4th YCM Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts 

21st March 2023 

YCM recognises yacht owner commitment 


At the 7th Monaco Ocean Week, an initiative of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Yacht Club de Monaco which runs the yachting component put the spotlight on exploration with a day of talks and meetings. It was attended by a large American delegation from The Explorers Club of New York and arrival of seven Explorer Yachts in the YCM Marina, a world first, which concluded with the 4th YCM Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts, an initiative that is part of the collective ‘Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting’ approach.  


When exploration rhymes with innovations 

Behind every Explorer Yacht is a man and/or woman speared on by an ongoing quest for exploration in every sense. A commitment praised by HSH Prince Albert II for these owners “who are acutely aware of the environment and are playing and will play a crucial role in marine exploration by providing invaluable support to scientists and local communities. The tradition of exploration so deeply entrenched in the history of our Principality, and inherited from my great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, reminds us of the urgent need to safeguard our marine environment and give it all the respect and devotion it deserves”. Since 2019, YCM has been paying tribute to them with the YCM Explorer Awards. Awarded by a jury of professionals, there are four awards: Technology & Innovation, Science & Discovery, Adventure & Environmental Ethics and a special Coup de Coeur prize. 


Winners of the YCM Explorer Awards by La Belle Classe Superyachts 2024 


    • S/Y Cachalote (25m) belonging to Francisca Cortés Solari, combines a hull design with knowledge of the southern seas, CPP propellers and flexible solar panels. The yacht is able to sail long distances thanks to electric autonomy. For all these reasons, S/Y Cachalote won the Technology & Innovation category and has earned the 4-star ‘Superior Standard’ rating from the SEA Index®. Launched 2020 by YCM and Credit Suisse, this certificated reference has become essential for assessing superyachts’ CO2 emissions, providing invaluable support for owners committed to more eco-responsible yachting.  



  • M/Y Archimedes (68m), belonging to James Simons, explores parts of the ocean that are not well sampled, such as remote areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans. On board, five instruments measure light and sea surface temperature to provide a deeper understanding of the marine environment. As well as its scientific missions, M/Y Archimedes is involved in humanitarian activities such as distributing food, medicines, books and building materials to disadvantaged areas. This yacht won the Science & Discovery award. 



  • M/Y Gigi (49m): Led by Carl and Gigi Allen, M/Y Gigi symbolises philanthropic adventure when together they raised $500,000 for relief operations following Hurricane Dorian in August 2019. The yacht also carried out a variety of other missions such as distributing tablets to schools to support local education, environmental clean-up campaigns on the Bahamas islands, ecosystem preservation activities and improving the infrastructure by building community facilities including recreational areas. It won the Adventure & Environmental Ethics award. 



  • A special Coup de cœur prize is also awarded by the jury and this year went to Anil Thadani’s M/Y Latitude (47m) whose captain Sean Meagher is a member of the YCM’s Captains’ Club and The Explorers Club. Embodying the spirit of adventure and innovation for nearly a decade, M/Y Latitude became the ninth vessel ever to cross the Northwest Passage in both directions. The yacht’s journey took it to the Svalbard archipelago less than 500 miles from the North Pole, making it the only private vessel to achieve this feat in 2013.  M/Y Latitude also works to reduce the yachts environmental footprint by making technical changes such as realigning the engines to increase efficiency and speed while limiting its ecological impact. 


Yacht Club de Monaco is reaffirming its status as a major player in the sector’s environmental transition, by positioning itself as a communication platform for all those invested in building the future of yachting. 

 Press contacts: Yacht Club de Monaco – Tel: +377 93 10 64 09 – Email: presse@ycm.org