by Silvana Rivella, Deputy Director of Montecarlotimes – silvana.rivella@gmail.com

MONACO. The “La Belle Classe Academy ” -Training Centre for yachting professionals – was born within the Yatch Club Monaco “To provide excellence on board…” Dedicated to owners but also open to anyone involved in yachting (captains, management and other professionals), crew members and owners, the Yacht Club de Monaco’s training centre alternates navigation and pleasure boat courses, with a strong component focused on the “Art of Service, Etiquette and Protocol” on board.

With its La Belle Classe Academy, the YCM aims to encourage development and promotion of yachting professions.

A commitment to build the future!

From February to June 2019, the STCW BASIC SAFETY TRAINING COMPLETE at €990 per person has a duration of 6 days consisting in Personal Survival Techniques, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting; Elementary First Aid; Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities. In February and in April it is also possible to refresh. For a fee of €490 one can obtain a revalidation of the Personal Survival Techniques and Fire Fightinging in 2 Modules plus an Advanced Fire Fighting Course at €230 per person, containing much practical firefighting using different types of extinguishers, hoses and breathing apparatus. Students gain experience in fighting fires in an enclosed space with heat and smoke. They will also acquire an appreciation of command and control problems.

The content of the program of the STCW BASIC SAFETY TRAINING COMPLETE is the following: Update on changes to regulations and technology / Scenarios / Putting on a life jacket / Putting on and using an immersion wetsuit / Jumping into the water from a height / Deploying a life raft when wearing a life jacket / Swimming in a life jacket / Boarding a life raft from a boat and from the water while wearing a life jacket / Taking the initial steps when boarding life rafts / Deploying a floating anchor / Operating life raft equipment / Operating tracking devices.

The Advanced Fire Fighting Course taught using different types of portable fire extinguishers: Using a SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) / Extinguishing minor fires / Extinguishing a big fire with water / Extinguishing a fire with a chemical agent / Penetrating and crossing a chamber filled with HF mousse using a security line without a SCBA / Extinguishing a fire with a high pressure water hose in a locality filled with thick smoke / Extinguishing a hydrocarbon fire / Rescuing someone in a smoke-filled location wearing a SCBA. Then, I found enormously interesting the POLAR CODE TRAINING, taking place in March and May 2019. La Belle Classe Academy by Yacht Club de Monaco and 90North Ice Consulting in cooperation with Viking Ice Consultancy are now offering Certification according to STCW 1978 as amended, Polar Code part A-1, chapter 12, regulation 12.3.1, IMO model courses and Swedish Maritime administration’s TFSF 2011:116. IMO Polar Code regulation came into force 1st of January 2017. It regulates all training and certification for officers working in Arctic/Antarctic regions. All SOLAS ships will be affected by this new regulation, and officers must be STCW certified. The Course consists of two days of classroom of training for Basic certificate. Two more days of classroom are based on training and simulator exercises for Advanced course (Please note: After Advanced training, you must have 60 days of service in polar waters in previous 5 years to apply for Advanced Certificate of proficiency).

For Advanced training the Academy uses navigation simulator exercises thus giving a true life situation in polar ice waters.The Academy is fully approved for VR simulator developed in cooperation with Kongsberg/Morild. Hereby the Course outline: Winterization and hypothermia / Preparedness for emergency situations in Polar areas / Voyage planning/navigation and maneuvering / Effects of weather and current / Recognition of ice formations and characteristics / Icebreaker assistance / Polar Code and MARPOL / Regulatory framework / Ice classes and ship design / True life situation simulator exercises. Of course, this program is not cheap: the Basic fee is €1280, the Advanced is €1320 and the Basic and Advanced Course same week worth €2200.

Another interesting professional career at “La Belle Classe Academy”  consists in the possibility to frequent the training classes to become a Marine Chef. After a presentation, the MASTER SERVICE & NAVAL ETIQUETTE consists in Theory and Practice of dressing tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner / Applying Skills for a Sommelier Course consisting in wine Service (champagne, white wine and red wine) and Food and wine matches. As for the Nautical Etiquette, students will have knowledge of nautical traditions, of the various flags and their usage and they will be taught about the behavior of the crew, as skills, style, elegance at sea give the owner’s image.


Further to the 3 days (21 hours) at the fee of € 1.200, there is the most challenging and coveted CHEF TRAINING of 5 days for 1500€ inc. VAT. The first day students will learn the art of purchasing, the knowledge of seasonality and to develop interest in certain products / Developing and putting together a proposal / Discussing orientation of the dishes proposed and feasibility to produce on board / Developing a programme of menus and recipes. The second day consists in a total Immersion into YCM’s kitchens and assistance with basic techniques, focused on starters. The third day will be dedicated to a total immersion into YCM’s kitchens wit a session on Mediterranean cuisine, focused on fish dishes, whereas the focus on day four will be on crustaceans, always in total immersion into YCM’s kitchens, with a session on sauces and utilising cooking juices for ‘jus’. The session on sauces and utilising juices from cooking produce for ‘jus’ is so important that it will take half of the day five, which will consacrate the time remaining to focusing on desserts into YCM’s kitchens. There students will meet Thierry Thiercelin, the first Michelin-star chef on the Saint-Tropez peninsular who has taken the helm of the YCM’s kitchens after Christian Plumail since January 2019.

