Yachting Associations Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Dubai Maritime City Authority announces Dubai Maritime Summit

September 11, 2014

Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority responsible for regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of Dubai’s maritime sector, is pleased to announce the debut of the first-of-its-kind global maritime summit taking place on October 27, 2014. The Dubai Maritime Summit is scheduled to take place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and will be the main forum for opening Dubai Maritime Week, DMCA’s biennial event.


H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, President of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “The event aligns with DMCA’s strategic role played in promoting Dubai’s position as a pioneering maritime global hub as well as building a solid base to improve Dubai’s maritime zone in order to benefit from globally competitive maritime and logistics sectors that adhere to the highest international standards and practices.”

The Dubai Maritime Summit will be organized on the first day of Dubai Maritime Week by DMCA. It aims to strengthen Dubai’s capacity to host major international maritime events and conferences. The summit is in line with the Authority’s continued commitment to ensure the highest standards of maritime safety within Dubai’s territorial waters beside organizing and managing the various aspects of the maritime sector.

H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of DMCA

H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of DMCA

The summit will bring together top decision-makers, senior management of various public and rivate companies operating in the local, regional and international maritime sector. Spokespersons of the global maritime industry, including representatives from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) will also be present.

Amer Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “Dubai is seeking to establish itself as a leading destination for the organization of international events in the global maritime industry. With the launch of the “Dubai Marine Summit”, the emirate will emerge as a main and important maritime hub for regional and global decision-makers and investors.”

Dubai Maritime Summit will be managed by Richard Quest, CNN’s foremost international business correspondent and presenter of Quest Means Business. He will engage key officials from the global and regional maritime sector in discussion on the most important developments in the global marine industry and comment on the major issues affecting the development of the marine sector with a focus on the international maritime clustering and Dubai’s efforts to lead the maritime sector. During the summit, several topics of interest revolving around local, regional and international marine affairs will be discussed with a number of senior government officials, leading experts, and operators and ship owners in the UAE and the region.

Karpaz Gate Marina joins ICOMIA Marinas Group

September 11, 2014

Karpaz Gate Marine, situated in Karpaz Peninsula in Northern Cyprus – a lovely Mediterranean yacht charter destination,  is pleased to announce that is joined the ICOMIA Marinas Group. It represents the first marina in Cyprus to be awarded Gold Anchor status following the achievement of the top five Gold Anchor rating by The Yacht Harbour Association.

The luxury 300-berth marina offers high-quality berthing services to cater for all vessels up to large superyachts and a range of leisure options, including an on-site diving school. Surrounded by stunning landscape, marina guests can experience the beach club with infinity pool and watersports centre or enjoy the promenade area featuring Hemingway’s Resto-Bar, Art Gallery and shops.

The technical facilities at Karpaz Gate Marina include an 18,000 square metre dry dock and 300-ton capacity travel hoist and service pedestals, which enable the experienced team to carry out major projects and renewal work for superyachts. Fuel is available at a tax-free cost.

The ICOMIA Marinas Group’s mission is to be recognised globally as the peak marina industry body with respect to planning, development and best practice management for marinas, boat harbours, boat storage and service facilities, waterways access and associated infrastructure for recreational boating throughout the world.

Partnership of British Marine Federation (BMF) and The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights

September 05, 2014

The British Marine Federation (BMF) is teaming up with The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, in order to encourage apprenticeships within the marine industry. The Shipwrights’ Apprentice Scheme (SAS) offers advice, guidance, as well as funding of up to £8.5k to SMEs taking on marine apprentices.

logo

The scheme is currently funded by Lloyds Register Foundation (LRF) and the Shipwrights’ Ark Appeal.  A maximum grant of £8.5k is potentially available to marine SMEs to finance the first year of a three or four year apprenticeship.

Paul Harris has been recruited by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights as the Scheme Administrator.  He is based at the BMF office in Egham to enable him to engage with BMF members, as well as educational establishments/training providers.  The main objectives of his role will be to talk with marine SMEs to make them aware of the benefits of taking on an apprentice, let them know about the funding available, assist with recruiting apprentices and offer ongoing support such as contractual and mentoring advice.

Paul comes from a marine training background, making him the perfect candidate to assist employers when trying to recruit the right apprentice.  Paul said: “It can often seem daunting to a marine company looking to take on fresh talent; whilst they want to invest in their company’s skill base and someone’s future they often do not know where to start.  That is where the SAS comes in.  We will help BMF members find the right candidate for their business by supporting them through the whole process.”

BMF member, Brian May of Berthon Boat Company, has been heavily involved in the setting up of the SAS scheme which was founded by Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Ark Appeal Committee. He added to Paul’s comments: “The recruitment of apprentices can be of enormous benefit to employers, bringing renewed enthusiasm and a growing skilled labour force trained to their specific business needs, reducing reliance upon sub-contractors and delivering higher quality output with less warranty issues. It is recognised, that the first year wages of an apprenticeship are generally cash negative and as such may create a barrier for smaller companies from considering this option. With the SAS funding, taking on an apprentice can become a viable option for marine companies and after the first year they can expect to see a return on their investment.”

Paul Harris will be at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Apprenticeship Day, Tuesday 16 September.  He will be at the Show in the BMF Members Lounge to talk with interested companies, to answer any questions and give further information and advice about the scheme. Alternatively BMF members can contact him to discuss the SAS and the options available to them on 01784 223617 or email sas@shipwrights.co.uk.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014: Day 4

September 05, 2014

An important part of any yacht race or regatta is the expertise of the organizing body. Top class events, attended by cutting-edge, expensive yachts and the cream of international sailing talent, require the highest professionalism in their race management. Participants require competing to be fair, enjoyable, well managed. Such an event is the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: one of the most illustrious and complex regattas in the world. The stakes are high, attendees ultra competitive and the wind capricious.

