AS Monaco release first football made out of recycled vegetables

AS Monaco have, along with the other 19 Ligue 1 clubs, partnered up with Rebond to create the world’s first-ever football made out of recycled vegetable materials. 

The project coincides with the start of European Sustainable Development Week, which began on 18th September, and runs through until 8th October. The Principality club have teamed up with Rebond, a company dedicated to creating eco-friendly sports balls, by working with ecological materials, working within the circular economy, and by developing a French production line.

The ball, which includes key elements of the Principality, as well as iconic representations of the club and its decorated history, was designed by Docteur Paper.

The ball is already available for purchase, although any potential buyers will have to move quickly. Currently, the ball can only be bought on the Ulule platform with 500 balls able to be delivered before Christmas. Any extra balls purchased will be delivered in March 2023.

However, the club itself will soon start selling the ball both online and also in the club’s shop in Monaco. Funds raised through sales will fund further research and development into eco-friendly designs.

The club has also pledged to give all of its proceeds to the Oceanographic Institute, thus aiding the preservation of oceans, and its wildlife and plant life.

AS Monaco’s latest partnership fits in with the club strategy of becoming more environmentally responsible. The club’s shop became a member of the government’s environmental label, which entails certain commitments toward sustainability.

Through the club’s ‘Red and White beehives’ campaign, AS Monaco have also committed to helping biodiversity in the Principality, by financing a beehive for every 10 goals scored in Ligue 1 this season.


Photo by AS Monaco


Monaco Economic Board ventures into Canada

The Monaco Economic Board (MEB) has made its first visit to Canada this century in order to develop the relationship between the countries, and potentially seek Canadian investment in Monegasque business. 

The MEB has had to wait a long time to set foot once again on Canadian soil. Having not visited the North American country since 1999, their arrival was delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

Monaco’s “economic mission” in Canada began in French-speaking Montreal on 18th September, and was attended by seven Monégasque businesses from a range of industries. The hope is to strengthen collaboration with the Canadian market, whilst also potentially seeking investment into the Principality.

“[The objective] is to develop relationships between the two countries. We hope to accompany Monégasque businesses in their development here in Canada, promote synergies and opportunities in the local business community, and attract Candian investment into Monégasque businesses,” said Guillaume Rose, executive CEO of the MEB.

During their stay in Montréal, the Monégasque delegation met the principal economic actors in the Quebec region, including Montréal international and the Metropolitan Montréal chamber of commerce. During this meeting, Franco-Monégasque co-operation was formalised through the signing of two new agreements with the CCI France Canada and SOPER.

The Monégasuqe delegation then continued on to English-speaking Canada with a visit to Toronto on Saturday. Like in Montréal, the MEB met with multiple actors in order to facilitate business creation, as well as investment through networking with the MEB’s partners. As a hub of finance, as well as technology, the visit to Toronto allowed Monégasque businesses linked to those sectors to create professional connections and synergies.

A press release from the MEB proclaimed the delegation’s Canadian tour as a “mission accomplished” that opens up the North American market to the Principality, and its diverse range of businesses and industries.


Photo source: Monaco Economic Board




Roca Team continue winning start

AS Monaco Basketball registered back-to-back wins to continue their winning start to the new season against Nancy (89-76) on Tuesday with another new signing, Jaron Blossomgame, dictating proceedings. 

After a tight victory away to Nanterre during Sunday’s curtain-raiser, the Roca Team once again took to the road to face Nancy. Just like in that game, the two sides were evenly matched for large swathes of the encounter, and it was once again one of the summer recruits that finished as the side’s top scorer on the night.

After being left out of the squad for the opening gameweek, Blossomgame was thrown straight into the starting line-up and didn’t take long to mark his arrival felt, scoring 20 points in his first game in Monégasque colours.

However, Monaco didn’t have things all their own way, and in the first-half, in particular, they had to match Nancy’s physicality just to keep the scores level. Neither side could make the break, although an Adrien Moerman three-pointer, followed by a Jordan Loyd hoop from within the key gave the visitors a short-lived five-point lead. Nancy quickly hit back to reduce the deficit before taking a two-point lead (27-25).

Monaco found their rhythm and started to construct what proved to be an unassailable lead following the return from the dressing rooms at half-time. A Blossomgame three-pointer marked the start of a quarter that Monaco would largely dominate. John Brown, Alpha Diallo and Yakuba Ouattara also chipped in to ensure that Monaco went into the fourth-quarter with a comfortable advantage (64-74).

The Roca Team continued to assert themselves in the final 10, maintaining and slightly growing their lead on their way to an 89-76 victory. Ultimately, Nancy couldn’t keep pace with a physically and technically superior Roca Team on the night.

