Yachting Associations Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014: Day 4

October 22, 2014

Following three complete days at sea only three yachts participating in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen, coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet at the Egadi Islands. This turning point of the racecourse could mark the turning point of the race.

Light conditions as the fleet progresses slowly to the north of Sicily - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Light conditions as the fleet progresses slowly to the north of Sicily - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


Nikklas Zennström’s sailing yacht Rán made the best of the third night at sea. The Swedish Maxi 72 closed the gap with superyacht Esimit Europa 2 to a mere 5 nautical miles at Pantelleria, where the Slovenian maxi was parked in a wind hole. At noon yesterday, some 72 hours after the race start, 137 nautical miles separated Esimit Europa 2 from the finish line. Rán is only 8.5 nautical miles behind.


The majority of the fleet continues to negotiate the leg between Stromboli and the Egadi Islands. This group comprises over 100 boats and is condensed into just 60 nautical miles. There are two sub-groups: those sailing close to the Sicilian shore and those searching for wind further north.

Light conditions as the fleet round Strombolicchio, northeast of Stromboli - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Light conditions as the fleet round Strombolicchio, northeast of Stromboli - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


George Sakellari’s sailing yacht Shockwave is positioned between the frontrunners and the bulk of the fleet astern. The American Maxi 72 passed Pantelleria at around midday, some 45 nautical miles behind Rán and 110 nm ahead of the Italian yachts Cantankerous and Mascalzone Latino, the two boats conducting a close duel at the front of the chasing group.


The wind was forecast to start filling in on the western side of the racecourse later yesterday afternoon. This new scenario awaits the yachts approaching the Egadi Islands, and the crews will be preparing for a wild ride south to Lampedusa and to the finish line in Malta.

Niklas Zennström's RÁN (SWE) rounding Stromboli - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Niklas Zennström's RÁN (SWE) rounding Stromboli - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


The first boats were expected to arrive back in Malta sometime yesterday night. “We expect to arrive between 10pm and midnight,” reports from Esimit Europa 2 skipper Jochen Schümann. The finish line is set at the entrance of Valletta’s Marsamxett Harbour. These yachts will set the benchmark corrected time for rest of the fleet. If the weather stays true to the forecast, hopes of glory will already be filtering through the minds of those competing on the smaller yachts.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

YachtInfo FLIBS 2014 Schedule and Overview announced by ISS

October 22, 2014

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) is delighted to announce that its educational program, YachtInfo, will take place during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) on two consecutive days, in order to meet the needs of a busy professional constituency. FLIBS YachtInfo represents the first of this season’s global series, which now comprise the Antibes Yacht Show as well as the Singapore Yacht Show. YachtInfo is a long running collaborative project, involving ISS, leading superyacht brands and associations. It is designed to unearth and share knowledge from within the superyacht industry on current topics of interest.


Friday, October 31, 2014 from 14:00 – 18:00 State Room D in the Bahia Mar

Chaired by Dieter Jaenicke (Viking Recruitment) and Roger Horner (E3 Systems) with Additional Panelists

Business Outlook: Are we managing to build, maintain or reach our capacity—as a network of shipyards for both new build and repair, we have a finite number of build and repair slots. As the fleet grows, are we investing to support the bigger fleet, or are many shipyards in survival mode, downsizing, collapsing, diversifying and, therefore, will we see a shrinking of capacity, especially in the USA?

World’s Got Talent Part II: Taking it to the streets following from the Panel Presentation at the ISS Members’ Breakfast earlier in the week, this session will explore what outreach activities have worked in different parts of the world, and how we may assemble a toolkit that will enable this industry to engage with educators to find our workforce for the future.

Flat Panel Satellite Arrays: Great for designers, but what is the operational impact?

Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 10:00 – 14:00 State Room D in the Bahia Mar

Chaired by Ed Roberts (Hodgdon Yachts) and Ian Bone (Yacht Captains Association) with Additional Panelists

2-Step Career Path—Working on a Superyacht and then Working Ashore: How easy is it to make the transition from Department Head or Captain of a vessel to working within the many companies ashore that support the global superyacht fleet? How should we continue to develop the necessary skills to develop as professionals?

