Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hanson
Every summer, yachting enthusiasts from far and wide come to New England to explore its scenic coastline, which boasts an abundance of charming colonial towns and quaint islands filled to the brim with historic landmarks, world-class shopping and lively entertainment.
One of the most unique ways to vacation in this picturesque region is by way of a luxury charter yacht, complete with a full-service crew and chef, and a customizable itinerary, crafted to fit each individual’s wants and needs.
Those interested in this one-of-a-kind experience need to look no further than the annual Newport Charter Yacht Show presented by Helly Hanson, which invites industry professionals and discerning consumers attending with yacht brokers to explore the vast world of luxury chartering. From classic sailing yachts to modern motor vessels, there is a yacht for everyone.
The industry event, which is the only one of its kind in the U.S., was held last month at the Newport Shipyard, which acquired it from its previous owners just this year and hosted a total of 24 world-class yachts – ranging from the 53-foot (16m) sailing vessel Contingency to the 161-foot (49m) motor yacht Zoom Zoom Zoom – at its 10-acre facility on the Newport waterfront.
The industry show’s long-held traditions consist of chef competitions, tablescape contests and industry-focused seminars, as well as vibrant yacht hops, where captains and crews entertain brokers, agents and sponsors using particular themes for coordination of colorful costumes, music, specialty cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres.
“Newport Shipyard did a wonderful job,” said Zoom Zoom Zoom’s Captain Mike Finnegan, a veteran of Newport Charter Yacht Show who considers it a “must-do” along with a winter show in Antigua.
“It’s always a pleasure to be in New England and be part of the showcase of yachts that are going to be in the area for several months and others that are going to be all over the world at different times of the year. It’s a close-knit industry, so it also brings together old friends.”
By all accounts, the show’s “flow” – in layout and schedule – worked brilliantly to facilitate the serious business of luxury chartering while allowing plenty of time and room for networking and socializing.
Spotlight on Culinary Skills
Chefs from six yachts competed for “Best Charter Yacht Chef” honors. The show also included “Tablescaping”, “Healthy Beverage” and “Sunset Canapé” as categories in culinary-related competitions that gave chefs and crews on the show’s registered yachts a chance to shine, revealing not only their professional skills but also their personalities.
“Charter brokers attend the show to see what makes a yacht special,” said Winnie DeCoster who ran the contests and owns and operates The Captain’s Concierge. “Their clients are looking for ways to facilitate family vacations, romantic anniversary get-aways and even bachelor parties, so they must match them up with the vessels that best meets their needs. A big part of that tailored experience is the chef and crew.”
Chef Linn Sagstad from the 65-foot (20m) Oyster Yacht Hurrah won the Canapé Challenge.
Show organizers chose “Healthy Luxury” as this year’s theme for the contests, since maintaining a healthy lifestyle while chartering is an industry trend. “No longer does a chef decide one menu for everyone,” said DeCoster. “Guests onboard have different dietary requirements, so chefs need to have a five-star range of knowledge in different cuisines and diets.”
For the Best Charter Yacht Chef competition, entrants were provided with a mystery basket filled with 29 fresh farm-to-yacht ingredients and a healthy diet request. They had the morning to prepare and in the afternoon presented their dishes to a panel of three judges: Allen Ferreira, head chef at Belle’s Café; Thomas Orr from Engineered Marine Coatings, a show sponsor; and Bruce Newbury, host of WADK radio’s “Dining Out with Bruce Newbury” and “Talk of the Town.”
Chef Craig Rosado of the 115-foot (35m) motor yacht Siete won with his vegan entry of asparagus soup infused with strawberry puree, spring roll and greens. He best met the judging criteria, which was based on 40% taste, 35% presentation, 10% creativity, 10% use of ingredients provided, and 5% table presentation.
After watching Rosada hover over his plates in pre-presentation to strategically place each piece of food, Newbury commented: “For everyone who dines out, it’s about the experience: the meal is the show. Your passion for food shows on the plate.”
For more information on how to organize a luxury charter vacation in New England, visit https://www.www.newportchartershow.com.