Yachting Art Magazine

Francis Lapp (Sunreef Yachts), new member of the Yacht Club de Monaco

The co-option ceremony took place this Monday in the Yacht Club of Monaco, in the presence of its president, HSH Prince Albert II.

Francis Lapp (Sunreef Yachts), new member of the Yacht Club de Monaco
Francis Lapp (Sunreef Yachts), new member of the Yacht Club de Monaco

The Yacht Club of Monaco is without doubt one of the most exclusive places in the world of yachting, whose ultramodern building dominates the port Hercules de la Condamine.

A Yacht Club whose origins date back to 1862

In 1862, Prince Charles III favored the organization of the first sailing regattas, in order to make Monaco a showcase for yachting and its technological innovations.

The Société des Régates de Monaco, was created in 1888 by a group of sailing and rowing enthusiasts who attracted international regattas in 1889. This passion for the sea was passed on to Prince Albert I, a distinguished sailor and pioneer of modern oceanography, who inaugurated the Oceanographic Museum in March 1912.

In 1904, the Société des Bains de Mer created the International Exhibition and Meeting of Motorboats, where the main manufacturers came to test their new engines, since road races, which were too deadly, had been banned. It is a worldwide success. All the great yachts flocked to be the privileged spectators of these exceptional gatherings. In a few years, Monaco became the center of the world of innovation and fashionable water sports.

A visionary, Prince Rainier III thought in 1953 that sport was no longer enough. Wishing to endow the Principality with a yacht club like those where he was received during his cruises, the Sovereign Prince, convinced that "the future of Monaco lies in the sea", wished to develop a structure capable of attracting and retaining the loyalty of yachtsmen from around the world. This is how he founded the Yacht Club of Monaco, with the desire that this Club "fully accomplishes its mission as a link between people who love the sea, that it serves the interests of tourism and the promotion of Monte Carlo and that it has only sympathy and friends both inside and outside". The sovereign's strong idea was that the Yacht Club should also be a major element in the development of the port of Monaco, the Principality's tourist spearhead.

On June 17, 1953, the constitutive assembly of the Yacht Club was held in the premises of the International Hydrographic Bureau, Prince Rainier accepted the presidency. As early as 1954, the Yacht Club de Monaco relaunched motorboat meetings, international regattas as well as numerous other nautical activities, while training generations of sailors at the Sailing School, created in 1957. The number of visitors to the port doubles.  In 1959, the Prince Builder encouraged Carlo Riva to create the first dry port as well as floating pontoons, not forgetting a few decades later the installation of a semi-floating breakwater.

In April 1984, HSH Prince Albert II was appointed by Prince Rainier III as President of the Club. Very involved in the life of the Club, he wished to develop the sporting aspect of the Y.C.M., reinforcing the training structures for young sailors and creating new events of international scope.

From the first year of his presidency, the following events were organized: the Primo Cup, which became the largest one-design winter gathering in the Mediterranean, the Monaco-New York transatlantic race, which is still very present in people's minds with the participation of the Monegasque crew Biotonus-YCM, and the Formula 40' Grand Prix. Convinced that reading the past is a key to building the future, H.S.H. Prince Albert II emphasized traditional yachting with the organization of the Monaco Classic Week in 1994, the creation and coordination for five years of a unique circuit of vintage and classic yachts, the Prada Challenge for Classic Yachts, and the acquisition of Tuiga in 1995, which has become the flagship of the Y.C.M.

On June 20, 2014, the Yacht Club turns a new page in its history, with the opening of its new Club House, in a building designed by Lord Norman Foster. This formidable showcase for Monegasque Yachting has promoted, in accordance with the Sovereign's wish, the creation of the "Yachting Monaco" Cluster and "La Belle Classe Academy", a training center specializing in superyachts. This initiative is designed to affirm Monaco's position as the world capital of luxury yachting.

Recognition for the founder of Sunreef Yachts

By opening its doors to the Frenchman Francis Lapp, founder and president of Sunreef Yachts, the Monaco Yacht Club is highlighting the formidable entrepreneurial adventure of a visionary industrialist from the world of construction, who, in parallel to his primary activity, and in less than 20 years, was able to imagine, create, develop and impose catamarans in the world of yachting and superyachting. 

Based in Poland, in the Hanseatic city of Gdansk, Sunreef Yachts is the world's leading manufacturer of semi-custom luxury catamarans, with 1500 employees and a turnover of 160 million euros for about 50 units produced per year. The Sunreef Yachts range includes both sailing yachts and motoryachts, and ranges from 50 feet to 49m.

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