzarote, where some of the industry’s most experienced figures will share their expertise with our colleagues here in the Canaries. We are all looking forward to what promises to be a very constructive meeting.”

Williams Performance Tenders to participate in the inaugural London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

The world-renowned jet tender specialist, Williams Performance Tenders, is delighted to announce their participation in the inaugural London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show. The event is scheduled to take place from Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th April at Old Billingsgate Market.

Williams Performance Tenders to participate in the inaugural London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

Williams Performance Tenders to participate in the inaugural London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

The new show hopes to establish London as a key superyacht sales destination, pointing out that the city is “home to more billionaires and millionaires than any other city in the world.” It promises an emphasis on superyachts and “luxury without limits” and will feature showcases from some of the world’s top designer brands, an in-water show at St Katharine Docks, and an exclusive VIP lounge.

Williams will have a selection of models from its stunning current range on display, as well as full details of every model in its 10-strong range of Turbojets, Dieseljets and Sportjets.

Mathew Hornsby, Sales Director at Williams Performance Tenders, commented: “We are really looking forward to what the show will bring and introducing even more customers to the world of Williams. We will have a selection of models at the event, as well as full details of our brand-new Sportjet range, which has been a huge hit with boaters already this year.”

Founded by brothers Mathew and John Hornsby in 2004, Williams has established itself as the world’s leading jet tender specialist, renowned for its range of Turbojet, Dieseljet and Sportjet models. The company now employs 50 staff at its Oxfordshire base and is supported by a global team of factory trained engineers.

Dramatic finale to 4th Superyacht Challenge Antigua

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

Lighter shifty conditions provided for a dramatic finale to the 4th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, which was hosted by the fabulous Antigua yacht charter destination, nestled in the Caribbean, from January 19 to February 1, 2015. The overall winner was decided on the last leg of the final race and by just two seconds.

Superyacht Challenge Antigua - Photo credit to Cory Silken

Superyacht Challenge Antigua - Photo credit to Cory Silken

Superyacht Unfurled nailed the pin end of the line with just a second to spare, the German Frers 112′ sloop was at full pace and the crew knew they had a chance of overall victory. Before the final six mile beat, Unfurled was up to fourth in pursuit of the leaders and played the current in Rendezvous Bay to great effect to stay in touch with the bigger, more powerful yachts and take the lead. A smart, tack bare away set, at Nelsons and Unfurled extended the lead and managed to hold off the chasing pack. Unfurled took the gun and then had to wait for the time correction to be factored in, the result was astonishing. The Superyacht Challenge Antigua delivered one of the closest finishes in the history of superyacht racing.

126′ Schooner, sailing yacht Gloria finished the regatta in style scoring their second bullet to elevate the team into third overall, but only just, Gloria was tied on points with 180′ Hoek designed ketch, superyacht Marie. Gloria took the podium place ahead of Marie by virtue of two first places in the regatta.

182′ Dykstra Schooner, luxury yacht Adela was runner up to Gloria in Race 4, assuring the the Adela team of second place overall, just a point ahead of both Marie and Gloria. In the last race, Adela beat Unfurled by just 2 seconds after time correction. Significantly if Unfurled had beaten Adela, the 112′ sloop would have tied for an overall victory for the regatta. However, the overall winner of the 4th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua was the 102′ Ketch, sailing yacht Marama by a single point from Unfurled.

The Superyacht Challenge Antigua Prize Giving was held at the Copper and Lumber Store in Nelson’s Dockyard and true to the event’s traditions there was not much pomp or ceremony, just several hundred good natured, lovers of yachting, getting together for a big laugh and congratulating each winner as they went up to the stage.

Sailing yacht COMANCHE and RAMBLER 88 Yacht to compete in Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015

February 11, 2015

Written by zuzana

Set to run in the fantastic St. Barth yacht charter location from April 13 to 18, this year’s 6th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth will host sailing yacht Comanche and Rambler 88 yacht. When it comes to the popular Caribbean regatta headlines, nothing beats having superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88, the yachting world’s two newest and most sophisticated racing machines, compete head-to-head for the first time ever.

Superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88 to compete in the 2015 Les Voiles de St. Barth

Superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88 to compete in the 2015 Les Voiles de St. Barth

Super yacht Comanche, designed by the French team of VPLP Design/Guillame Verdier, and Rambler 88 superyacht, designed by Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian, were launched in late 2014 at Hodgdon Yachts and New England Boatworks, respectively. Both yachts sport state-of-the-art carbon fiber hulls and rigs, but each has special features that, although tested on previous boats, have been combined with other innovations on these yachts for the first time. For instance, Comanche’s monolithic (as opposed to sandwiched honeycomb) construction in its forward hull sections certainly qualifies as “beyond normal,” but to keep up, Rambler 88’s rudders seem to have been nibbled on by sharks around their leading edges.

“When it comes right down to it,” says Comanche yacht’s helmsman Ken Read, “the general concepts of the two yachts are very similar; they are big wide boats that rely on canting keels and width for their stability. The biggest difference is sheer size. Comanche is a big 100 footer, while Rambler looks to be a much more manageable-sized 88 footer. But don’t let the size fool you. Being manageable is all relative, and each will be a handful when the breeze kicks in. Both boats have their versions of ‘unusual,’ but whether it’s the size and shape of Comanche or the sabre tooth rudders on Rambler 88, the underlying part of the story is that these boats were born to go fast, and their owners are both huge promoters of innovation.”

Rambler 88 yacht’s owner George David has made headlines before (at Les Voiles and regattas elsewhere around the world) with his previous Ramblers, a 100 footer and a 90 footer, and it was his love of the latter boat that convinced him to settle on a smaller rather than a larger design this time around. The strategy served him well when he finished second in his shakedown competition: January’s Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. In December, Comanche, which launched only a month earlier than Rambler 88, completed the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, finishing second to line honors winner Wild Oats and giving a sneak peek, like Rambler 88 did, of her possibilities once she has her legs fully under her.

“There were some conditions where Wild Oats and Comanche, two boats that look nothing alike, were actually remarkably close in speed,” said Read, adding that he expects the same can happen between Rambler 88 and Comanche. “It’s horses for courses; each boat will have its condition one time or another and succeed in it. But the bottom line is wide boats like breeze, which Les Voiles has, so you’re going to see two really cool boats blazing around the island of St. Barth.”

Read reiterated that both boats were designed to let loose in the middle of the ocean, so why around-the-buoys racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth? “For the pure fun of it,” he said. “Comanche’s owners (Jim Clark and Kristy Hinz-Clark) did a lot of sailing on the boat in Sydney and just had a blast. They couldn’t think of a place that was more fun to sail than St. Barth. They’ll bring three, four, maybe five friends on board racing each day, and we’ll most likely put a couple of them on the handles and get them into the action.”