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Anchors Aweigh! Monaco’s Nautical Festival Delights All Ages

The Yacht Club de Monaco transformed the principality into a maritime playground as it hosted the much-anticipated Fête de la Mer. Over 500 attendees, from toddlers to grandparents, flocked to the docks and the sea for a day of water sports, family fun, and a heartfelt tribute to Monaco’s maritime heritage.

The day kicked off with a poignant blessing at sea by Father Réginald Desplanques, honouring sailors who have lost their lives. This set the stage for a spectacular nautical parade featuring around 20 boats. Led by the YCM’s flagship cutter, Tuiga, the fleet sailed past iconic landmarks, gathering in front of the Oceanographic Museum before heading to the Larvotto beaches and finally making a grand entrance into Port Hercule. The sight of these majestic vessels, accompanied by the sound of foghorns and applause, was truly a spectacle to behold.

Among the highlights was the debut of the ClubSwan 28, the latest model from the Finnish shipyard, Nautor Swan. Unveiled at the YCM the day before, the sleek vessel was paraded to the public, adding a touch of innovation to the historic celebration.

True to the theme “Everyone to the beach,” the festival offered a smorgasbord of activities. Families and children immersed themselves in sailing and scuba-diving baptisms, tried their hand at a fishing simulator, and experienced the thrill of jet skiing and e-foiling. Paddle challenges and drawing workshops kept the young and the young-at-heart entertained throughout the day.

The event was a collaborative effort involving several Monegasque institutions, including the Association of “Pontoons of Monaco,” the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco City Hall, the Roca Jet Club of Monaco, the Oceanographic Institute, the Monaco Underwater Exploration Club, the Monegasque Fishing Federation, SEPM, the Princely Government, the Monaco Nautical Society, Ramoge, the Monegasque Association for Nature Protection, the Kate Powers Foundation, and Pelagos. This collective effort ensured a wide range of activities that catered to all ages and interests, making it a true community celebration.

Good Day Sunshine

As the sun beamed down, creating a perfect day, the joyous laughter and excited chatter of children filled the air. The walkways and jetties were abuzz with families trying out water bikes, yachts, and kayaks. Trained volunteers from the Yacht Club assisted with life jackets and safety, ensuring everyone could enjoy the sea safely.

The Fête de la Mer is more than just a festival; it’s a beloved tradition that brings the community together to celebrate Monaco’s unique relationship with the sea. It’s a day when the principality’s maritime heritage is honoured , and new memories are made on the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean.

In the words of the Beatles’ hit song “Good Day Sunshine,” it was indeed a day filled with the simple joys of splashing waves, squeals of delight, and the timeless allure of the sea.

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