GAME, SET, MATCH

When ten­nis leg­end Rafael Nadal leaves the court, he heads to sea on board his Monte Carlo Yachts 76.

Yachting - - CONTENTS - BY PA­TRICK SCI­ACCA

Ten­nis leg­end Rafael Nadal took two years to find his per­fect yacht. When he saw the MCY 76, it was love at first sight.

YACHT­ING re­cently talked with ten­nis great Rafael Nadal about his pas­sion for cruis­ing and be­ing on the wa­ter, in ad­di­tion to his most re­cent pur­chase: a Monte Carlo Yachts 76. A long­time yachts­man, Nadal gave us an in­side look at how he spends his down­time, his thoughts on the new yacht, and some of his fa­vorite must-see des­ti­na­tions when cruis­ing his go-to haunts.

Q: How did you get your start in boat­ing? Were you in­tro­duced to it at a young age, or did you dis­cover it on your own? And how has your pas­sion for the wa­ter evolved over the years? A: “I have al­ways had the chance to be in con­tact with wa­ter. It’s true that I come from a beau­ti­ful is­land like Mal­lorca and, at the same time, I have al­ways lived here be­tween Mana­cor and Porto Cristo, and I have been al­ways close to the sea. My fa­ther, ever since I was a kid, had a small boat, and I al­ways loved to go out with the boat and div­ing, do­ing many things on the sea. I al­ways loved the spirit of ad­ven­ture be­cause, when you have a boat, you feel free, you can go to dif­fer­ent places, you feel free to move around, so it’s an un­be­liev­able feel­ing. I al­ways wanted a boat and dreamed about hav­ing a boat.” Q: What draws you to this life­style? A: “For me, today, the sea is what re­ally gives me the pos­si­bil­i­ties to re­lax. To me, be­ing on board the MCY 76 gives me the chance to get away when I want to get away, you know. I am from an is­land, from a small vil­lage, and when I am here, I am re­laxed. I have the boat just one minute from my house by car, so in any mo­ment I feel free to say, ‘OK, I’ll go and come back to­mor­row,’ and that gives me the pos­si­bil­ity to re­lax, and I feel free to do it, if the sea con­di­tions al­low me to, of course. I love to be with peo­ple but, at the same time, it gives me the chance to get away and to be with my­self, or only with the peo­ple that I want to be with, ev­ery time I need to. That’s some­thing very im­por­tant with my life­style today. I love the sea, and I think I could live on the sea, so maybe in the fu­ture I will spend more time on board. It’s some­thing I like as a life­style and that I love.” Q: What are some of your ear­lier ves­sels, and how have they in­flu­enced choos­ing your cur­rent yacht?

A: “I had a boat, well … we had a Riviera, for fish­ing, and we still own it. We use it for fish­ing or even sun­bathing. My fa­ther uses it very of­ten. Be­fore the MCY 76, I had a Princess V62 too. I en­joyed the boat, but this is an­other step, and I re­ally love this one. I am a person who an­a­lyzes a lot be­fore mak­ing im­por­tant de­ci­sions, so the pre­vi­ous yacht, in some way, helped me to choose the new one. When you live on board, you know what you need or what you like, where you like to be, what will be good for you. I have been look­ing around a lot, think­ing a lot about the boat. I have a huge pas­sion for boats, so I al­ways had a clear idea about the kind of boat I wanted, about the spa­ces I need. I have al­ways known this very well be­cause I have seen hun­dreds of boats and I know what works for me.”

Q: Could you tell us about your MCY 76? How did you find out about the brand? A: “Well, I saw the MCY 76 al­most three years ago when I went to the Cannes boat show. That was the first time I saw the yacht, and I re­ally paid a lot of at­ten­tion to it. It was dif­fer­ent from the rest of the yachts. At that time, it was not my mo­ment to have a boat yet, but it stayed in my mind, you know, and then two years ago, when I came back, I was re­ally look­ing for a boat. I love boats, I al­ways look to a lot of things about boats and a lot of brands. I knew I needed a yacht be­tween 62 and 80 feet be­cause that’s the max­i­mum that can fit here in Porto Cristo, and I wanted my boat here. Af­ter vis­it­ing a lot of dif­fer­ent yachts, the Monte Carlo Yachts 76, per­son­ally for what I need and the kind of life I like to have on board, was the per­fect one.” Q: What made you de­cide this was the right builder, and yacht, for you?

A: “I didn’t have any ex­pe­ri­ence of Monte Carlo Yachts be­fore. Of course, I like the de­sign of the boat. I think it’s dif­fer­ent com­pared to the other yachts be­cause it com­bines ag­gres­sive lines with more classic ones. There is some­thing new, and I re­ally like that. I think it’s a boat with a lot of en­ergy but, at the same time, with a lot of com­fort. I like modern things, but I don’t like things that, to be modern, then lose com­fort. I like easy things. This boat makes me happy; since I am on board, I feel that things are easy. At the same time, the space was a key fac­tor. I found the per­fect com­bi­na­tion with this MCY 76, that’s why I de­cided.” Q: What are some of your fa­vorite fea­tures on your yacht and why? A: “At the end of the day, it is about ev­ery­thing. The hull is im­por­tant to feel com­fort­able and safe when you are nav­i­gat­ing but, at the same time, it is also im­por­tant the boat does not cre­ate prob­lems. A yacht is a com­plex thing and there are a lot of elec­tron­ics in­side. So it’s im­por­tant to find easy so­lu­tions for the prob­lems that ev­ery boat has be­cause all boats may have some small things, and it’s im­por­tant to have easy so­lu­tions for these. When you are on board, you don’t want to lose days be­cause some­thing

