NEWPORT, R.I. (June 29, 2016) – Brokers and managers, captains and crews, sponsors and exhibitors – it’s hard to say who got more out of the Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen. The only one of its kind in the U.S., the trade-only show was staged over June 21-24 by new owner Newport Shipyard at its well-appointed 10-acre facility on the Newport waterfront. The show hosted a final total of 24 luxury charter yachts (10 sailing and 14 power), ranging from the 53-foot (16m) sailing vessel Contingency, presented by Nicholson Yachts, to the 161-foot (49m) motor yacht Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, presented by Northrop & Johnson.
“There were a lot of first-time yachts here,” said broker Nicole Caulfield, a 12-time attendee of the now 35-year-old show. The 107-foot (32.6m) motor yacht Reflections, represented by her agency RJC Yacht Sales & Charter, was one of those. “The show gives brokers an opportunity to see these and consider them for bookings not only here in New England but also in other places.” (Reflections, which is run by four crew and accommodates eight guests, charters in New England during summer and travels to the Bahamas for charter during the winter months.)
Zoom Zoom Zoom’s Captain Mike Finnegan explained that brokers also like to catch up on any refits, upgrades, crew changes or new things “like tenders and toys” on yachts with which they’ve worked in the past. And while the show provides one-stop shopping for this, it conversely allows captains and crews to focus on showing what their yachts have to offer. “The brokers have very important clients that they’ve had for years, and they want to make sure they can deliver a wonderful trip,” said Finnegan. “It takes time for them to get on board, to see what they are working with and say, ‘Yes, this is where I want to send my clients.’” (Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, with 10 crew, accommodates 10 guests and travels the East Coast for charter, while other yachts in its owner’s “fleet” cover the West Coast, traveling from Panama to Alaska.)
“Newport Shipyard did a wonderful job,” added Finnegan, a veteran of Newport Charter Yacht Show who considers it a “must-do” along with a winter show in Antigua. “It’s always a pleasure to be in New England and be part of the showcase of yachts that are going to be in the area for several months and others that are going to be all over the world at different times of the year. It’s a close-knit industry, so it also brings together old friends.”
Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen offered brokers a chance to inspect a variety of luxury yachts available for charter in New England and network with industry colleagues. (photo credit: NCYS/Billy Black)
The 115-foot (35m) motor yacht Siete captured the spirit of the Newport Charter Yacht Show
presented by Helly Hansen with its Mexican-themed participation in the yacht hop and Tablescaping contest, which it won.
By all accounts, the show’s flow, both in layout and schedule, worked brilliantly to facilitate the serious business of luxury chartering while allowing plenty of time and room for networking and socializing as well as participation in an educational presentation for industry representatives and some friendly contests for crew.
Bank Rhode Island sponsored a daily breakfast for show participants, while Hodgdon Yacht Services sponsored credential lanyards. The show tent used for Monday’s opening party – sponsored by Engineered Marine Coatings, Sea Hawk Paints, Providence Jet Center and Sentinel Limousine, with beer and wine sponsored by Bridge Liquors – also provided a staging area for Tuesday’s Best Charter Yacht Chef Competition, sponsored by ISS GMT and Port Supply; Thursday morning’s American Yacht Charter Association Seminar; and Thursday evening’s dinner party, sponsored by Ward’s Marine Electric and featuring awards for the four different culinary competitions as well as music by Will Evans. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening, respectively, were reserved for a Captain’s Drone Challenge, sponsored by Cloud City Drones, and the traditional yacht hop where captains and crews entertained brokers, agents and sponsors using particular themes for coordination of colorful costumes, music, specialty cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres.
Exhibiting vendors stretched from inside the tent to areas along each side of the checkerboard patio leading to Belle’s Café, a popular eatery at Newport Shipyard. Jay Lasky, owner of Helly Hansen in Newport, was happy with the foot traffic his elaborate “pop-up” merchandise store attracted. Visitors included crew members from the show’s charter yachts as well as other sailing and power yachts in the yard; patrons of Belle’s; and people simply stopping by the yard to take a peek at the yachts and activities taking place on its working waterfront.
“It was a great, authentic vibe throughout the show,” said Lasky. “When you looked around, all you saw were luxury charter yachts and superyachts…you couldn’t ask for a better venue.”
On Friday at noon, a cacophony of horns sounded as the Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen came to a close. Until next summer in June, when the show returns to Newport Shipyard, its participants have vowed to “charter on!”
