Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2015: Day 1

March 13, 2015

If there was ever any doubt that another new rating rule could create thrilling superyacht racing, Day One of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2015 not only proved the concept, but kicked it squarely at the goal. After a squally night in the enchanting Virgin Gorda yacht charter location in the British Virgin Islands, the day dawned with perfect conditions – sun, a steady breeze and blue skies. The scene was set – and the racing didn’t disappoint, with an amazing photo finish on the water for both Classes.

46 metre superyacht Ganesha made a strong start in Class A. Image by Carlo Borlenghi

46 metre superyacht Ganesha made a strong start in Class A. Image by Carlo Borlenghi

‘It was a perfect day of yachting,’ said a beaming Peter Wilson, racing on the Vitters ketch Marie in Class B. ‘The wind direction was steady, as was the wind speed – perfect conditions for Marie and the fleet.’

This year’s regatta – organised by the Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda – has two innovations. First, it is the first outing for the Offshore Racing Congress’ new ORCsy superyacht rating rule, and second it is the first time the Loro Piana regatta has run a true pursuit race format. The yachts start in a prescribed order according to how long their rating says they will take to finish the course, and whoever crosses the line first is the winner – there are no corrections or handicaps applied after the racing.

Charter yacht P2 races hard on the final beat. Photo by Boat International and YCCS

Charter yacht P2 races hard on the final beat. Photo by Boat International and YCCS

The race committee chose to send the fleet of sailing superyachts clockwise around Virgin Gorda and the Dog Islands, with the more performance orientated Class A yachts sailing a 32 mile course and the cruising yachts of Class B sailing a 26 mile course. With 13 to 16 knots of breeze from the east, the fleet fought hard on the first beat past Necker Island and out to the eastern point of Virgin Gorda. Some chose to head inshore, and some tacked out, but the early pace-setter was the Nautor’s Swan yacht Freya who reached the corner first and was quick to hoist her spinnaker. She was followed by regatta veteran charter yacht P2, with the 46 metre sailing yacht Ganesha in hot pursuit.

As the kites popped open and the fleet headed towards Ginger Island at the bottom of Virgin Gorda, Freya and the Southern Wind superyacht Cape Arrow had stretched their legs and pulled out an impressive lead in Class A, while the giants Marie and Wisp in Class B hauled in the smaller yacht Drumfire and Bolero yacht. But as Class A rounded Ginger Island and dropped kites, both the 38 metre P2 and the 33 metre super yacht Inoui had reeled in Cape Arrow and Freya, leading to a tense battle up to the Dog Islands. Marie and luxury yacht Wisp – sailing the shorter Class B course – meanwhile began to pick their way through as the fleet compressed nearing the final beat.

Inoui and Freya yachts finish seconds apart in idyllic racing conditions. Photo by Boat International and YCCS

Inoui and Freya yachts finish seconds apart in idyllic racing conditions. Photo by Boat International and YCCS

For the last couple of miles, there was all to play for, but the big story was developing as P2 and Inoui caught Cape Arrow. ‘In the end it was incredibly exciting,’ says Chris Main, tactician on Inoui. ‘We were looking ahead and halfway through the race we thought we were never going to catch P2, Cape Arrow and Freya. But then a couple of things went our way. The bigger boats came through the fleet and were playing cat and mouse with the smaller yachts which gave us a chance to get past. We and P2 also gave Cape Arrow a bit of a pasting, but while we were battling with P2, Freya got a bit of a jump on us!’ Cape Arrow got caught in the crossfire and suffered in some dirty air, but P2 and Inoui fought through.

‘We got the last wind shift just right,’ Main continues. ‘We didn’t think we were going to get across P2 but the shift went our way and we went from third to first in the last 500 metres.’

As the yachts closed in on the finish the tension mounted, with Inoui and Freya running side by side to the finish, and with P2 closing in fast at the other end of the line. As the gun sounded, Inoui had taken Class honours by the smallest of margins – just 37 seconds separated her from Freya. P2 came in just 33 seconds later, while fourth and fifth placed yachts Ganesha and Cape Arrow were separated by a single second. It was an astonishing and dramatic end to a great race – and the excitement carried over to Class B.

