There is a restraint, exclusivist rich group that has a thing for yachting, mainly because they can afford to! You and I, we both know that we’d like to own even a small, “unpretentious” sailboat, don’t we? And have at least once dreamed to relax on the deck of a luxury yacht in Monaco. But, hey, who needs a yacht in a so busy world? Do we wake up in the morning with nothing better to do than dress in white completely (maybe some blue too), have our cafe au lait (maybe a croissant also if not on diet) and go to the quay ordering around the employees to rub up better that side? We certainly don’t! If you say you do, that’s another story!
What better place (and object) for a competition: who has the bigger, more expensive model, envies arise, disputes start… Shirley Bassey reportedly complained of the big size of “Le Grand Bleu” belonging to the Russian billionaire Abramovich. The yacht apparently spoiled the view on the port of her uphill apartment. Well, what else would you like rich people to do?…
Beside occasional cruises and constant care some rich people find a practical use to their yachts: some rent them, others live there. Owning a yacht can be extremely useful if you are a tax exile, especially UK citizens who live in Monaco but work in the UK. Renting is very profitable, especially during holidays season or when big events happen in Monaco: prices go from 25,000EUR per week to 365,000EUR per week, depending on the size and facilities.
Some of world’s famous yachts rest in the waters of the bay. Some of them are so big that they have helicopters on their top decks. Among worlds’ 100 largest yachts are:
- Octopus – owned by Paul Allen, the Microsoft cofounder;
- Tatoosh – owned also by Paul Allen;
- Atlantis II – owned by the Niarchos family, descendants of Onassis’ rival Stavros;
- Le Grand Bleu – owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich;
- Delphine – owned by the American car magnate Horace Dodge;
- Montkaj – owned by Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, son of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd.
Following its policy of capitalization of all (though scarce) natural resource, the Principality quickly became aware of the potential of the Hercules Bay and started a yachting tradition. There is a Yacht Club founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier and it was all along supported by him and his son Albert, who is also its President. The Yacht Club de Monaco gained international fame attracting worlds’ greatest names in sailing to come and battle on the Monegasque waters.
Naturally, there are also prestigious yachting events of international interest, excellent opportunities for yacht owners all over the world to show off.
- Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse
- Challenge Inter-Banques
- Monaco Classic Week
- Fête de la Mer
- Régates Corporatives
- Monaco Yacht Show
The events are organized with the support of H.S.H. Prince Albert I and of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III. All these events have display and competitions parts, except for Monaco Yacht Show, which is the greatest in-water yacht exhibition in Europe, without competition show.