Fun in the Sun: The 19th Benetti Yachtmaster

3 May 2019 By Lauren Beck

Sun, sand, and blue sky — it might be the perfect event recipe. Throw in a limbo contest, Seabob relay racing, and decadent food and drink, and your guests may never want to return to reality.

The 19th Benetti Yachtmaster U.S. event took place in gorgeous Key Largo from April 30 to May 2, and Benetti vendors, yachting industry, and captains alike were invited to spend a few days at the Playa Largo resort. The number 19 has special meaning for Benetti — 2019 hosts the 19th Yachtmaster editions, and Benetti is proud of its position as number one for 2019 in Boat International’s Global Order Book once again.

The event — a mix of networking, seminars, and fun — beginning on the first afternoon with a welcome and brand update from Benetti, a yacht certification update from Peter Selivanoff of Fraser Yachts, and an interview with Capt. Mark Gallaway of 49-meter M/Y Elaldrea+, who shared his yachting experiences and detailed his time on the boat both during the build and after its 2018 launch. Interviews were followed by cocktails at the beach bar before dinner was served under the stars. A spectacular sunset enhanced the scene as guests mingled in the open, and the party continued long into the night.

The second day started with some friendly competition to get the blood pumping. A hearty breakfast got competitors prepared for expending some energy in a Seabob relay race just off the hotel’s dock. Four five-person relay teams were created with the ultimate goal of — you guessed it — going like hell for leather to win. The red team — including Marco from AkzoNobel, Capt. Manuel, Chief Engineer Rael of M/Y Siete, and Federico of Slam — claimed ultimate victory in the final race. Once the serious business was over, all participants were able to dive in and enjoy playing on the Seabobs.

After lunch, the real serious business began as captains were divided into three groups for the afternoon’s seminars. First up was a discussion of owner liabilities in multiple scenarios with BTG Legal to an open discussion of the captain/owner relationship dynamic hosted by Peter Selivanoff of Fraser Yachts. Captains were encouraged to share their experiences dealing with owner issues and concerns in the discussion format. Last but not least was a seminar on refit and yard work, with Fraser Yachts once again taking the reins in the presentation.

Once the hard work was over, it was time for one more night of fun before the event’s conclusion — a Hawaii-themed dinner and party on the sand. Costumes were encouraged, and two winners were selected, one in a “traditional” Hawaiian costume which was claimed by Capt. Mark and Head Chef Katia of M/Y Elaldrea+, and the other in a more “non-traditional” theme. A delicious dinner was followed by a fire dancer and a limbo contest won by First Officer Zak. The event concluded the following morning at breakfast.

Check out the event photos on Facebook.