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship approaching the starting line - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship approaching the starting line - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is held on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, often described as one of the most perfect sailing landscapes in the world for grand prix racing. The event celebrates its 25th edition this year and the 30-year association between the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex, one of the most longstanding relationships in sailing.

“This is always the top pick of where we like to sail around the world,” explains world-renowned sailor Brad Butterworth. “The environment of the Costa Smeralda is fantastic: the rock formations, the colour of the water, the wind and sea conditions, there is nowhere as beautiful as this for yacht racing.”

Rolex’s involvement in yachting is centred upon its privileged alliance with some of the most skilled yacht clubs around the world, including the YCCS, whose race management team is highly respected through its flawless handling of events like the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. Ensuring the regatta runs smoothly and efficiently on the water falls to the YCCS Race Management Team led by Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and YCCS Sports Director Edoardo Recchi.

CAOL ILA R (USA) sailing by the Committee Boat - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

CAOL ILA R (USA) sailing by the Committee Boat - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Course planning

One of the principal functions of the race management team is to ensure clear communication between the organizers and the competitors. Ahead of the event, the individual classes for different boat types are defined, ratings analysed, race documents meticulously prepared. The Skippers’ Briefing kicks off the week providing a communal opportunity for last minute queries. A global idea of the week’s weather and racing schedule are provided, and then each evening the intention for the following day is given.

Communication with the competitors begins each morning with a radio announcement at 09:30. Ahead of this, Craig works with the YCCS Race Management team, analysing up to five professional weather forecasts. This information helps determine location and length of the day’s racecourses. The team will also canvas the opinion of the professional navigators onsite, weathermen in their own right.

“When people ask me what a good race is, I’ll tell them in one word: fair,” explains Craig. “If you are a sailor, or former sailor like in my case, you have a good sense of what the owners want, you’ve been there on the boat with them, you know what they are looking for.”

According to Craig, making good decisions is not a one person job, he’s only as good as the people around him, and the YCCS team is highly respected by the competitors. “The yacht club is high end in terms of race management, they’re on top of everything, very professional. They have been here for a long time, they know the environment and conditions,” confirms Butterworth, tactician on Sir Peter Ogden’s Mini Maxi yacht Jethou.

View of a Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship start from the Committee Boat - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

View of a Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship start from the Committee Boat - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Clean start

To the untrained eye, the starting area on the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup can appear confused. Watching 35 yachts ranging from 60 to 143-ft hoisting sails, running through last minute preparations, ensuring they make the right choice about where and when to cross the start line is nerve-jangling. There is order; each class has its own individual start time, its own sequence of instructions to follow. “As it gets closer to the first gun the boats not involved in that start will clear out and give appropriate room to the starting class,” explains Craig. “We’re looking for people to behave themselves, you will hear us on the radio if they are not.”

One of the key factors at the start is ensuring no boat crosses the line too early. When competitors are timing their arrival by split seconds, seeking small but significant advantages, it’s a critical, but difficult task for the race officers. “These boats have the latest technology, the very best sailors, so they are not two or three boat lengths beyond but a matter of metres. If they have started early and must double-back, we have to make that call.” The Race Committee has boats stationed at both ends of the start line to ensure an optimum view.

Sir Peter Ogden's JETHOU (GBR) surfing the waves at full speed downwind - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sir Peter Ogden's JETHOU (GBR) surfing the waves at full speed downwind - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Adapting to conditions

Once a race has started, the focus changes to ensuring the racing remains fair on the water. Planning commences beforehand. “We look at the VPPs (speed predictions) for each of the boats in each of classes, because they can vary greatly. We decide what the starting order and the differential between start times should be,” explains Craig. “You don’t want to have a one hour starting sequence but at the same time you don’t want one class of boats running over a second 15 minutes into a race. There’s an awful lot that goes into it. It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge we really enjoy.”

One additional layer of complexity is that racing may take place simultaneously on more than one course. While one group may be contesting windward/leeward racing on a narrow, short racecourse, others will be embarking on a coastal race upwards of 40-nm through La Maddalena’s rocky archipelago. “We have YCCS service boats with very capable people tracking the boats reporting back to the race officer what the wind conditions are, where the boats are on the racetrack, if conditions are changing drastically.”

Shared respect

Monitoring the finish line is generally easier than the start but scrutiny is still needed. In the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship it is not uncommon to have two or three boats finishing in close proximity. Results then have to be calculated and published.

For Craig this ends a busy, stressful but enjoyable day. “When the Race Management team have pulled off a great day’s racing, particularly on the hard, difficult days, it’s the same satisfaction you experience when you have a great day as a competitor. You come in feeling good about what you’ve done.”

The proof of success lies in the post-race atmosphere, as the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup community gather on Piazza Azzurra in front of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda to discuss the day’s racing. There is evident camaraderie and shared respect, not just between competitors, but between competitors and the Race Management team too.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and the International Maxi Association (IMA). Rolex has been title sponsor since 1985.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014: Day 3

September 04, 2014

Introduced in 1980, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup represents a meeting of elegance, power, speed, as well as prowess. The event annually hosts large, powerful Maxi yachts, engaged in direct competition in a beautiful and challenging environment. Organized by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association, the popular regatta has been the jewel of Rolex’s international yachting portfolio since 1985, and is celebrating its 25th edition this year.

Charter yacht SHAMROCK V sailing the emerald waters of Sardinia - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Charter yacht SHAMROCK V sailing the emerald waters of the Sardinia yacht charter location - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

A rendezvous for those at the forefront of development within the yachting industry, the yachts competing are benchmarks: true guides to current trends. For the international fleet of 35 Maxi yachts gathered in Porto Cervo for the 2014 regatta the competition is at its midway point. Those with the ambition to win and the determination to follow through are coming to the fore.