Having registered two victories in their first two Betclic Elite matches, Sasa Obradovic’s side now prepare for their return to the Principality, where their fans, as well as a new stadium, awaits them on Sunday.


Photo above source: AS Monaco Basketball 




Interview: Naval Architect and Designer Espen Oeino

As the curtains go up on the The Monaco Yacht Show 2022, the organisers have a new word on their lips: ‘Seducation’. It’s their three-year programme designed to attract a new generation of yachting clients with two core concepts: ‘education’ and ‘seduction’ and thus, ‘seducation’. The idea is to ‘zing up’ what some might call an already blisteringly wow-fuelled event.

So with this backdrop in mind, who better to front the first of a series of Monaco Life forays into MYS 2022 than one of yachting’s most iconic figures of innovation and forward-thinking: Espen Oeino, one of the naval architects and designers of the superyacht industry.

He has been designing yachts since his early 20s; the first, 74.5m MY Eco (now MY Zeus) still ‘bobs’ about in Monaco’s Port Hercules harbour.

Oeino was born and grew up in Oslo, southern Norway, where he skied by moonlight and spent endless summers messing about on boats. He says, “We have a very nice coastline in Oslo and Norway in general and in the summer we had long nights and short working days – it gives rise to an interesting lifestyle. If you include all the perimeters of all the island coastlines in Norway it adds up to 100,915km, which is the second longest coastline after Canada.”

When Espen Oeino was 17-years-old he was packed off to boarding school in Normandy, France. From there it was only a short step across the water to study naval architecture and offshore engineering with a focus on the oil and gas industries at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. “It was ship design basically. I went to university because I wanted to study naval architecture: mechanical engineering and civil engineering.”

The first few years were spent learning about principles and structure then floating structures and stability, hydrographics and hydrodynamics, hull designs.

“I was a passionate sailor so I wanted to design sailing boats,” he reveals.

After an internship with foremost designer Martin Francis, he was offered a full-time job, which is where his involvement with MY Zeus, formerly MY Eco, began. “Martin Francis was invited to tender a design for a motor yacht,” says Oeino. “None of us had ever designed a motor yacht before. We were really the underdogs but we ended up winning the competition and this boat was built, and I ended up being responsible for the project in the office.  And that was my accidental entry into  motor yacht design”.

Oeino worked with Francis for eight years before starting up on his own in 1994. Nearly 30 years later, the Espen Oeino International studio counts a staff of 30. He’s been designing yachts since he was three or four years old but the first big boat for which he was known was the mighty 126m MY Octopus in 1998. “I think at the time she was the fourth biggest yacht in the world and was certainly the biggest explorer yacht,” he remembers.

Photo credit Guillaume Plisson

For Oeino, the Monaco Yacht Show is an opportunity to catch up with clients and industry friends. Several EO designs also feature in the Show including two new launches built by Amels shipyard: the 60m MY Come Together and MY Energy (78m).

With the introduction of a Sustainability Hub at the MYS this year, is it feasible to talk of sustainable superyachts? Oeino likes to think it is. “Obviously the bigger the yachts, the more energy they require to function, but you need to try to minimise whatever you have to spend to make it all work: use renewable resources and limit the damage in terms of emissions.”

The EO studio is currently working on designs using multi-hulls. The ‘Silver Cat’ is being built in Australia. This 23.9m catamaran has open sides, front and back, to allow for natural air flow and no air-conditioning, limiting that particular energy consumer to the cabins below deck, a bit like a Bali beach house, he suggests. “I experimented a little bit myself with reducing requirements this summer with a small catamaran I built for myself.”

His interest in ‘fast but efficient’ dates back to the early 2000’s and beyond, particularly with the shipyard Silver Yachts. MY Silver Fast (2015), lightweight and slender, was designed to glide through the water with very little power. He is now working with catamarans at the shipyard looking into making the catamaran hull even slenderer than the mono-hulls and addressing the question of transversability.

“I am proud of the Silver Yachts,” he says, “they are very sustainable, and again they were against the mainstream when we built them. The volume is distributed longitudinally when the trend was to go taller or wider.  It’s extremely efficient, you can cruise it at 18.5 knots and burn less than 400 litres an hour, which sounds like a lot but it’s not for a boat that size.”

Silverfast, photo credit: Guillaume Plisson

The EO studio is also working on some commercial projects with electric propulsion combined with fuel cells and hydrogen. The life cycle of yachts and their materials are another consideration – the question of the choice of materials and the impact of the life cycle of a yacht. What energy is required to produce the material? How much energy is required to get rid of the material after the life cycle of a boat? “It’s a massive calculation, and we are starting to talk about it, like other industries, but it’s a huge subject,” explains Oeino.

