On Wednesday September 11 in the evening the Yacht Club (YCM), in collaboration with the Principality’s Tourism and Convention Bureau, inaugurated the 11th edition of the traditional Monaco Classic Week, in the presence of HAH Prince Albert,with an open air cocktail for its members, along the Quai Rainier 1er, flanked by the magnificent fleet of classic yachts led by the Club’s flagship Tuiga.
This biennial event was first held in 1994 to mark the first motor-boat meetings of 1904 and at the same time commemorate the 10th anniversary of HSH Prince Albert at as President of the club, and this year’s celebration marks the YCM’s 60th anniversary.
Classic Yacht owners call themselves custodians as for any work of art, except that instead of hanging the masterpiece on the wall, they sail, live aboard and participate in races. The festivities will continue on Thursday with a Chef’s competition, a classic sailing boats race and in the evening a Crew Party that will include an award for the painted Jeroboam bottle competition.
During the days that followed 58 vessels participated in the Classic Yacht Races among which 12 were Big Boats of more than 25m, including Belem (1896), French three-mast awarded historic monument status who was the guest of honour and was visited by more than 1000 people; Alcyon 1871, an exact replica of a Marseille race boat which won in Monaco in 1882;
Over the Rainbow (35m, 1930), completely restored by Jean-Michel Folon when he was the owner; and the four 15M IR yachts: Mariska (1908), Hispania (1909) and The Lady Anne (1912), eternal rivals of the Monaco Yacht Club flagship Tuiga (1909). The races saw gaff, rigs, sloops, yawls and schooners competing together, and a fine spectacle was guaranteed as the Race Committee alternated starts according to the type of rig and not by the rating.
Furthermore, 37 powerboats including at least 20 Rivas took part in the regularity challenges, and 29 Dinghy 12’s raced together for the first time in Monaco. Numerous well-known sailors enjoyed the lifestyle and sea themes festivities, including Philippe Poupon, Titouan Lamazou, Philippe Monnnet and Guo Chuan, The Chinese navigator who recently set a solo round the world record of 137 days on a 12-metre boat.
Allegra Gucci received the Monaco Classic Week Trophy for bringing back the Creole to racing in the Principality after 20 years of absence. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was distinguished as Personality of the Sea 2013. The next Monaco Classic Week will take place in two years time during September 9-13, 2015.