Yacht Class N°33 (june-july-august 2023)
Under construction since the autumn 2022, the coastal protection device, which aims to protect the port of Cala del Forte from the southwest swell, will soon be delivered.
Interview conducted by Jean-Marc Moreno – Photos : All rights reserved
As the work to create the protective “banana” of Cala del Forte is nearing completion, we met Aleco Keusseoglou (left) and Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo (right), respectively president and director of the Société Monégasque Internationale Portuaire (SMIP).
What is the precise role of this “banana”? What will be its impact on the protection of the port?
Aleco Keusseoglou: The purposes of the banana design are to protect the cliff that overlooks the famous path to the Calandre beach and to safeguard the marina in the event of south-westerly sea storms. It is important to point out that the entire operation only involves the placement of boulders made of inert material that vary in size and weight in relation to the project specifications, which will be followed scrupulously. For this reason, there will be no environmental impact, as the use of anything other than the planned boulders made of inert stone material, therefore of natural origin, is categorically excluded.
Could you give us more details about this structure, its characteristics, the number of cubic metres of rock needed?
Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo: The coastal protection project will boast a total length of approximately 120 metres and a depth of between 7 and 8 metres. The base on the seabed is more than 40 metres wide with a pyramid shape that reduces the width to approximately 26 metres towards the surface (mid-sea). The above-water part, which will be around 4 metres high, will feature a summit berm with a width of 5 to 9 metres. In total, approximately 120,000 tonnes of boulders and stones will be used which will mainly come from quarries in the Trapani area.
How long did the construction work last ?
Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo: The Italian public administration authorized the construction of a protective structure close to the marina’s entrance on 20th July 2022. The construction of the ‘banana’ started on Wednesday 19th October 2022 following the public tender, won by a leading Italian maritime construction company, SOA-certified for unlimited investments. The company regulates all production and operating processes in full accordance with the UNI EN ISO 9001 efficiency and quality management standards. The construction work is nearing completion with 90 percent of the boulders already laid. Weather permitting, construction will be completed in end of June this year.
What was approximated cost of the work ?
Aleco Keusseoglou: The estimated cost is 4.500.000,00 Euros
What is the filling rate of the port today? Should the protection provided by the “banana” have a beneficial effect on the winter occupancy rate?
Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo: The occupancy rate of Cala del Forte changes in response to different times of the year. It reaches 100% in the month of May at the end of which many yachts begin the summer sailing season. Until about mid-September, the port experiences intensive transit traffic. The end of September is another busy time at Cala del Forte, which will approach the 2023 winter season as its first real season in which we will be able to provide all our exclusive services. The protection generated by the banana is one of them and, albeit not yet completed, it is already providing a positive effect in the event of south-westerly sea storms. The protection comes in addition to the many exclusive high-end facilities that Cala del Forte provides for its clients, among which we must certainly mention the Monaco One, our exclusive power catamaran that can transport up to 11 guests between Cala del Forte and Port Hercule in just 15 minutes, docking in a dedicated spot at Cala del Forte and at the Monaco Yacht Club waterfront.
What are the perspectives for the upcoming summer season?
Aleco Keusseoglou: The international yachting sector is entering 2023 after two record-breaking years in terms of industry growth. Forecasts for the next five years indicate that this trend will continue, with yachting remaining a preferred touristic choice worldwide. The Mediterranean’s central position, with all it has to offer, also makes it an undisputed destination for tourists. We have everything we need to continue forward on this successful journey, and we are ready to do all of these elements justice”.