Tenders and On-Board Operations: With 10 deaths on superyachts this year and several serious injuries, what’s going wrong? Where does good design interface with the regulations which are meant to increase safety for crew and guests?

Dubai Maritime Summit 2014 to start next week

October 22, 2014

Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority responsible for regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of Dubai’s maritime sector, has confirmed its preparedness for Dubai Maritime Summit 2014. The summit represents the first-ever maritime event that aims towards strengthening Dubai’s efforts to become a first-class international maritime hub, with particular focus on the latest worldwide industry developments.

MW logo new final - rasterized

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, Dubai Maritime Summit 2014 will take place on October 27, 2014 at The Address Dubai Marina. It will mark the beginning of Dubai Maritime Week, organized by DMCA biennially in line with their commitment to position the emirate to the ranks of the world’s most prominent leading maritime centres.

The first edition of Dubai Maritime Summit is set to attract wide participation from senior government officials, along with the most prominent regional and international experts and decision-makers, ship owners and operators, and officials from public and private companies operating in the maritime sector in Dubai, the region and the world. The participants will come together to discuss the most prominent issues and the latest developments of local and international maritime sector.

Hosted by Zainab Badawi, International Presenter at BBC, Dubai Maritime Summit boasts of a list of official speakers, including H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the National Transport Authority (NTA); H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of DMCA; Jo Espinoza-Ferrey, Director of International Maritime Organization (IMO); Philipe Donche-Gay, Chairman of International Association of Classifications Societies (IACS); Dr Phillip Belcher, Marine Director of INTERTANKO; and Doug Barrow, Chief Executive of Maritime London.

The latest developments in the global maritime arena will be the agenda of Dubai Maritime Summit 2014, along with other issues affecting the development of the global maritime sector. The key focus, however, will be on international maritime clustering and the pioneering experience of Dubai in the transformation to a leading global maritime hub. It is an integrated strategy based on upgrading the components of the maritime sector, modernizing of infrastructure, operations and logistics, and diversifying of investment opportunities that will enhance the competitive advantages at both regional and international levels.

Amer Ali, Executive Director of DMCA explained that organizing Dubai Maritime Summit is in line with the Authority’s continuous commitment to create a safe and sustainable maritime sector in Dubai. He pointed out that the event organised at such a high-level of excellence confirms the emirate’s leadership in hosting the most important global conferences and events in the maritime sector.

“The participation of speakers and leaders representing the local, regional and international maritime industry confirms the success of Dubai Maritime Summit in the creation of effective channels for exchange of experiences and best practices that will improve the global maritime sector and enhance its contribution to a major tributary of the global economy. We are looking forward optimistically to the  Summit which will prove in its inaugural session that it is a mainstay for strengthening the competitive advantages of Dubai as one of the most prominent maritime centres and logistics leader in the region and the world,” Ali added.

The Dubai Maritime Week 2014 will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. The agenda of the event will include along with Dubai Maritime Summit, a series of interactive events such as conferences, meetings, workshops, talk shows and awards ceremony, among others.

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014: Day 3

October 21, 2014

Following a long and frustrating second night at sea, the Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet continues to make slow progressing on a mirror-like sea. Despite the very light winds, by 13.00hrs on Day 3, all but four yachts had rounded Stromboli and the front-runners are heading to Palermo at the northwest tip of Sicily.

HIGH SPIRIT (RUS) and EALA OF RHU (GBR) searching for wind as they approach Stromboli

HIGH SPIRIT (RUS) and EALA OF RHU (GBR) searching for wind as they approach Stromboli - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


50 hours after the Saluting Battery cannons marked the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 100 nautical miles separate the two extremities of the fleet. The Maltese yacht Salana is the last competitor on the course and is approaching Stromboli.


In 2007 George Davis’ superyacht Rambler finished just before midday on the third day to set a new course record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 03 seconds, at an average speed of 12.65 knots. This year’s leading yacht, the Slovenian maxi Esimit Europa 2, is currently averaging only 5 knots and is about halfway home.

Igor Simcic's ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) won Line Honours in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Igor Simcic's ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) won Line Honours in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


Sailing yacht Rán 2 and luxury yacht Shockwave continue to chase superyacht Esimit Europa 2. At 11.00 this morning Niklas Zennström’s Maxi 72 was just 14 nautical miles behind Igor Simcic’s maxi and four nautical miles ahead Georges Sakellari’s Maxi 72 Shockwave.


