“When my sailing yacht assignments have already taken me on luxurious gulets in Croatia, cats in Cuba and on an intrepid adventure onboard a Swan in Sweden, what’s next?? Naturally, a classic yacht regatta in Cannes on the frankly stunning Moonbeam of Fife.” CharterWorld’s very own yacht charter broker, Colin Srivastava tells us about his remarkable sailing experience in the South of France:
This utter beauty of a yacht is one of the 4 Moonbeams built by William Fife between 1858 and 1920. The 3rd in the series and built-in 1903, she is known as Moonbeam of Fife.
Her history is itself worthy of attention – she was moved to the Mediterranean in the 1920s and promptly won the Course Croisière de la Méditerranée. Jump forward to the 1980s and she was lovingly restored for the first time, before embarking on the Classic racing circuit which she still excels in today. We won the Group BIB race in the expert hands of the captain, but I am getting ahead of myself…
Moonbeam of Fife has been combining her racing flare with mainly corporate group charters, finding a way to share and spread the passion for sailing to enthusiastic clients.
Sailing on her in a regatta allowed me to see her in her most elemental condition :
– how does she perform?
– how is it on board a classic yacht not strictly built for modern comfort but lovingly restored, maintained and updated?
– how competent are her crew of 4 as sailors, as well as charter crew?
– how much of a head-turner is she, notably in the midst an event like this or the Voiles de St Tropez, and how big was the crowd of charter yachts there just to observe these lovely classics?
The answers were all the desired ones!
Moonbeam of Fife has a complex set of sails which were manoeuvred at speed in race conditions and showed that this « old girl » could certainly run fast and smooth!
Her comfort on deck was guaranteed by the open, uncluttered space (I’m not including dodging the focussed sailing team moving with purpose to their positions…), and below deck with the charm and character I expected. There are 2 cabins, 1 double and 1 big twin, and while there are indeed many original fittings, there are also nods to more modern conveniences…
Her crew are indeed able and polished sailors, with the vital experience of small family groups as well as big corporate events.
Any charter group keen to experience this would need to enjoy the experience of being the centre of every observer’s attention, and while the crew are there to provide full charter service, no-one setting foot on this piece of yachting and sailing history, would not want to participate and get involved in the sailing manoeuvres. It’s difficult to think of a better way to attend sailing events such as Les Voiles de St Tropez.