Close competition between Marie and Wisp yachts on Day One. Photo by Boat International and YCCS on Day One

Close competition between Marie and Wisp yachts on Day One. Photo by Boat International and YCCS on Day One

In the final moments of the last beat, there was nothing between Marie and Wisp. ‘The beat was key,’ Wilson says. ‘We had to keep Wisp behind to the finish, particularly when she went offshore on the last beat and got a good shift – that put her ahead. But when she came back in the shift went our way and we managed to retake the lead.’ It showed – Marie took the win in Class B with Wisp on her transom just 31 seconds behind. The 24 metre Drumfire took third.

‘It was a lot of fun,’ enthuses Donald MacPherson, owner of Freya. ‘There was good strategy. Cape Arrow was on our hip for much of the race until she got rolled by P2 and we got well away. There’s always a way to do something better, but second is not bad!’

The real winner of the day, however, was the ORCsy rating rule. ‘The race committee did a great job of implementing the new racing rule,’ smiles MacPherson. ‘The race really did come down to the wire.’

‘It’s still early days but I have to take my hat off to the rating guys,’ agrees Wilson. ‘Today was the perfect day to test a new system!’

‘We’re a very happy ship,’ Main concludes. ‘And to have won the first race under the new rating system – we’re stoked!

Tonight, the close racing is bound to be one of the leading topics of conversation as owners and their guests enjoy some sophisticated hospitality at the Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner on the YCCS clubhouse terrace overlooking Gorda Sound. There will be some sophisticated entertainment, too, as the dinner features a performance from the great lyric soprano Maria Luigia Borsi. Hailed by critics worldwide for her vocal dynamism and interpretive prowess, she has forged a career that has taken her centre stage to some of the most prestigious theatres around the world, from Milan’s la Scala to the Tokyo New National Theatre, collaborating with the world’s most renowned conductors.

Tomorrow racing resumes at 1100 as Day Two – Oil Nut Bay Race Day – gets underway, and the close action on the water continues.

Works on new yacht club and superyacht marina underway in North Miami Beach

March 13, 2015

Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences are currently in development. Nestled in North Miami Beach, a lovely Florida yacht charter destination, the project will feature a state-of-the-art full-service yacht club and superyacht marina with 112 slips for yachts measuring up to 90 feet in length.

Marina Palms, a beautiful Miami yacht charter destination

Marina Palms, a beautiful Miami yacht charter destination

Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences recently closed on an $87 million loan to fund construction of its second condominium tower. It’s believed to be the largest construction loan made so far this year to a South Florida condominium developer. Marina Palms has now secured a total of $185 million in construction financing for the development of this iconic waterfront property, which includes the closing of a $98 million construction loan on the first tower in 2013. HSBC Bank USA, NA is the administrative agent and arranger with Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) rounding out the lending group.

“Due to the overwhelming success of the north tower we are excited to provide the construction financing for the south tower.” – Michael Wadler, Vice President of Real Estate Finance, HSBC Bank USA.

This new financing comes about a month after Marina Palms formally topped off its north tower, a major milestone, and as construction is quickly progressing on the new namesake marina.

Groundbreaking event at Marina Palms

Groundbreaking event at Marina Palms

“Closing on traditional bank financing for the south tower demonstrates to the community and our buyers the strength of the development team and that we are right on schedule.” – Neil Fairman, President of The Plaza Group.

“Our efficient capitalization structure and our ability to once again access traditional financing markets has allowed us to provide our buyers with a high quality product at a very attractive price point,” Fairman said. “Private equity and specialty finance lenders would have charged a much higher rate that would have added to the project’s financing costs. We have the financial wherewithal to fund and complete construction of the project’s second tower.”

Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences, located in North Miami Beach, features two 25-story towers with a combined 468 residences.

With the north tower sold out and continued demand for residences in the south tower from international and domestic buyers, Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences has been selling units at a swift pace in the south tower. The south tower is already approximately 60 percent sold out.

