8th Monaco Classic Week – La Belle Classe

12-16 September 2007

What a beautiful sight! There were seventy boats in all in a fleet dominated by the forty sailing yachts and the imposing steam-boat SS Delphine, but where the meticulously maintained motor- yachts aroused just as much admiration. The small racers, playthings from another era, took again to the waters off Monaco where had attained such notoriety all those years ago.
Numerous personalities had also responded to the Yacht Club de Monaco's invitation, among them the American sailor Dennis Conner, the marine writer and painter Titouan Lamazou, the British swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh, the French explorer Jean-Louis Etienne, the French sailor Sébastien Josse, the Spanish aristocrat Alvaro de Marichalar and the Japanese artist Tsuji Hitonari, winner of the 1999 Femina foreigner's prize for his Le Bouddha blanc.
Organised in collaboration with Hublot, official timekeeper of the Yacht Club de Monaco, and the Italian manufacturer Lancia, this eighth edition of Monaco Classic Week was notable for its adhesion to the values developed at the heart of the club "La Belle Classe": honouring and passing on our heritage, respect for etiquette and a certain art of living, and preservation of the environment.

«Yachting, and most particularly the traditional yachting world, is a family, with its codes and its histories. Every gathering is a big celebration, every absence is noted with emotion, every newcomer is welcomed with joy», declared HSH Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, during the opening cocktail. It is why at the same time as the different sporting events, numerous soirées are organised to prolong on land the enjoyment people are having on the water. Nuit du Yachting, La Belle Classe dinner, the crews' evening – so many rendez-vous to unite these enthusiasts. It was also the occasion when Swiss watchmaker Hublot made an exclusive presentation of the new version of its Big Bang Yacht Club de Monaco (Tuiga for short), made of tantalum and ceramic of which only 500 have been produced.


It was on board the motor-yacht SS Delphine where HSH Prince Albert II presented Dr Jean-Louis Etienne with the Personality of the Sea 2007 trophy, in the presence of the British swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh, Pierre-Paul Hecklye, President of the Yacht Club de France, the photographer/marine artist Philippe Plisson, winner in 2003, and marine writer Patrick Poivre d'Arvor. It was an excellent occasion for the writer and journalist to pay homage to the academic Jean-François Deniau, founder of the club for marine writers, who died last January. The award was in recognition of Jean-Louis Etienne, a specialist in the evolution of climate change in the world's most extreme regions, for his relentless defence of the planet. He was surprised and touched to find that he had also won a Hublot Big Bang chronograph.

"It's the first time in my life that I have worn a smoking jacket!!! I am very honoured to receive this prize, especially from HSH Prince Albert II, a man who I hold in the highest esteem both for his commitment to the preservation of our environment as well his humain qualities."
We all know of the Sovereign Prince's acute awareness and commitment to the environment during this fourth international polar year for which he was present at the launch last spring. As a young YCM member is currently on board the polar schooner Tara, it was the President of the Yacht Club de Monaco's wish that the different events organised throughout Monaco Classic Week underlined the importance of protecting the sea, our planet's "lungs" and a favourite playground, one that it is essential we hand down intact to future generations. The name Jean-Louis Etienne was a natural choice for this prize. He is in the middle of preparing the Total Pole Airship expedition to fly over the Arctic to measure the thickness of the ice floe, and to draw conclusions on the threats which hang over this cornerstone of the climate change arena.


During a highly successful "La Belle Classe" dinner, when the centenarian Marigold, an 1892 Nicholson design was publicly recognised and new members welcomed, several owners affirmed their desire to help newcomers to this highly selective club and to talk of the future.
"What a road we have travelled these last 10 years. It is incredible to see the number of traditional boats today, the most beautiful playthings that men can dream of possessing. There are very few left to save on the list of yachts we have identified across the world. And now I have a new dream: to see the organisation of a regatta where all the owners take the helm, with their skippers alongside to ensure security. The creation of the Club La Belle Classe in 2005 has made the owners aware of life on the boat beyond the restoration!", declared Ernst Klaus, owner of Mariquita and Kentra. Zbynek Zak, of Eleonora, the faithful replica of Westward (a Herreshoff design from 1910), added that the principal objective of these gatherings "was above all about the pleasure, the friendship and meetings between those who are passionate about old boats, the regatta is only a pretext!"
Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco, initiator of the concept, noted with satisfaction the ever-growing involvement of the owners and their desire to see this Club evolve: "If two years ago, La Belle Classe laid the keel, with the creation of its Charter, the various statements
made by the owners during the Belle Classe dinner have enabled us to begin planking up this Club."


Races, regularity rallies, a chefs' compétition and the concours d’élégance parades – all were designed to put the spotlight on the art of life at sea.