Mini Maxi Racing

Featuring all-out race boats, all close to 72 feet in length, the fifth running of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship is one of the standout features of this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. “The 72-footers are simply the top boats that exist in monohull racing,” says Vasco Vascotto, tactician on sailing yacht Robertissima III. “The boats are powerful, [and] great to sail.” explains Niklas Zennström, Ràn 5’s owner/helm. Bella Mente yacht’s Mike Sanderson, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2006, assesses the level of competition: “There are some very successful businessmen and multiple world champion sailors racing against each other. Everyone is used to winning.” Crewmate, Terry Hutchinson, offers his opinion: “It’s the pinnacle of our sport, you fight for every single inch.

Roberto Tomasini's ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) leading the Mini Maxi fleet around the windward mark - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Roberto Tomasini's ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) leading the Mini Maxi fleet around the windward mark - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

There is widespread belief that this is the toughest Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship to date. The third day of racing, was proof positive that everyone is capable of winning with the two outsiders sailing yacht Caol Ila R and Shockwave yacht making the most of light, unstable conditions during two windward/leeward races to each take a first and third place. It is luxury yacht Alegre, which led the Championship until the final day in 2013, that tops the overall standing going into the second half the week, 1.5 points ahead of Robertissima III with perennial powerhouse crew on Ràn 5 a further 0.5 point back in third. Up to three races remain.

Fact: Positioned bow to stern, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet measures close to 1km (962.81m), the equivalent of nearly ten FIFA World Cup pitches. The Mini Maxis make up 171.14m.

J-Class

In contrast to the raw power of the Racing Mini Maxis, the four-strong J-Class is a display of classic elegance. A mix of restorations and replicas, the J-Class hark back to the 1930s, a stylish and glamorous era.  Cutting-edge racing craft in their day, competing for the America’s Cup, the J-Class are owned and sailed by those passionate about the past. Graceful to watch, captivating to sail, the class is equally defined by the Corinthian spirit of its competition. At 43.7m (143ft) superyacht Lionheart, a replica of an original design, is the largest in attendance. Competition is provided by two more replicas in luxury yacht Rainbow and charter yacht Ranger, and last year’s winner, super yacht Velsheda, a restoration.

Andres Soriano's ALEGRE (GBR) rounding Mortoriotto - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Andres Soriano's ALEGRE (GBR) rounding Mortoriotto - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

A crew of 35 skilled sailors is required to plan and execute flawless manoeuvres. “Every manoeuvre has its time and point to make a decision. The tactician and the navigator know those cut off times and they have to make a decision at that certain point,” explains Jeroen de Vos, who designed Rainbow for Dykstra & Naval Architects. Today the fleet was presented with a classic Costa Smeralda course: 31nm up through the twisting channel separating the Maddalena Archipelago from mainland Sardinia. Rainbow proved the most adept, winning the three and a half hour race and in so doing climbed above Lionheart to lead the class with two days racing left.

Fact: Launched in 1933, Velsheda is the oldest yacht racing this week, while Ràn 5 is the newest, launched this year (2014).

Wally

Representing the utmost in modern style the nine yacht Wally Class provides a contrasting view to the both J-Class and Racing Mini Maxi. Founded in 1999, Wally yachts are high performance cruisers typified by expansive teak decks and aggressive hull lines concealing chic, luxurious interiors. Answering the needs of owners for whom the latest in innovative design, construction techniques and sailing technology should be aligned with modern-day comfort, the yachts have proved themselves equally adept on the racecourse.

Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' MAGIC CARPET (GBR) at the start of the Wally division - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' MAGIC CARPET (GBR) at the start of the Wally division - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The Wally Class took on the same course as the J-Class on Day 3. The latest interpretation of the concept, the 100-foot Wally Cento super yacht Magic Carpet 3, finished the course in just under three hours, beating last year’s overall class winner J One yacht into second place, with International Maxi Association president Claus Peter Offen taking third in charter yacht Y3K. These three lie atop the standings after four races. J One holds a one-point edge over Magic Carpet 3 and Y3K.

Fact: The J-Class Lionheart displaces a spectacular 170 tonnes, while Magic Carpet 3 tips the scales at 49.95 tonnes, and the Racing Mini Maxi Bella Mente, at half the length of Lionheart weighs a mere 16.8 tonnes, a tenth of the weight.

Supermaxis, Maxis & Dual-purpose Mini Maxis

Elsewhere in the 2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet there are three Supermaxis, goliaths of the sea measuring upwards of 100-ft. Again contrasting designs define the Class. Superyacht Firefly is a modern interpretation of a classic day racer, while luxury yacht Inoui and charter yacht Viriella are simply imperious modern yachts that offer their owners graceful habitats afloat. Firefly leads going into the second half of the competition, but only by one point from Inoui, which has the wind behind her challenge having won yesterday’s 31nm race.

FIREFLY (NED) and HIGHLAND FLING (MON) at the start - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

FIREFLY (NED) and HIGHLAND FLING (MON) at the start - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Maxi yachts fill the gap between Mini Maxis and Supermaxis, measuring between 80 and 100 feet. Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s 83-ft hybrid Maxi yacht Highland Fling, is among the fastest boats on show. Three bullets in three races gives her a commanding lead over Tom Siebel’s performance-cruiser the 90-foot Swan superyacht Odin.

Unlike their stripped-out sisters, the Racing/Cruising Mini Maxis offer their owners the opportunity to both race and cruise whenever the mood takes them. Seven are present this year and today’s 23.5nm race proved there is plenty of competition in prospect during the final two days. The 62-foot Bronenosec  took the honours today, denting the previously perfect scoreline of the 79-foot charter yacht Lupa of London. Lupa still leads the class, but Bronenosec has closed the gap to three points.

