“It is a pleasure to take care of the people who take care of the final client in our industry.” These are the words of Alberto Amico (pictured) this morning, chairman of Genova-based refit yard Amico & Co, as he prepares for the fifth edition of the three-day event in Liguria for captains and managers, beginning today, also known as The Italian Job, in partnership with Pesto Sea Group.
The chairman of the refit yard, which over the past five years has seen infrastructure developments reaching €20 million, tells me this type of event (which includes dinners, cocktails, golf and tennis tournaments and classes, go karting and spa visits) is “very natural, a continuation of what we will often do with captains and managers in the winter season”.
But at The Italian Job there is one difference; one difference that, I think, really makes this event stand out among the myriad captain-focused events on the industry’s calendar.
“This year we have a record 40 kids we’re taking care of at The Italian Job,” says Amico, “and it’s a huge pleasure for us to do this.” Amico believes to really say thank you to the industry’s captains and managers, after what has no doubt been a busy summer season with very few breaks and, for those at sea, very little contact with their families, encouraging participants to bring their families along is key.
“Normally at these types of events the family is missing – the wives, the sons, the daughters – not to mention during the season,” explains Amico. “It gives you an idea that we really just want the captains and managers to relax, be happy, and just enjoy time with family and friends, and that’s it. It’s a way of saying thank you.”
It’s easy to forget these captains, who spend their time on board 100 per cent focused on the lives of the end user, actually have lives of their own, and in encouraging family attendance, Amico & Co is not only recognising this, but offering a tangible and welcome solution.
And the value in this really shouldn’t be overlooked. For six years now, I’ve been interviewing captains regularly, and when we sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, often the first thing they’ll want to do is get out their iPhone and show me the latest photos they’ve received (and often not taken themselves) of their children. It’s easy to forget these captains, who spend their time on board 100 per cent focused on the lives of the end user, actually have lives of their own, and in encouraging family attendance, Amico & Co is not only recognising this, but offering a tangible and welcome solution.
The event is, as Amico says, to thank the captains and managers that have worked closely with the refit yard. But, of course, it’s important the chairman has fun too. So what’s he most looking forward to? “Normally I like to do a little bit of everything,” Amico laughs, adding that the popularity of the Italian Job GP go karting is, in fact, overtaking the golf carts in popularity. But he also points out attendees this year should be particularly excited about the Thalassio Spa at the grand Hotel di Alassio and the La Meridiana Relais ‘beauty farm’ in Garlenda. “The Thalassio Spa has a natural seawater spa, that’s one of the nicest and biggest in Italy,” he says. “It’s a little bit hidden, and it’s really going to leave people astonished.”
The three-day, 300-participant event is particularly refreshing in an industry saturated with events. And one where, I think, Amico & Co has really hit the nail on the head and recognised what captains and managers, those who have had the busiest of summer seasons, really need to recuperate in time for next season’s back-to-back weeks already on the horizon.
The Italian Job would like to thank the following sponsors: Pesto Sea Group, Alewijnse, Boero Yacht Coatings, CnSat, FemoBunker, Toio, Well Head Company and The Superyacht Group, Altagamma and Nautica Italiana.