“As a child of the Mediterranean, it is a real privilege for me to join this prestigious institution which is the Yacht Club de Monaco; a global reference in the yachting world and staunch upholder of etiquette and a certain art de vivre,” confided Chef Thierry Thiercelin, the former pupil of Bernard Loiseau and Jacques Maximin.


Thiercelin is a chef passionate about Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine in which he excelled at the Villa Belrose in Gassin, retaining a Michelin star for 14 years and 3 Gault & Millau Toques since 1999. He specialises in a subtle Provencal cuisine reflecting the Yacht Club de Monaco’s Art de Vivre la Mer philosophy, which just the YCM’s members can discover in the 1909 Restaurant (Deck 2).

What a beautiful presentation of a Mediterranean “homard” !

How fascinating!

Since the 7th August 2014, it has been a legal requirement for at least one crew member (Chef/Cook) on board at all times, to hold the MCA Ships’ Cook Certificate of Competency on commercial yachts with 10 or more crew members, in accordance with changes to the law brought about by the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006). The Ship’s Cook CoC is globally recognized, however at this point not all flag states require it. While certain flag states currently choose not to enforce these regulations, gaining the qualification provides greater career enhancement, helping candidates stand out to Captains and Recruiters. The Ship’s Cook Assessment in Marine Cookery is applicable to all cooks/chefs, qualified or not, to have their skills objectively assessed in a controlled environment and awarded the Certificate of Competency after passing a two-and-a-half-day assessment. The minimum requirements to be eligible for the Ship’s Cook CoC is at least one month sea time and at least 12 months working as a cook/chef (land or sea). Of course, a starred Chef like Thiercelin is suggesting students to work harder and obtain the Level 2 and 3 recognition in Food Safety in Catering (QCF)! This is a qualification aimed at chefs, stewardesses and all food handlers.

First above all Food Safety means immaculate hands!

The qualification is intended for learners already working on yachts and those who are preparing to work in the industry. Candidates gaining this qualification will know that food safety is the responsibility of everyone involved in the storage, preparation, cooking service and handling of food. Its topics are regarded by the Foods Standards Agency as being important to maintaining good practice in the production of safe food.   Food Safety level 3 is a must for any heads of departments with the responsibility of preparing or serving food. The aim of this course is to identify problems and to recommend solutions within food preparation and delivery areas. It is ideally suited to people who are responsible for supervising other members of staff, such as team leaders and managers across all sectors including catering, managers and supervisors in small, medium or large catering businesses. Particularly relevant for those who have to develop or monitor HACCP based food safety.

Last but not least, the Academy runs the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) training courses which lead to internationally recognized academic qualifications and also qualify toward the PYA Interior qualifications, in conjunction with the local WSET Approved Program Providers. Here, the emphasis is on fun, food and tasting. Not a stuffy academic exercise – wine is a drink after all! The Academy Master of Wine (MW) will guide you through a range of different and illustrative wines across the styles available, using examples from all over the world. Discover exactly why you like the wines you like, and the opposite of course. All useful stuff, and an increasingly valuable social skill, throughout different levels and different fees to €750 per person and / €1250 per person. Within Level 1 you will discover the basics of the world’s wine brands, in a one day course with an exam covering the basics of wine, grape varieties, brands of wine, storage and service, and a basic understanding of food&wine pairing. Level 2 provides a detailed introductory look at the world’s most well-known wines (& spirits), grape varieties and regions, tasting around 48 different wines. Study packs will be distributed in advance and prior reading is recommended. Level 3 consists in a thorough examination of the world’s wine producing areas in great detail, tasting around 85 different wines. This is of the academic standard of a UK ‘A’ Level, and will require some pre-study. Five days split either side of a weekend to allow for a break and some revision. (having passed Level 2 is essential) Subject to numbers, the YCM Academy can organize and create a course specific to your yacht or villa, and can travel to accommodate you. Finally, from 22 to 24 April 2019, DESTINATION BARMAN consists in an introduction to the bar concept, study of beverages (alcohols and softs), equipment (blenders, glasses, etc.), cocktails and their classification (aperitif, digestive, etc.), techniques and mixology. Students will prepare minimum 10 cocktails.

La Belle Classe Academy / +377 93 10 70 08 / academy@ycm.org

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