Culmination of 14th edition of Monaco Classic Week – The Belle Classe

Prince Albert at Awards Ceremony

The 14th edition of the Monaco Classic Week – La Belle Classe culminated this past Sunday, September 15, 2019, in total apotheosis, with the awards ceremony in the presence of Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club of Monaco. (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

This paragon event organized every two years since 1994 by the YCM celebrated Yachting at its best, by putting the spotlight on the most beautiful classic yachts, in association with the sublime motorboats.

The Monaco Classic Week is a unique biennale, that combines sport, tradition, and etiquette, within a festive and social spirit.  The winners on the water shared all the honors with the schooner Puritan (1930), receiving the Monaco Classic Week Trophy, which rewards the most elegant and best-restored vessel. The 2019 winner of the Restoration Prize, was rightly attributed to Ester, the little auric Swedish vessel miraculously back on the water after 75 years spent 52 meters deep.

More than 100 classic sailing and power units, including an exceptional fleet of 7 huge schooners from the International Schooner Association, gathered in the YCM Marina. Eight hundred sailors, ship-owners, and skippers from 26 countries offered a dazzling show of elegance, on land and sea. It was a glorious week where we traveled back in time, celebrating the glory of the ’30s.

Ode to America

America was guest of honor during the Monaco Classic Week through its iconic architects, such as Nathanael Herreshoff and John Alden, plus its mahogany motorized boats such as Chris Craft. What about its Yachts Clubs full of history and tradition, like the Manhattan Yacht Club, that embarked for the historic revival aboard French Kiss, winner at the Cup America 1987. Last but not least the Nantucket Yacht Club whose members sailed on Comet. Exceptional guest, entirely in tune with the theme of this unique edition, the large steamer of 79 meters, the SS Delphine, launched in 1921 by the Dodge family, delighted visitors with its unalterable lines and undeniable charm.

Among the newcomers of the Monaco Classic Week: Atlantic, the famous 66-meter schooner of the New York Yacht Club which established in 1905 the best time on the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, in 12 days, 4 hours 1 min and 19 seconds. It was not until August 1, 1980, that Eric Tabarly improved this reference time on this course of 2,925 miles.

Puritan, winner of the Monaco Classic Week Trophy!

Puritan, the 126-foot gaff-rigged schooner designed by naval architect John Alden, and built-in 1930, won the Monaco Classic Week 2019, after tough deliberation of the juries of the Elegance and Restoration contest. Puritan succeeds Viola, the Fife plan of 1908 winner in the previous edition in 2017. The purity of lines, a harmony of volumes, combined with seamless maintenance of the sailboat, seduced the jury of elegance. It was chaired by Princess Beatriz of Orléans-Bourbon, and Princess Camilla de Bourbon of the Two Sicilies, Marine Painter PG Marc Berthier, and experts and historians of Yachting.

Ester received the Restoration Prize

Sailboat Ester, the 15-meter fin keel racing yacht that was revolutionary at that time in so many ways is the story of an exceptional resurrection. It was in 1901 that the Swede Gunnar Hellgren was commissioned to draw a sailboat capable of winning the Tivoli Cup. The result of his ideas is, at the same time, unique by its numerous innovations, and superb elegance. A decade of smashing success will crown a boat rented by some as the most beautiful sailing ship in the world! Ester disappeared from the radar after 1915, only to reappear in 1935. She still shines in Ulvoen in 1937, before experiencing the most dramatic destinies, as a fire broke out late in 1937. The damaged sailboat was towed to Ornskoldsvik but sank in front of Normanön. It was not until 2012 that Swede Per Hellgren managed to locate the wreck. Later, Bo Ericsson, a resident of Gullvicksfjarden, close to Noemanön, got involved. With an inextinguishable passion for this story, never stopped devoting time, passion, and money until the emotional moment when Ester emerges from the water in 2016. Then begins an incredible story of reconstruction, deserving the Restoration Prize.

“I thought in 2012 what a pride would be to sail Ester at the Monaco Classic Week. Seven years later, this dream has come true.” Explained Bo Ericsson, one of the owners of the boat at the awards ceremony.“We gathered around this renovation the cream of the international technicians, for the hull, the frames, the rigging, the sails. Of course, much of the boat had to be rebuilt in Swedish pine and spruce. However, thanks to accurate documentation found in Sweden, we followed to the letter the details of the original construction. It has been a fantastic adventure. The result exceeds our craziest expectations!”

The price of elegance for motorboats was awarded to Miss Nancy, while the auric cutter of 1905 Oriole (Herreshoff), received the prize of elegance among the sailboats. This year jury’s favorite was the Bermuda yawl of 1938 Mariella (Mylne), seduced by the personality and passion of its owner Carlo Falcone.

Dinghy 12, a true Italian affair!

Without surprises, the Italians, great masters of the series, and with the experience of a fleet of more than 400 units, won in Monaco. Aldo Samele on his Canarino Feroce took the advantage, ahead of his two compatriots Vito Moschioni (Claudia) and Federico Pilo Pais (Blu Amnesia).

Mark your calendars

The 15thedition of the Monaco Classic Week is scheduled for September 15-19, 2021.

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