MYBA Genoa Charter Show 2016 (This complete editorial can be found at: www.yachtingmatters.com Edition 31)
The End of an Era
By Norma Trease
Ciao Italia, it’s been a great ride, enjoying the MYBA charter show with you for almost three decades, but as the song says, “time to … say goodbye…”
For 28 years the MYBA Charter Show has been hosted in Italy, first in San Remo and for the past 17 years in the ancient port city of Genoa. To many, the announcement that this venerable show is moving to Barcelona in 2017 came as a shock, but no one can question the amazing Italian hospitality enjoyed by yachts, brokers and vendors alike for so many years. MYBA President Fiona Maureso summed it up, saying “we would like to thank the Pesto Sea Group, and the City of Genoa… and we will of course miss all our friends in Italy.”
The 2016 edition of the MYBA Show was one of the most vibrant in recent memory, hosting a bumper crop of yachts old and new, with a level of enthusiasm and crew talent that demonstrates the health of the charter world and the summer season is proving to be as busy as promised. As usual, the array of charter yachts exhibited a wide range of sizes, representing builders worldwide, and the yachts provided tours, lunches, dinners and parties enough to satisfy the most jaded of brokers – or journalists. Power and sail, large and small, of every flag and crew of all nationalities, this show showcases the best of the best, as it always has throughout the many years.
Looking at the MYBA Charter Shows in Italy through the rear view mirror brings back many memories of memorable events that have developed this into [possibly] the most distinguished charter show ever. Genoa possesses a long and colorful history as a center of commerce and maritime giant, and its spectacularly diverse architecture reflects that. The Pesto Sea Group, organizers of the show, have capitalized on this heritage by organizing show events in some of their hometowns most iconic locations.
Who could ever forget walking up the steps of the Palazzo Ducale, feeling like royalty dressed in formal black and white? Or exploring the elegant grounds and house of the Villa Lo Zerbino mysteriously masked? The spectacular Aquario di Genova hosted several events, both among the fish habitats and on the terrace overlooking the show. Not to be outdone, vendors competed mightily to host the best crew attractions, from Mansueto’s daily food extravaganzas featuring local products and live music, to Neko Yacht Supply’s amazing food displays and always generous samplings, to Luise Associates Captains dinner featuring Italian superstar chef Tonino Mellino of yacht destination restaurant Quattro Passi. Quality beverages always flowed from wine tastings aboard yachts, to booths including Vins Sans Frontieres, Gourmet Deliveries, No. 12 Fine Wines and many others. Show-closing crew events also offered diversity and plenty of fun, from beach rugby bashes, to exuberant crew parties sponsored by Zoom Yachting. Of course, Barcelona will offer its’ own Latin flavored event, but the extraordinary style and hospitality of Genoa will not soon be forgotten.
For the last four years, one of the most memorable aspects of the MYBA Charter Show has been the Superyacht Chefs Competition, and Tablescaping Service Awards. Winning yachts are said to gain several weeks of charter, while chefs receive valuable kudos and exposure and service teams are increasingly recognized for their invaluable role in the culinary experience aboard charter yachts. Every year has seen the quality of the competition continue to grow and under the careful stewardship of Sarah Sebastian, and with the continuing support of sponsors Yachting Matters/SuperyachtChefs.com, GIS Yacht Provisioning and Superyacht World, the competition has become more professional with every edition. The judges represent Michelin starred restaurants in Italy and France, joined by leading charter brokers and journalists. Participating yachts are grouped into three size categories, under 39m, 40-49m, and 50+m, with 8-10 competing in each, with a specific theme and requirements as to courses and use of products for both cuisine and tablescaping.
While previous years have seen Mediterranean concepts such as “Red Carpet: Cannes Film Festival”, this years’ theme of “Italian Cuisine: Modern and Classic” seemed to truly resonate with all of the competitors. Some of the competition highlights included a dramatic tableside deconstructed Tiramisu by 2nd Place Chef winner Micail Swindells of Unbridled who was ably assisted throughout by the entire crew and especially the service team under the leadership of Chief Stewardess Kim Kennedy, winning 1st Place Tablescaping in the 50+m category. For yachts under 39m, yacht Solis, the largest Mulder build to date, swept to First Place for both chef James Snelleman and Chief Naomi Pritchard with their theme “Live the Dream”; while Heliad II took both 2nd Place prizes by featuring yacht-made breads and excellent wine pairings. The middle category, 40-49m, was especially hotly contested, but the judges were won over by 1st Place Chef Samantha Kerse of Fathom with her lemon-based menu served al fresco. Yacht Balista, which took both 2nd place honours, wowed judges and spectators alike with their “Under the Tuscan Sun” theme that featured a flower-decked Vespa on the docks – proving that their highly experienced Chief Stewardess Suzy Sawers still remains at the top of her game.
So many special moments happened throughout the busy three-day competition marathon, but one yacht that touched everyone’s heart was Kanaloa, who was saved from certain scrapping by the efforts of her loyal, dedicated crew, and whose captain Dean Homan, brought us all to tears as he described how their chef Clyde May spent months working aboard as a lowly-paid dayworker to help support this extraordinary team effort. In a first for the Superyacht Chefs Competition, the judges were moved to offer a special “Best of the Best” Judges Prize to the extraordinary yacht The Wellesley, who demonstrated that from the owner, to his Captains, to young chef Bradley van Rooyen, and the “Chief of Chiefs” Alona Tischenko, whether hosting brokers lunches, cigar & cognac tastings, late night yacht hops or competing, this a program that is extraordinary in every way. Their prize, a crew lunch at the equally extraordinary two-Michelin Star restaurant Quattro Passi definitely makes this a class act all the way. Bravo to one and all!
So it’s Arrivaderci Italia, and Hola Barcelona in 2017, but without a doubt, the MYBA Charter Show only continues to grow in strength, relevance and will surely continue to showcase the excellence, and vibrancy that the yacht charter industry is all about.
Author Norma Trease of Yachting Matters and SuperyachtChefs.com has been a judge at the Superyacht Chef Competition for the past four years, and at many chefs competitions worldwide, after beginning her career as an award-winning yacht chef … many moons ago!
Superyacht Chefs and Tablescaping Competition 2016
1st Place Chef – Sam Holloway / QM of London
2nd Place Chef – Micail Swindells / Unbridled
3rd Place Chef – Marcus Worm / Majestic
1st Place Service – Kim Kennedy / Unbridled
2nd Place Service – Laura Tudhope / Martha Ann
1st Place Chef – Samantha Kerse / Fathom
2nd Place Chef – Sebastian Amberville / Balista
3rd Place Chef – Rhys Barrington / Rüya
1st Place Service – Rebecca / Latiko
2nd Place Service – Suzy Sawers / Balista
Yachts Under 40m
1st Place Chef – James Snelleman / Solis
2nd Place Chef – Nicholas Bernat / Heliad II
3rd Place Chef – Odile Amour / Cristalex
1st Place Service – Noami Pritchard / Solis
2nd Place Service – Heliad II / Jennifer Brecheteav
Antonio “Tonino” Mellino / Quattro Passi
Thierry Blouin / La Mère Germaine
Guiliano Piscina / Balin Cuisine
Norma Trease / Yachting Matters-SuperyachtChefs.com
John Wyborn / Bluewater
Sacha Williams / Camper & Nicholson
Stephanie Archer / OCI
MYBA CHARTER YACHT SHOW – BARCELONA
APRIL 24 - 26 2017