The last boat exited the Strait of Messina at 04.00hrs last night, while the bulk of the fleet was rounding Stromboli. Some of the yachts have headed north of the rhumb (most direct course) in the search of more breeze. The Race Tracker shows those boats still near the volcanic island to be at a standstill.

Gerge Sakellaris' Maxi 72 SHOCKWAVE (USA) is one of the fastest boats in the fleet

Gerge Sakellaris' Maxi 72 SHOCKWAVE (USA) is one of the fastest boats in the fleet - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


Concentration, focussed trimming, correct sail selection, precise helming and minimizing unnecessary movements are key to getting the best out of really light conditions. With the hours of darkness exceeding daylight at this time of the year, this difficult equation has an added challenge.


Day 4 should bring a dramatic change in fortune. According to Principal Race Officer Peter Dimech: “A northwesterly wind will fill in late on Tuesday. The big boats will be flying, and should start arriving on Wednesday morning, Thursday and Friday for the rest of the fleet.”

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

A very successful 2nd ‘Captain’s Day’ organized by ItalianYachtMasters

October 20, 2014

The Yacht Club Marina di Loano, a lovely Italy yacht charter destination, hosted the second ‘Captain’s Day’ on Monday, October 13, 2014. The event was organised by the ITALIANYACHMASTERS, the association of Italian Superyacht Captains, promoting the Italian sailing excellence in the world.



Over 50 Captains participated in the event, in addition to numerous specialised workers from the nautical sector, journalists and the event’s sponsors, with the total number of participants exceeding 130. The day was managed and coordinated by Captain Dario Savino.

Following the opening speeches by Giorgio Benussi, General Director of the YCML, and Marco Cornacchia, Marina di Loano Harbourmaster, Captain Gino Battaglia took the floor, representing the board of ITALIANYACHTMASTERS. Battaglia underscored the results obtained by the Association over the course of its first year of activities, both in terms of relationships and in its capacity to represent the nautical sector in various institutional and other settings. Battaglia was also specific in highlighting how the ITALIANYACHTMASTERS has made important contributions towards the employment of Italian Captains, informing the event’s attendees about the various successes obtained.

2014 Captain's Day organized by ItalianYachtMasters

2014 Captain's Day organized by ItalianYachtMasters

Next on stage was Engineer Poerio from Benetti Yachts, offering his views about an ‘organisational model of nautical economics’. Using a series of data relative to the economic values and employment figures for the various segments of the nautical economy, Poerio stressed the importance of a series of common objectives that need to be met, such as the organisation of an international event to provide an Italian bench mark in the global market, and the establishment of an internal  institution that involves all the market’s players. Other short-term objectives were identified as: the simplification of the administrative system, the valorisation of the regional contexts, the creation of a single and shared statistical data system, the creation of combined innovation strategies, and integrated competence training.

Dr. Torri (from San Giorgio Shipping) tackled the topic of taxation in relation to short-term rental contracts, bringing the audience up to date about the most recent regulatory developments, in particular in relation to the problems related to the circular issued last July by the Agenzia delle Entrate (the Italian Inland Revenue Service) on the topic of bunkerage and excise duties.

Presentations were delivered throughout the day, with analyses and in depth considerations of a wide variety of themes, some of which were specific to the world of Italian Captains, such as the comparison of Italian professionalism to Anglo-Saxon standards, a topic that was addressed by Captain Barletta. Captain Sulmonti, on the other hand, referred to the important experience obtained by the students of the Tuscan Nautical Institutes, who, for the first time this year, had the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience on-board recreational crafts. He went on to highlight the many activities carried out over the course of 2014, involving numerous technical workshops with the specifically goal at keeping Italian Captains continually up to date.

Dr. Roberto Neglia, manager of institutional relations at UCINA – Confindustria Nautica (the Italian Marine Industry Association that is part of the Confederation of Italian Industry) informed the audience about the most recent regulations and the successes obtained in this field thanks to a team effort intervention that involved collaborations with ITALIANYACHTMASTERS and the Yachting section of ‘Federagenti’ (National Federation of the shipowner’s agents and ship brokers. Topics included the reform of the Recreational Craft Code, simplification of the administrative regime and of activities relative to recreational navigation (including those with commercial ends), the revision of professional titles within the recreational craft sector, simplification of the “arrival and departure” procedures, the approval and national legislation action taken regarding the recognition of Marina Resorts with the consequent reduction of VAT to 10% for ‘mooring and the overnight stay in docking units within harbour facilites appropriately equipped’.

