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RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 to host international fleet of yachts

October 24, 2014

The Royal Ocean Racing Club‘s new offshore race, RORC Transatlantic Race, will start from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, on Saturday, November 29, 2014, finishing in the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter location – Grenada. The event will host a varied and international fleet of yachts, ranging from 40 to 100ft (12,19 to 30,48m).

The largest yacht in the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet The 100ft (30.48m) Finot-Conq superyacht, Nomad IV - Credit to Gilles Martin RagetFinot Conq

The largest yacht in the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet: The 100ft (30.48m) Finot-Conq superyacht Nomad IV - Credit to Gilles Martin Raget/Finot Conq

After a week of preparation and social events hosted at Puerto Calero Marina, the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race will see competitors from several countries weave their way through the historic archipelago before making landfall 2,800 nautical miles away where they will be welcomed at Camper & NicholsonsPort Louis Marina.

Ever since Columbus started the trend over 500 years ago, the Canary Islands have remained the jumping-off point for yachts crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The RORC Transatlantic Race will provide RORC members and other highly competitive race boats with the chance to compete in a top-level event during the east-west transatlantic crossing.

Run in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), the race is set to become a firm favourite and fixture on annual racing calendars. Here’s a glimpse at just some of the competitors taking part in this year’s race.

Vying for line honours

A number of boats will be vying for line honours including the largest boat in the fleet, the 100ft (30.48m) Finot-Conq maxi yacht Nomad IV (MLT), the Southern Wind 94 superyacht Windfall and Baltic 78 charter yacht Lupa of London.

Jeremy Pilkington's 78ft maxi yacht Lupa of London (GBR) - Credit to Enno Oldigs

Jeremy Pilkington's 78ft maxi yacht Lupa of London (GBR) - Credit to Enno Oldigs

Jeremy Pilkington’s 78ft maxi yacht Lupa of London (GBR) will be sailed by Daniel Stump with a top crew, including Isle of Wight-based solo sailor and project manager, Jonny Malbon, and young solo offshore Artemis Offshore Academy graduate and top British ‘rookie’ in the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro, Jack Bouttell on board.

Built to combine the ultimate in performance, this Reichel Pugh-designed Baltic 78′ is a high tech package, built for speed. She has already notched up some impressive records this year, winning the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising class at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia and 1st in Combined Class IRC 0 at Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014.

“To take part in the first RORC Transatlantic Race on board Lupa of London will be a great adventure and something we wanted to support,” says Boat Captain, Daniel Stump, who has sailed in both the Canary Islands and Grenada previously. “We expect to be at sea for about 12 days and have a superb crew who are all seasoned ocean sailors and, above all, great company. I have been the Captain of Lupa of London for the past 8 years and it has been thrilling to be part of and see the development of Lupa from a fast cruising boat to a podium finisher. I owe this to a wonderful owner who very much enjoys the racing and fine-tuning of Lupa. So on the 29th November when the start gun goes off, it will be all on for Lupa’s first ever transat race,” continues Stump.

Apollo ready for lift-off

The J/133, Apollo 7 (GBR), was bought and refitted by regular RORC racer Nigel Passmore in order to compete in his first transatlantic race. “I’m taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race in order to achieve a lifetime ambition of sailing across the Atlantic,” explains Passmore.

The Plymouth, Devon-based team has notched up a string of local victories as well as notable wins in the Rolex Fastnet Race and as overall winner of the RORC’s De Guingand Bowl and Morgan Cup races earlier this season. A crew of six for the crossing includes Isle of Wight sailor Brett Aarons.

“Once the RORC announced its intention to organise the race, I wanted to make sure I took part in the first event. We intend to do the best we can and enjoy the experience. Maintaining boat equipment and keeping on a race pace for two weeks, 24 hours a day is going to be tough. I’m looking forward to the whole race and ticking off another ‘To Do’ box when the finish gun goes off in Grenada. It’s sure to be a memorable moment,” says Apollo 7′s owner, Passmore.

