No matter how beautiful, sophisticated and stabilized a yacht is or how creative the design, few would dispute that the crew makes all the difference in a successful charter experience. More than a decade ago, Fraser Yachts instituted its annual Monaco Captains Dinner Awards. This year, about 300 people attended the black-tie event, now a staple on the busy Monaco Yacht Show calendar. The company recognized three of its charter yachts for their outstanding crew and captains.
Here are the 2012 winners:
The award for Best Charter Crew for yachts 50 meters and below went to Dragon, a spectacular Palmer Johnson 135 built in 2007 that navigates extensively in the Mediterranean. A crew of six caters to up to eight charter guests on this sporty yacht. The yacht’s new captain, Paul Waltho, accepted the award on behalf of long-standing Captain Dave Frevert and the crew was well rewarded for their “unyielding high standards of service”.
The award for Best Charter Crew over 50 meters went to the 207-foot Force Blue, an expedition-style yacht from Royal Denship. On this voluminous yacht, equipped with a large toy store and a hammam among a long list of amenities, an international crew of 19 caters to up to 12 guests. Aside from their positive attitude and sense of humor, the crew was commended for its swift action during a man-overboard incident last year. “Their vigilance, fast reactions and exceptional seamanship prevented a loss of life that night. They are not only a great crew; they are life‐savers in the true meaning of the words.”
The Fraser Yachts Captain of the Year Award went to Takis Tsakos of the 45-meter Ionian Princess. A very busy charter yacht, Ionian Princess served as a tender to an 85-meter yacht last season. She was supposed to play a supporting role in that 10-day charter, but ended up the leading lady when the guests, impressed with the crew’s unbridled enthusiasm, switched accommodations.
Crew prizes included a $1,000 travel voucher from travel specialist GMT, a free berth for one week at Vilanova Grand Marina, a Jeroboam Premier Cru Chablis donated by William Fèvre and VSF and some Black River Caviar.
The Captain’s prizes included a fully automatic timepiece from Hublot, one free berth for one week from Vilanova, a weekend trip to Barcelona and a weekend trip to the UK for the ATP Masters, courtesy of Lloyds TSB’s Monaco Private Banking office and a €3,000 voucher from Spanish luxury furniture company Kettal.