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16th Monaco Classic Week-La Belle Classe paying tribute to the yachting of yesteryear

From 13-16 September, Monaco Classic Week-La Belle Classe organized by Yacht Club de Monaco pays tribute to all the splendor associated with sailing’s maritime heritage. Launched in 1994, this unique in the world biennial event pays homage to large and small pleasure boats that bear witness to the yachting of yesteryear.

The meeting brings owners and their crews out on the water for a range of contests with social occasions in the evening in the time-honoured tradition of a certain ‘Art de Vivre la Mer’ so dear to YCM. By invitation only, around 110 classic sailing and motorboats are expected for this 16th edition alongside a 20-strong fleet of the clinker-built Dinghy 12’ class; a fabulous line-up that will fill the YCM Marina comprising a dozen period motor-yachts, 50 vintage motorboats, including around 30 Rivas and 3 powerboats from the early 20th century as well as 50 classic sailing yachts. Among those joining Yacht Club de Monaco’s flagship Tuiga (1909) of note will be Maliclaire, a 35m topsail schooner (1909), the three-mast schooner Creole, built in 1927 by the Camper & Nicholsons yard and Atlantic, replica of that famous three-mast schooner helmed by the legendary Charlie Barr which left her mark on the history of sailing by setting the first record for a North Atlantic crossing. It was a record that would remain unequalled for 75 years.

This year the public and classic yacht enthusiasts also have the opportunity to see a photography exhibition dedicated to Prince Rainier III, who founded the YCM and so loved sailing, as the Principality celebrates the centenary of his birth. Access to the quays and exhibitors Village (painters, photographers, craftsmen, official YCM Boutique) is free to everyone starting Wednesday 13th September from 10.00am.


All the yachts of yesteryear which are still sailing continue to fascinate as they bear witness to a rich cultural heritage from a distant past. Every two years, YCM puts the spotlight on boats that are the pride and joy of their owners and reminders of the long tradition that links the Principality to the sea. In 1862, the first regattas were already being held in the bay, and by the end of that century Monaco had become a mecca for the international yachting world where the biggest names in finance, industry and entertainment met. The year 1904 also saw the first international powerboat events held in Port Hercule with the emergence of the internal combustion engine. All the big sailing and motor yachts flocked to be privileged spectators of these meetings. Within a few years, Monaco became the centre of innovation and fashionable water sports.


 Atlantic, the replica of the legendary schooner commissioned in 1903 by New York Yacht Club member Wilson Marshall will celebrate her 120th anniversary. The reconstruction project led by Ed Kastelain was an ambitious one. With a deck length of 56m she is the largest racing schooner ever to be rebuilt. In terms of her lines and sail area she is identical to when she won the 1905 Transatlantic Race that ensured her immortality in yachting’s history. Slender lines accentuate her elegance while the 42m waterline, narrow beam, and masts soaring 45m above the water supporting 1,750m2 of sail, make her breathtakingly fast. A fabulous sight to behold!


It is not just about results but celebrating a passion, with special prizes to encourage the involvement and commitment of owners to preserve their boats as the true heritage of a timeless maritime culture. The coveted La Belle Restoration Prize rewards the quality of the restoration these boats have undergone, many of which are well over a hundred years old, judged by a Jury chaired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and comprising yachting history experts. Marks are given based on respect for the original plans, materials used in their construction and the knowledge of those who restored them.

  • The Elegance Contest is also judged by the same Jury whose job is to rate the boats on etiquette, style and respect for a certain way of life and conduct at sea, all in a festive fun spirit.
  • Both these are combined to decide the winner of the Monaco Classic Week Prize that encompasses all the criteria evaluated in terms of restoration and elegance to which is added a coup de cœur (favourite) element for the spirit that prevails on board among the crew, as well as maintenance and restoration.
  • Living well at sea also means knowing how to combine the pleasures of good food with the joy of sailing. The Chefs Competition is a chance for owners to get their chefs to produce a menu on board their boats within a given time from a basket of mystery ingredients.

The grand finale that concludes Monaco Classic Week is a big parade when participants gather just off the Oceanographic Museum and file one behind the other eastwards towards Larvotto Beach.

     PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME (as of 26th July, may be subject to change)

Wednesday 13th September

10.00am                        Opening of Monaco Classic Week-La Belle Classe Exhibitors Village

1.00pm                          Warm-up race & 15M IR encounter

3.00pm – 6.00pm            Inspection of yachts by ‘La Belle Classe Restoration’ Prize Jury

Thursday 14th September

9.00am – 6.00pm            Inspection of yachts by ‘La Belle Classe Restoration’ Prize Jury

9.00am – 10.00am          Chefs Competition (distribution of ingredients on the quays)

12 noon                         1st warning signal – Dinghy 12’ class

12 noon                         Start of race – classic sailing yachts (coastal race)
5.00pm – 7.00pm            Chefs Competition with Moët Hennessy (presentation of dishes on the quays)
Before the party             Prize-giving for Chefs Competition

Friday 15th September

9.00am – 6.00pm            Inspection of yachts by ‘La Belle Classe Restoration’ Prize Jury

10.00am                         1st warning signal Monaco-Ventimiglia race (sailing, motor-yachts, motorboats)

12 noon                         1st warning signal (Dinghy 12’ class)

3.00pm                          Start of Ventimiglia-Monaco return race

Saturday 16th September

9.00am – 6.00pm            Inspection of yachts by ‘La Belle Classe Restoration’ Prize Jury

11.00am                        Elegance Contest (classic yachts, period motor-yachts, vintage motorboats)

12 noon                         1st warning signal (Dinghy 12’ class)

12 noon                         Start of classic sailing yachts race (coastal race)

2.00pm                          Manoeuvrability Challenge (motorboats)

4.00pm – 5.00pm            Monaco Classic Week Grand Parade
7.00pm                          Prize-giving & Closing Cocktail (by invitation)

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