Fead­ships & F1

The Grand Prix His­torique and the F1 Grand Prix prove cars and yachts go hand in hand

SuperYacht World - - Contents - Words | Alexan­dra Groom

Clas­sic Fead­ships, vin­tage car rac­ing, and the GP: two week­ends in Monaco.

Don’t let any­one who reg­u­larly goes to the For­mula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco tell you that be­cause of the unique to­pog­ra­phy and track, the 20 cars roar­ing up Av­enue d’os­tende at the be­gin­ning of the race make it the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing and nois­i­est place on Earth. Be­cause it’s not true. That crown be­longs to the Grand Prix His­torique, held two weeks ear­lier.

Those lucky enough to be around dur­ing the 1970s hey­day of For­mula 1 cars will re­mem­ber the roar, mak­ing to­day’s en­gines look like they can barely muster a meow, and for those that can’t, the Grand Prix His­torique is a unique event on the rac­ing cal­en­dar which brings the past into the present.

Also en­joy­ing the race in May this year were mem­bers of the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet, a mem­ber’s so­ci­ety for own­ers of clas­sic Fead­ship yachts. Five yachts were present for this year’s race, all moored next to each other in prime lo­ca­tion on the Tabac Cor­ner.

“There is ab­so­lutely a link be­tween those who like clas­sic boats and those who like clas­sic cars,” says Vic­tor Muller, chair­man of the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet. “Ev­ery­body comes here be­cause they love to look at clas­sic cars, and hear the sound of them.” The un­de­ni­able con­nec­tion be­tween the car and the yacht en­thu­si­asts stems as much from an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for tra­di­tional looks and engi­neer­ing as a shared his­tory. With all the clas­sic Fead­ships present dat­ing from 1963 through to 1972, watch­ing the cars from their shared era race me­tres from their sterns has an al­most sur­real ef­fect of bring­ing you back in time, and cre­ates a sense of pride be­tween those who know all about lov­ingly restor­ing a clas­sic ma­chine.

“The boats are in their nat­u­ral habi­tat here,” says Muller. “We also have a yacht hop night where we visit each other’s yachts for cock­tails, and the whole week­end is just a get to­gether of like minded peo­ple who love their clas­sic Fead­ships. And a few peo­ple who own Fead­ships but don’t have them here join us – as mem­bers they are very wel­come on ev­ery yacht that’s here.”

For Rory Brooks, vice chair­man of the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet and owner of Heav­enly Daze, the lo­ca­tion is also an im­por­tant fac­tor in the suc­cess of the week­end. “It’s a com­bi­na­tion of things. It’s the shared in­ter­est of engi­neer­ing, pres­tige, high-qual­ity work­man­ship, the legacy be­tween cars and boats, the com­mu­nity spirit, and the spe­cial at­mos­phere that is Monaco. I think the whole

com­bi­na­tion just works to­gether. That’s not to say that it couldn’t work some­where else, but this is re­ally the per­fect place for it to work. This par­tic­u­lar week­end is a very re­laxed one, where you can get up close to the boats and the cars, and I think it cre­ates a very nice at­mos­phere, which is im­por­tant.”

The week­end is pri­mar­ily, of course, a grand prix race. But Brooks in­sists that doesn’t stop the yachts feel­ing more than wel­come. “There’s a shared sense of her­itage and his­tory be­tween the cars and the boats, it’s a very good mar­riage of the two. It’s a good com­bi­na­tion when you can cel­e­brate both at the same time. I think that cars are very well cel­e­brated, but boats less so, and I think that to get these beau­ti­ful Fead­ships to­gether is a good start. I’ve even had a mes­sage from some­one say­ing, ‘I’ve seen all your Fead­ships to­gether on the tele­vi­sion!’ It’s a nice way to at­tract at­ten­tion and get peo­ple to re­alise that the old boats are as beau­ti­ful as the old cars.”