Offshore training with veteran circumnavigators

The Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges Team is delighted to have completed a successful first year on the Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure (CAN). A season that included the RORC Caribbean 600 allowed 91 individuals, from 27 to 77 years old, to take up the opportunity to sail on the grand prix yacht with two round the world sailors, Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major, who between them have more than 400,000 ocean miles and five circumnavigations.

Derek is the first Canadian to race around the world twice after competing in the single-handed Around Alone Race (when he was the fastest 40ft boat throughout the event) and the VELUX 5 Oceans. His latest challenge is training other people to go offshore. Using the Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure, (formerly Amer Sports One) which was raced around the world in the 2001 Volvo Ocean Race, Derek is now taking people offshore for the experience of a lifetime. The Mk III Volvo 60 is undergoing a refit in Nova Scotia before crossing from the Nova Scotian port of Lunenberg to arrive in good time for the start from Lanzarote. Spirit of Adventure will compete for the second time in the RORC Caribbean 600 in February and already has a full boat for the race.

New kids on the block

Four young sailors from Oakcliff Sailing’s training and coaching centre based in the North Shore of Long Island, Oyster Bay, NY have been given the opportunity to compete in the RORC Transatlantic Race thanks to the generosity of their newly donated Class40.

The Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team (USA) were formed almost 12 months ago by Oakcliff’s Dan Flanigan and Hobie Ponting, with the goal to race in the Transatlantic Race 2015 from Newport, RI to Lizard Point, UK. The four-man team will start their training in less than a month, sailing the Class40 from Southampton, UK to Lanzarote in time for the start:

“We have worked hard over the past 12 months to make our Ocean Racing Team a reality,” explained navigator Hobie Ponting. “Building your own team is difficult and it often seemed like it would never happen. Then all of the sudden we have a boat and a programme and we are headed to Europe! We will use the race to launch our campaign as an offshore racing team and we expect this race to be incredibly challenging. It will not be easy, but nothing good in life comes easy. We are a new, young team who are always in fundraising mode and always learning. For us, the most challenging part of the race will be getting the boat to Lanzarote from England but we are looking forward to being on the starting line with many of the most talented offshore sailing teams around,” continues Ponting.

The crew of Dan Flanigan (23), Chris Kennedy (26), Andrew “OD” O’Donnell (27), and Hobie Ponting (23) will be depart Long Island for England at the beginning of November as they meet with the crew of Bodacious Dream to get a walkthrough of the boat before the handover. After completing the race, the team will go into full fundraising mode as they set their sights on the west to east transatlantic.

Three’s company on Sérénade

Denis Villotte’s 12m Joubert-Nivelt-Pinta, Sérénade (FRA), will join three other French yachts competing in the new race. The Parisian Management Consultant will be competing in his twin-keeled version of the JNP along with Alain Houchard from Caen and Pit Porter from Bayonne.

“I have raced Sérénade across the Atlantic once before in the 2011-12 two-handed race, La Transquadra (2 legs: Saint-Nazaire to Madeira and Madeira to Martinique). I wanted to make another Atlantic crossing in a race again. Though I loved the Transquadra experience, I wanted something different and made an entry as soon as I found out that the RORC was organising a new race. I would like to make a faster crossing than the previous one (16 days, 4 hrs) which won’t be easy as the distance is a bit longer and winds might be weaker,” explains Villotte.

“Crossing the Atlantic with the trade winds is not so easy when you are racing. You may get sudden strong squalls, especially before dawn and you have to be swift and reactive. Strategic choices may also prove crucial, especially just after the start. Tactical choices (to gybe or not to gybe) have to be made constantly. As for us, we’ll be a small crew (only 3) and we won’t use the automatic pilot, so the race is going to be a real challenge. I hope we’ll be able to make a good result in the race. Whatever happens, it’s always a great moment to steer a yacht running downwind in the trades, with her spinnaker on,” continues Sérénade’s owner Villotte.

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014: Day 5

October 23, 2014

Day 5 of the Rolex Middle Sea Race was a day of reckoning for the fleet participating in this popular Mediterranean regatta. The forecast strong northwesterly wind arrived and consistently blew over 25 knots, with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect was to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta.

