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February 19, 2018

RORC Caribbean 600, 2018

Excitement is building with just one more day until the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 race gets underway in Antigua on Monday 19th February.  With winds of over 20 knots forecast for the period of the 600mile race, these record-breaking conditions are sure to produce exhilarating racing conditions for the participating sailors.

The RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) Caribbean 600 has grown in reputation since its beginning back in 2009, and is now one of the most sought- after races for off- shore sailors. This is illustrated with an incredible 88 yachts that have entered this year, coming from six continents and over 22 nations. This exciting race around eleven of the Caribbean islands has certainly proven its popularity.  The Caribbean 600 is a complex and demanding race, and attracts some of the world’s top off-shore sailors, including winners from the America’s Cup, Olympic Games, and Volvo Ocean Race. With such skill and expertise at the helms, alongside passionate amateurs, it is going to be a thrilling week of  racing. The 600NM course will test the sailors to the limit, as they negotiate currents, winds and navigational challenges to work their way between the  islands as far north as Anguilla, and as far south as Les Saints, in Guadeloupe.

rorc course

American yacht owners have shown their dominance in this race, having won six out of the nine occasions, as well as setting both the monohull and multihull records. With thirteen teams competing from there this year, they are favourite to win yet again, but they face strong competition by opponents from Australia, France, Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland. In fact, a record breaking eleven yachts will be hoisting the flag for France this year.

With the start line positioned just outside the picturesque English Harbour, there will be 10minute intervals between the different classes. 11am will see the combined fleet of IRC 2,3 CSA, this will be followed at 11.10 by the IRC 1 and Class 40s. At 11.20 IRC Zero and Superyachts, and finally the nine multihulls at 11.30.

rorc racing 1

With the prize giving and closing party scheduled for Friday 23rd February at the Antigua Yacht Club, it’ll be a nail biting week of racing.

By Laura Barber

 

 


February 11, 2018

Valentine’s Regatta Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to strong winds, the second day of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s Regatta has had to be cancelled. With one crew member taken to hospital yesterday after a blow to the head from the boom, it was decided that  the winds were too strong for the event to go ahead safely.


February 9, 2018

Valentine’s Regatta 2018

Today sees the return of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s Regatta. This popular weekend of racing is in its 24th year, and with winds forecast to be of up to 30 knots, it is sure to be an exhilarating weekend of sailing.

With a practice race being held this afternoon at 3pm, those wishing to participate had better hurry, as registration closes at 6pm tonight. Tomorrow kicks off with a packed schedule of four races, with three races planned for Sunday. With scoring starting from 10 am tomorrow, we look forward to enjoying a fantastic weekend of sailing.

Valentines

By Laura Barber


February 5, 2018

Antigua Superyacht Challenge 2018

The Antigua Superyacht Challenge is something of an enigma, and this is probably due to the exclusivity of the event where no sponsorship is deemed necessary. This exclusive event has been created especially for the owners of Superyachts that exceed 80 feet, and consists of five days of spirited fun and camaraderie between the competitors, both afloat and ashore. In fact, the coveted Gosnell Trophy is awarded to the worthiest yacht that has competed the fairest, and in the Spirit of Regatta.

REBECCA 1

Racing, yacht Rebecca

The Antigua Superyacht Challenge is held at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, providing a stunning background for this special occasion. With seven impressive yachts signed up for this year’s event, it is sure to be a fabulous regatta.

rACING 2

Racing underway

There are events planned for every evening, kick starting with the traditional Welcome Cocktail Party held at the picturesque Gunpowder House Restaurant overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard on the evening of the 31st January. This is followed on Thursday night by the famous Cook Off, with a fancy-dress theme of Diwali, and Friday there is a paddle board competition and beach party. A trip to the Caribbean wouldn’t be complete without a traditional night of cocktails, food, dancers, and entertainers. With racing starting at 11am every day, the competitors had better take care when sampling the local rum!

The list of the yachts taking part is impressive, with six of the seven yachts having competed in last year’s regatta.

In the Corsairs Class-

SPIIP, a 34.2 metre Royal Huisam, was built in 2000. She has a beam of 7.8 metres, and a top speed of 14 knots.

