To end 2023 and the 70th anniversary celebrations of Yacht Club de Monaco, its President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco joined the YCM family to reward the best results of its racing members with the YCM Awards and its UBS Trophy, celebrate the arrival of new members and unveil the road map for the coming season.
“Allow me first to express my gratitude to every one of you, our dedicated members, valued partners and loyal friends. You all helped make this year such a success. The festivities were a chance to look back on seven decades of yachting and unforgettable encounters”, said HSH Prince Albert II in his opening address.
“Yachting is synonymous with performance in sport and values that are dear to me,” continued the Sovereign. Indeed, the results were there throughout this landmark year with a gold medal at the Small States of Europe Games in ILCA 4, World Champion titles in the Finn, RC44, Swan50 and 5.5 classes and victory at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez for the Club’s flagship Tuiga, as YCM’s reputation and international influence continues to grow thanks to its members.
The results reflect YCM’s ongoing quest for excellence that extends into 2024 which promises to be another major year for sport. Ahead lie the Paris24 Olympics and potential selection of one of the Club’s top athletes; the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona in which YCM members are involved at the head of prestigious syndicates; and of course the Vendée Globe. This non-stop, solo round the world race without assistance sees Malizia-Seaexplorer, the latest addition to Team Malizia founded by YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi, competing, skippered by Boris Herrmann. “The idea is to rack up as many miles as possible before the start,” explains Pierre Casiraghi. “We work hard to accumulate experience on our IMOCA to really get to know it”.
A highlight was the announcement of the Trophée UBS 2023 winner. Nominees included top helmsmen, all YCM members, and world champions in 2023, namely Nico Poons in RC44, Edward Wright in Finn and 5.5, Leonardo Ferragamo in Swan50 and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio in Swan36, as well as Benoît de Froidmont, winner of the IMA Inshore Challenge, Vladimir Prosikhin, 3rd in the RC44 World Championship, Graeme Peterson, World Vice-Champion in Swan50 and Joost Schuijff, winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race (Monohull Line Honours). “This is a very important evening in the life of our Club. 2023 has been a vintage year with five world champion titles, illustrating the passion which unites us with our members,” notes YCM General Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri.
In the end the trophy went to Nico Poons.
Winner in 2009, this was the seventh time he’s been nominated, the other years being 2014, 2015, 2018, 2021 and 2022, and again it was his prowess on the RC44 circuit earning him the World Champion title for the second year in a row that tipped the balance. “I am very honoured to receive this award. It is above all about teamwork. I would also like to salute the other nominees who all have outstanding track records”.
The Club’s youngest sailors were also in the spotlight for the YCM Youth Awards 2023, with the talented young Noah Garcia winning the top prize after another superb season that included a gold medal at the Small States of Europe Games in ILCA 4 followed by a 4th place in the ILCA 6 French Championship. “I hope to do even better next year. My goal is to perform well at the next French Championship and keep up the momentum”.
PHOTO: Ernesto de Marzio, representing UBS Monaco; HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco; Nico Poons; Pierre Casiraghi, YCM Vice-President.
ORIGINAL SOURCE & PHOTO: Monaco Yacht Club