Fact: The total number of crew registered for the 2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is 724, just short of the 736 players selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Today is designated a layday, an opportunity for crews to relax ahead of an intense final two days, which will be punctuated only by a select number of glamorous social occasions that add to the fame and attractiveness of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

2014 MAXI YACHT ROLEX CUP – PROVISIONAL RESULTS DAY 3

Place, Boat Name, Boat Owner, Races- Total Points

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship

1. ALEGRE (GBR), Alegre Yachting Ltd., 1.5-1-3-4-(5); 9.5

2. ROBERTISSIMA (CAY), Roberto Tomasini, 6-2-1-(5)-2; 11

3. RÁN 5 (GBR), Niklas Zennstrom 4.5-3-2-2-(7); 11.5

Mini Maxi R/C

1. LUPA OF LONDON (GBR), Jeremy Pilkington, 1-1-2; 4

2. BRONENOSEC (RUS), Alpenberg S.A., 4-2-1; 7

3. AROBAS (FRA), Gerard Logel, 2-4-3; 9

Maxi Racing

1. HIGHLAND FLING XI (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1-1-1; 3

2. ODIN (CAY), Tom Siebel, 2-2-2; 6

3. BRISTOLIAN (GBR), Bristolian Marine Ltd., 4-4-3; 11

J-Class

1. RAINBOW (NED), SPF JH2, 2-3-1-1; 7

2. LIONHEART (GBR), Stichting Lionheart Syndicate, 4-1-2-2; 9

3. RANGER (CAY), R.S.V. Ltd., 1-2-4-3; 10

Supermaxi

1. FIREFLY (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 1-1-2; 4

2. INOUI (SUI), Marco Vögele, 2-2-1; 5

3. VIRIELLA (ITA), Vittorio Moretti, 3-3-3; 9

Wally

1. J ONE (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1-3-2-2; 8

2. MAGIC CARPET 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 2-1-5-1; 9

3. Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 3-2-1-3; 9

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014: Day 2

September 03, 2014

Day 2 of the currently running Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was marked by clear skies and a fresh mistral breeze. The event represents the sailing’s annual rendezvous for Maxi yachts, hosted by the fantastic Sardinia yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) as well as the International Maxi Association (IMA), the race has been sponsored by Rolex since 1985.

Roberto Tomasini's ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) leading the Mini Maxi fleet around the windward mark - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Roberto Tomasini's ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) leading the Mini Maxi fleet around the windward mark - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The appeal of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship is clear. Cutting-edge racing yachts crewed by skilled professional sailors, driven by the energy and passion of their owners. Races decided by fine margins. Nothing left to chance on the water. A sailing environment rated as the best in the world and competition in its truest sense: all seven competing yachts in this year’s Championship are in contention for victory.

The Mini Maxi Class is in the ascendancy; interest is high, enthusiasm palpable and new designs in the offing. Principally featuring 72-ft length boats, the fifth running of the championship is one of the standout features of this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

“The 72-footers are simply the top boats that exist in monohull racing,” reveals Vasco Vascotto, calling tactics on sailing yacht Robertissima III. “The boats are powerful, great to sail, versatile and the owner/driver rule allows the owners to go out and win,” explains Niklas Zennström whose Rán crew is the defending champion, winner of three of the four titles to date. The team to beat.

Bowman watching the competitors from the bow of FIREFLY (NED) - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Bowman watching the competitors from the bow of FIREFLY (NED) - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Hard yards

Leaving nothing to chance on water requires dedicated preparation. The working day for the Mini Maxi crews begins in earnest as the sun rises; physical conditioning and mental wellbeing are treated seriously. All teams have their own approach; whether it be hours in the gym, cycling northeast Sardinia’s mountain bike trails or swimming lengths in the sea.

Alex Schaerer’s luxury yacht Caol Ila R have their own personal trainer to ensure the crew are in shape to face the demands of each day’s racing. “Exercises and a stretching class help the boys wake up ready for the day’s sailing,” explains the crew’s Swiss fitness coach Andre Winterfield, who runs a beach session each morning. “On the boat you have to sprint quickly in different directions, lift heavy sails, be flexible when the boat is moving. We do a lot of group exercises: this improves spirit, creates trust between teammates.”

The emphasis on physical preparation is embraced by Caol Ila R’s rivals. “It’s a heavy boat so everything you do is loaded, especially for the grinders,” explains Terry Hutchinson, a key member of the afterguard on 2012 champion sailing yacht Bella Mente. “These guys train hard, go to the gym everyday. It’s a balance between physical and cardiovascular strength.”

ALEGRE (GBR) sailing downwind to defend her leadership in the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

ALEGRE (GBR) sailing downwind to defend her leadership in the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Practice makes perfect

The Mini Maxi fleet arrived in Porto Cervo in the week ahead of the event, allowing themselves crucial training days. The Costa Smeralda is a sailing paradise, but a challenging one. “Time on the water and on the boat is the most valuable thing,” reveals sailing yacht Alegre bowman Matt Cornwell. “The ethos of our team is to keep guys together year on year and build on it. It’s a strength of ours.”

“You need a well-honed crew of professionals, we are racing and practicing for up to 75 days a year,” reveals Bella Mente’s American owner Hap Fauth. “It’s a big programme, we move with 2-3 containers, our travelling crew now is 30, 22 sailing and the rest support crew: cooks, carbon fibre and winch guys, sailmakers. It’s not for the fainthearted, it needs to be organised and orchestrated a year ahead.”

Each training session and race is closely analysed, the boat’s performances assessed, data crunched and analysed, the results shared with the team. The quest is continual improvement. “We have a full time data analysis person who collects information and debriefs on the boat’s performance,” says Hutchinson. “When you get to 100% of the boat’s performance and you still get someone going faster than you that’s when you scratch your head and see what you can do in specific situations to race the boat better. It’s the pinnacle of our sport, you fight for every single inch.” “Each day we will make mistakes,” admits Vascotto, “but every day we try to improve, this is the important part.”

Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' MAGIC CARPET CUBED (GBR) rounding Mortoriotto - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' MAGIC CARPET CUBED (GBR) rounding Mortoriotto - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Raising the bar

There is widespread belief that this is the toughest Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship to date. Last year’s runner up Alegre, owned by Andres Soriano, appears to have found her ‘sailing legs’ having been the new entry in the 2013 Championship. Meanwhile Zennström is helming a new boat having launched Rán 5 earlier this year.  Zennström’s crew can rely on the latest thinking in Mini Maxi design including a wider hull and narrower waterline, but have had little time to adapt; Bella Mente is hungry to regain her crown after disappointment in 2013; Robertissima III and Jethou are consistent performers; Caol Ila R and Shockwave yacht may be the two smaller, older boats but remain highly competitive especially in light air.

“Everyone is strong and has their different modes and conditions they are good in,” adds Cornwell. “We consider Rán the benchmark in this Class, they have won the championship so any times. However, this year all the teams can win races and the championship.” “This is the event that these boats are built for,” explains Bella Mente’s Mike Sanderson, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2006, “all seven Mini Maxis are slightly different approaches with the same goal. There are some very successful businessmen and multiple world champion sailors racing against each other. Everyone is used to winning.”

“The 2014 Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship is going to be the toughest one ever because competition is getting better every year – we are improving yet so is every team. There’s going to be tight racing,” promises Zennström.

RAINBOW cuts through the waves of the Costa Smeralda - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

RAINBOW cuts through the waves of the Costa Smeralda - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Day 2 – On The Water

The day’s evidence suggests this to be the case. The Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship fleet engaged in two 8nm windward/leeward races designed to test short-course racing prowess. Strategy, tactics, timing and fitness were examined in equal measure. Sailed under a clear blue sky, crews found the tight course and shifting wind rewarded advance planning and determination, while punishing hard errors and weakness. Robertissima III proved boat of the day securing a 2,1 scoreline that moved her into second overall 4.5 points behind Alegre, which finished 1,3. Ràn 5 lies in third, a mere half-point back. Robertissima’s owner, Roberto Tomasini Grinover was understandably delighted: “The racing today was highly competitive. We did very well as the conditions on the racecourse were particularly complicated, and it was very technical racing.”

Both the Wally and J-Class fleets sailed the same courses as the Mini Maxi Racers. With the wind, around 10-12 knots in the first race and 7-9 in the second, swinging up to 40 degrees, it was tough going in the contrasting yachts. Charter yacht Y3K leapt to the top of the Wally standings posting a 2,1 score. Defending champion, Jean Charles Decaux’s J One is in second level on points. Superyacht Lionheart proved the most adept of the J-Class with a bullet and a second. She is now in second overall, level on points with charter yacht Ranger, and one point behind class leader superyacht Rainbow.

The remaining classes undertook a scenic coastal course that saw the yachts head briefly into the Maddalena channel to round Secca dei Tre Monti, before heading south to Mortoriotto. The Mini Maxi Racer/Cruisers sailed 24.7nm, while the Supermaxis and Maxis sailed a slighter longer 28.8nm version of the course. Charter yacht Lupa of London strengthened her grip on the Mini Maxi Racer/Cruiser class by finishing in first. The two Swans Brononesec and @robas are tied in second after coming in second and fourth respectively. Yesterday’s result was repeated in Supermaxi. Superyacht Firefly adding a second bullet to lead from Inoui. The same was true of Maxi, where Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling yacht won again.

While the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship fleet battle out another two windward/leewards today, the rest of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup classes will take on a coastal course.

2014 MAXI YACHT ROLEX CUP – PROVISIONAL RESULTS DAY 2

Place, Boat Name, Boat Owner, Races- Total Points

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship

1. ALEGRE (GBR), Alegre Yachting Ltd., 1.5-1-3; 5.5

2. ROBERTISSIMA (CAY), Roberto Tomasini, 6-2-1; 9

3. Ran 5 (GBR), Niklas Zennstrom 4,5-3-2; 9,5

Mini Maxi R/C

1. LUPA OF LONDON (GBR), Jeremy Pilkington, 1-1; 2

2. BRONENOSEC (RUS), Alpenberg S.A., 4-2-; 6

3. AROBAS (FRA), Gerard Logel, 2-4; 6

Maxi Racing

1. HIGHLAND FLING XI (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1-1; 2

2. ODIN (CAY), Tom Siebel, 2-2; 4

3. BRISTOLIAN (GBR), Bristolian Marine Ltd., 4-4; 8

J-Class

1. RAINBOW (NED), SPF JH2, 2-3-1; 6

3. LIONHEART (GBR), Stichting Lionheart Syndicate, 4-1-2; 7

3. RANGER (CAY), R.S.V. Ltd., 1-2-4; 7

Supermaxi

1. FIREFLY (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 1-1; 2

2. INOUI (SUI), Marco Vögele, 2-2; 4

3. VIRIELLA (ITA), Vittorio Moretti, 3-3; 6

Wally

1. Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 3-2-1; 6

2. J ONE (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1-3-2; 6

3. MAGIC CARPET 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 2-1-5; 8

MIA announces opening for entries into 2015-2016 Marina of the Year Awards

September 03, 2014

The Marina Industries Association (MIA), with its Awards partner Club Marine Insurance, has announced the entries into the 2015-2016 Marina of the Year Awards are now open. These Awards recognize excellence and leadership across the luxury yacht marina industries and provide valuable benchmarks for industry as well as the wider community.

main logo

Club Marine Chief Executive Officer Simon McLean said Club Marine is pleased to again be supporting the Awards. “Marinas play a key role in providing boating infrastructure and services that keep the boating industry developing. Club Marine values the opportunity to support these Awards, which encourage and reward excellence in the marina sector.”

