YCM renews Malizia partnership at annual awards ceremony

It’s been a busy year for the Yacht Club of Monaco, which they have rounded out with a cocktail party, awards ceremony, and highlights of future plans.
The Yacht Club of Monaco’s (YCM) annual winter cocktail event has traditionally been the time to also welcome new members as well as to recognise the best sailors from the year with the YCM Awards-Trophée Credit Suisse.
This year was no different, with the announcement of the YCM Sailor of the Year 2021 Trophée Credit Suisse. Among the nominees were top helmsmen and YCM members Nico Poons, RC44 World Vice Champion, Valter Pizzoli, winner of the Régates Royales de Cannes and Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Dmitry Rybolovlev, winner in real time of the Rolex Fastnet Race, and Oren Nataf, real time winner of the RORC Transatlantic and 2nd in the Rolex Fastnet in the MOCRA category, and Guido Miani for his victories in the 2021 Rolex Giraglia and Palermo-Montecarlo.
In the end, the prize went to Giangiacomo Serena du Lapigio, a nominee in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 who this year showed remarkable consistency in J/70 and Swan 36, a class he embarked on just a year ago.
Winner of the Swan One Design Worlds and of the 37th Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse in the J/70, then in the Swan Sardinia Challenge, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio gave a short but sweet speech, saying, “I’m delighted to receive this award. It’s fantastic. I love to sail and win with my team and we’re preparing for next season and in particular for the J/70 World Championship which will be held in Monaco next year.”

Additionally, a special prize was awarded to Tomaso Polli, winner in pole position and 2nd overall at the XCAT World Championship in Dubai on motorised catamarans.
The evening was also a chance to congratulate the many YCM members who compete year-round and excelled in some of the most prestigious events in the world. First in the spotlight were the youngest sailors nominated for the YCM Youth Awards 2021, the big winner being Mathis Duplomb for his progress in ILCA 4 (formerly Laser 4.7). As well as several podium finishes in league regattas, he did very well in France’s internationals to finish 2nd overall.
The ceremony continued with the YCM Awards-Trophée Credit Suisse for adults in the One Design category going to young Francesco Vauban for his impressive Smeralda 888 season, a five-event championship he won for the first time this year.
The awards weren’t the only exciting moments in the evening, as YCM President Prince Albert II welcomed new members and spoke about the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Monaco: Capital of Yachting initiative. After a decade of progress, the Prince has plans to do more.
“I want us to redouble efforts to protect the oceans which are our playground,” he declared. “A sustainable superyacht still sounds like an oxymoron today, even though owners are much more environmentally aware.”
He also took the opportunity to recognise work achieved to date by YCM and Credit Suisse on the SEA Index (Superyacht Eco Association), a benchmark for assessing CO2 emissions of yachts over 40 metres, with the aim of positioning Monaco as a centre of excellence and innovation in the luxury yacht sector.
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge was also mentioned. The dates for 2022 are 4th to 9th July and is an event in line with the philosophy of the Principality.
“Wishing to look to the future of yachting, our club has naturally positioned itself as a pioneer of innovation; a player at the service of transforming our sector to meet sustainable development goals set by the United Nations,” said the President of the YCM.
Prince Albert II went on to say, “Anchored in our values, daring in action and driven by an eco-conscience, my wish is that through the Yacht Club de Monaco, an established platform for exchanges, we can go even further to reinvent ourselves. We are arriving at a major turning point in history. Our decisions today will determine our lives tomorrow. It is not just one facet of yachting that needs to be improved, the whole ecosystem needs to be revamped.”
Alongside Malizia 3’s Captain Boris Herrmann, who notably placed 5th in last summer’s Vendée Globe around the world solo race, the Prince formally announced another five-year campaign with the team. Club Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi presented the programme’s highlights which include the Route du Rhum in 2022, the team Ocean Race in 2023 and the Vendée Globe in 2024/2025.
“Malizia 3 is still under construction and the process should be completed during the summer of 2022,” said Casiraghi. “We have opted for a few new features, particularly on the hull. The IMOCA is designed to better manage the swell. We have also worked on the cockpit which has been redesigned, and looked into a new type of battery, photovoltaic panels and hydrogen.”
Photos source: Yacht Club de Monaco, Bruno Bébert