“No-one needs a yacht to live. They do not perform any work like a cargo ship or a ferry – carrying passengers or goods. So, I can always argue, I guess, that it has no purpose and the emissions could be avoided. But there are many things you can say that about. I think that in this industry we realise that sustainability is high up on the agenda and something we have to do our utmost to address. It’s a question of trying to reduce requirements and trying to be as clean as possible with whatever power and power source you are using. The last thing you want is a dirty sea, either the sea around you or the fumes from generators in your face.”

Raising awareness is critical, Oeino says. “If you take a typical displacement yacht of  80m, and bring her from a cruising speed of 14 or 14.5 knots to 17 or 18 knots, you pretty much multiply the power by a factor of 2.5/3 for a speed increase of 3/4 knots – so you’re doubling or tripling the power. This is crazy. So, think about that. Maybe you don’t need to get to St Tropez that bit earlier. That’s a very simple thing to do. The resistance curve is really cubic, it’s not linear; even reducing the speed a tiny bit can save energy and money.”

The man whose finger tips have brought us the world’s most iconic yachts still has ideas tumbling from the drawing board: “What I find interesting,” he says, “is trying to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given.”

Monaco presents MYS 2022… enjoy!



Photo above: Espen Oeino, credit Guillaume Plisson 




The Ocean Race is on: momentum gathers on quest for ocean rights

As world leaders gathered for the UN General Assembly in New York, The Ocean Race hosted a high-level event on 24th September in the same city to boost support for the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights by 2030, with Prince Albert II of Monaco and ministers from Cabo Verde and Monaco giving their support to the initiative.

The Ocean Race, an around-the-world sailing event known as the toughest test of a team in sport, and partners – including the Government of Cabo Verde, the Government of Monaco and Earth Law Centre – are redoubling efforts to give the ocean a voice and gathering increasing support from countries around the globe for the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights by 2030.

Together, the collaborators hosted an event at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that brought together participants from over 20 countries and international organisations to discuss how to galvanise further support as part of the journey towards the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights. Participating countries included Italy, Portugal, France, Sweden, Singapore, Spain, Mexico, Palau, Colombia, Seychelles and Panama, along with key institutions in ocean conservation such as the Pew Charitable Trust.

“The ocean is vital for our climate, for our biodiversity and for life on Earth as we know it. It is time we gave the ocean a voice,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Monaco Isabelle Berro-Amadeï. “Two of the most prominent priorities of the Principality of Monaco are oceans and sport. We are proud of the fact that our Sovereign, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco – who also attended the event – is both an Olympian and one of the most dedicated leaders for a healthy, productive and protected ocean.”

In a video message, Boris Herrmann, one of the world’s best known offshore sailors and Team Malizia skipper, said: “Without the ocean, nothing would be possible. We clearly support The Ocean Race and partners in their work towards a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights because the ocean means everything to us: it is our playground, our workplace and, for me personally, spending more than 100 days a year in the ocean, it is also my home.”

Team Malizia are champions for sustainability and climate action and will participate in the next edition of The Ocean Race, which starts in January 2023 with their newly built race yacht Malizia – Seaexplorer IMOCA.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Monaco Isabelle Berro-Amadeï. Photo source: The Earth Centre

Addressing the round table, Ocean Campaigns Director at the Earth Law Centre Michelle Bender, told the audience: “I would like us to think about Ocean Rights as an opportunity. Not just another regulation, but rather a framework that shows the world how society and life can look like if we live in the right relationship with the Ocean and the entire Earth community.”

Meanwhile, Marine conservation biologist and National Geographic Explorer Callie Veelenturf stressed: “Today we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and a zoonosis that is a result of an annihilation of nature, and so I think it is clear that our current environmental laws and legal systems aren’t working to allow us to establish harmony with nature as a society. We all need to ask ourselves what role we can play to move forward.”

During the event, the Government of Panama spoke via a video message backing the legal recognition of ocean rights, with the Minister for the Environment, Milciades Concepción stating: “We believe that support for a global initiative to recognise ocean rights must be a priority for all countries in the world, including those without coastal areas that still benefit from ocean resources.”

Cabo Verde’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration, Rui Alberto de Figueiredo Soares, said: “Cabo Verde stands ready to advocate for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights that has to be adopted and implemented on a global scale and with the support of policy makers, private sector, scientists, sailors and other key stakeholders. By 2030 the Declaration should establish a set of rules regarding the protection of the oceans and applicable to all countries in the world. The goal is ambitious but achievable as long as there’s global collaboration at heart.”

The Ocean Race Chairman Richard Brisius and The Ocean Race Policy Director Johan Strid wrapped up the event stressing the need to “move quickly” to bring draft principles on Ocean Rights to the United Nations General Assembly in September next year.





Photo above source: The Earth Centre