The Captain’s day was brought to a close by Captain Trigiani, who presented the 2015 programme of training activities directed at ITALIANYACHTMASTERS members and their professional development.

Impressive fleet of 122 yachts start Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014

October 20, 2014

This year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race successfully kicked off from Grand Harbour, a beautiful Malta yacht holiday location, on Saturday, October 18, marked by a record start, attended by an amazing fleet of 122 yachts. The Mediterranean classic has shattered its previous best entry for the third year in a row. A total number of 83 yachts took on the challenge in 2012, followed by 99 in 2013. Setting off in a sequence of five starts, this year’s international fleet comprises yachts from 24 different countries, varying in size from 9,5 to 30,5 meters in length.

The Saluting Battery cannons, ready to mark the start of the race - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The Saluting Battery cannons, ready to mark the start of the race - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


The cannons of Saluting Battery mark the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Thousands of spectators enjoy the spectacle from the shore and the water as the yachts leave Malta’s famous Grand Harbour. Valetta’s imposing bastions along with the Upper and Lower Barakka Gardens offer a privileged view over the starting area.


After leaving Grand Harbour, the fleet followed the coast of Malta to a turning mark off St Julian’s where it heads north to Italy, and the Strait of Messina. The 606 nautical mile racecourse leaves to port Sicily, Stromboli, the Aeolian and Egadi islands, Pantelleria and Lampedusa, before returning through the South Comino Channel and the final stretch to the finish off the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) leaves Grand Harbour to start the hunt for her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) leaves Grand Harbour to start the hunt for her fourth Line Honours victory - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


The 100-foot Slovenian Maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2 is the favoured candidate for the line honours victory. Skippered by German legend Jochen Schümann, she finished first in 2010, 2011 and 2012. While finishing first may be a foregone conclusion, breaking the course record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 03 seconds is the ultimate prize for this professional crew.


Three previous overall winners are competing in this, the 35th edition: Pericles Livas and Nick Lazos’ Farr 52 OD Optimum 3 – Aspida – Saxon Bank from Greece won overall in 2004; Maltese skipper Lee Satariano’s J122 Artie won in 2011 and Michele Galli’s TP52 B2 from Italy is the defending champion. Both Artie and B2 lead their classes in the early hours of the race.

Niklas Zennström's RÁN (SWE) is one of the strongest sailing teams in the world - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Niklas Zennström's sailing yacht RÁN (SWE) is one of the strongest sailing teams in the world - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo


Nikklas Zennström’s sailing yacht Rán is one of the strongest sailing teams in the world, with back-to-back victories in the Rolex Fastnet Race and three Mini Maxi Rolex World Championships. In an attempt to add the Rolex Middle Sea Race to their impressive record they are racing their latest Maxi 72, launched earlier this year. Another Maxi 72, American George Sakellaris’ sailing yacht Shockwave will be their main competition.


A light southerly breeze marked the opening passages of the race. The weather forecast suggests a slow pace and tricky conditions for the first few days.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

DMCA to host Dubai Maritime Week 2014 on October 27

October 20, 2014

Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority responsible for regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of Dubai’s maritime sector, has finished its preparations to play a host to the second edition of Dubai Maritime Week. This will take place this month, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. DMCA organizes this event as part of its goals to support and promote the status of the fabulous Dubai yacht charter destination as leading global maritime hub.


The Dubai Maritime Week 2014 is poised to attract international maritime leaders, senior government officials, decision-makers, industry professionals, leading experts, and ship owners from the UAE and the region. It will be a platform for discussing the latest regional and international maritime trends and exploring the best industry practices to help promote sustainable development across Dubai’s maritime sector.

DMCA aims to leverage Dubai’s leading position as a regional and global trade and economy hub and transform it to a strategic hub that includes various companies that operate in marine-related activities, including maritime transport and marine services management, research and development, boat repair and maintenance, as well as yacht repair and maintenance.

