'Our vision is to create a unique global yacht club away from the waters, instead of another yacht club by the waters' were the words H.M. King Constantine, Patron of the Gstaad Yacht Club (GYC), used back in 1998 to depict the newborn club. Some fifteen years later, this statement remains at the heart of everything the club does.
Gstaad Yacht Club celebrates its 15th anniversary
So this weekend the club in the Swiss Alps celebrated its anniversary in typical style: by organizing a ski race on Friday night followed on Saturday by match racing with radio-controlled carbon fibre yachts in Gstaad's semi-Olympic indoor pool, powered by state-of-the-art wind machines.
The first edition of the GYC Ski Yachting was held in 2000 as a friendly challenge between the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Gstaad Yacht Club, to celebrate a special year that saw George Nicholson become the first Commodore of the Gstaad Yacht Club, and his brother Peter Nicholson appointed Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron.
The 2013 edition, which was held in the world famous mountain resort, brought together 21 teams representing yacht clubs and sailing teams from all over the world. Past winners include the Royal Yacht Squadron, Société Nautique de Genève, Bayerischer Yacht Club and the Yacht Club de Monaco. Regular participants include the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club, Nyla ndska Jaktclubben, Norddeutscher Regattaverein and Porto Montenegro. For the first time, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and St. Moritz Segel Club entered teams.
The 2013 event was won by the Bayerischer Yacht Club Team 2, which beat the team from Star Fleet Basel. Semi-finalists were Nyla ndska Jaktclubben and Bayerischer Yacht Club Team 1, last year's winner.
As one of the Club's objectives is to promote sailing among the young, an identical event was organized also for juniors. In fact last year's junior winner from the Bayerischer Yacht Club became this year's winner in the main event. The junior event winner this year was the Team ACVL 1 (Association des Clubs de Voile Lémaniques).
'I'm very proud to see that what started and was considered by many people as a joke fifteen years ago has become such a wonderful reality.' said Commodore Peter Erzberger.
The event was wrapped up by a very special prize-giving dinner ceremony held at the prestigious GYC's clubhouse. The 120 participants and guests also very much appreciate the keynote presentation by Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, who was the guest of honour to mark the 15th year anniversary.
Gstaad Yacht Club