24 September 2016

17 Oct 2013

Italian captains gather to call for “excellence in yachting”


On 10th October, 2013, Italian captains of the superyacht industry gathered at Yacht Club Marina di Loano for the inaugural Italianyachtmasters event. Italianyachtmasters is an association established this past year, with a view to achieve, as their associated phrase, “excellence in yachting”, unite captains from the nation, better themselves as captains, better industry practices and improve the perception of the Italian superyacht captain.

The association’s board of directors was only established in April, yet the first meeting saw over 100 attendees including those from Nauta Yachts, Finantieri, Catalano Shipping Services, Mansueto Marine, Palumbo, Fraser Yachts and Benetti.

Captain Dario Savino of motoryacht Regina d’Italia, one of the association’s board of directors, explained to SuperyachtNews.com: “The discussion that followed has revealed that we have set the right course. A lot of expectation from this initiative is there.” In fact, in 2014, Italianyachtmasters will be part of YARE and as such will be present in February’s Superyacht Captains’ Forum in Viareggio.

“Italian yacht masters – three words that describe our nationality, our ships and our profession,” explained Captain Savino as the event began. “We decided to spell it as one word because if we could be the voice of several captains as one, we have [taken] our first big step forward to be properly introduced and accepted by the international yachting community.”

Captain Savino explained that the association hopes to improve some misconceptions that sometimes have lead to a lack of support for Italian captains. “For quite a long time we have been adrift. As Italian master mariners we often have excelled in our profession, but only as individuals. We have always missed the goal of building a strong and efficient spirit of cooperation and mutual support, which is the base of success for any trade and any professional category. In order to obtain consideration and respect from the international yachting community, we must aim very high. We are here to set a new standard for others to follow and this is not an easy task. Each one of us, our crew, our ship and our relations will be a constant display of our capacity, achieving more credibility and more opportunities for our association members and for young Italian officers and captains willing to spouse this trade.”

Following the association’s establishment, and following its mission to raise awareness during this year’s Monaco Yacht Show, Captain Savino explained that a good response from the yachting community has ensued, and this summer a number of recruitment agencies have approached the association in the search of Italian captains, with three members finding new jobs as a result.

Feedback from the event was positive, with Vincenzo Poerio, chief executive officer of Benetti Yachts, declaring: “We have to work together to leave an area more healthy and strong… Thank you for having pulled down the cultural barriers that we have always [tried] in the past to lose.” Meanwhile, Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo, director général of Société d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco, added: “I am absolutely convinced that [this] initiative will be a turning point in the state capacity and professionalism of the Italian commanders so often underestimated.”

So what does the future of Italianyachtmasters hold? The association is looking to raise the skillset and profile of its members through ongoing training, while introducing membership criteria for other crewmembers of senior levels. And a simple ethos will remain, explained Captain Savino: “We would like to work with the flow of the industry, overcoming national identity and finding all the possible synergy with existing seafarers.”

Images: Yacht Club Marina Loano and Marinepartners.

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