BY Anna Cummins on 30 Mar 2023

The annual awards highlight those who are protecting the marine environment through their yachts

Yacht Club de Monaco Explorer Awards

Sunreef Yachts founder and president Francis Lapp receives the award for the Sunreef 80 Eco, winning in the Technology & Innovation category

The winners of the 2023 Yacht Club de Monaco Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts have been announced at a glittering ceremony on 23 March, which took centre stage during Monaco Ocean Week.

The annual Yacht Club de Monaco Explorer Awards are organised on the initiative of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation alongside the Monaco Government, Monaco Oceanographic Institute and Monaco Scientific Centre.

At this year’s event, Yacht Club de Monaco ran a series of debates for the superyacht sector, culminating in the awards — designed to highlight those who are protecting the marine environment, be it in the design of their yacht or how they use it.

This year’s awards were opened with pianist Vincent Forestier and violinist Fabrizio Von Arx, playing a 1720 Stradivarius known as ‘The Angel’.

“In this 70th anniversary year of the Yacht Club de Monaco, it is a pleasure to be here among so many passionate owners who stand out for their commitment to protecting the marine environment,” said HSH Prince Albert II at the awards opening. “It is your passion that leads to your investment in innovation and contributes to yachting’s development.

Three awards were awarded by a jury of experts: Technology & Innovation, Mediation & Science, Adventure & Environmental Ethics. 

Technology & Innovation award — Sunreef 80 Eco Marie-Joseph

Judges said Sunseeker’s Marie Joseph (Sunreef 80 Eco) was the candidate that surprised them the most by the “sheer number of eco-targeted innovations, including solar panels with “solar skin” system, a hydro generation system and high-performance batteries”.

Mediation & Science award — M/Y Ocean Explorer 
M/Y Ocean Explorer (87m) is well known to the jury as the owner’s father won one of the YCM Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts in 2019. M/Y Ocean Explorer is totally dedicated to science under the umbrella of a non-profit association and won the Mediation & Science category accordingly.

Adventure & Environmental Ethics — S/Y Seahawk

S/Y Seahawk (59m) was presented as a yacht not built for science but with a strong desire to help science and the oceans. It has carried out numerous missions that have helped better understand concepts such as migration patterns and fishing impact.

The yacht is also associated with projects such as the set-up of a sailing school in the Galapagos Islands with Yacht Aid Global, funding an instructor and converting a building for the school. It also supplied educational materials to schools in the Tuamotos & Fiji archipelagos in 2022, all of which won it the award in the Adventure & Environmental Ethics.

Sunreef 80

Sunreef 80 Eco Marie-Joseph

Every year, one yacht is voted by the jury as their Coup de Cœur (favourite), and this year’s big winner was M/V Plastic Odyssey.

The superyacht industry may not be known for its green credentials, but Monaco is clearly keen to encourage those who are taking steps in the right direction, and maintains a keen interest in the field. In his closing remarks, Prince Albert II concluded: “We must continue working together to protect the planet and guarantee its future for the generations to come.”

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