The Marina of the Year Awards are open to both MIA members and non-members. The best International Marina category attracts entries from marinas across the globe. There are 16 award categories including best Commercial Marina under 140 boats, best Dry Stack Storage Facility and best Marina Innovation by a Supplier.

MIA President Andrew Chapman said Awards participation has grown strongly over the past six years. “As the status of the Awards has built so has participation. Winners and finalists have also got better at promoting their achievements and this in turn is encouraging more businesses to enter as they can see the promotional benefits the awards deliver”.

Award entrants are able to submit multiple entries. This year applications are purely on-line with strict limits on the size of entries to keep the process manageable for entrants.  The last day for applications is 12th December 2014 and all submissions must be received by the MIA by C.O.B. 19th December 2014. Entrants can find all the information needed to enter on the MIA web site.

The Awards will be presented at Marine15 International Conference and Trade Exhibition to be held 3-5 May 2015 on the Gold Coast.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014: Day 1

September 02, 2014

Yesterday, September 1, 2014, was marked by the official start of the 25th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, which kicked off with gusto as the 35 participating Maxi yachts completed a coastal course through La Maddalena archipelago, a beautiful Sardinia yacht charter destination, nestled in Italy. Strong winds ensured conditions were exciting for the five classes of Maxi yacht contesting the event, among them the beguiling J-Class yachts, where competition offers competitive racing as well as a compelling insight into sailing heritage.

J-Class bowmen calling the start - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

J-Class bowmen calling the start - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Restoring glories

Owing to their sleek lines, tall masts and decks gleaming with polished winches and varnished woodwork, the five attending J-Class boats catch many admiring glances on the docks of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The America’s Cup boat of choice in the 1930s, victim of the steel shortage during World War 2 when a number of its kind were destroyed, has enjoyed a revival since the turn of the century. In 2000, the J-Class Association was formed encouraging the construction of replicas of the perished originals. Superyacht Lionheart, superyacht Rainbowcharter yacht Rangercharter yacht Shamrock V and luxury yacht Velsheda are the five J-Class boats on show in Porto Cervo for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The former three are replicas of original designs; the latter two restorations. Graceful to watch, captivating and fun to sail, the Class is equally defined by the Corinthian spirit of its competition.

Jeroen de Vos designed the replica of the original Rainbow for Dykstra & Naval Architects. It was launched in 2012 after two years of intense work between the design studio and shipbuilders Holland Jachtbouw. The great challenge for a latter-day J-Class designer is creating a finished yacht which is aesthetically loyal to its original design, complies with class rules, includes a full, luxury interior and is capable of high performance.

In order to compete on racecourses as demanding as those at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the contemporary take on the J-Class requires 21st century engineering musts. “We worked with the original line span from 1934 – it’s the one fixed factor in the design,” explains de Vos, “the boat now has an engine and there are an extra ten centremetres of freeboard to allow for all the systems and interior – all the stuff that they didn’t have in the ‘30s. Additionally, there are powered winches, there is a little deck house, the rig is taller and there is more sail area so while it looks the same from a distance, the way the boats are sailed is completely different from the old days.”

ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR), BELLA MENTE (USA) and JETHOU (GBR) Yachts fighting for the best start - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR), BELLA MENTE (USA) and JETHOU (GBR) Yachts fighting for the best start - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Bouwe Bekking is a professional sailor of considerable expertise, drawing on a career competing on boats as varied as Farr 40s, Volvo 70s and Supermaxis. At the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, he is a key decision maker on Lionheart, a restoration completed in 2010. “I’ve been sailing with Lionheart for about three years,” explains Bekking. “All the boats are pretty similar that’s the nice thing about the J’s. Sailing them goes back to heritage of the America’s Cup, the roots of offshore racing, they are magnificent to view, great to sail.”

The similarities in design of the J-Class yachts ensures close competition in the Class, rewarding who sails best on a given day. They are challenging boats to manoeuvre – loads are enormous, they weigh in excess of 170 tonnes, the sail area can cover up to 1,000m². The crew of 35 skilled sailors onboard need to plan and execute manoeuvres effortlessly, communicate efficiently. “Every manoeuvre has its time and point to make a decision. The tactician and the navigator know those cut off times and they have to make a decision at a certain point,” explains de Vos. “We have departments onboard; the foredeck, mast, middeck and trimmers and back of the boat and a crew boss who needs to reach a couple of people. Then there are the radios, so communication is quick.” “It’s practice, practice, practice,” adds Bekking, “so you can get in a routine that allows the guys can do a good job. However, we approach it like sailing a Farr 40, sometimes jibing every 2-3 minutes. The pressure is on but its great fun when you can pull manoeuvres off in such short distances.”

In parallel with the yesteryear elegance is fierce competition and a will to win as intense as the all out racers contesting the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. “They all want to win, the owners are competitive, the atmosphere is nice. It’s great competition, everyone can win,” says Bekking.

BELLAMENTE (USA) chases JETHOU (GBR) downwind - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

BELLAMENTE (USA) chases JETHOU (GBR) downwind - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Day 1 – On The Water

Velsheda is the defending J-Class champion, however today it was three-time Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup winner Ranger who claimed the first bullet. Defeating Rainbow by only five seconds on corrected time further demonstrates the close nature of the competition.

The eagerly anticipated first race of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship was dominated by Andres Soriano’s sailing yacht Alegre, particularly important as today’s coastal race is doublescored. American Hap Fauth’s luxury yacht Bella Mente claimed second place while Niklas Zennström’s Rán 5, on its competition debut, finished in third.