Located at 172nd Street and Biscayne Boulevard, Marina Palms is being developed by affiliates of The Plaza Group and The DevStar Group. The project will feature a state-of-the-art full-service yacht club and marina with 112 slips for yachts up to 90 feet in length. Construction of the state of the art dock structure has already commenced. This is the first residential and full-service marina/yacht club development to be built in Miami-Dade County in more than 20 years. With one million square feet of livable space on a waterfront promenade, the development entices any buyer in search of luxury waterfront living.

Every two- three- and four-bedroom residence and penthouse offers luxury finishes and amenities such as butler service, exclusive boat club for residents, infinity-edge pool and hot tub, a state-of-the-art gym, a spa with treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room and workout studios, a news café, club room with bar, pool table and 100-inch-plus TV, children’s playroom and teen lounge. The development will have secure, gated-access with 24-7 valet service.

Photos of 101m Feadship mega yacht SYMPHONY (hull 808) leaving the shipyard

March 13, 2015

Launched by Royal van Lent at Kaag island in January 2015, the outstanding 101,50m mega yacht Symphony (hull 808) represents the largest Feadship built to date, as well as the largest yacht ever built in Holland. Luxury motor yacht Symphony has been superbly designed by multi-award winning Tim Heywood, with naval architecture by De Voogt and elegant interior styling by Zuretti. Below are the photos showing Symphony, while leaving the Kaag shipyard on the evening of March 12 for her transport to Rotterdam. The photos were released by ‘Feadship Fanclub’.

Feadship 808 mega yacht Symphony - Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Feadship 808 mega yacht Symphony – Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Luxury motor yacht Symphony by night - Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Luxury motor yacht Symphony by night – Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Superyacht Symphony - aft view - Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Superyacht Symphony – aft view – Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Bridge dismantled to give Symphony Yacht a passage - Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Bridge dismantled to give Symphony Yacht a passage – Photo credit to Feadship Fanclub

Video of Feadship 808 motor yacht SYMPHONY leaving the shipyard

March 13, 2015

Representing the largest yacht ever built in Holland, the impressive 101,50-metre Feadship motor yacht Symphony (hull 808) was launched by Royal van Lent at Kaag island on Friday, January 30, 2015. Beautifully designed by acclaimed Tim Heywood, luxury mega yacht Symphony is the first Feadship to be fully compliant with the new Passenger Yacht Code regulations, allowing more than the usual twelve passengers. Below is a video showing Symphony, while leaving the Kaag shipyard on the evening of March 12 for her transport to Rotterdam. The video has been released by ‘Feadship Fanclub’.

Video of 38m motor yacht So’Mar by Tansu Yachts

March 13, 2015

Launched by the Turkish shipyard Tansu Yachts last year, motor yacht So’Mar is a unique 37,9-metre cold – moulded wooden vessel, entirely designed by Tansu Yacht Design, with naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design. Superyacht So’Mar can sleep up to 8 guests in maximum comfort and style. Below is a video introducing this jewel of the sea, released by Tansu Yachts.

Rise in Arabs Enjoying Superyacht Charter Vacations

March 13, 2015

An Increasing number of Arab clients appreciate the value of spending their priceless leisure time on board the world’s finest superyachts and mega yachts. They seek the unparalleled opulence, extravagance, and the supremely pleasurable and private experience that superyacht charter vacations can offer. Although the yacht charter market is traditionally lead by the American clientele and European customers, clients from the Middle East are steadily on the rise.

Image credit to Dubai International Boat Show

Image credit to Dubai International Boat Show

This year’s 23rd edition of the Dubai International Boat Show reported a high attendance and strong sales. The United Arab Emirates-based Al Shaali Marine announced that it is expecting to sell at least three superyachts and seven medium-sized boats, with more leads expected to converts in subsequent weeks. Other companies, such as Sanlorenzo Middle East, represented by ACE Marine, has also confirmed the sale of their SL86 superyacht in the first three days of the show. There is generally a large evidence in the yachting industry that Middle Eastern clients are more interested in buying, renting or building yachts than ever before. And no wonder …

Dubai International Boat Show 2015

Dubai International Boat Show 2015

A mega yacht charter or a superyacht charter means bespoke personalisation. Depending on the customer’s requirements, a yacht charter vacation may incorporate destinations that offer the much treasured privacy and tranquil surroundings, discovering new, otherwise unreachable worlds of the South Pacific or the more remote destinations of Antarctica. Other guests might enjoy the vibrant life of the French Riviera or indulging in the Italy‘s ‘Dolce Vita’. United Arab Emirates, including Dubai yacht charter and Abu Dhabi yacht charter are also popular with Arab clients who, in addition to family vacations, might choose Middle East yacht charter for business purpose; and by inviting their clients and partners, combining business with pleasure.

