Everyone understands the importance of yacht captains and crew in the great circle of yachting. Certainly, even some venerable groups and business including Fraser Yachts and the International Superyacht Society have long made crew recognition a cornerstone of their own business outreach. It’s taken the very innovative and creative Abi Wallace, founder of ACREW, to finally take crew recognition to the level it deserves – and as always with ACREW events, it took off with verve, panache and honored crew in the best possible yachting style.
The inaugural 2018 Crew Awards by ACREW was held in Nice, France on October 13th , in partnershp with Port Vauban. Befitting the Art Deco location of Le Palace, the theme was Great Gatsby, and the almost three hundred attendees were dressed very elegantly in feathers, pearls, top-hats with tails, plenty of glitter and even a few captains stripes. Seventeen crewmembers, captains, yachts received their due honor as exceptional team members in categories including Leadership, Courageous, Teamplayer, Sustainability and the full range of crew positions from Captain Master Unlimited to ETO, Engineer, Deck, Stew and Purser, Best Charter and Best Private Yacht.
The support and enthusiasm of their fellow crew peers was truly inspirational, with over 170 crew nominated for the 17 award categories, more than 10,000 votes received, and thirty judges from all yachting disciplines weighted in to select the final winners. The awards themselves were received with bated breath from the entire audience, followed by warmly sincere cheers and thunderous rounds of applause.
The Crew Awards showed the diversity of our industry. Sometimes thought to be a “boys club”, with an incredible and aspirational total of 47 female finalists and many winners reflects that women lead in all aspects of yachting. The included Capt. Carol Benbrook and her First Officer Jenny Matthews of yacht “S” as finalists in Captain Master 3000 Ton and leadership, Natalija Tascijeva of Grand Rusalina for Courageous, and all three finalists of the Sustainability award were women, showing than when it comes to helping our Mother Earth, yacht women rule – and Marlies Sanders of Shogun as winner of the First Officer Crew Award definitely demonstrated how she’s at the top of her game.
The list goes on and on, all winners and finalist so deserving of their wins should be fêted and congratulated throughout the year! Needless to say, no event of the magnitude would be possible without the support and participation of sponsors, who work with ACREW year-round to provide a huge array of valuable and enjoyable crew seminars, destination and social activities worldwide. Thank you to all of them!
Finally, The Islander, as sponsor of the Captain Master Unlimited Award, would particularly like to congratulate the winner, Capt. Rafael del Cervantes Metaix of yacht Azteca.
And the winners of the ACREW Crew Awards 2018 are:
Engineer & ETO Crew Award: David Honeybun, AV-IT Engineer, MY Gene Machine
Stew Crew Award: Carli Steenkamp, Stew, MY HANA
Deck Crew Award: Glenford Atienza, Deckhand, SS Delphine
Purser Crew Award: Felicia de Kock, Purser, MY I Dynasty
Courageous Crew Award: Bradley Van Royen, Head Chef, The Wellesley
Chief Stew Crew Award: Gemma Christian, Chief Stew, MY Z
Captain (Master 500GT) Crew Award: Tristan Mortlock, Captain, MY AWOL
Team Player Crew Award: Charlotte Durand, Chief Stew, MY Spectre
Chef Crew Award: Marco Lima, Chef, MY HANA
Best Private Yacht Crew Award: Gene Machine, Award received by Captain Fraser Gow and his crew
Sustainability Crew Award: Barbara Clerc, Chief Officer, MY AWOL
First Officer Crew Award: Marlies Sanders, Chief Officer, SY Shogun
Captain (Master Unlimited) Crew Award: Rafael Cervantes Mataix, Captain, MY AZTECA
Leadership Crew Award: Patrick Netten, Captain, MY EXUMA
Chief Engineer & ETO Crew Award: Harris Kokkotas, Chief Engineer, MY Da Vinci
Captain (Master 3000GT) Crew Award: David Pott, Captain, The Wellesley
Best Charter Yacht Crew Award: La Tania, Award received Captain Todd Herman and his crew
By Norma Trease
Author Norma Trease is a well-known figure in the yachting world, and represented humanitarian and environmental group Yacht Aid Global, presenters of the Sustainability Award.