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Monaco sets ambition to be “Capital of Advanced Yachting”

28 March 2022• Written by Sophia Wilson

“Yachting with sense” was the overarching theme of the Capital of Yachting event hosted at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) last week (March 24).

Held during the 5th annual Monaco Oceans Week – organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Oceanographic Institute and the Monaco Scientific Centre – the programme was designed to highlight the principality’s new ambition to be seen globally as the “Capital of Advanced Yachting”.

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During a special presentation, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco spoke about the importance of a new commitment charter to unite stakeholders in Monaco.

“I intend to encourage and promote our tradition for innovation which relies on technological progress to build a responsible future for yachting, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals which I share through my Foundation,” said Prince Albert II, who is president of the YCM.

“The guiding principle is synonymous with growth that respects the environment, by realising that sustainable development is not a constraint but a lever that can improve the sector’s resilience, generate added value, and contribute to a healthy ecosystem and strong community.”

Alongside the announcement, the event invited owners, members, and yachting professionals to be inspired by environmental advocates and sustainable developments within the industry.

The day started with an address by legendary oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle as part of the La Belle Classe Superyachts Environmental Symposium about Antarctica. The founder of Mission Blue spoke about the importance of balancing our human desire to explore with the protecting pristine environments. “We need to shift to consider what is under the yacht,” she said.

She also stressed the importance of positivity and the current opportunity we have to change. “We know that our actions are capable of altering the nature of nature, of altering the planet that is unique in the universe,” she added.

In the afternoon attention switched to how superyachts can be used to help the environment. Highlights included free diver and film maker Aurore Asso speaking about her experiences, including swimming a distance of 112 metres horizontally under ice, and Vripack’s Marnix J. Hoekstr talking about the future of design.

Two round table discussions were also included in the afternoon session. Focusing on "sustainability and the added value of a zero-emission goal", the discussion centred on the upcoming Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (5-9 July 2022). The talks finished with a presentation of an inflatable, retractable, automated wind sail system developed by the WISAMO teams and Michelin.

In the evening the winners of the YCM Explorer Awards were announced. Three prizes were awarded by a jury of experts chaired by Richard Wiese, president of The Explorers Club.

Motor yacht Dragonfly was awarded the Ethics & Adventure award, for its humanitarian aid programme. The 55-metre Gene Machine was awarded the Mediation & Science prize for the pioneering work its owners have undertaken on board developing rapid testing for COVID-19. Finally, the Technology and Innovation prize was presented to the owner of 80-metre hybrid yacht Artefact.