A long hour and a half of dangling near the finish line of the 2014 Giraglia is interrupted by the signal from the committee boat, alerting us to the end of the race. As soon as we pass the entrance to the port of Monte Carlo, as we disarm the trusty Baciottinho (Dufour 34 Performance) after two days at sea, smelly and tired a huge construction stands before us, the new headquarters of the Yacht Club Monte Carlo (YCM), an immense cruise ship beached like a whale on the luxurious quay of the principality. To its right a relaxation area for racers provides basic necessities such as water, flatbread and beer to those arriving tired from the crossing. Everyone, I’m sure is thinking one thing; what will the opening night party be like tonight?
Here is the report:
7 p.m.: Prince Albert, consort, and parglings inaugurate the new headquarters, with a proud and at times touching speech (topics covered: the importance of boating, tourism, and trade that arose and developed among the peoples of the Mediterranean solely because of the sea-perhaps some Italian politicians should listen to him, too)
9 p.m.: dinner crews: main topic covered- Italy sadly losing to Costa Rica at the World Cup- excellent buffet
10:30 p.m.: Entering the “Ship,” the YCM looks even bigger and more luxurious than we could have imagined. The decks are Teak at the “aft” a large lighted pool is surrounded by immaculate white chaise lounges, and a little further on two large staircases lead to the upper decks, where the “first class cabins” are located is basically the members’ area, the creme de la creme of the Monegasque creme.
11 p.m.: start of the opening pyrotechnic ceremony
24 o’clock: disco start, quality open bar and remarkable DJ. The only downside: sailing is purely a men’s sport, yet another proof of this is the number of white YCM shirts (given to all crews to enter the party) on the track. The evening continues with fun until late at night…
The next day amid pickup trucks carrying away empty Belvedere bottles and looks of those who did not want to go to sleep we lift our moorings and head home. Still in the distance in a southwesterly direction, the YCM ship seems to greet you by showing you the last deck to the open sea, making you remember for a while longer the most exclusive party a sailor will have access to.