Monaco Classic Week, held just over a week before the Monaco Yachts Show perfectly captures the magic of yachting. The serious-but-light-hearted regatta, which is organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, combines competition with the laidback lifestyle common to classic sailing yachts, period motor-yachts and vintage motorboats.
Competition is of course, the focal point of the Mediterranean classic yacht circuit, however, there’s so much more to the Monaco Classic Week than good old wind-assisted fun. In between the racing, this year’s regatta featured a chefs’ competition, elegance contests, exhibitions and numerous parades. Amongst the hand-picked invitees were a large number of Fife sailing yachts (including three of the 15M IR class gaff rig cutters). These were present for the official launch of Moët Hennessy’s 25-year-aged Glenmorangie tipple, named Tuiga, after one of the most well-known Fife’s on the water. For the non-wind assisted connoisseurs, the regatta featured 30 vintage motorboats, including ten Rivas and three rare Chris Craft.
For the final day of the event, the SS Delphine led the Grand Parade, a flotilla of history, starting at the iconic Musée océanographique de Monaco, before heading to Larvotto Beach, then back to the YCM Marina. It was the ideal opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this wonderful 78.5-metre classic yacht, the last still in operation, and powered by three boilers supplying the original 1500hp quadruple-expansion engines.
Competition is the focal point of the Mediterranean classic yacht circuit.
“As the curtain falls on this 15th edition of Monaco Classic Week, we are all feeling very emotional at having shared our passion for all these boats,” commented Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco. “This event is unique but also has meaning as it brings together people who have the same concept of sailing and pay the same attention to preserving maritime heritage. We can see that old boats still have timeless elegance. Monaco also has a role to play in the early days and development of aviation in the early 20th century. For aviation started with seaplanes and the first flights over Monaco waters taking off from the quays. The exhibition posters and lithographs from the Yacht Club is a reflection of what yachting is today. When we talk about Monaco as a capital of yachting, it is a story that began a long time ago and which continues.
The biennial event will be back in 2023, so plenty of time to keep the 13th to the 16 of September free.
The 33 classic yachts were divided into four groups, according to their size, age and rig type. After three days of racing, the results were as follows:
1 Mariella (Fife 1938) – Peter Simmons
2 Tuiga (Fife 1909) – Daniel Pereira
3 Mariska (Fife 1908) – Dan Polsjak
1 Stiren (Stephens 1962) – Oren Nataf
2 Dambuster (Illingworth & Primrose) 1962 – Nicholas Hill
3 Brynhilde (Parker 1958) – Niall Robinson
For the final day of the event, the SS Delphine led the Grand Parade, a flotilla of history, starting at the iconic Musée océanographique de Monaco.
1 One wave (1948) – William Borel
2 Meerblick Classic (1917) – Gabrielle Kohlmann
3 Skylark (Olin Stephens 1937) – Martin Fox
1 Viola (Fife 1908) – Kostia Belkin
2 Olympian (Gardner 1913) – Guillaume Fetas
3 Vistona – (McPherson 1937) – Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo
La Belle Classe Restoration Prize:
1 S/Y Mariella (yawl – Fife 1938)
2 Motorboat Iran (1948) (Stempler Corsier Port)
3 M/Y Blue Bird of 1938
4 S/Y Olympian (Gardner P-Class 1913)
Motorboat: Iran (1948) – Eric André
Motor-yacht: Istros (1954) – Mr Nuten
Sailing yacht: Viola (Fife 1908) – Kostia Belkin