By Simon Piggott
As autumn approaches we are faced with choices as to where next summer will take us: what better than to visit three major events for yacht aficionados – Classic Week in Monaco followed by the Cannes Yacht Festival and the Monaco Yacht Show all concentrated in September!
Monaco Classic Week gathered that rare breed: lovers of classic sailing and motor yachts. Although the meeting suffered from either not enough or too much wind, the atmosphere was of bygone days of the 1920s with the true spirit of yachting and love for both match racing and the sea in general. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 90th birthday of the largest wooden and one of the most beautiful sailing yachts still afloat – Creole, the 63 m three-masted schooner designed by Charles E. Nicholson and built at his shipyard in Gosport in 1927, which was flanked by the 50m ketch Xarifa, and the 45m schooner Trinakria, both also dating from 1927.
Carlo Riva, who passed away this year at the age of 95, was also commemorated with a display of his finest motor launches showing their paces in the Port d’ Hercules.
Since its first biennial edition in 1994, we can say that Monaco has become the destination for both modern and traditional yachts and this year hosted just under 150 boats.
The Cannes Yachting Festival, the largest of its kind in Europe, made its debut this year at the same time as Monaco Classic Week, giving the opportunity to our members and yacht lovers a chance to admire some 500 boats. Motor yachts, which accounted up some 80% of the boats on show, ranged from tenders a few metres in length to over 100 longer than 20m., the largest on display being 65m. In the sailing yacht category there were over 60 boats in the water, ranging from 10m to 28m, while the multi-hull category had 43 participants. Charter and brokerage were centred in Port Canto and it was there that members of Ccercle were invited to a cocktail party hosted by the Gustavia Yacht Club on a 27m Leopard motor yacht brokered by IYC.
There were a number of world premiers notably the new 35m flagship of the Italian yard Azimut. With an interior design by Achille Salvagni, an exterior by Stefano Righini, this yacht uniquely features an optional 30 sqm additional sun-deck.
However the king of all shows remains the Monaco Yacht Show. There were 125 motor and sailing yachts displayed in the Port d’ Hercules, ranging from tenders to some of the largest yachts in the world, including the 110m “Jubilee” completed by Oceanco in 2017 for the late Emir of Qatar, which was moored for very select visits on the cruise ship quay, and priced at just under 300 million euros.
The yachts in the port and those anchored in the bay totalled over 6000 linear metres, with an average length of 49m and a total value exceeding 3.3 billion Euros, giving visitors plenty of choice to find at least one yacht to fit their taste and wallet.
Some 45 new-build premieres were launched. Apart from the impressive “Jubilee”, which can accommodate 31 guests in 16 cabins and cruises at 14 knots, the list included “Aquarius”, the 92m Feadship built in 2016 for the Wynns family of Casinò fame, which had been already spotted at St. Barts in February, the 85m German-built Lürssen “Areti”, designed by Winch and accommodating up to 18 guests in 9 cabins, with impeccable classic interiors, as well as the 77m “Legend”, transformed in Holland in 2016 by Icon Yachts and classified as an ice-breaking passenger ship. There was also another explorer ship in the show, the 69m Dutch-built Damen “Game Changer”, equipped with a large helipad and hangar for helicopters, enabling them to be stored in extreme weather conditions. Italian shipyards were also well represented, with the 74m CRN “Cloud 9”, delivered this year to a discerning Australian entrepreneur, as well as the Benetti 67m “Seasense” , with her distinctive straight bow and amazingly stylish interiors.
Amongst the novelties were the Porsche-designed Dynamiq T115 hybrid motor yacht, which was moored next to the Yacht Club de Monaco, the centre for many activities and launch parties for the marine industry during this intensive
Not far from the YCM was a stand hosting the Gustavia Yacht Club, which had recently been affected by Hurricane Irma on St. Barthélemy in the French West Indies. The club was raising funds needed for reconstruction and help for the islanders, having set up the “St Barts – Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief Fund”. Members and friends of Ccercle and of St Barts are encouraged to contribute via the club webpage under events
The yacht show also had an area dedicated to special cars, helicopters as well as watches. The latter includes a display of the finest one-off timepieces by famous watchmakers. These were to be sold in a biennial charity auction under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco by Christie’s in aid of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Association of Monaco to be held in November in Geneva. This charity, founded by Luc Pettavino, ex CEO of the MYS, is another worthy cause to which our members and readers are invited to contribute. More information on www.onlywatch.com. The interior design and decoration category was also well represented at the show, with Boutsen Design, who provide an all-in-one solution for your yacht, plane or home. They were exhibiting objects from the Odiot Collection at their House of Excellence in the YCM private dining room. A Boeing Business Jet Max 7 model with interior design by Alberto Pinto was also there.
Last but not least, all good shows have gatherings to celebrate the talents of their participants and their clients. Noteworthy this year was the Bulgari party organized by My Yacht Group aboard the 77m “LEGEND” explorer yacht (IYC Central Agent) where Perrier Jouet Champagne and Titomirov Vodka were flowing. The latest creations of the Bulgari Collection could be seen on the catwalk.
The yacht show could not end without a major closing event. This one was thrown by Peter Lürssen and his team at the Monaco Yacht Club. Guests and friends danced to the sound of Kool and the Gang on the top floor of the YCM, celebrating a successful yacht show with Moet & Chandon and Titomirov Vodka …. see you all back in Monaco soon and maybe at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for yacht enthusiasts!