The American edition of Benetti Yachtmaster, the traditional event dedicated to captains of its mega-yacht fleet, surveyors, owner representatives and sponsors, was held at the Seagate Hotel in Florida on April 3 and 4. Under the banner of ‘Build Your Ideal Yacht’, this year’s event centered on the Yard’s 150th anniversary celebrations and once again on the theme of sustainability.
There were 50 participants, including over 25 captains.
The two days of this 23rd American edition of Yachtmaster, held at Delray Beach in Florida, were a great success, featuring both study and workshop sessions as well as team building activities. At this all-American edition too, the central theme was sustainability, a key value that sees Benetti working on multiple fronts to deliver a cruising experience that is increasingly environmentally friendly.
The event was opened on April 3 by Nick Bischoff, Country Manager Benetti Americas, who looked back at the milestones along the Yard’s last 150 years, making some interesting comparisons with the historical events that took place in the USA in 1873, before presenting the models in the fleet and other current and future projects. He also spoke at length on what Benetti is offering in terms of sustainability and reduced environmental impact.
Speaking next, Sebastiano Vida, Head of Product Development Custom Yachts, illustrated the solutions available to the Yard for achieving its emissions reduction targets. He also spoke about results to date, first and foremost its use of increasingly innovative materials and circular approach, as well as its adoption of alternative propulsion technologies and the latest innovations, which deliver more energy-efficient onboard services and reductions in CO2 emissions of up to 20 per cent.
Closing the afternoon, Andrea Cecchini, Azimut Benetti Service Manager (Benetti Americas Service Team) reiterated Benetti’s constant commitment to aftersales and the support it provides for captains and crews at local and international level. Illustrating Benetti owners’ points of view, on the other hand, there was an instructive discussion between Nick Bischoff and Laura Sherrod of Newcoast Insurance, Peter Selivanoff of Fraser Yacht and Roberto Beretta, skipper of M/Y Vision 60M.
The morning of April 4 opened with a presentation of recent product developments by the VEGA sales team. The main focus of the day was provided by the three workshops – on Operations, Smart Technologies and Conscious Design – organized by Benetti and coordinated by Nick Bischoff and Sebastiano Vida, who moderated the discussions and skill sharing with the participants, with the aim of identifying new areas for development and defining key targets for the future in terms of innovation and sustainability.
“The USA Yachtmaster has been successful beyond all our expectations. We have seen huge enthusiasm from the sponsors, captains, surveyors and other industry experts. The sustainability and the yacht of the future workshops were well received and we had active participation from everyone. The q&a session with Captain Roberto Beretta was also very informative thanks to an open forum and a willingness by all to share experiences and feedback. In these, we were very lucky to have such high-calibre guests and sponsors: their valuable contribution makes us even more aware of how important this event is and focuses us on confidently planning the next edition,” said Nick Bischoff, Country Manager Benetti Americas.
Throughout the event, training sessions alternated with networking initiatives. Teams of participants competed in adrenaline-inducing obstacle races on Seabobs, after which the braver among them went on to have more unforgettable fun on JETSURF boards. The evening wound up with a themed gala dinner – “Go elegant yet bold with white and gold” – at the Seagate Beach Club, with its breath-taking ocean view.
The particularly positive atmosphere was also down to the willingness of the event’s partners – Firefly, Seabob and Vega and Fraser Yachts, Newcoast, Viraver and Yachting Marine Service – to fully engage with all the participants.