Fiji

Fiji

Privacy is perhaps the most important factor appreciated by the Middle Eastern clientele when deciding on the next vacation destination. Travelling aboard a luxury yacht allows clients to relax and enjoy their precious time with family and friends, away form the crowds and unwanted attention. They can embrace the solitude of a remote anchorage and explore the many fantastic destinations around the world.

One of the vital elements of every yacht charter is the crew. The professional and discrete manner of these individuals has been greatly appreciated by Arab customers. All members of the crew are meticulously chosen, based upon their previous experiences, training and industry references. These are highly trained men and women, providing the highest level of service without compromising on the privacy and personal space of the customers aboard. Large superyachts and mega yachts have the crew quarters completely separated from the guest areas, which allows for additional seclusion and personal space. Everyone aboard works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that a complete satisfaction of all charter guests has been achieved.

Motor Yacht AZTECA - Sun Deck

Motor Yacht AZTECA – Sun Deck

Multi-level deck spaces offer plenty of relaxation and entertainment areas. No superyacht is built without the popular Jacuzzi or a spa these days. The opulent staterooms usually include a large full-beam master stateroom or even an entire deck dedicated to the owner’s quarters. VIP stateroom follows, with additional double or twin guest cabins, usually accommodating up to twelve charter guests in total. Each stateroom has its own en-suite bathroom, luxury linens, amenities, air conditioning and an entertainment system with a great selection of music and DVDs.

OCEAN PARADISE yacht

OCEAN PARADISE yacht

In addition to on board entertainment, there is a huge selection of water toys and various equipment for guests to enjoy. This could include anything from snorkelling and diving gear, throughout to water slides, kayaks, sophisticated jet skis and superyacht tenders. Mega yachts could include a helicopter landing pad, a disco/dance floor or even a basketball court!

Luxury yacht BLUE EYES LONDON

Luxury yacht BLUE EYES LONDON

A yacht charter is a truly unique experience – the pinnacle of luxury vacations. More and more wealthy Arabs are embarking on this spectacular journey that allows them to enjoy their precious time with family and friends in utmost luxury and most importantly privacy, safety and comfort. Yacht charter companies, such as CharterWorld are able to offer clients superior service in organising their optimal luxury yacht charter vacations and creating phenomenal holiday experiences.

Below is a video of Charter Yacht BELLE AIMEE depicting an unforgettable superyacht charter holiday. Video was created by Q&K

The Belle Aimee Experience from Q&K on Vimeo.

Sunseeker to mark National Apprenticeship Week with new opportunities for 2015

March 13, 2015

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2015, the iconic British motor yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker International, is delighted to announce that it will create 28 new apprenticeship vacancies during the upcoming year, its largest intake in four years. These will cover a broad range of specialist skills, comprising marine engineers, electricians, as well as carpenters, all based at its manufacturing centre in Poole, Dorset.

Olivia Richards-Smith - Apprentice Marine Engineer at Sunseeker

Olivia Richards-Smith – Apprentice Marine Engineer at Sunseeker

Sunseeker has recognised the benefits of developing apprentices for over 35 years, training on average 25 apprentices annually across its programme. Working in partnership with Bournemouth & Poole College and its specialist Marine Technology Centre, Sunseeker is firmly committed to honing the high level skills required to develop the young marine engineers and boat builders of the future who will maintain its reputation and position as a world leader in luxury performance motor yacht design and manufacture.

Commenting on the new apprenticeships, Sunseeker’s Training Manager Alex Bowman said: “There are huge career development opportunities at Sunseeker for the next generation of marine engineers and boat builders, and today’s announcement underlines our commitment to enabling young people in the local community to kick-start an exciting and rewarding career in the marine sector. Not only will they get to work on our range of stunning boats on a daily basis, but in partnership with Bournemouth & Poole College we provide a comprehensive learning and development experience that includes work in the classroom and on external leadership and team-building courses throughout the programme.”