A cou­ple of yachts down the quay is Ser­ena, one of the more well known of the clas­sic Fead­ships. Built in 1964, she was seen as the ul­ti­mate col­lab­o­ra­tion of Dutch qual­ity and Ital­ian style, with ex­te­rior lines by the inim­itable Carlo Riva. “The 60s were of course a su­per in­ter­est­ing evo­lu­tion­ary pe­riod in de­sign,” ex­plains the Rem­bert Berg, the owner of Ser­ena. “The trans­for­ma­tion of ev­ery­thing through new tech­nol­ogy made ev­ery­thing very dif­fer­ent from what came be­fore. It was about new ma­te­ri­als, mak­ing things lighter and the science of aero­dy­nam­ics, so the most valu­able cars in the world are from that pe­riod. It was a trans­for­ma­tion of ev­ery­thing: cul­ture, mu­sic, free­dom… It was post war. It was an ex­plo­sion of en­ergy that went in many dif­fer­ent ways, and you can see it in the cars and the boats. It’s not so ob­vi­ous in all boats but in some it is, I think in Ser­ena it is. But that’s be­cause of Riva, he gave her his mag­i­cal touch. She’s dif­fer­ent, she has a sparkle that’s very dif­fer­ent, that I think only he could do at the time.”

Berg is him­self a car en­thu­si­ast, so the week­end makes per­fect sense for him. “The His­torique has fan­tas­tic cars, so it’s nice to have it mixed up. I think there’s def­i­nitely a link be­tween clas­sic cars and clas­sic boats, but the car com­mu­nity is ob­vi­ously a hun­dred times big­ger than the boat­ing com­mu­nity. But if you look at what peo­ple are spending on cars, it’s in­cred­i­ble! I went to the auc­tion yesterday and there were cars be­ing sold for €10 mil­lion.”

For own­ers like Berg, the week­end is also an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity to talk to peo­ple about his yacht. “I’m al­ways cu­ri­ous about the re­ac­tions we get when we’re here with the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet,” he says. “The peo­ple that walk by are so en­thu­si­as­tic, we al­ways get nice and pos­i­tive re­ac­tions to­wards this small group of boats, of­ten re­ally in­ter­est­ing feed­back or ques­tions. I think peo­ple are re­ally – more and more than say ten years go – un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­cia­tive of what it is, why it’s dif­fer­ent and what it’s be­ing done for. I will be in­ter­ested to see how that

trans­lates over the next ten years, and if the same will hap­pen to boats as hap­pened to cars of the 1960s, that you get this com­mu­nity that grows and grows. I think it might. I mean, ev­ery­body that comes on board – and they’re not say­ing this just to please me – says ‘Oh this is so much more warm and charm­ing and dif­fer­ent to any new boat.’ Peo­ple just seem to be so im­pressed with it.”

Whilst there is cer­tainly a yacht out there to suit ev­ery­one’s taste, it is ob­vi­ous the Fead­ships pro­vide a pretty fit­ting back­drop to the week­end’s races – the event just works. “One of the nicest parts of the week­end is to see the Fead­ship fam­ily and the other own­ers. There’s a warm feel­ing of a small se­lect group, each shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence in his own way. What we share is that we all feel more com­fort­able on a clas­sic yacht,” says Berg.

It is a sen­ti­ment Muller agrees with. “I have been com­ing to the his­toric for two decades now and I think it’s such an ele­gant event. It’s the best of iconic mo­tor rac­ing in a venue which has his­tor­i­cally been linked to mo­tor rac­ing. Which is ex­tra­or­di­nary. So to be here is re­ally nice and I just love the clas­sic cars.” And from all the happy chat­ter and yacht hop­ping, it seems the com­pany isn’t too bad ei­ther. “If you like boats like this, you in­vari­ably like art, planes, watches etc. We’re all from the same mould!” laughs Muller.

And that mould ap­pre­ci­ates qual­ity. “Fead­ships are like a Rolls-royce. Very few peo­ple throw a Rolls-royce away. You may find one that is not in the best condition, but they very rarely end up in a scrap yard, be­cause there is some­one who picks it up and gives it a lot of TLC. It is the same with Fead­ships. Some of them have been found derelict, but no one throws them away. Some of these yachts are a very good ex­am­ple of a beau­ti­fully re­stored, and now very mod­ern, clas­sic Fead­ship. The whole week­end is a good im­pres­sion of what clas­sic Fead­ships are all about.”

