Closely tailored to the owners' need
Yacht Class n°28 (march-april-may 2022)
Yacht Club de Monaco
Since 2015, the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) training academy aims to be at the forefront and to offer shipowners, captains and members of the industry quality seminars adapted to their need and the evolutions of the sector.
By Aurore Teodoro – Photos: Mesi / YCM, Yacht Club de Monaco, AT & DR
It was established late 2015 with the ambition to contribute to the influence of Monaco as part of the "Monaco, Capitale du Yachting" initiative, launched a decade ago. Since then, La Belle Classe Academy (LBCA) has continued to expand to meet the demands and needs of shipowners, yachting executives (captains, managers and other professionals...), crew members or future yachtsmen. "The aim is to continue the service offered by the YCM Marina, whose activity is at its peak from May onwards and calms down from October onwards as the wintering season begins. We wanted to give crews, who were going on holiday or decided to train, the opportunity to take courses in Monaco, where this did not exist", emphasised Lynda Lusignani, the administrative manager of this Academy, which also intends to "develop and promote yachting profession in the Principality" and "contribute to the influence of the Yacht Club de Monaco".
An ad hoc facility to address the needs
With La Belle Classe Academy, the YCM intends to stand out from the existing structures in neighbouring towns, like Antibes. "We are an ad hoc centre, somewhat specific because we don't have our own instructors, except for some courses such as coastal and offshore licences, whose certificates are issued by the Monegasque Maritime Affairs. LBCA works with a group of certified partners, who deliver the certifications for each course", explained the manager before adding: "We want to offer training courses that do not exist elsewhere, certifying or not, but that are needed, even essential on board today. They are dedicated to shipowners, but mainly to captains and crews." The Academy wants to be the link between these shipowners and the club. "When I say shipowners, it's because the YCM has more than 2 000 members, many of whom need a trained crew," says the manager, before completing: "We want to be a driving force and respond to their needs". Since its creation, the Monegasque centre has made on board service and excellence one of its training priorities. With courses such as ''Service Specialist: Hospitality à la carte'', ''Ship’s Cook Certificate Of Competency Assessment'', ''food safety'' or ''Wine and Spirit Education Trust''... it offers a complete programme, at varying levels of expertise, "where we talk about services, protocol. We have also implemented an ''à la carte'', where one can choose the topics to further develop: service, mixology, cigars, etiquette..." emphasised Lynda Lusignani, who insists on the importance of the training for the crews: "For someone who wants to do service on board, it's good point to be trained in hospitality, but it is not the same ashore and in navigation". In other words, this is a training in the ''Art de vivre la mer'', one of the credos of the Monegasque club with which the training centre works closely. Because if the pandemic led to the explosion of online races, the club offers on-site training, at the extension inaugurated a few years ago behind its main building. "We also do tailor-made courses. We can provide the training on board or at the Academy. We can also use all the YCM infrastructure: its many bars or the housekeeping in the cabins, the laundry..." explained the manager. Note the La Belle Classe Academy also contributes to this "Art de vivre la mer" thanks to the famous "Chefs' Competition" it has been organizing for several years now (see box).
A complete and innovative offer
La Belle Classe Academy also provides technical training courses such as the STCW, or basic safety training, essential for any sailor who wants to work on a boat, and its polar version, or leadership courses. Since 2019, it has also had a ''Weather Lab'' course which focuses on "the understanding of marine weather, routing and forecasting on board. Nowadays, captains can rely on a complete system to know the weather. We want to complete the technical skills they already have with the human aspect", said Lynda Lusignani. This programme recently took part to the club's Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, and should participate in the J/70 World Championships to be held in October in the Principality. "We will step in at least every morning to give a little guidance and weather advice. This has never been done before," said the administrative manager. The club also offers innovative programmes, for example in cyber security. "This is very popular. We are a bit of a pioneer because until now this training was not compulsory. Today it is. It is essentially online, in French and English, with two levels, to make the crews aware of the dangers of computing, home automation... All those on board can easily create breaches in the system without realising it. It is really necessary to educate the staff, to make it aware of these risks and able to react to various situation". The YCM training centre has also been a forerunner with its ETYC module - Environmental Training for Yacht Crew - the very first environmental training course whose objective is "to raise awareness of environmental issues among yacht crews and provide them with concrete solutions to significantly reduce the impact of yachting on the marine environment." This topic, relevant to all departments on board - engineer, captain or first officer - is in line with Monaco's commitment in this area. It should be noted that last year, the Monegasque academy has also created a new training course, named "Yachting Master Class", which is very successful. Organised this year in 19 modules, it offers courses on topics as varied as ''naval architecture - engineering'', ''propulsion systems'' and ''yacht management'' to provide an exhaustive overview of the yachting industry. "We welcomed a lot of people, in person and online, including brokers, members of the industry like Feadship, students of the International University of Monaco (IUM )... who did the whole programme or some of the modules," confirmed Carmel van der Weide, who is in charge of the promotional part for LBCA. "Even seasoned professionals, such as brokers, signed up, including for the module on their profession, and found additional information. This is encouraging", added Lynda Lusignagni who pointed out that, thanks to the on site/online format, this masterclass was followed by Venezuelans, Americans, Germans, Dutch and South Africans. This allowed the club to look further to the future. For if its ambition is "to always remain a forerunner in its field, to give the essential courses to keep the crews and to develop even more the training courses that may make a boat become exceptional or talked about because of its well-trained crew, with a know-how and life skills", the administrative manager would also like to "export its courses, always in the line with "Monaco, capital of yachting". A great project for which the La Belle Classe Academy has already many leads.
Superyacht Chef Competition: nine enlisted
The Chefs' Competition will make its comeback on April 7th. This third edition, organised by the YCM and Bluewater, under the aegis of the "La Belle Classe Academy" training centre, will bring together nine chefs, all working on super-yachts over 40 metres in length such as the M/Y Black Pearl and Hampshire II. They will compete in three forty-minute rounds from which three finalists will be selected, who will again have to prepare a main dish and then a dessert. Each of them will have to use a mystery basket of seafood products prepared by Chef Joël Garault with the support from Maison del Gusto. The jury will be chaired by Chef Guillaume Gomez, former chef of the Elysée Palace, and will include Nicolas Benoit, Nicolas Sale and Didier Anies.