Olivia Richards-Smith, a current Sunseeker apprentice studying an advanced apprenticeship (level 3) in Marine Engineering and currently fulfilling a placement on Sunseeker’s Test Team, added: “I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship as it opens so many opportunities, allowing you to gain so many practical skills whilst going into great detail and understanding about marine systems. My work colleagues, college tutor and the apprenticeship coordinator have all been really supportive to help me gain the qualifications and open up great career prospects.  If you’re looking for a career in the marine sector this scheme really sets you up for your future no matter what route you’re going to follow.”

 

Sunseeker looking for Superyacht Yard Captain

March 13, 2015

The iconic British luxury performance motor yacht builder, Sunseeker International, is offering a truly unique dream role as it looks for the right candidate to join its team in the position of Superyacht Yard Captain. The Yard Captain will enjoy daily testing and commissioning aboard Sunseeker’s amazing range of motor yachts reaching up to 155ft in length, as well as liaising with the company’s exacting customers to ensure a smooth delivery.

Superyacht Captain

Superyacht Captain

From Sunseeker’s base in Poole, the new Captain will embody the spirit of excellence that has driven Sunseeker to its pre-eminent position in the marine market today. Testing current models such as the 28 Metre Yacht (example is charter yacht In All Fairness) and 116 Sport Yacht, plus future models such as the 131 Yacht launching later this year, and the iconic 155 Yacht (example is superyacht Blush) – the largest and most advanced yacht Sunseeker has ever produced – the Yard Captain will get hands-on with the company’s entire range.

Sunseeker 115 Yacht BLUSH superyacht underway

Sunseeker 115 Yacht BLUSH superyacht underway

Sunseeker’s HR Director Sian Thomas said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and dream job. As we continue to build on our range of exciting new models and produce even more boats in the larger superyacht category, our new Superyacht Yard Captain will be an integral part of the team. Every Sunseeker is the result of an uncompromising and unmatched approach to design, craftsmanship and performance, and the new Captain will get to experience this quality out on the water on a full-time daily basis whilst still being able to go home every night.”

FOR HR ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Sunseeker HR Team
Email: applications@sunseeker.com

Video: New 50m motor yacht Project AKOYA (YN 17650) by Heesen Yachts

March 13, 2015

Measuring 50 meters in length over all, luxury motor yacht Project Akoya (YN 17650) is a striking semi-displacement vessel, currently under construction at the Heesen Yachts shipyard in the Netherlands. Due to be delivered in 2016, superyacht Akoya boasts classy interior design by Cristiano Gatto. Below is a video showing Akoya, while being moved to her shed, courtesy of Heesen Yachts.

‘RoFlo’ Launch of new AMELS 180 motor yacht Hull 467

March 13, 2015

The brand new 55-metre AMELS 180 motor yacht Hull 467 unveiled her beautiful dark blue paintwork to the world, following her very efficient final completion and commissioning. In a meticulous ‘RoFlo’ launch at the AMELS yard in Vlissingen, the 700 tonne Tim Heywood-designed superyacht Hull 467 was first moved from one of the AMELS fully climate-controlled covered dry-docks onto a floating pontoon, then to a floating drydock, which submerged and the yacht floats.

Launch of new 55m AMELS 180 superyacht Hull 467

Launch of new 55m AMELS 180 superyacht Hull 467

The successful (and exactly on schedule) launch of AMELS 180 luxury yacht Hull 467 proves once again how smoothly the AMELS Limited Editions concept works – higher quality, lower technical risk and faster delivery! Proud Owners and AMELS team; great team work!

Luxury yacht LA FAMILIA leaving her shed

Luxury yacht Hull 467 leaving her shed

Luxury motor yacht LA FAMILIA at launch

Luxury motor yacht Hull 467 at launch

AMELS 180 super yacht LA FAMILIA

AMELS 180 super yacht Hull 467

55m luxury yacht LA FAMILIA on the water

55m luxury yacht Hull 467 on the water