Bertarelli’s New Superyacht Vava II Launched in Plymouth

As Larry Ellison’s America’s Cup World Circus creates a couple of summer work-experience positions for University of Plymouth students, another America’s Cup billionaire has been behind the creation of 200 jobs at the nearby Devonport dockyard.

Ernesto Bertarelli’s new 96 metre yacht Vava II is reported to be  the 33rd largest yacht in the world and given the history between Ellison and Bertarelli, it is perhaps no accident that the new yacht was unveiled in Plymouth yesterday with the America’s Cup crowd in town.

The Daily Mail reports that the yacht is the largest ever built in Britain with exterior finishes designed by Hampshire-based specialists Redman Whiteley Dixon. The interiors have been styled by Remi Tessier.

Whether or not the World Series event leaves any lasting legacy for Plymouth remains to be seen, so the juxtaposition of a world-class engineering project carried out by workers at the Devonport Royal Dockyard is a poignant one.

Managing Director Stephen Hills said the vessel was:

‘an absolute credit to the capacity of the South West as a superyacht building location. We are looking to continue this industry in the South West.’

Brendan O’Shannassy, who will helm the new yacht said:

‘To have such a ground breaking construction unveiled in Plymouth should make the region justly proud.’

Two visitors to Plymouth who will be keen to see how the city benefits from the economic impact of Larry Ellison’s activity in the city are Newport Mayor Stephen C. Waluk and Newport Visitors Bureau President Evan Smith.

Waluk, quoted by the Providence Journal said:

“This visit provides a great opportunity to see the impact of the races on the host community. Gaining a first-hand perspective on the benefits and challenges of the America’s Cup races should better prepare Newport for hosting an event of this magnitude.”

Smith said:

“Visiting Plymouth will offer us the unique opportunity to observe how the destination has set up the their transportation system to accommodate the influx of visitors, the signage that has been developed to aid the flow of thousands of people, the strategic placement of promotional sponsorship banners and what the overall need and impact will be in terms of housing sponsors, crews, media and spectators. By gaining this key background information, the City of Newport and the NCCVB will be able to better educate our local businesses on how to best organize for this exciting event coming to the City-by-the-Sea next June.”

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