Amer Ali, Executive Director, DMCA, said: “DMCA announced the expansion of the agenda of the Dubai Maritime Week via the inclusion of Dubai Maritime Summit – an important international maritime event. This year’s edition of the event follows the successful inaugural edition of the Dubai Maritime Week in 2012 and supports our continuing efforts to consolidate Dubai’s position as a global maritime centre, as well as our goal to reinforce Dubai’s footprint in the international maritime landscape, guided by the directives of our wise leadership”.

“Dubai Maritime Week 2014” is set to host a series of conferences, panel discussions, forums, along with events and activities, as well as a series of programs aimed at increasing awareness of the important role played by the maritime sector in the emirate and support its growth and expansion in collaboration with a number of strategic partners from government agencies in Dubai.

The second edition of Dubai Maritime Week will also feature Seatrade Maritime Awards 2014 and Seatrade Middle East Maritime Exhibition (SMEM). SMEM 2014 will unveil the latest global maritime trends and services that will appeal to the industry because of great importance. In addition, DMCA will host a DMCA partners appreciation gathering to acknowledge the efforts of its public and private partners in supporting its plan for the emirate’s maritime sector.

International Superyacht Society (ISS) announces Tahiti Tourisme as Platinum Sponsor of its 24th Annual International Design Awards Gala

October 17, 2014

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) is proud to announce Tahiti Tourisme as a Platinum Sponsor of its 24th Annual International Design Awards Gala. This year’s event will be hosted by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 from 6:30 P.M. The theme will celebrate the flair of the fabulous Tahiti yacht charter destination, nestled in the South Pacific.

The beautiful Tahiti yacht holiday destination, positioned in the South Pacific

The beautiful Tahiti yacht holiday destination, positioned in the South Pacific

“By its willingness to sponsor ISS’s signature event at the Platinum level—our highest echelon of support—Tahiti Tourisme is establishing a precedent for destinations and similarly lateral superyacht categories to become more fully active in creating global superyacht luxury lifestyle marketing initiatives. Internally as an industry, we are all keenly aware that we enjoy an elegant B2B model, and that the success of our alliances ultimately drives visibility to our HNWI and UHNWI clients. Tahiti Tourisme and ISS together are confident that Tahiti’s involvement in our Awards for Design and Leadership Gala creates prominence and front of mind positioning,” says Ken Hickling, ISS President.

The Islands of Tahiti, a One-of-a-Kind Destination for Superyachts

Tahiti Tourisme has been actively promoting The Islands of Tahiti over the past few years as a one of a kind destination for superyacht owners and charter clients, being aware of the incredible potential for high-net worth individuals interested in new cruising grounds. French Polynesia has been a hub for superyachts arriving from the Panama Canal for the past fifteen years. It is a place where yacht owners and captains choose to stop for several months, sometimes more, to discover some of the last pristine and secluded tropical areas on Earth while providing the usual expected professional dedicated services and provisioning.

The Islands of Tahiti

The Islands of Tahiti

The 118 islands of French Polynesia—of which Tahiti is the main island—have drawn continuous growing interest in recent years and are now recognized as an emerging destination featuring both the luxury and tranquillity that each discerning yacht guest is in quest of. It is also a place of exploration and adventure in one of the safest and most scenic environments in the world.

Five Archipelagos and Warm Lagoons

The Islands of Tahiti are indeed about unique crystal clear, warm lagoons and spectacular lush, rugged mountains; it is, above all, about authenticity, friendly smiling Polynesians, in love with their “Moana,” the “Big Ocean,” a source of life and inspiration for each of them. Tahiti is a place where everyday life is still closely connected to culture, where one experiences an art-of-living and where nature and culture harmoniously blend. It is a place of discovery, allowing one to completely lose track of time, enjoying the pace of life and the magnificent sceneries.

The Islands of Tahiti from above

The Islands of Tahiti from above

The country’s five archipelagos are scattered over an area as large as Western Europe. Land only represents 1% of this area. Close to their “Moana,” Tahitians have always been very involved in ocean conservation. Hosting one of the largest and healthy shark populations worldwide, sheltering hundreds of dolphins and whales, protecting sea turtles and monitoring the health of its coral reefs, French Polynesia has remained an underwater untouched jewel. The country is putting huge efforts into the protection and sustainability of its marine wildlife.