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) crosses the finish line to claim line honors for the 4th time - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Superyacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) crosses the finish line to claim line honors for the 4th time - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 claimed line honours, crossing the finish line at the entrance to Marsamxett Harbour at 22:47.05 CEST on Tuesday night, setting an elapsed time of 82 hours, 42 minutes and 5 seconds. Although failing to better the course record time, Igor Simcic’s team has set a new record of four line honours wins, following successes 2010, 2011 and 2012. Niklas Zennström’s sailing yacht Rán finished second, exactly two hours later.


After three slow nights at sea, a dramatic change in conditions occurred late last night as the wind started to build progressively from the northwest just a the bulk of the fleet had reached the westernmost point of the course at Favignana. Boat speed accelerated rapidly propelled by storm force winds and a huge following sea.

Marton Jozsa's WILD JOE (HUN) in the final approach to Malta - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Marton Jozsa's WILD JOE (HUN) in the final approach to Malta - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


GYR Scarlet Oyster reported 48 knots of wind close to Pantelleria just before retiring with broken rudder. Seb Ripard on the Maltese J122 Artie explained how they were coping: “We have wind gusting over 40 knots and 30 feet waves. With the full main and jib top sail, we have been flying along. The game plan has been a mixture of pushing as hard as we can but also protecting the boat, so we have been taking it a bit easier in the big gusts of over 40 knots and then going for it when the wind speed drops a little.”


The long awaited northwesterly is pushing the fleet towards the target. The wind angle means yachts are piling downwind towards the southernmost mark of the course at Lampedusa. The following leg to finish in Malta is still favourable in terms of wind angle, but the wind-driven waves are now hitting the yachts beam on.

Volvo 70 MONSTER PROJECT (RUS) surfing a wave in the final approach to Malta - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Volvo 70 MONSTER PROJECT (RUS) surfing a wave in the final approach to Malta - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo


By 15.00CEST on Wednesday, exactly 100 hours after the start of the race, five boats have crossed the finish line and 25 have officially retired.


For the moment, among the yachts to have finished, the Italian yacht Cantankerous holds pole position in the overall standings. With the increasing wind playing in the favour of the boats still at sea, new leaders are expected to emerge. For those still at sea the message is simple: the race is far from over.

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

The International SeaKeepers Society to host 14th annual Founders’ Dinner honoring DISCOVERY Yacht vessels

October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014, will see The International SeaKeepers Society host their annual Founders’ Dinner. The event will honor vessels that participated in the 2014 DISCOVERY Yacht expeditions, SeaKeepers Drifter deployments, as well as outreach programs.


Founders’ Dinner will take place at a private waterfront residence in Fort Lauderdale on the night of October 30th during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. SeaKeepers will honor 2014 DISCOVERY Yachts: motor yacht Copasetic, charter yacht Defiance, Fugitive, LoJo, superyacht Meduse, charter yacht Penny Mae, Shredder of Fleet Miami, and Valkyrie yacht for their generous contribution to DISCOVERY Yacht missions.

This year, SeaKeepers facilitated three scientific expeditions, four outreach programs, and had five SeaKeepers Drifters deployed. Copasetic hosted a genome sequencing expedition and housed a custom-made at-sea mobile laboratory. Penny Mae hosted a week-long tiger shark tagging expedition with assistance from LoJo. Fleet Miami’s Shredder hosted a three-day expedition monitoring the behaviors of various designs of ocean drifters.

Five SeaKeepers Drifters were deployed thanks to Defiance, Fugitive, Meduse, and Valkyrie.

Defiance hosted two educational outreach programs this year: a drifter deployment with school children in Bimini, Bahamas and a lesson on ocean conservation with children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County in Newport, Rhode Island. Shredder introduced youth of the Miami-based organization StreetWaves to ocean currents, drifter instrumentation and oil spill research. Copasetic led an outreach program teaching children about microscopic organisms and touring the genome sequencing lab.

Founders’ Dinner guests will enjoy a video highlighting the 2014 DISCOVERY Yacht missions. Guests will have the opportunity to board Shredder, which will be docked at the venue. A silent auction, featuring items from sailing experiences to vacation getaways, will take place during the event.

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.