The Superyacht Life Foundation And Monaco Yacht Show

“Behind every superyacht, lies a story”.  

The Superyacht Life Foundation has flourished in their expedition to straighten up the exposé on generation superyacht; a high-seas industry for the polished, smart-set community with a sustainable soul that has leisurely paddled into the high billion dollar tally, yet perpetually finds itself drowning in a sea of tainted headlines and a haughty reputation.

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

Resilient in their quest since 2017, this not-for-profit institute continues to hold the torch for the spheres poised #humansofyachting, not neglecting the habitats and countless blueprints radiating the spotlight around the superyachting good life, coupled with a compassionate soul.  

In a formidable debonair alliance, The Superyacht Life Foundation opted to join forces to present the inaugural Honours event, held on the evening of Tuesday 26 September in Monaco teaming up with none other than the esteemed, internationally heralded superyacht exhibit of The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS).

Illustrating the immersive epitome of seven seas grandiosity and polished panache since since 1991, The Monaco Yacht Show relishes in welcoming its lucullan visitants while basking in the sacred endorsement and support of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, as it continues to play host to a graceful assemblage of ultra-luxe superyachts and megayachts inside the aquatic resplendence of the Port Hercules, cementing its prestigious stature as the world’s number one yachting destination.

The Honours Experiential Evening 

The Honours event has been envisaged as a golden window of opportunity for the open ocean racer industry to for once, illuminate the positives of the chic everyday superyachting life and applaud those phenomenal individuals, who strive behind the camera choosing to make an invaluable difference and showcase just how nurturing and humble this alleged superficial superyacht realm can be.

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

Housed within Hauser & Wirth’s majestic gallery in Monaco on Place du Casino, the gala evening happenings had the pleasure of witnessing the presence of an esteemed audience of superyacht owners and select honoured luminary, all of whom had indulged in a lavish experiential dining affair elevated with captivating ballet and opera theatrics, and a tantalising sea-inspired, locally sourced menu highlighting the culinary flair of Monaco.

Upon commenting the dinner, guests were when treated to a brief yet compelling documentary film centred around the honourees, before the final laureates hand-picked from over a colossal 360 nominations were called onto the main stage to have bestowed upon them, their coveted Bowsprit award. 

It was the host environmental and ocean conservation advocate Mariasole Bianco, whom had taken the initiative to invite laureates to discuss and share their intriguing backgrounds, which highlighted their passion for the superyacht industry along with their hard graft endeavours to mark a difference to humanity through their philanthropic, charitable, environmental and community-based initiatives.

Celebrating The First Three Bowsprit Laureates

Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt; A passionate philanthropist and sailing superyacht owner ardent in her mission to raise awareness on the understanding, conservation, and restoration of our oceanic environments which in turn, prove pivotal for supporting life on Earth.

Through the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Schmidt Ocean Institute and other non-profit organisations, Wendy Schmidt has helped further ocean science and research, including by use of research vessels Falkor and Falkor (too) which are made available to scientists all over the world – more than 1,000 have been hosted on board since 2012.

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

Schmidt also founded 11th Hour Racing to highlight issues and solutions for sustainability in the yachting and yacht racing sectors. An accomplished helmswomen herself – she recently became the first woman and the first American to win the Barcolana 54, the world’s largest sailing yacht race – she is helping shape the next generation of yachts, drive innovation in materials and lifecycle assessment tools, and educate the general public to understand the importance of our ocean environments.

Jenny Matthews

Jenny Matthews is a professional yacht crew who at age the tender age of 18, decided that she was going to sideline the university life and become a superyacht captain. Facing the challenges of an industry where where an on deck female presence was scarce, Jenny had nonetheless persisted and hustled on her path to gain an Officer of the Watch certificate, albeit constantly plagued with comments that very few women had ever attained those credentials.

Those remarks were the driving force in leading her to reach out on social media to form She of the Sea – a fresh novel community for the working women on decks and engineering divisions that would serve not only as a networking, but also a firing table to motivational platform the next generation of talented candidates.

This initiative was then followed by the launch of Legasea, which settled on the conversation away from gender based projects and instead, drew its focus on the mentoring and genesis of the next yacht crew genesis of yacht crew dynasty, promising their support and knowledge for when the time comes for them to finally transport to the shoreside world.

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

Zoran Selakovic 

Zoran Selakovic was born and raised in what is now, the enchanting Adriatic jewel of Croatia where he fell in love with the sea starting from his youthful era, leading him to concur his skippering qualifications and cruise extensively across the shores. 

It was his distressing, first-hand experience of witnessing friends in the Caribbean lose their livelihoods at the mercy of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, that proved the prime mover for him to find out how he could help – which in turn led to his encounter with the founder of YachtAid Global, Mark Drewelow.

Zoran stepped in to help coordinate aid through YachtAid Global, which received offers from more than 100 superyachts to assist in relief efforts within two weeks. Since then as YachtAid Global’s Director, he has been involved in projects as diverse as disaster relief, from building the first public library in the Galapagos and helping provide clean drinking water in Mexico, to coordinating Operation Swimway which aims to add the migratory routes of pelagics to ocean conservation areas; all with the help of over 300 yachts,  including thousands of yacht crew and owners.

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

“The evening was a wonderful expression of the good that exists in the superyachting good life, highlighting that there is so much more to this industry, its owners and crew than meets the eye,” says Dilan Saraç, Executive Director of Superyacht Life Foundation. “Our three inaugural Honourees are all well deserving of the award, and they have set the high bar for future nominations, which we have no doubt the industry will meet because of the breadth of talent and heart that lies within all facets of the superyachting industry and lifestyle.”

Superyacht Life Foundation's Inaugural Honours Gala

Following the inaugural Honours event, The Superyacht Life Foundation and Monaco Yacht Show are proud to announce that nominations for the 2024 edition of the Honours will open on the 1st of December 2023 – once again honouring the work of three select individuals at an exclusive experiential gala on the eve of the 2024 Monaco Yacht Show.

Anuja Gaur

Anuja Gaur is a freelance luxury restaurant and travel writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She is also an associate at an award-winning hedge fund in Mayfair. Her passion for fine food, illustrious hotels and an all-round love for the finer things in life has sent her to the most prestigious establishments, creating high-quality writing content that is honest, detailed and enjoyable, which invites readers on her immersive luxe filled writers journey.