- Monaco Classic Week Trophy: Mercury (1938)

This coveted prize, rewarded by a Hublot Big Bang chronograph takes into account all the results: the elegance parade, the races and La Belle Classe prize, and was won by Mercury. This 15.75m marconi sloop was designed by Sam Crocker, who started alongside John Alden, and built by Simms in Massachusetts in 1938. Conceived to sail in England and the Bermudas, she remained with the same owner for 30 years. During the time she was called Dama Española, she was discovered in Spain by her current owner who gave her back her original name. She was the object of a total restoration despite her excellent exterior!

- Prize for Elegance: Ilona of Kylesku (1907)
Launched on 2nd October 1907 under the name Mauna Loa, her first owner kept her until he died in 1922, that's to say that he was crazy about this boat with pine planking on oak frames which William Stoba had designed for him. Since 2002, this very attractive 28m motor-yacht belongs to the Duke of Westminster, whose family loves to cruise in the Mediterranean. The name of the boat has always been associated with that of an island: Mauna Loa is the name of a Hawaiin volcano and Ilona means island in Scottish gaelic and Kalesku is a maritime region situated in the north west of Scotland.

- La Belle Classe Prize: Marigold (1892)
A recent launching from Classic Works' boatyard after an important restoration, Marigold was designed and built by Charles E.Nicholson in 1892. Her lines are typical of the Victorian era, with a straight stem like the English pilot boats and a long overhanging counter, with her silhouette extended by a lengthy bowsprit. She was saved from a slow death when she was found in a bed of silt by Greg Powlesland, an enthusiast who found someone wealthier than him to restore her.

- Chefs' Competition: Montrevel (1958)
Based on strict criteria of quality and inventiveness, which required dishes to be perfectly allied to the wine, the seventeen chefs surpassed themselves. And they weren't all from the big boats as even a Riva chef participated with a cold dish! The jury were very pleased to see that the level was even higher than two years ago with a generally refined cuisine and great attention to presentation. Montrevel clinched the gold chef's hat ahead of Hallowe’en; while the two motor-yachts R/S Eden and SS Delphine came joint

- Regatta for yachts less than 22m: Cotton Blossom II (1925)
Designed by Johan Anker, the man who created the Dragon, Cotton Blossom II belongs to the Q boat series, a racing yacht which was a huge success in the United States. The wife of the second owner was originally from the Mississippi, and a fan of the operetta Showboat, and wanted to give their boat a southern name "cotton flower". In the thirties, Cotton Blossom II won everything, and was crowned yacht of the year by the New York Yacht Club in 1939 and by the San Diego Yacht Club in 1963. This is the second year of racing in the Mediterranean for Dennis Conner, who has been her owner since 2003 and has restored her in an exemplary manner.

- Regatta for yachts more than 22 m: Cambria (1928)
Cambria, designed and built by William Fife in 1928, is the sole representative of the 23 M J-Class which are still sailing today. Built to race, she was the first big boat to be given a bermudan rig with a triangular sail. Transformed into a cruise boat in 1932, then rediscovered in Australia, she was recently given back her rig and sail area very close to how she was originally, and can lay claim to being one of the most beautiful yachts on the Mediterranean circuit.

- Coup de cœur Lancia: the racer A 88
Lancia is participating in the battle to protect the environment with the launch of the Urban Bike Lancia MomoDesign, which the Italian brand defines as the first Lancia cabriolet for two wheels. A minimalist design, it features a leather saddle and handlebars similar to the interiors of the Sport MomoDesign, eight gears and hitech carbon fibre, titanium and magnesium materials. The model on show is one of 300 produced in a limited series and was won by Jean Van Praet, owner of the racer A88. The winner is a small American motorboat built by Ventor at the beginning of the forties. Her first owner, Colonel Holmes, commanded the American garrison in Paris. Attracted by the waters of the Seine, he brought his little boat from the United States via England packed in with wartime supplies. The A88 disembarked at Omaha Beach, in Normandie, secreted in the middle of the tanks, mortars and arms. And so Colonel Homes was able to enjoy his favourite past-time.

- Regularity trial –Hublot Trophy (motor-yachts): Red
Each captain must say in advance the time and speed he expects to take to get round a set course, taking into account the conditions on the day. Not easy! It requires a sound knowledge of the boat and its engines, and of the sea and how it behaves. Five motor-yachts took part on Saturday afternoon for this challenge, won by Red, who had estimated that she would finish the course in 1h 05 min 27 sec, and who actually took 2 min 27 sec less. Red, who belongs to Piero and Mariella Gibellini, is a pretty 24m motor- yacht built in 1947. She was followed by Ilona of Kylesku, d’Istros, Montrevel and Seaway.

Pressemitteilung des YCM