04 May

A hat trick of awards for 37.44m (122’) M/Y AWOL at the MYBA Charter Show 2018

IYC is extremely proud of 37.44m (122’) M/Y AWOL (A Way Of Life) for taking home not one, not two, but three awards at the recent MYBA Charter Show 2018. Held at OneOcean Port Vell in Barcelona, the Show took place from the 23 to 26 of April 2018 and celebrated its 30th year. In a clean sweep in the ‘Yachts of 42m and Under’ size category AWOL was announced the winner of the prestigious Chefs’ Competition, the Table Display Competition and the Meet and Greet Competition.

AWOL first joined the IYC Charter Fleet in November 2017 and has quickly proved a popular choice for charter clients, with these recent awards a testament as to why. “The entire AWOL crew were involved in all three competitions, this is what it takes to create a winning team, and I am very proud of every single one of them,” says Captain Tristan Mortlock of AWOL. “It is the little details, that are not always seen, that add up to make something special.”

With a mindset of ‘not just another charter yacht’ Captain Mortlock and his crew go above and beyond expectations to create an exceptional charter experience for guests that is truly ‘A Way Of Life.’ “What ‘A Way Of Life’ means to us, is that when a guest disembarks at the end of their journey with AWOL, they don’t leave thinking ‘wow, what an amazing holiday’ they leave thinking; ‘WOW, what a life experience’,” he explains. “We don’t want to follow the herd, we strive to set the standards, and this unique approach sets us apart from the rest.”

When approaching the MYBA Charter Show competitions, the entire AWOL crew worked together in harmony to create a special experience for judges that was reflective of this ‘A Way of Life’ approach.

Chefs’ Competition
Chef James Wright was responsible for creating the winning menu, creating a tantalizing display of canapes for judges to enjoy. “Through the dishes I wanted to showcase not only a variety of different flavours but also different techniques that are incorporated into the food on AWOL,” he says. “The inspiration for the canapés stemmed from my culinary career, travels and my roots back home in South Africa.” Chef Wright’s award-winning menu included Tuna & Mango Ceviche, Confit Duck Taco, Goat’s Cheese & Mushroom Arancini, Pistachio & Chocolate Samosa, and Milk Tart.

As was reflected in his competition menu, when creating custom menus on board AWOL Chef Wright draws upon many influences and cooking styles, with a diverse repertoire of dishes, working in harmony with the yacht crew to create a memorable experience. “My style has always been to let the food do the talking, and to not over complicate it, and I do this by sourcing the freshest seasonal ingredients, which pack the most flavours into a dish delivering the guests a gastronomic experience they’ll never forget,” he says. “When that is done, seeing a smile on their faces at the end of a day is what drives my love and passion for food.” Prior to a charter, guests provide a guideline and preferences for Chef Wright to derive a menu from. “As the charter progresses the menu will evolve to match their Way Of Life on board ensuring an experience they will never forget,” he says.

Table Dressing Competition
For the Table Dressing competition, crew had to prepare a table setting based on their vision for the “MYBA 30th Anniversary” theme with a champagne bottle incorporated into the design and prominently displayed. “We had laughed about having a “levitating” Champagne bottle to create an interesting display,” says Chief Stewardess Giverny Cowie. “The Captain and the Engineer came up for a way to make this possible, using a stand wrapped in delicate pearls to maintain the floating illusion.” The pearls were added to be in keeping with the theme, acting as ‘spilled bubbles’ of the champagne, paired with fairy lights flowing from the bottle and across the table.

A black table cloth served as the romantic back drop and another thoughtful addition was Calla lilies in Marie-Antoinette Champagne Glasses. “Lilies are the flower representation of 30th year anniversaries and so these were a perfect addition to create the swirling effect of Champagne in motion, says Cowie. Colours seen in pearls were used throughout the table setting. The overall effect was striking, wowing the judges and securing first prize. “Our goal was to have any onlookers first reaction: ‘Wow! Wait…how did you…?”

Creating custom table settings is second nature to Cowie and her team, with Cowie drawing on her experience in interior design and her second stew’s work in wedding photography to create a harmonious approach to every table setting. “Each meal or event is a blank canvas for us to design and we try to stir an emotional response from guests in our settings,” says Cowie. One example is a ‘Night of Nostalgia’ on a recent charter. Throughout the charter crew took polaroid’s and video footage of guests enjoying life on board and on the final night presented a very special table setting, dispersed with memories of the trip accompanied by favourite music tracks.

Meet and Greet Competition
For the Meet and Greet competition crew had 10 minutes to welcome judges as if they were guests arriving on board for a charter. “The meet and greet is an essential part of the welcome because it’s all about first impressions,” says Captain Mortlock. “The way we approach this on AWOL is to keep it simple, remove sunglasses, good eye contact, engage with the guests, a firm handshake is very important, smile and positive energy.” Younger guests are welcomed with a gift pack, with items such as swim goggles, flippers and with the parent’s permission a few treats, while for the adult guests crew research to find out something special to them. “For the 2018 MYBA competition, as it was the 30th Anniversary we welcomed the judges with a glass of 1988 Dom Perignon to celebrate 30 years,” says Captain Mortlock. “These small little details go a long way, the guests get a feeling of being cared for and a feeling of being special. In everything we do we create forever memories, we create A Way Of Life.”

IYC congratulates Captain Mortlock and the crew of AWOL on this impressive achievement. To learn more about AWOL yacht for charter click here.

For more information on IYC’s range of services please contact the IYC office most convenient to you. IYC has offices in the Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami,  Nantucket, Great Lakes, Monaco, Greece, Russia, Croatia, Montenegro, Barcelona, Scandinavia and Malta. To contact an IYC office click here.