Elsewhere, defending champion J One won the Wally class, pursued by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento superyacht Magic Carpet Cubed. Luxury yacht Firefly won Supermaxi, Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling yacht prevailed in Maxi Racing and charter yacht Lupa of London triumphed in Mini Maxi racing/cruising.

2014 MAXI YACHT ROLEX CUP – PROVISIONAL RESULTS DAY 1

Place, Boat Name, Boat Owner, Races- Total Points

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship

1. ALEGRE (GBR), Alegre Yachting Ltd., 1.5; 1.5

2. BELLA MENTE (USA), John Fauth, 3; 3

3. RÁN 5 (GBR), Niklas Zennström 4,5; 4,5

Mini Maxi R/C

1. LUPA OF LONDON (GBR), Jeremy Pilkington, 1; 1

2. AROBAS (FRA), Gerard Logel, 2; 2

3. WALLYNO (LUX), Benoit de Froidmont, 3; 3

Maxi Racing

1. HIGHLAND FLING XI (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1; 1

2. ODIN (CAY), Tom Siebel, 2; 2

3. BRISTOLIAN (GBR), Bristolian Marine Ltd., 4; 4

J-Class

1. RANGER (CAY), R.S.V. Ltd., 1; 1

2. RAINBOW (NED), Chris Gongriep, 2; 2

3. VELSHEDA (GBR), Tarbat Investment Ltd, 3; 3

Supermaxi

1. FIREFLY (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 1; 1

2. INOUI (SUI), Marco Vögele, 2; 2

3. VIRIELLA (ITA), Vittorio Moretti, 3; 3

Wally

1. J ONE (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1; 1

2. MAGIC CARPET 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 2; 2

3. Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 3; 3

Rolex Swan Cup 2014 to mark 30th anniversary of relationship between Rolex, Nautor’s Swan and YCCS

September 01, 2014

This year will see one of the sporting world’s most enduring partnerships celebrate a significant milestone: the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Rolex, Nautor’s Swan luxury sailing yachts and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), partners in the biennial Rolex Swan Cup. One of the world of sailing’s signature regattas, this year’s event will run in the fantastic Sardinia yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo from September 8 to 14.

Eurosia during the 2004 Rolex Swan Cup - Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

Eurosia during the 2004 Rolex Swan Cup - Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

The 2014 Rolex Swan Cup will once again provide the dynasty of elegant Swan yachts an opportunity to engage in close racing in the challenging and scenic waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Following directly on from the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, held at the same venue, this year’s 18th edition will provide a typically graceful spectacle conducted in the traditional spirit of ‘gentlemen sailing’.

Shared values

“The Rolex Swan Cup is one of the iconic regattas in the world. It is rewarding to see how it builds up and is consolidated event after event,” explains Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman of Nautor’s Swan since 1998. “It represents the utmost co-operation between three great entities: Rolex [title sponsors since 1984], the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda [event organizers] and, of course, Nautor’s Swan.” Fittingly, 2014 also marks the 30th year of the partnership between Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Start Swan 45 Class

Start Swan 45 Class - Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

“The event embodies several values, first of all the pleasure of owning a Swan,” continues Ferragamo, a long-time and passionate Swan owner and sailor. “A Swan owner is a person who really loves their boat and is full of pride, dedicating time and energy to their yacht. Swan owners have passion and a noble approach which is characterized by the racing and the competitive spirit that shines through at the Rolex Swan Cup.” These principles firmly align with those of Rolex. For over a century the Swiss watch brand has derived inspiration from people and events that define quality, precision and prestige.

Tradition & innovation

Rolex has championed innovation from the very beginning, adapting to dynamic, changing lifestyles and pioneering the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905. The brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, introduced in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 400 patents. Famous worldwide for the chronometric precision, robustness and reliability, and uncompromising quality of its timepieces, Rolex seeks to promote the virtues of excellence across a wide spectrum of activities, from sports – including yachting – and exploration to the arts.

On board Cuor di Leone, 2006 Rolex Swan Cup - Leonardo Ferragamo and Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard

On board Cuor di Leone, 2006 Rolex Swan Cup - Leonardo Ferragamo and Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard - Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

Likewise, Nautor’s Swan has been synonymous with elegance, style, innovation and reliability throughout its nigh-on 50-year history. When he founded the company in 1966 in Pietarsaari, Finland, Pekka Koskenkyla was inspired by hundreds of years of Finnish boatbuilding to build high-quality, high-performance sailing yachts. Ninety-five different models of Swans have been produced, measuring, from the first design, some 11 metres (36ft) through to an ambitious 39.9m (131ft).

Sparkman & Stephens of New York, one of the most acclaimed yacht designers at the time, was persuaded to draw the lines of the first Swan yacht, which was built in fibreglass. Prior to this point, nobody had built a boat over 10 metres long in this material. Fibreglass was then still new to yacht building, but would dominate mass production of boats in years to come. Proof of the longevity and quality of these designs are demonstrated by the large number of Sparkman & Stephens yachts still competing at the Rolex Swan Cup today.

Prizegiving at the YCCS Piazza Azzurra, 2012 Rolex Swan Cup

Prizegiving at the YCCS Piazza Azzurra, 2012 Rolex Swan Cup - Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

The first Swan model was the Swan 36, a yacht that introduced a significant number of innovations, several of which were aimed at improving steering stability, such as: positioning the rudder fully aft, separating it from the full length of the keel and thickening the aft section of the keel. The Swan 36 proved equal to more traditional wooden boats in general handling and safety, but outshone them with better performance under sail and improved living space.

This small but impressive beginning ensured the growth of the most revered boat builder in the world, one that would shape the history of sailing. Nautor’s Swan quickly became synonymous with quality, elegance, reliability and prestige. All Swan yachts are marked simply by an unmistakable ‘arrow’ – indented in every hull – a mark so iconic that the brand name is not needed to identify the yacht afloat.

