After a long hot summer, we were all looking forward to the September sailing season and it’s safe to say, it hasn’t disappointed. From being back in the sailing Mecca of Sardinia to scooping prestigious superyacht awards, September has brought everything from competition to innovation after a continued year of uncertainty.
Spirit Yacht Geist Crowned Sailing Yacht of the Year
A globally acclaimed event, known for its credibility, prestige and glamour, Boat International’s World Superyacht Awards took place in Monaco on Sunday 5th September 2021 at the Monte Carlo Sporting, announcing who would be scooping one of this year’s coveted Neptune’s along with winning titles.
Recognising the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the most remarkable luxury yachts from across the world, the globally acclaimed event is distinguished from all other yacht awards with a judging panel comprising current and former superyacht owners.
Leading the Way
Leading the way for Sailing Yachts this year was the 34m Spirit 111 sloop Geist, who scooped two accolades at this year’s prestigious World Superyacht Awards in Monaco. Taking a win in both the Sailing Yacht category and the coveted Sailing Yacht of the Year Award, she received the judges praise for her “refreshing mix of top quality, traditional beauty, innovative interior design, and advanced technology; as such Geist truly deserves her accolade(s).”
At 33.9m long, Geist has a fully laden displacement of 65tonnes and is the largest, wooden sloop built in the UK since the J-Class yacht Shamrock V in the 1930s. The yacht’s completely customised, hand-crafted interior is a series of seamless curves made from sustainably sourced timber.
The judges commented Geist is “beautiful in a classical sense while showcasing a new and organic style of interior design.” They added, “While the past may inspire her looks, Geist is technically modern with minimal effect on the environment.”
Torqeedo Electric Drive System
Delivering on her owner’s brief to minimise impact on the environment, Geist has a Torqeedo electric drive system that regenerates the batteries via propulsion whilst the yacht is sailing. All onboard systems were selected to work holistically and consume the minimum amount of power possible. On deck, the yacht is designed to be sailed short-handed using recyclable OneSails 4T Forte sails and energy efficient Lewmar hydraulic deck hardware.
Together with Geist’s owner, the team from Spirit Yachts collected the awards at the glamorous ceremony in Monaco, with Spirit Yachts CEO and Head of Design Sean McMillan commented, “The World Superyacht Awards are the pinnacle of the superyacht industry’s recognition for the highest quality yachts on the water today. To win the sailing yacht category and to be crowned best sailing yacht is an incredibly proud moment for all the Spirit team.”
Sean continued, “Thanks and congratulations must go to Geist’s owner, whose creativity, vision and enthusiasm has been boundless. We collaborated closely to create a yacht that not only delivers on his original dream, but that also pushes the envelope in terms of her innovation.”
It is wonderful to see this British shipyard go from strength to strength and one that I have fond personal memories with after I organised The Mediterranean Spirit Yacht Rally for a fleet of Spirit Yachts to celebrate the launch of “Ghost” Spirit 70 back in 2003.
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Comes to a Successful Conclusion
Whilst some were scooping superyacht awards, others were on a winning streak at the 31st Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, which after a year’s absence, returned to Sardinia’s magnificent Costa Smeralda from 6-11 September as part of the IMA’s 2021 Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge.
Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of Title Sponsor Rolex and the IMA (International Maxi Yacht Association), the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has been the highlight of the international maxi racing calendar for more than four decades now and with a fleet of 44 yachts of over 60 feet (18.29 metres) enrolling in this year’s event, the famous spark soon returned.
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
As the air crackled with positive energy on the docks in front of the YCCS, the regatta kicked off with an excellent first day of racing, with all concerned eager to get back on the water for this iconic regatta dedicated to Maxi yachts after a forced stop last year.
The weather conditions continued to deliver in true Sardinia style and after two days of coastal races, the leaders of the provisional standings in their respective divisions remained unchanged, with very little movement in the positions behind them until day four.
The Race Committee made the decision to move the rest day to day 5, which proved to be the right one, as all divisions were able to race in perfect conditions, with an east-southeast wind of 15 to 18 knots, ideal for coaxing top performances from these maxi yachts.
For the final day of racing, a light and shifty breeze meant that the final coastal race could not be completed, despite the determination of the Race Committee, which had prepared two different courses to make the most of the weather conditions. After a further consultation, the Principal Race Officer Peter Craig sent the competitors back to the docks, declaring the regatta officially concluded.
This meant final confirmation for this year’s winners, who in their respective divisions were Velsheda, Magic Carpet 3, Cannonball, Capricorn and Lyra, with the Maxi division seeing two YCCS members occupying the top spots, with first place going to the Wallycento Magic Carpet 3, owned by Sir Lindsay Owen Jones and fielding Jochen Schuemann on tactics, followed by Claus-Peter Offen’s Y3K, with tactician Karol Jablonski.
Prize giving was later awarded with a ceremony attended by the President of the Board of Directors of the YCCS, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, the President of Rolex Italy, Gian Riccardo Marini, and the President of the IMA, Benoit de Froidmont, where the perpetual trophy dedicated to the memory of the first Commodore of the YCCS, Gianfranco Alberini, was awarded to Vincenzo Addessi’s Fra’ Diavolo.
With September sailing off to a great start so far, there is still plenty of racing, boat shows and more from the superyacht lifestyle to come. Not to be missed, make sure to add these upcoming iconic events to your sailing calendar!
By Alice Widdows
Spirit Yachts: Spirit Yacht Archives
Maxi Rolex Cup: Carlo Borlenghi / YCCS
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