ISS and Tahiti Tourisme: Common Core Values

With superyachts looking to travel further to access remote and pristine cruising grounds, Tahiti offers a breakthrough destination for owners, charterers and the industry. The Board of Directors of the International Superyacht Society has been encouraging Tahiti Tourisme’s more prominent role for many years. Tahiti Tourisme, for its part, has been following up closely on the developments of the ISS. Common core values immediately emerged such as a strong passion for the oceans and their conservation—through initiatives and awards such as the ISS Fabien Cousteau Blue Award—as well as always providing best practice programs for the prestigious individuals of the global superyacht industry. It naturally became obvious that common efforts would come to fruition for the benefit of both.

The Islands of Tahiti after sunset

The Islands of Tahiti after sunset

Tahiti Tourisme and locally-based Tahiti yacht professionals take pride in contributing to the famous signature event of the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show as a platinum sponsor, bringing Tahiti to South Florida during a unique and memorable Tahitian Flair night on 29th October 2014 where the beauty and authenticity of “The Islands of Tahiti” will be showcased to an large audience of key individuals within this very exclusive industry. This is a milestone for the destination and Tahiti Tourism is honored to share this important moment with the International Superyacht Society.

100-foot limit lifted for 2015 Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Middle Sea Races

October 16, 2014

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Malta Yacht Club have lifted the 100-foot (30,47m) LOA monohull limit for the 2015 editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race as well as the Rolex Middle Sea Race, set by a number of the classic 600 mile races, such as the Fastnet, Sydney Hobart and Middle Sea races. This will allow superyachts attending the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series to compete.

Start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race from Cowes, Isle of Wight - Credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Start of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race from Cowes, Isle of Wight - Credit: Rolex Kurt/Arrigo

The AORS consists of four events: the RORC Caribbean 600, the 2015 Transatlantic Race from Newport to the Lizard, the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Superyachts have always been eligible to race in the RORC Caribbean 600 and a number have entered for the west to east Transatlantic Race at the end of June/July 2015, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron and New York Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club.

In previous editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race only monohulls of 100ft or less were eligible to win the coveted Fastnet Challenge Cup. In 2013 there were two monohulls at this upper limit of 100ft: Mike Slade’s Farr 100 charter yacht ICAP Leopard (GBR), and Igor Simcic’s RP100 superyacht Esimit Europa 2 (SLO).

With a number of superyachts competing in the 2015 Transatlantic Race, such as Elena Ambrosiadou’s, 289ft Dykstra/Perini Navi charter yacht Maltese Falcon, and superyacht Mariette, the 1915 Herreshoff classic, the increased LOA limit for the 46th biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will entice yachts over 100ft to enter and possibly win the Fastnet Challenge Cup, making for a spectacular race from Cowes, Isle of Wight in August 2015.

Rolex Fastnet priority for RORC members

“Another initiative in place for the Rolex Fastnet Race is to give RORC members priority when entering in January 2015,” explains Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager. “The race was oversubscribed in 2013 within 24 hours of entry opening with many boats, including those of RORC members, having to go on a waiting list. To cope with demand, the Club increased the limit to 340, but with the 2015 Transatlantic Race from Newport to the Lizard having close to 60 boats and the Rolex Middle Sea Race breaking the 100 boat barrier, we can only envisage another scramble for places when entry opens at midday on the 12th January 2015,” continues Elliott.

A very successful Monaco Yacht Show 2014

October 16, 2014

This year’s Monaco Yacht Show, hosted by the glamorous Monaco yacht charter destination, nestled in the Mediterranean, featured a record exhibition of 115 superyachts afloat and 510 companies. The extension of this prestigious event met the strong demand of the industry and presented its best “yachting” offer to the visitors of the show.

Monaco Yacht Show 2014

Monaco Yacht Show 2014

On the docks, the exhibitors all underlined the evolution of the attendance levels: a slight decrease in visits (32 921 participants against 33 730 in 2013) but with no doubt of a far better quality as to contacts made, with many more owners and potential clients visiting. The MYS has been for several years an important part of the selling process of a yacht, but indeed the success of a participation in Monaco is materialised by the signature of contracts, if not on site, within the following weeks.

