April-june 2 2013 - Marina Davila Sport
How we got into Mega Yachts and the origins of the Marina
(A short biography)
I tried to start this new section of our Newsletter several times. Every time that I faced the white unblemished page staring at
me, I got cold feet…How to begin? The answer is simple: just spill it out and move on to the fun stuff!!
This is a personal account of my experiences in the Mega Yacht World and the reason why now we aim to give the best service
possible to Mega Yachts in Galicia.
Yachting is in our genes. My father was an avid sailor who raced on Dragon and Star class yachts. He had quite an impressive
collection of trophies that they were cluttered all over the house (And it was not a small house either!! We are ten brothers and sisters)
He passed away in 1973 but we were already hooked up to yachting.
My mother entered the mega Yacht world in 1990, by chartering one season the brand new “Opal C”. She was a participant on
the I Mega Yacht Mediterranean Rally in August 25 of 1990. She was racing against M/Y Kalamoun, M/Y Shergard and M/Y Adler.
I was tied up at work, so I was unable to go with her that year. At the time, Guy O´Connor was the captain of “Opal C”.
When summer was over, my mother and sisters did not stop talking about the fun they had, how nice was the Captain and crew and this
went on and on…Of course I was jealous!! Yachting and the sea is my passion.
My mother has an obsession with speed and jets, so all the yachts she chartered had to be fast and jet powered. During the summer of
1991, I joined my mother in another jet powered fast yacht: The “Octopussy”. It was a fantastic summer and the prelude of what was
coming for the summer of 1992: The delivery of our own yacht: “Corona del Mar”
She was build by Mefasa and designed by Don Shead with two ideals in mind – comfort and speed. She’s is still capable of blistering
speeds of up to 40 knots with her twin 4500hp MTU engine package coupled to KaMeWa jet drives.
The first photo shows the maiden voyage of “Corona del Mar” in 1992. I am with my daughter Sophia and it was when I meet
for the first time Guy O´Connor. We still have a vivid recollection of that day…having Tapas at the Club and watching Sophia chase
away the seagulls.
M/Y Corona del Mar was ours for over 8 years and we did several times the Med and the Caribbean. Now I realize that we
were part of the “Big bang” of the Mega yacht that took place in 1992. It was also the year of the first edition of “The Wood Report”
and also the second edition of the Monaco Boat Show.
So this article will be the beginning of a new section
called “The good old times” in which I will recount some
anecdotes about “Corona” during those years.
It will be an open section, so if you want to share
your Mega Yacht anecdote, just send it to my email:
“Corona del Mar” maiden voyage in 1992. Bayona (Spain)
M/Y Corona del Mar at 40 knots racing against M/Y
Shergar” and M/Y Octopussy.
Marina Davila knows first hand what
are the necessities of the owners, Captains
and crew of a Megayacht. We know how
important is to deliver in time, quality and
price, because we had a Yacht before a
It was one of our first summers with “Corona del Mar”. We were at anchor in Cala di Volpe and planning the trip to Palma de Mallorca
to spend the rest of the summer there. I remember Guy (The captain) telling my mother that a big Mistral storm was coming our way. This could
delay our arrival to Palma for a few days because we could be forced to stay docked in Porto Cervo. A second alternative was presented to my
mother: to depart that night and make it to Palma by next morning, but we will be sailing with the Mistral. My mother was fearless in those
situations and trusted blindly Guy’s judgments (They did sail through the storm of the century in 1993!) so She decided to go ahead and sail to
Palma that same evening.
We were well underway when we had dinner on the living room of “Corona”. I think that we had chicken curry sandwiches, because
my wife still has some apprehension to the smell of curry due to the jumping, banging and sliding we experienced. “Corona” was sailing at 30
knots over the waves and I remember my mother and wife going to their cabins on all fours!! I went to the fly bridge and had fun for a few hours.
It was exhilarating to be shooting through the night at 30 + knots and feel the hull take of in some huge wave. I remember flexing my knees in
anticipation of the hull bow landing again on the next wave, but the yacht always surprised me with a silk smooth re-entry.
After a while, the spray and the wind got to me and finally decided to go back to my cabin and have a few hours of shuteye. As soon as
I got into bed, the rocking of the yacht stopped and I heard the anchor chain drop. It seems that some one was too seasick to keep going and Guy
seek refuge on a protected bay. Unluckily, he just dropped anchor in the middle of the night on the Asinara Island (now a Natural Park), which
was then a maximum-security prison for the Mafia, and it was not mentioned on the charts!!!
A commando of military dressed Carabinieri sneak to the side of “Corona” on a black inflatable craft and climbed on board. They
bursted in the bridge with the machine guns ready to fire and demanded the crew (at gun point of course) to identify them selves and to wake
everyone on the yacht for their inspection! I know for a fact that it took Guy a lot of persuasion to convince the commando leader that we were
not there with a fast yacht to help escape one of the prison Corleones. After a while, they told us to get the hell out of the island before they
changed their minds and put us all in jail.
We arrived to Palma early in the morning but no one of us was aware of what happened that night. When I asked Guy and Steve Hilton
(Chief engineer. AKA Mtuuu ) why we dropped anchor just to raised it again so fast, they laughed and described the RAMBO night at the
Asinara Isola episode!! This was just an aperitif of what other adventures awaited for us in “Corona”
In our quest to show the advantages that Galicia has to offer to the Super yachts, we organized a new visit to
Galicia for the Super Yacht Press. It will be during the month of July and the Plan is to visit La Coruña and Vigo. We will
also spend some time visiting Santiago de Compostela and sailing in the Galician Rias.
Also, I will like to mention that the Spanish Government is becoming aware of the need to adapt the politics and
legislation regarding the yachts to promote chartering in our coasts. So I hope to be able to bring you more news about
this during the next months.