SPIIP 3

Elfje, is a 46 metre Royal Huisman, built in 2014. She has a beam of 7.1 meters, and a top speed of 12 knots. Her owner is Wendy Schmidt, the wife of Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmit. She founded the 11th Hour Project in 2006 to support the wiser use of our energy, food and water resources in the world. In fact, Wendy played a huge role in the building of her eco-friendly yacht Elfje, which is extremely fuel efficient.

ELFJE

Rebecca is a 42.43 metre, German Frers design reproduction ketch. She has a traditional design, but with all the latest sailing technology which has been subtly blended so as not to spoil her classic looks. She even has a wireless audio system so that the crew can communicate effectively

REBECCA 6

REBECCA 7

In the Buccaneers Class-

Acadia is 27.5 metre, a Hoek design, and was built in 2016. She has beam of six metres, and although has all the classic lines, she is fitted out with all the latest technologies.

ARCADIA 8

Acadia in pursuit of the yacht Zig Zag.

Zig Zag is a 25 metre Oyster built in 2007, and has a beam of 6.4 metres.

ZIG ZAG 5

Marama is a 32 metre aluminium ketch, with Paul Deeth, the owner of Admiral’s Inn, at the helm for the regatta.

MARAMA

Danneskjold is a 32 metre Dixon Yacht design, built in 2009. She has a beam of 7 metres, and a top speed of 12 knots.

DANNESKJOLD

Danneskjold with her eye-catching sails

DANNESKJOLD

With the fifth and final race held yesterday (Sunday 4th Feb), it was everything to play for in the Corsairs Class. With the wind building throughout the day, the yachts in the Corsairs Class battled it out over the 23 mile course. With Elfje taking first place, Spiip second, and Rebecca third. Spiip still managed to clinch first place overall in the regatta, even though it was only by one point, with Elfje coming second, and Rebecca third.

The yachts in the Buccaneers class completed an 18 mile course, with Acadia securing first place once again. In fact, Acadia accomplished a perfect score line throughout the regatta and were confirmed winners of their class. Danneskjold took second, and with Zig Zag picking up a penalty point, she shared third place with Marama.

MARINA

Tied back up after a great day of sailing

In an area so seeped with the history of battles and hostility afloat, it is great to see Nelson’s Dockyard engaging in a modern day spirit of a more amenable nature. With no blood shed, just good spirits and camaraderie, they battled it out to win the sought-after barrels rum, and the Gosnell trophy. Congratulations to Spiip, who not only won their class, but also the Gosnell Trophy, showing good sportsmanship and spirit throughout the regatta.  The prize giving was held at the Admiral’s Inn, a fitting setting to conclude this unique and memorable regatta, and we look forward to seeing the battle between the Superyachts re-commence next year.

By Laura Barber


December 8, 2017

Attending the Antigua Yacht Charter Meeting 2017

It has been a fantastic day at the Antigua Yacht Charter Meeting and I have enjoyed looking around many yachts, as well as enjoying a broker lunch. Being able to have a personal tour of the yachts has been great as I can fully appreciate any refits that have recently taken place, as well as view the equipment and facilities that they have to offer. As a broker, it gives me invaluable information that enables me to match the right boat to the client, as well as first-hand knowledge when answering any questions that the client may have. It been wonderful to be able to put a face to the captain, crew, and other brokers, as well as being able to have a chat and get to know one another better, as usually these relationships are formed via email. All these factors contribute to us being able to make every charter that bit more successful.

YACHT SHOW

 

Having a wander round the three marinas, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour Marina, and Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, it is amazing to see the selection of unique yachts on offer for charter.

A snap shot of a few…

Quite essential

The yacht ‘Quite essential’, note the waterfall on the lower aft deck, is a 180 feet motor yacht.

Sovereign

The garage facilities on Sovereign, a 180 feet motor yacht, are just amazing, helping to accommodate the various toys that are expected on such yachts, as well as providing a place to relax by the sea.

Adastra

A more unusual multihull design, yacht Adastra, measuring 140 feet.

Eleanora

A more traditional style sailing yacht, Eleonora, measuring 163 feet.

 

With such a diverse range of yachts on offer for charter there is one to meet even the most discerning of clients.

Join me for lunch aboard Gladius, a 127 feet motor yacht, on my next blog.

