By the Team with Silvana Rivella – deputy Editor
VENTIMIGLIA. On 15 October 2020 at noon Tuiga was the first boat ever to enter Cala del Forte, the new Ventimiglia Marina owned by Monaco Ports, just 7.9 miles from the Principality. Tuiga is a splendid racing sailboat, flagship of the Yacht Club de Monaco built in 1909 by William Fife Shipyards in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It was commissioned by the Duke of Medinaceli to compete against his sister ship Hispania, which was built around the same time in Spain for King Alfonso XIII. For twelve years Tuiga won important trophies, from the ambitious Cowes Week in the Solent to the “new” Kiel Week in Germany, in the 15mR class of the first international scale.
During the First World War she was bought by a Scandinavian shipowner, but because of the war that was raging in Europe the boat sadly remained unused in port, no longer sailing nor competing. This hard situation stayed still until the year 1995 when young Prince Albert of Monaco, president of the Yacht Club de Monaco since 1984, found Tuiga’s ruined hull in Cannes and decided to buy her. “For a long time now, I have wanted our club to acquire a prestigious unit that would testify to the loyalty that Monaco has shown regarding maritime heritage and traditional Yachting. So, when I discovered Tuiga in the port of Cannes and the opportunity to acquire Tuiga presented itself in 1995, I was happy to be able to take it. One could not find more beautiful, nor more motivating occasion, to give young people and the most experienced sailors the taste of the all-time classic. Tuiga is a very pleasant sailboat to steer but manoeuvring her is a real sport” said HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Subject of a complete refurbishment by the Fairlie Restorations shipyard1 she was restored as a cutter, keeping her original lead hull. Now the valiant vessel participates in nautical rallies such as the Armada of Rouen and the classic Mediterranean circuit. Once docked, Tuiga’s crew was welcomed on the quay by Aleco Keusseoglou, president of Monaco Ports, accompanied by representatives of the Monegasque government and the board of directors of the Societé Monégasque Internationale Portuaire (SMIP), by Gian Battista Borea d’Olmo, Chief Executive Officer of Cala del Forte, by Marco Cornacchia director of Cala del Forte, by the Councilor for Urban Planning of the Liguria Region Marco Scajola, by the Regional Councilor Enrico Ioculano, by the Mayor of Ventimiglia Gaetano Scullino with the Municipal Council and by the local police forces. The entrance of the Tuiga in Cala del Forte represented a historical and symbolic moment that sanctioned the opening of the sea part of the port, pending the official inauguration which will take place in June / July 2021. In the meantime, a limited number of berths is already available in concession for 40 years.
Information on short-term rates is available at the link: https: //bit.l/CDF_short_term_rates_2020 www.caladelforte-ventimiglia.it
“Today – said Aleco Keusseoglou on 15 October – is an important day for Ventimiglia, for Monaco and for all of us who are gathered here. A moment that once again establishes the close link between the Principality and Ventimiglia, thanks in particular to the vision of a S.A.S. Prince Albert II, who was the first to believe in and wanted this project which has now become a reality, and to the willingness of his government which guaranteed economic coverage for the operation.” After thanks to the President of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti for his continuous support to the project, the Councilor Marco Scajola, the Mayor Gaetano Scullino, the local institutions, the police and all those who have been prominent actors in the construction of Cala del Forte, Aleco Keusseoglou briefly recalled the history of the port of Ventimiglia. The initial idea of creating a landing stage dates to the early 1960s. After countless discussions, postponements, and conflicting proposals, it is in 2010 that the miracle finally took place. Led by the Imperian entrepreneur Beatrice Parodi, the Cozzi Parodi Group concluded the agreement for the sale of 100 percent of the shares of the Cala del Forte Company, holder of the concession of the Ventimiglia tourist port, to the Societé Monegasque Internationale Portuaire which belongs to the Ports of Monaco and the Government of the Principality. Even politics, represented by the Municipality of Ventimiglia with the Liguria Region, had entered the game and, demonstrating that they shared the vision, had made the agreement possible by approving a variant to the original project, allowing the use of the port for larger pleasure boats more suited to the current yachting market. In 2016, the Societé d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco created the Société Monégasque Internationale Portuaire for this purpose to manage new projects on Italian territory. Thus, a completely new scenario for the Principality of Monaco, which has expanded the saturation of its ports was born.
And equally so happened for the city of Ventimiglia which is seeing a moment awaited for decades, the opening of a port with 178 moorings suitable for boats from 6.5 to over 60 meters in length. And with a 2700 m² shipyard that has hauling and launching capacity for yachts up to 30 meters. But not only. Moving the gaze on the mainland, towards the steep terrain above, the consolidation of the rocky slopes continues for the construction of the road and the lift that descend from the medieval village to the marina. The construction works of the area used for shops, which will be 39 (restaurants, bars, offices, and services), and the parking in absolute safety with supervised access h. 24 and 70 CCTV cameras are also going on. There will be 577 parking spaces, 450 of which are set up for the installation of columns for the supply of recharging electricity, and 15,000 square meters will be devoted to walks and gardens. Electric golf cars will circulate inside the port to transport people and goods and there are many services that will be offered by the staff: a mooring assistance service will be provided 24/7, and qualified security personnel will be present 24/7 of the area. Cala del Forte Marina is owned by the Ports of Monaco, consequently the standards of safety, welcome and hospitality, as well as the marketing strategies, are the same. The Cala del Forte project is an integral part of the historic and effective collaboration between the Principality of Monaco and Liguria. The project is also an expression of Monaco’s desire to participate in the economic development of its neighbouring countries in an increasingly synergistic way.
Obviously, the city of Ventimiglia intends to take the opportunity that the new port of Cala del Forte offers to promote its territory, from the Cetacean Sanctuary to the Hanbury Gardens, the Roman Theater, up to the Archaeological Museum, without forgetting the attraction from the food and wine sector. This promotion takes place internationally both with the advertising campaigns that are underway in the most important nautical sector publications in the world, as well as through intense activity on the net and on Social channels and with participation in boat shows. The relationship activity will continue by periodically inviting professionals, leading companies in the sector and the international press to Cala del Forte to promote the structure and its territory. As for the intervention of Prince Albert in this successful operation, “God bless him!” confided the mayor of Ventimiglia Gaetano Scullino, and Montecarlotimes can only approve enthusiastically!