Yacht Class n°33 (june-july-august 2023)

The Yacht Club de Monaco has organized its “Yachting day” during the Monaco Ocean Week with, on the menu, several conferences and the Explorer Awards as a highlight.

Written by Aurore Teodoro – Photos : Mesi / Yacht Club de Monaco.

Since its first edition in 2017, the Monaco Ocean Week has become a major event when it comes to environmental issues, and more specifically to the protection of the oceans. For its sixth edition (March 20th-26th), almost fifty events were organised throughout the Principality, including at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM). In addition to hosting numerous events, the Monegasque institution also coordinated its own “yachting day”. 

The club, which has had the ISO 14001 certification since June 2016, (a management system giving the Club eco-responsible organisation status) is also a pioneer. For years, it has regularly organised events on the environmental issue, such as its eponymous symposium or the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. “The oceans are part of the yachting playground, and we can’t ignore the necessary energy transition”, explained Bernard d’Alessandri, YCM General Secretary. “The role of the Yacht Club is to try to present solutions. It won’t happen with a snap of the fingers, nor overnight. There will certainly be alternative energies. We have to move on, yachting has a rightful place in the Ocean Week.”

Over the years, this day has grown. In March, it once again offered a rich agenda, with no less than four major events: the 12th Environmental Symposium, the 27th Captain’s Forum, the 3rd YCM Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts and, finally, the launch of the Smart Yacht Rendezvous, organised by Monaco Marina Management (M3) (Our article page 150). This programme was held under the collective “Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting” brand, launched the previous year on this same occasion.

The “festivities” started with the Environmental Symposium. On the theme “Encouraging more responsible yachting through alternative energies, innovation and collaboration”, it was articulated around the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, the tenth edition of which will take place next July. This event was followed by the Captains’ Club, an exchange platform which brings together 150 skippers holding a captain’s licence 3000, working on superyachts and sailing under the Monegasque flag, on “Superyacht commitment: management, leadership & mentoring”.

The Explorer Awards as a highlight

The highlight of this day were the Explorer Awards. Launched before the pandemic, they “pay tribute to those who honour the long tradition initiated by Prince Albert Ist and contribute most to protecting the marine environment, be it in the design of their yacht or how they use it”, says the YCM. “This is a category of owners, sometimes members, who go off the beaten track, to particular regions and often make their boat available to academics, researchers… This shows a different facet of yachting, which is not just about champagne in Saint-Tropez or Monaco. Yachting is so many other things: sport with the sailboats, motor yachts…” Bernard d’Alessandri reminded. In the presence of Prince Albert II, YCM president, this 3rd Explorer Awards rewarded four yachts. The Technology & Innovation category was won by the S/Y Marie Joseph, a 24m Sunreef, with numerous eco-targeted innovations, including solar panels with “solar skin” system, a hydro generation system and high performance batteries. The Mediation & Science Award went to M/Y Ocean Xplorer, an 87m vessel dedicated to science under the umbrella of a non-profit association. For the record, the owner’s father won an Explorer Award in 2019. Finally, the Adventure & Ethics category was won by the S/Y Seahawk. Although she is not built for science, this 59m Perini Navi aims to help science and the oceans. Her many scientific missions have helped better understand migration patterns, fishing impact, and she is also involved in various projects.

This year, the jury’s favourite was the M/V Plastic Odyssey (39m). After a stopover in Monaco last autumn, this boat is currently on a three-year round-the-world trip to find concrete solutions to fight plastic pollution.

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