 

By Laura Barber

 


December 3, 2017

56th Annual Antigua Yacht Charter Meeting

With the 56th Annual Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting due to commence on Monday 4th December, the excitement is already building. Nelson’s Dockyard, Falmouth Harbour, and the Antigua Yacht Club Marina are already full to bursting with mindboggling super and mega yachts. When asking what the difference was between the two, I was told it was down to the number of zeros involved!

The yachts range from 54 feet, right up to 295 feet, so there will be plenty of yachts for us charter brokers to peruse, and a great opportunity to meet the captain and crew aboard. Being able to inspect these yachts personally, provides us with the valuable information that can be essential in ensuring that we are providing our clients with the right yacht. Having the chance to meet the captain and crew working aboard these yachts gives us the opportunity, as charter brokers, to forge relationships that can help enable a positive working relationship and a successful charter, and of course a good captain and crew is what makes a charter.

No doubt the chefs aboard these yachts who have entered the Chefs Culinary Contest are busy planning and practicing their menus for next week. Tuesday will see yachts that are over 160ft being judged, Wednesday yachts 126ft to 159ft and Thursday those that are under 125ft. The criteria is to create a Caribbean Sunday Brunch and baked goods basket that they would serve to their charter guests, with a menu that would be suitable for both adults and children. This is an opportunity for the chefs to demonstrate their skill and diversity in being able to use Caribbean ingredients to create a menu that includes both sweet, savory, and baked goods options. With only a helper to assist in the plating and serving of these dishes, the chef must do all the food preparation. They must also consider the most favorable place to serve their brunch, whether it be on the sundeck, the aft deck, the dining room, or saloon, and whether to present it buffet style or plated up. There is much to consider, so the competition is bound to be fierce, and with such an array of talent encompassed in these super and mega yachts, I doubt any judge will go home hungry. Friday at 5.30pm will see the winner and 2 runner ups announced at the Admirals’ Inn, Nelson’s Dockyard.

The pressure is not just being put on the chefs, as there is also a competition for the steward/stewardess. Their criteria is to choose a table style of decoration that shows the colours and diversity of the Caribbean Sea. They will be marked on originality and creativity, the style going with the theme, and the suitability to their chef’s menu. There will be one winner announced in each of the three yacht size categories and the winners will be announced alongside the chefs at the Admirals Inn.

So, an exciting number of events taking place next week. With yachts to view, and scheduled talk on subjects ranging from charter itineraries, to post-hurricane updates, it is going to be a busy week!

Falmouth Harbour

By Laura Barber


November 26, 2014

Sailing Yacht Charter vs. Motor Yacht Charter

Simply put, some people are motor yacht charter people, while others are sailing yacht charter people, and rarely is someone both. In fact, an amicable rivalry exists between these two factions. Although there are plenty of distinct differences between the two, many crew have worked on both types of yachts and furthermore, the yacht industry has begun to see a hybrid yacht culture emerge.

It is no longer uncommon for sailing yachts to be designed to motor yacht specifications. Meanwhile, certain modern motor yacht owners are beginning to embrace the informality of sailing yachts, blurring the distinction further still.

In light of this, AquaCruise are asking what really is the difference between motor and sailing yachts, and why should you choose one over the other?

Sailing Yachts:

More often than not, the primary reason most people purchase sailing yachts is for the romanticism that accompanies it. Think the excitement of the race against the unadulterated force of the elements, the salty taste of the sea breeze as the wind blows through your hair and the satisfaction of a meal and a glass of wine after a day’s adventures on the sea. But just like motor yachts have their fair share of experienced seafarers aboard, so too is sailing not simply an art for weathered captains. In fact, sailing yachts also tend to be slower than motor yachts, they are more eco-friendly and can offer a more stable and pleasant yachting experience than motor yachts thanks to the stabilising effect of the keel and rig. Indeed, sailing is at once both a challenging sport and a graceful art of living. It is this diversity that draws so much of sailing yachts’ popularity.

Many are also attracted to sailing yachts over motor yachts due to the favourable prices. Sailing yachts consume less fuel, which not only allows you to enjoy longer cruises at sea but also makes sailing yachts a more economic and greener yacht hire option. Furthermore, a sailing yacht will generally require less maintenance than a motor yacht since its design often places more emphasis on functionality and maintenance.

Motor Yachts:

Although the popularity of sailing yachts is increasing, multi-deck motor yachts dominate the world’s fleet of superyachts at 90%.