For Fead­ship it­self, there is a large sense of pride in see­ing their his­toric yachts moored on the same dock as their con­tem­po­rary cre­ations, with own­ers as pas­sion­ate about the his­tory of the yachts as Fead­ship are them­selves. It’s a re­la­tion­ship that brings a syn­ergy to the two worlds. “I re­mem­ber at the Aalsmeer yard watch­ing Henk de Vries, CEO of Fead­ship, step­ping off his wooden sail­ing boat which was built by his great-un­cle and his grand­fa­ther, and know­ing that be­hind the wall they’re build­ing a 90-me­tre steel su­pery­acht!” says Brooks. “There’s a golden thread, a his­tory and lin­eage that runs through all these boats, and I don’t think in the mo­tor yacht world there’s any­one else who can put that kind of legacy to­gether.”

“The whole com­bi­na­tion just works. This is the per­fect place for it”

“The rac­ing brings To­gether a cer­tain cal­i­bre of cus­tomer”

Yachts and fast cars clearly go to­gether, and when the F1 Grand Prix and the bian­nual His­torique Grand Prix ar­rive in Monaco, it’s a unique op­por­tu­nity for yards and bro­kers to reach a wide spec­trum of cur­rent and po­ten­tial su­pery­acht own­ers.

At Ed­mis­ton, an event dur­ing the His­torique in its eleventh floor of­fices over­look­ing St De­vote cor­ner of­fers prob­a­bly the best view of the Monaco track there is. Look right and you see the start line, look left and there is the in­fa­mous turn one in front of St De­vote church, and straight ahead are the Chi­cane, Tabac and Piscine cor­ners. It’s a gath­er­ing of in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, car en­thu­si­asts and yacht own­ers. “What I love about this week­end is the di­ver­sity,” says Cor­nelius Ger­ling, sales bro­ker at Ed­mis­ton. “For us it’s a great chance to give back a lit­tle to our clients and the peo­ple we work with.” And as with the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet, the event brings the right au­di­ence to Monaco’s har­bour. “We find it at­tracts the right kind of peo­ple,” says Ger­ling. “At the car auc­tions, the cars sell for mil­lions of pounds. The driv­ers are of­ten the own­ers, and they also own boats.”

The Monaco Grand Prix is in a league of its own in terms of sta­tus and at­ten­dance. Even for those who don’t fol­low the For­mula 1 year, the Monaco Grand Prix is an im­por­tant so­ci­ety event, and in the yacht­ing in­dus­try, it is the tra­di­tional start of the sum­mer Mediter­ranean sea­son.

But what about those who have not yet ex­pe­ri­enced the world of yachts? It’s an au­di­ence that Bri­tish yacht builder Princess Yachts is in­ter­ested in. “The rac­ing brings to­gether a cer­tain cal­i­bre of cus­tomer and what we’re try­ing to do is open up boat­ing to peo­ple who don’t know about it cur­rently,” says Ki­ran Haslam, mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Princess. “There’s an in­cred­i­ble amount of peo­ple who want to en­joy them­selves and who have the wealth and the time to do so, but they don’t seem to be en­ter­ing the boat­ing world. In­stead, you’ve got quite an alien­ated in­dus­try by na­ture, be­cause un­less you’re in the know, boats are in­tim­i­dat­ing. We firmly be­lieve that we’ve got to make an at­tempt to open the world of boat­ing up to a much larger au­di­ence.”

For Princess, the 2016 His­torique Grand Prix was a par­tic­u­larly pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. “The His­torique at­tracts peo­ple who are fun­da­men­tally en­thu­si­asts and who take great care and pride in things such as the prove­nance and what things mean; the value to them is far greater than the sum of its parts. The clas­sic cars en­thu­si­asts are a mar­ket

that work re­ally well with yachts be­cause you’ve got non­sen­si­cal, ro­man­tic, sen­sa­tional be­hav­iour to­wards prize pos­ses­sions, and as we see from the races, we’ve got cars in ex­cess of £20 mil­lion tear­ing round the race track. And the peo­ple who are tear­ing around the race track are pas­sion­ate and will­ing to do things which are out­side of their com­fort zone, yet they don’t know enough about boat­ing to consider that life­style as well. So it’s the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with that au­di­ence and de­liver a mes­sage about Princess and yacht­ing in gen­eral.”

