The beautiful gardens of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, with the 51 metre schooner Meteor resting at anchor in the bay below, provided a magnificent setting for guests arriving at Royal Huisman’s 125th anniversary celebrations in Monaco on September 23rd.
Alice Huisman took centre stage to greet guests and to unveil the eagerly-anticipated commemorative book “Royal Huisman, 125 Years – The Spirit of Individuality”. Written by Stephen Chipperfield and designed by Rod Teasdale, the book is filled with fascinating information, anecdotes and stories, complemented by outstanding photography reflecting five generations of Huisman ownership and achievement.
Alice Huisman drew on information uncovered by research for the book to paint an intriguing picture of past experiences at the yard (including extremely amusing correspondence between her grandfather and an exasperated customer) to underline the fact that few of today’s challenges have not been previously experienced in some shape or form in the 125 years since 1884.
Legendary German racing yachtsman Albert Büll – who took delivery of his first Huisman-built Saudade in 1973 and his third in 1994 – was presented with the first copy of the book in the company of his wife Christa. The owners of the 57.5 metre ketch Twizzle, the first launch of the next 125 years, were similarly honoured. Finally, in the company of her sisters Caroline and Mirjam, Alice Huisman presented the third copy to their mother, Ali Huisman.
Following the welcoming speech, Huisman owners of long standing mingled and chatted with those who have more recently joined this special fraternity. Representatives of the superyacht media, naval architects, designers, project managers, captains and industry leaders were there too, enjoying relaxed conversation, fine wines and a buffet meal with one another and with members of the Huisman team and family.
At precisely 21.30 the laser show commenced. Laser beams, animated graphics, film and still photography were projected across the pool onto two huge spheres to dramatise the story of the past 125 years. Smoke danced on the laser beams to evoke the ocean and a powerful musical score built to a crescendo, to highly appreciative applause from all those present.
Royal Huisman has always set itself high standards but there is no doubt that the yard team went out of its way, on this special occasion, to present their honoured guests a special memory– those guests whose vision and commitment to fine custom yacht building have ensured the continuity of a passion for craftsmanship and perfection that is now entering its 126th year.