As part of Monaco Ocean Week (24-30 March 2019), the purpose of which is to deepen our understanding of marine conservation, the Yacht Club de Monaco organised its 9th La Belle Classe Superyachts Environmental Symposium.
This year’s edition followed a totally new format with a full day of talks and debates on the theme: « Yachting, A Laboratory of the Future / A Vehicle for Preserving the Ocean ». In front of an audience of owners, yachting industry professionals and associations involved in protecting the marine environment, 25 speakers from all over the Worldwere invited to discuss major trends driving the future of superyachts in four key areas:
– New destinations for yachting
– Sustainable moorings
– Routine maintenance in harbour and at sea
– New energy sources for propulsion
« After a phase of raising awareness, we are entering a more active era of putting forward solutions. This Symposium has shown that there are many and effective solutions out there. It offered a real message of hope, even if there is still a lot of work to do, which is being done step by step. »Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco
A highlight of the Symposium was the ceremony for the first Y.C.M. La Belle Classe ExplorerAwards, presented by YCM President, HSH Prince Albert II, before an Owners Dinner attended by 170 people, including 60 owners, which closed this very constructive day of discussions and meetings.
Trophies were awarded to owners of explorer yachts, by an international jury presided by explorer Mike Horn, and comprising HE Mr Bernard Fautrier, CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; Robert Calcagno, CEO of the Oceanographic Museum; Richard Wiese, President of the American Explorers Club; Olivier Archambeau, President of the Société des Explorateurs Français; naval architects Espen Oeino and Philippe Briand; Christian Clot, explorer; Christian Kempf, a pioneer of polar exploration; Patrick Farcy, Science Director at Ifremer; Gilles Bessero, Managing Director of Explorations de Monaco; Michel Buffat, Head of Yachting Finance at Credit Suisse; and Matthias du Verle, a Captains’ Club Ambassador.
« The Y.C.M. La Belle Classe Explorer Awards celebrate the conquering spirit of Prince Albert I, who spent his life carrying out serious scientific work at sea. It is more than three years now since we first had the idea to reward owners who are environmentally responsible,” explains Bernard d’Alessandri. “The main criterium for these awards is not the discovery of new territory, but the way an owner designs their superyacht, why they do so, how they use it and what it can do for humanity. It could be a technical innovation that significantly reduces CO2 emissions at sea, assistance given to scientists or quite simply their ability to communicate and share their role for the benefit of the largest number of people, so that more and more of us understand the need to respect, love and protect the Ocean. »
There are 7.6 billion people on our planet today; in 30 years there will be 10 billion. The Ocean will be the main source of life. Through their choices, actions and sailings, these men and women in La Belle Classe Explorer by the Yacht Club de Monaco are constantly looking at innovative ways to reduce their impact and raise awareness of the importance of the Ocean for humanity, the absolute necessity to preserve it and secure its biodiversity for the future.
As a tribute to their commitment, their efforts to sail virtuously, four yachts and an expedition sailing yacht were selected to receive the first Y.C.M. Explorer Awards out of 79 superyachts identified.
The categories and winners are:
Technology &Innovation: M/Y Bravo Eugenia (109m)
The winner is the superyacht Bravo Eugenia (109m) built in 2018 by Oceanco and designed by Nuvolari Lenard. She is packed with the latest innovations: a slender optimised hull to reduce propulsion power demand, a hybrid engine with quiet electric mode and no vibration as there is no drive shaft, a factor that allowed the engine room to be located in a more suitable location vis-à-vis the accommodation.
Mediation & Science: M/Y Alucia (56m)
This awardwent to the Mr Ray Dalio, owner of the exploration and research yacht Alucia (56m) and his son Mark Dalio, founder of OceanX. Despite her age (built in 1974), this superyacht is equipped with state-of-the-art diving and TV production capabilities for filming at depths down to 1,000m, broadcast on TV channels around the world, notably for the BBC’s Blue Planet II series and Nat Geo. The goal: to raise awareness among the widest possible audience of how fragile our oceans are and the need to protect them.
Adventure, Ethics & Environment: M/Y E&E (42m)
E&E was awarded this prize for her commitment and conduct relating to the environment. Built in 2011, the 42m yacht was designed to minimise fuel consumption (130 litres/hour at 11 knots, compared to similar yachts consuming 500 litres). Her owner, Murat Vargi is a member of a Turkish marine protection association and founder of the ‘Mind Your Litter’ foundation. He wanted his crew to take ownership of the initiative which is why plastic usage is banned on board, only biodegradable products are used to clean the boat and wherever E&E sails, the crew are sent out to pick up litter be it on the sea or on the beaches.
Jury Special Prize: M/Y Polarfront (55m)
The Jury wished to award a special prize to the world’s last meteorological vessel which has been converted into a polar expedition yacht, and bought in 2017 by the founders of Latitude Blanche, Yann Le Bellec and Sophie Galvagnon. These two young merchant navy officers who trained at the merchant navy academy in Marseille (ENSM – Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime) set up the polar cruise company in May 2017.
Coup de Cœur: S/Y Tara (36m)
The sailing yacht Tara (36m) won the Jury’s Coup de Cœur award for her scientific expeditions: Tara Artic (2006-2008), Tara Océans (2009-2013), Tara Méditerranée (2014) and Tara Pacific (2016-2018). Above all, the Tara expeditions is a story of men and women, whose passion is shared by the Yacht Club de Monaco. Since 2017, it has supported this adventure at the crossroads of science, technology and education, sending one of its young members, Charles Terrin, to assist on the Tara Arctic project, then Bernard d’Alessandri in 2011 for Tara Océans.
« This award from the Jury is great recognition for S/Y Tara, the team and sponsors of the Tara Foundation, and all the researchers involved over the last 15 years. Exploring to understand and share knowledge to change our world offers excellent prospects for luxury yachts, » said Romain Troublé.
All the winners, who represent the future of yachting explorers, affirmed their desire and commitment to take action now, perpetuating the YCM’s Art de Vivre la Mer philosophy, founded on respect for naval etiquette, protecting the marine environment and innovation, all fundamental values of the Yacht Club de Monaco.