has hap­pened. So, it’s im­por­tant to find a boat with clear and easy so­lu­tions. And then, for sure, the de­sign is im­por­tant for me too. Even if I pay more at­ten­tion to com­fort and safety rather than the de­sign, ob­vi­ously you want to have a boat that sat­is­fies and makes you happy be­cause you think it is beau­ti­ful. That’s why I have this boat, be­cause I thought this is the best for me now. Per­son­ally, I love the boat, the style, and I love the com­fort she pro­vides. The use of space is dif­fer­ent, the space is un­be­liev­able, there is space at the front, great space at the back. It’s true that here, in the main sa­lon, there are no sep­a­rate places and ev­ery­thing is more open, you know. Not, for ex­am­ple, like on all the boats where there is a liv­ing area and then a closed gal­ley, and then the cap­tain’s main helm sep­a­rated one from the other. I like the fact that it’s more open be­cause I can see in front. I feel like it’s big­ger, you know, I feel like ev­ery­thing is easy to use. I per­son­al­ized the back part of the main sa­lon a lit­tle bit, and I re­ally like it a lot. I feel that I have ev­ery­thing. I think the space at the back in the aft cock­pit is also great; I feel the back area is much big­ger than on most of the yachts in the same cat­e­gory. That’s so im­por­tant for me. I like the fact that I can have a nice flybridge too; not a lot of boats of this size have a nice flybridge. None have the front part like this one, the bow lounge area. I love the ex­te­rior life, of course, but at the same time, I like the in­te­rior life be­cause it’s al­most a house for me. Even if I am stay­ing here in Porto Cristo, I some­times come on board and live here, so I like to be on the sofa and watch­ing TV in com­fort. I have two TVs, so when there are peo­ple in­side, you know, we can watch foot­ball and we can watch in par­al­lel what we re­ally want to see. With the home cin­ema and two TVs, it is un­be­liev­able for me. There can be 10 peo­ple in­side the boat, and I feel there are so many dif­fer­ent ar­eas to be. You feel that you have enough space, like on a much larger yacht.” Q: Do you have any short- or long-term plans for how you will use your MCY 76? Are you plan­ning any ex­tended cruis­ing? Any must­see des­ti­na­tions in mind? And if so, why those ports of call?

A: “I nor­mally stay be­tween Mal­lorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Cabr­era, all around the Balearic Is­lands. There are also a few other places that I want to know. I would like to dis­cover all the Mediter­ranean, to take the boat and go to Croa­tia, to Greece, to Turkey. For sure, Sar­dinia and Cor­sica too. Dis­cover the Mediter­ranean is one of the things I’m fo­cused on, one of the goals that I have in the next cou­ple of years when I will have the chance. Today, it’s not pos­si­ble. It is too im­por­tant for me to keep do­ing well the things that I am do­ing and be pro­fes­sional today, but it’s some­thing that I re­ally want to do in the fu­ture. Go out with the boat and be there for two months, get­ting fa­mil­iar with all the Mediter­ranean. That’s the first step, and then I would love to be to the Caribbean with the boat. I think it is a great place to be be­cause there are a lot of is­lands close to each other, and you don’t need to cruise for days to reach them. It’s some­thing that I re­ally want to do.”

Q: With your rig­or­ous travel and work sched­ule, where’s your fa­vorite place to be on the wa­ter when you have down­time, and why? A: “I love to be here in Mal­lorca. I love to come back and to be with my friends, my fam­ily, all the peo­ple that I re­ally love. I mean, it is some­thing very im­por­tant to main­tain close to me. Ac­tu­ally, my yacht is one of the places where I spend more time when I am in Mal­lorca. At the same time, it is so im­por­tant to have the boat al­ways wait­ing for me, even if I don’t use it ev­ery time. It is so im­por­tant to know I can use it ev­ery time that I need it. This is some­thing that makes me happy and helps me to en­joy and to dis­tract my­self when I need it. In Mal­lorca, I think there are two dif­fer­ent kind of places; it’s a com­bi­na­tion, be­cause on the west side we have the back of the moun­tains, Serra de Tra­muntana, which is amaz­ing, amaz­ingly beau­ti­ful, but it’s true that there are not many beaches. It’s dif­fer­ent … the views are dif­fer­ent. On this side of the is­land where we are now, the east side, there are a lot of beaches; it’s flat­ter. I like both things. You know, the moun­tains are un­be­liev­able be­cause you see them fall­ing into the sea — it’s amaz­ing. At the same time, here we have a lot of beaches and nice places that I can go away to. We can swim in clear wa­ter, 100 per­cent crys­tal clear ev­ery­where. I love, you know, both sides.” Q: Hav­ing re­cently gone through the yacht-pur­chase process, what ad­vice would you give to a Yacht­ing reader who is look­ing to buy a new yacht of his own?

A: “At the end of the day, for me, the most im­por­tant as­pect is the pas­sion, you know. I be­lieve that if you re­ally want to buy a boat, it’s be­cause you want to spend time on board, so you need to be in love with the yacht. The only ad­vice that I can give is: Be­fore buy­ing, you need to visit a lot of yards. Be­cause, when you see a lot of dif­fer­ent yards, you can com­pare things, then you can make the right de­ci­sion.”

“I would like to dis­cover all the Mediter­ranean, to take the boat and go to Croa­tia, to Greece, to Turkey. For sure, Sar­dinia and Cor­sica too.” Rafael Nadal, owner, MCY 76

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