In fact, the real challenge for the MYS organisers was to affirm and confirm the ultra high-end quality of the professional and private visitors. “We have re-orientated the positioning of the show so as to attract a new end clientele and initiate it to the ‘superyachting’ culture”. The MYS must be a major ambassador and bring about the whole industry for promotion among potential clients,” says Gaëlle Tallarida, Managing Director of the MYS, before adding: “Last June, we carried out in Shangai a promotional campaign for superyachting, among the Chinese elite that we invited to the show. We have also developed collaborations with luxury conciergeries or private clubs in order to organise VIP clients visits to the show, and meetings with our exhibitors.”

Luxury superyachts on display at MYS 2014

Luxury superyachts on display at MYS 2014

Although the increase of the entrance fee to 150 € per day could have had an influence on the number of visitors, the attendance levels remained quite stable with nearly 33 000 participants this year. A statistic that confirms the initial objective of the MYS, which was to boost the exhibiting companies which attended with a lot more representatives, and that is significant as to the B2B and B2C commercial stakes of a participation to the MYS. “With nearly 90% of stands renewal each year, the MYS can be compared to a club where everyone knows each other but above all where they all strongly invest to meet in a common business atmosphere in Monaco. In the capacity of organisers, we are responsible for the quality of the exhibition, for the services offered to the exhibitors as well as for the means implemented to maximise the return on investment of their participation,” according to Ms Tallarida.

The trend towards a better quality of the visitors was also confirmed by the presence of prestigious partners: Ulysse Nardin, the Swiss watchmaker, exhibited his limited edition of “MonacoYS 2014” fine watches for the 7th successive year as an official sponsor. Baccarat, the French glassworker, celebrated its 250 years and fitted out the show VIP area and the Upper Deck Lounge, once more with the interior designers Sabrina Monte-Carlo and Paola Lenti, or with the Opera Gallery art gallery. Porsche, the automobile constructor present for the first time as a partner, came to reveal the fabulous 918 Spyder whereas Avakian, the jeweller, showcased some of its most elegant jewels collections.

Aerial view of MYS 2014

Aerial view of MYS 2014

The superyachting celebration

Among the 115 superyachts present this year, nearly half of them were less than two years built, and specifically 38 had been delivered in 2014. An anew exceptional fleet, awaited by the buyers, was exhibited by the brokerage companies and included 76 superyachts available for sale or charter.

Some of the units have been dedicated to the first ever MYS Award Ceremony organised on the 23rd of September last in the new Monaco Yacht Club.

Mega yacht Grace E (73m, 2014), from Perini Navi-Picchiotti shipyard, won the award for the best interior design and mega yacht Solandge (85,5m, 2013, Lürssen) the one for the best exterior design. The award for the best 2014 launch exhibited at the MYS was granted to the 91,5m spectacular mega yacht Equanimity by Oceanco. The reception also rewarded explorer yacht Yersin with the Monaco 2014 trophy and the superyacht Admiral with the Green Plus Yacht award given by the environmental classification company RINA. An honorary award ceremony that rewarded the exceptional work carried out by each winner, in front of an audience of decision-makers and personalities from the yachting world.

Mega yacht Solandge by Lurssen

Mega yacht Solandge by Lurssen

The MYS 2014 also welcomed the captains and crews of the superyachts in the brand new MYS C&C Lounge that was exclusively dedicated to them during the four days of the show. Obviously, MYS high standards services were offered all day long. The show had to be the celebration of the ‘superyachting’ way of life, whether it be a shipowner or a crew member.

This 24th edition has thus been characterised by the quality of the visitors and the legitimate ambitions of each exhibitor to present its best offer on the docks and afloat in the Port Hercule.

This edition also underlines a new historical cycle for the MYS, as for its 25th anniversary in 2015 the show will present a new configuration of the exhibition area, with in particular the capacity to welcome megayachts up to 120m long along the quay Rainier III and mainly the repositioning of the Darse Nord tents on the Quai Antoine 1er. Nevertheless, do not worry, the organisers work closely with the Monegasque government aiming to place each stand as logically as possible and keep the commercial synergy developed among the exhibitors over the years.