For Haslam, the best day of the rac­ing month is the Satur­day of the His­torique. “It’s amaz­ing be­ing able to walk through the pad­dock area – that works well for a lot of our cus­tomers. The peak is the 1960s and 1970s For­mula 1 cars, which are ear-split­tingly loud, which sort of gets ev­ery­one feel­ing quite emo­tional, quite charged about the day. The weather is great and we’re in the of­fices over­look­ing the Tabac Cor­ner and the main straight and fin­ish line. It’s a great lo­ca­tion and you’ve got all the boats op­po­site, which re­ally re­in­forces the mes­sage that these are two worlds which very hap­pily co­ex­ist.”

Two weeks later, the quiet is shat­tered again by the quar­ter of a mil­lion peo­ple who de­scend upon the Prin­ci­pal­ity to watch the For­mula 1. There are cer­tainly sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the His­torique and the F1 spec­ta­tors, and a large por­tion come to watch both events, but there is some­thing a lit­tle more flashy about the F1. The heels are higher, the mu­sic is louder and the par­ties go on later.

The track is unique on the rac­ing cir­cuit, and is uni­ver­sally loved by driv­ers and spec­ta­tors alike. Last year’s up­set with Lewis Hamil­ton was topped by this year’s up­set with Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, and proof once again that the race is any­one’s for the tak­ing right up un­til the mo­ment the cars pass the che­quered flag. It is unique on the cal­en­dar in terms of royal sup­port as well – Prince Al­bert II is a fan and hands over the tro­phy to the win­ner.

Once the race is over, rev­ellers spill onto the track to party the night away in one of many bars and night­clubs. The driv­ers tend to con­verge on the same places, the most pop­u­lar of which is Am­ber Lounge. It’s fa­mous for its af­ter par­ties, and the guest list is a long line of fa­mous ac­tors, mod­els and mu­si­cians. Am­ber Lounge kicks the par­ties off on the Fri­day night with a char­ity fash­ion show, which sees many of the driv­ers them­selves take to the cat­walk, and is fol­lowed by a char­ity auc­tion. This year the event was rais­ing money for The Am­ber Foun­da­tion, with Ed­die Jor­dan giv­ing the crowd an im­pas­sioned speech on how the char­ity helps the lives of home­less young adults. Jas­mine Thompson was this year’s live mu­si­cian, and sang her hits at the fash­ion show as well as the week­end af­ter par­ties, sup­ported by Par­son James sing­ing his hit with Kygo ‘Stole the Show’ to rap­tur­ous cheers from the crowd.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the two races can’t sim­ply be put down to the dif­fer­ent pace of the nightlife, but it is an in­di­ca­tor of the range of audiences Monaco draws over the sur­real month of May. The His­torique and F1 Grand Prixs cap­ture the imag­i­na­tions and emo­tions of an au­di­ence who are pas­sion­ate and pro­duc­tive, en­er­getic and en­ter­pris­ing, and well-suited to the yacht­ing life­style. It’s why, which­ever race takes your fancy, you will meet like-minded peo­ple, and a very full har­bour. SYW

“The heels are higher, the mu­sic is louder, the par­ties go on later”

Main: Dur­ing a break be­tween races, guests on board Sultana en­joy lunch on the aft deck. Dur­ing the races all yachts are re­quired to move off the quay for safety rea­sons. Top left, left, be­low and right: The event is an homage to clas­sic cars as they com­pete around the fa­mous Monaco cir­cuit. Far right: Dur­ing the Fead­ship Her­itage Fleet yacht hop evening a live band ser­e­nades the rev­ellers on the sun­deck.

Main: The view from the Ed­mis­ton of­fices shows the sheer vol­ume of su­pery­acht own­ers who choose to come to the Monaco Grand Prix. Top right: The F1 driv­ers star in the Am­ber Lounge cat­walk fash­ion show.

Main: The Am­ber Lounge fash­ion show takes place in the grounds of the Meri­dien Beach Plaza. Left: F1 driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo walks the cat­walk. Be­low from left: Mu­si­cian Akon looks on at the char­ity auc­tion; F1 driver Nico Ros­berg and his wife Vi­vian ar­rive at Am­ber Lounge on Sun­day night; Re­tired F1 driver Ed­die Irvine par­ties with friends. Bot­tom: Am­ber Lounge is fa­mous for its late-night and celebri­tys­tud­ded af­ter par­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.