PLENTY, testifying the strong winds during the 2008 Rolex Swan Cup

PLENTY, testifying the strong winds during the 2008 Rolex Swan Cup - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

In the 1980s, Nautor’s Swan entered a new era with the appointment of naval architects German Frers as its house designer. Frers has been responsible for the design of all production Swan yachts since, and has helped the Finnish builder reinforce the vital balance between producing boats dually designed to race and cruise. In 2012, Nautor’s Swan celebrated the launch of its 2,000th boat, the Swan 90S superyacht Freya. Similarly, integrity, consistency and reliability are the foundation on which the peerless reputation of Rolex watches is built. These virtues apply to every aspect of the company’s activities, from the manufacture of each timepiece, in which every element – from the rotor to the bracelet – meets the highest standards, to the quality of after-sales service worldwide.

World-renowned sailor and Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard is a long-time admirer of Nautor’s Swan yachts and a frequent competitor at the event: “The Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo is a historic event in our sport because it has a lot of tradition. The Swan yacht has gone through a gentle evolution over the years, but has always maintained its style, class and quality.”

2006 Rolex Swan Cup - The Swan 45 fleet cross tacking upwind

2006 Rolex Swan Cup - The Swan 45 fleet cross tacking upwind

Competition and camaraderie

The five classes of Swan yacht competing in Porto Cervo this year are: the Maxi (18.29 metres and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classics (vintage/historical designs by Sparkman and Stephens), Club Swan 42 and Swan 45. The latter, the Swan 45 one design class, will compete in its own World Championship. Winners of all categories will be awarded a coveted Rolex timepiece.

Ferragamo draws pleasure at seeing the ClubSwan family of owners and enthusiasts united both at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo and, since 2013, at the biennial Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean which takes place at the YCCS’s stunning base in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. It creates a genuine sense of belonging in the sailing world: “The atmosphere is friendly and sporting; people like being here together, racing their boats and sharing their experiences,” he says. This passion for yachting and the event’s Corinthian spirit are sentiments embraced wholeheartedly by Rolex.

Dubai Maritime Vision 2030 supported by Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy

September 01, 2014

H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority responsible for regulation, coordination and supervision of all aspects of the maritime sector in the fabulous Middle East yacht holiday destination – Dubai, has underlined the important role played by the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy (MSS) in support of Dubai Maritime Vision 2030.

H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of DMCA

H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of DMCA

The vision aims to develop, regulate and promote the local maritime industry while at the same time reinforce Dubai’s position as a world-class, premiere international maritime hub. H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem’s statement was given during a recent DMCA supervisory coordination meeting that showcased the latest updates and achievements in the efforts to boost Dubai’s maritime competitiveness and offer key foundations to raise the bar on the local maritime industry in line with internationally recognized standards and best international practices.

H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem said, “Dubai Maritime Vision 2030 is positioned as a strategic base to promote Dubai and its highly competitive maritime segment. In fact, Dubai is as equally competent with other leading maritime and logistics centres in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and the rest of the world. To achieve the goals set out by Dubai Maritime Vision 2030, industry players in the emirate must work closely and intensify their efforts in reaching this vision.”

“The local maritime industry is considered to be a key cornerstone in the unified efforts to drive sustainable growth and overall development in the future. It is also a major partner in the move to further enhance Dubai’s regional and international competitiveness. Moreover, the Dubai MSS is a key step forward in aiming to make a difference in the maritime industry and increase its contribution to the country’s GDP, which is poised to enhance its position as one of the leading value-added economical industries in Dubai, following the vision and directives set forth by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem added.

During the meeting, participants discussed current performance indicators and the execution stages of the Dubai MSS, which has so far resulted in the creation and implementation of new regulations and guidelines that ensure further compliance with the highest maritime standards in safety and operations management. These efforts are not only aimed at meeting the objectives set by the Dubai MSS but also to help increase productivity, competitiveness and the creation of an integrated and highly-sustainable maritime environment that can respond effectively to market changes and emerging trends by continuously attracting regional and international investors into Dubai.

The local maritime sector recently made major leaps in terms of its direct contribution to Dubai’s GDP, which amounted to 4.6 per cent or the equivalent of AED 14.4 billion. Maritime operations, maritime engineering, ports and shipping come as leading marine components that contribute to the local economy, followed by maritime and recreational services and different offshore support services. These components played an active role in supplying the labor market with more than 75,000 promising job opportunities to meet the demand for qualified human resources, especially in maritime operations, maritime engineering and ports, which accounted for 51 per cent and 25 per cent of the employment rates within Dubai’s maritime sector, respectively.

H.E. Bin Sulayem commended the ongoing efforts made by Dubai MSS team to make a positive change in the emirate’s maritime industry via a series of pilot initiatives focused on implementing modern regulations and legislation; applying the highest standards in maritime safety; developing integrated logistics programs and improving the emirate’s infrastructure in order to establish clear and strong foundations aimed at creating a vibrant and secure maritime sector that can act as a key driver for economic development.

H.E. Bin Sulayem further added that the positive results achieved by the DMCA can be attributed to the fruitful cooperation between government and non-government entities and the unlimited support given by the Dubai Executive Council. He also called on the attendees to remain committed in developing all components of the local maritime sector and make the best out of potential opportunities to help accelerate Dubai’s transformation into one of the most advanced maritime centers in the world.

“The Dubai MSS is gaining strategic momentum with a strong focus on developing essential maritime industry components. We are confident in our ability to achieve significant results and make a radical shift in lifting the local maritime sector to a higher level of growth and sustainability in collaboration with our strategic partners in the public and private sectors. We look forward to further work on the application of maritime strategic axes, which will have a central role in the local maritime sector’s move to help drive in more economic growth and turn Dubai into a major centre of entrepreneurship and investment,” H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem concluded.