The advantages of motor yachts are clear. Motor yachts are naturally faster and more powerful, so if you’re looking to cover long distances in less time, then a motor yacht might be more appropriate. Not only is the motor yacht fast across the water but also its shallow draft design allows you to explore almost any coastline and archipelago, no matter how narrow it is.

Motor yachts are versatile in other ways however. Their larger deck space means more recreational living areas and therefore a more creative interior design and naturally more on board facilities.

Motor yachts also have some less evident benefits. Being as it is powered by motor, it is easier to operate thus saving expenditure on skilled yacht crew. In general, motor yachts are easier to recruit crew for. Furthermore, motor yachts can usually sport larger dishes and don’t suffer from the ‘mast shadow’ that can interfere with reception on sailing yachts, providing stronger communication with nearby ports and marinas over greater areas.

Choosing whether you want a sailing yacht charter or a motor yacht charter is as important as choosing the right crew and the right destination. Please contact AquaCruise experts for further information on how to reserve the right yacht for you.


October 28, 2014

Avoid the Winter Blues with a Yacht Charter in the BVI

In the glorious French Riviera the ports are now nearly vacant, the beaches are eerily quiet and the restaurant owners are cleaning up after a busy summer. 

virgin gorda in bvi

Some 8,000 km away however, the sun still beats down, as indeed it has all year round, green shoots sprout and fish dance among the coral. The location is the Caribbean, and more precisely, the British Virgin Islands. Often overlooked for other more traditional destinations of the region, the BVI are a hidden gem, the unspoilt ‘off-the-beaten-track’ Caribbean.

Besides the obvious 30°C weather, AquaCruise has compiled five reasons why you should escape winter and head for the sun on a private yacht rental in the British Virgin Islands:

Scenery
More than sixty islands constitute the British Virgin Islands, most of which can only be accessed by boat and all of which have their own character to be discovered. A luxury yacht charter allows you to explore them all at your own leisure based on your personal preferences. There are islands that have tropical jungles abundant with exotic wildlife, there are others with great looming mountains and some with enormous curving bays and golden beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Relaxation
Stress is as foreign to these shores as any tourist. That could perhaps be because some of the islands are uninhabited. Sandy Split for example promises a real-to-life experience of being stranded on a desert island. Cast your anchor off shore and swim through the crystal clear water before setting foot on the miniature island where you can relax alone with friends and family. For a change of pace, visit Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour for an excellent shopping experience in a quaint town plenty with gourmet lobster and seafood restaurants, artisan boutiques and markets full of local produce.

Culture
Experience the Caribbean way of life on your yacht charter of the BVI where the people are as warm as the weather. Unwind like the locals in a hammock under the shade of swaying palm trees. Interesting cultural day trips include a visit to the RMS Rhone wreck. Excellent diving conditions allow for a surreal tour of the boat whose home has been the Caribbean seabed since 1867. Nearby, The Baths are also an excellent crowd pleasing attraction. An awe-inspiring natural sculpture of giant boulders lie one atop another. Below them, a network of azure shallow sea pools and blue streams flow whilst shafts of sunlight burst through to illuminate the current.

Festivity
Soak in the Caribbean atmosphere at some of the many bars and restaurants of Jost Van Dyke Island. There, people enjoy the delights of Soggy Dollar bar and its famous ‘painkiller’ cocktail while traditional rum is poured out in equally generous portions. The water is warm enough to swim in after the sun goes down and so the beaches are always lively with people enjoying the wondrous surroundings and the live music that fills the air.

Activity
The sea offers a feast of snorkelling locations to choose from. Just north of Norman Island at a crest of rock called The Indians – so called because the jutting rocks resemble an Indian headdress – there are coral reefs to be explored and exotic fish to swim with. Back on land, a host of National Parks and rainforests await. Each park is interspersed with waterfalls, nature trails and botanical gardens.

A yacht charter is the best way to explore all the beauties of the magnificent British Virgin Islands. A group holiday can be surprisingly economical. Contact AquaCruise today to discover the best sailing and motor yacht charter options for the perfect relaxing week or two in paradise.

Photo courtesy of mega yacht and lifestyle photographer Mark O’Connell.