Spotlight on Culinary Skills
Chefs from six yachts competed for “Best Charter Yacht Chef” honors at the Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen. The show, held June 21-24 at Newport Shipyard, also included “Tablescaping”, “Healthy Beverage” and “Sunset Canapé” as categories in culinary-related competitions that gave chefs and crews on the show’s registered yachts a chance to shine, revealing not only their professional skills but also their personalities.
From left: Jupiter’s Chef Frida Eklund with her Best Charter Yacht Chef entry; third-place Chef Cayley Coulbourn in Bandido’s galley; close-up of second-place dish by Reflections’ Chef Christy Dempster. (photo credit: NCYS/Billy Black)
“Charter brokers attend the show to see what makes a yacht special,” said Winnie DeCoster who ran the contests and owns and operates The Captain’s Concierge. “Their clients are looking for ways to facilitate family vacations, romantic anniversary get-aways and even bachelor parties, so they must match them up with the vessels that best meets their needs. A big part of that tailored experience is the chef and crew.”
Show organizers chose “Healthy Luxury” as this year’s theme for the contests, since maintaining a healthy lifestyle while chartering is an industry trend. “No longer does a chef decide one menu for everyone,” said DeCoster. “Guests onboard have different dietary requirements, so chefs need to have a five-star range of knowledge in different cuisines and diets.”
For the Best Charter Yacht Chef competition, entrants were provided with a mystery basket filled with 29 fresh farm-to-yacht ingredients and a healthy diet request. They had the morning to prepare and in the afternoon presented their dishes to a panel of three judges: Allen Ferreira, head chef at Belle’s Café; Thomas Orr from Engineered Marine Coatings, a show sponsor; and Bruce Newbury, host of WADK radio’s “Dining Out with Bruce Newbury” and “Talk of the Town.”
Named Best Charter Yacht Chef at the 2016 Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hansen was Siete’s Craig Rosado who prepared a vegan dish for the contest(photo credit: NCYS/Billy Black)
Chef Craig Rosado of the 115-foot (35m) motor yacht Siete won with his vegan entry of asparagus soup infused with strawberry puree, spring roll and greens. He best met the judging criteria, which was based on 40% taste, 35% presentation, 10% creativity, 10% use of ingredients provided, and 5% table presentation. After watching Rosada hover over his plates in pre-presentation to strategically place each piece of food, Newbury commented: “For everyone who dines out, it’s about the experience: the meal is the show. Your passion for food shows on the plate.”
Rosado was more than ecstatic when he learned he had won. From New York, he worked as a corporate chef for 25 years before taking his talents to the high seas, where he has been for the last three and a half years. He prepares three meals a day for six-to-seven crew members and another three meals for up to 10 charter guests as well as hors d’oeuvres throughout the day. Working from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. for eight days straight, however, doesn’t seem to faze him.
“The adrenaline you get when you win the lottery or get a big paycheck, that’s just like the rush I get when people enjoy my food,” he said. Adding to his elation was the fact that Siete also won both the fan favorite and the professionally judged divisions of the Tablescaping contest with a family-friendly Mexican fiesta theme that the crew also utilized during its “yacht hop” participation.
Taking second in the competition was South African Chef Christy Dempster aboard the 107-foot (33m) motor yacht Reflections. For her paleo dietary requirement she served tuna with sesame seeds and a mixed salad with asparagus and beans. (Reflections also won the Healthy Beverage contest.)
In third was Canadian Chef Cayley Coulburn from the 62-foot (19m) sailing vessel Bandido. “This was one of my best mornings ever,” she said after presenting to the judges her vegetarian meal consisting of couscous salad with asparagus, arugula and roasted radishes. She explained that while chartering, she puts pressure on herself, “…getting ready, cleaning, and trying to be my best self, but today, when I got to go and hide in the galley and just cook, with such beautiful ingredients, it was a treat!”
Winning the Sunset Canapé contest was Chef Linn Sagstad from the 65-foot (20m) sailing vessel Hurrah.
Newport Shipyard, one of the most popular and recommended shipyards in the U.S., is a full-service marina and shipyard with over 3,500 linear feet of dock space that can accommodate yachts up to 300+ feet. Its amenities include a dockside café, ship store, fitness center, courtesy vehicles and crew housing. With its friendly staff, welcoming atmosphere and event planning capabilities, Newport Shipyard also is host to many other prestigious yachting events, including the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race Crew Party and the Candy Store Cup (formerly the Newport Bucket), an annual superyacht regatta to be held July 29-31, 2016.