September 22, 2014

September’s Sensational Yacht Shows in the French Riviera

September is always a strange month on the Cote d’Azur. The weather is still glorious and the sea particularly warm, but there is a feeling that summer is almost over and that winter is not far away.

boats at the cannes yacht show

So, to beat any premature winter blues which might be lurking around in your head, there are two fantastic local yacht shows which take place this month. The Cannes Yachting Festival kicked off the season when it opened at three sites in Cannes on Tuesday September 9th. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated Monaco Yacht Show – seen as one of the most important events in the world for the yacht charter industry – launches this week, on Wednesday September 24th.

There is no better medicine for a blast of post- holiday blues than to plan your next luxury yacht hire and both events give ample opportunity to take a look at some of the new mega yachts available for charter as well as discover new destinations, the latest ‘toys’ and lots more.

The 36th Cannes Yachting Festival was the first of the seasons post-summer yachting exhibitions. More than 550 boats were showcased in three central Cannes locations – the Vieux Port, Port Pierre Canto and the Palais des Festivals – making the event the largest leading in-water boat exhibition in Europe.

Of the hundreds of boats on show during the six day event, more than one third were making their debut on the international yachting scene. Many of these boats were for sale, while others will be available for the first time ever for a French Riviera yacht charter next season.

The Cannes Yachting Festival is unique in the fact that it even allowed potential buyers to trial the boats on the open sea before parting with any money.

If you haven’t found what you are looking for at Cannes, then why not head to Monaco this week for what is being billed as the best ever yacht show held in the Principality?

The show, taking place in and around Port Hercules from September 24th to 27th 2014, will showcase 115 of the world’s most stunning superyachts available for charter or for sale.

This is an increase of 15 yachts compared to previous years, with additional berths having been added to cope with an unprecedented interest in the event from both superyacht brokers and potential buyers.

For more information on the Cannes Yachting Festival go here. For the Monaco Yacht Show follow this link.


August 6, 2014

Important Questions to Consider Before Booking a Yacht Charter

At AquaCruise, leading providers of Mediterranean yacht charters, we know how important it is that you embark on the right vessel in exactly the right area to make your holiday a once in a lifetime experience.

If you are booking a mega yacht charter for the first time, it can appear to be a slightly daunting task. Here are ten important questions that you can ask yourself before you get in touch with us to discuss your ideal yacht charter holiday. We suggest you run through the list so you know exactly what you are after.

a yacht charter cruising the Mediterranean

1. Where would you like to go on yacht charter? Do you fancy cruising the azure blue waters of the French Riviera or Corsica on a Mediterranean yachter charter, or are you after something a bit off the beaten track, such as the beautifully rugged coast of Croatia?

2. When is your ideal time to go? If you are looking for that dream two week holiday during the school summer holidays, the Mediterranean is the ideal destination. If you would like to charter a yacht in December, the Caribbean is your best bet.

3. What type of yacht do you dream of sailing – a motor yacht or a more traditional sailing boat? Both are available for hire through AquaCruise, in numerous destinations.

4. Once you have decided what sort of boat you desire, the next question to answer is how big should the yacht be? Are you looking for a yacht large enough for family, friends, and hangers-on, or a smaller vessel for an intimate group? This question is also important in helping you decide how many cabins you require the craft to have.

5. Does the yacht have to be suitable for children/the elderly/ the disabled? Do you require the yacht to be child-friendly with a hydraulic platform to help everyone board easily, whether they are in a pushchair, wheelchair or unsteady on their feet?

6. Are you hoping to bring a much-loved family pet on board your charter?

7. Do you want a crew of some kind, and if so, of what kind? Yacht charters can be equipped with a minimal crew of two to a full crew of up to 30-plus.

8. What is your budget? It is important to set yourself a budget before you start planning the trip, to know more or less what you are willing to pay.

9. What extra costs are there? While on the subject of money, remember, that on the majority of yacht charters it is customary to pay tips. As a general guide, it is typical to tip around ten percent of the cost of the charter to the captain, who then distributes this to the crew. It is therefore important to factor this cost into your budget.

10. Finally, what yacht toys would you like to have with your vessel? For example, are you interested in cruising through the water on a sea bob or a jet ski during your holiday, or would you prefer a more leisurely pastime such as snorkelling?

Once you have answered these questions, the next step is to contact one of the AquaCruise brokers who will help you find the perfect charter to fulfil all of your requirements. We can also run through some of the more specific aspects of a yacht charter including how the contract works, where to find insurance and how payment is made.