"The boat is my REFUGE" / Rafael Nadal's Interview for 'Barche Magazine' (September 2017)
"The boat is my REFUGE"
15 times Grand Slam winner, Rafael Nadal has chosen the MCY 76 as the yacht of his childhood dreams. Known as the “King of Clay”, Nadal is widely considered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time and viewed by some sports analysts, tennis writers, fans and media pundits as the greatest tennis player of the Open Era. He has achieved a record 10 titles in three different tournaments: The French Open, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He holds the record for most titles at 3 different levels, ATP500 (Barcellona-10), Masters 1000 (Monte Carlo-10) and Grand Slams (Roland Garros-10)
What does having a boat mean for you? A place to get away from the noise and confusion every successful person is surrounded by daily, or the summary of a lifestyle?
«Let me tell you, it’s a little bit both things. To me, being on board the Monte Carlo Yachts 76 gives me the chance to get away when I want to get away, you know.
I love to be with people but, at the same time, it gives me the chance to get away and to be with myself, or only with the people that I want to be with, every time that I need to.
That’s something very important with my lifestyle today. I love the sea and I think I could live on the sea, so maybe in the future I will spend a lot of time on-board, it’s something I like as a lifestyle and that I love».
Have you already owned a boat? How did you start sailing?
«I have always had the chance to be in contact with water. Is true that I come from a beautiful island like Mallorca but, at the same time, I have always lived here between Manacor and Porto Cristo and I have been always close to the sea. My father, ever since I was a kid, had a small boat and I always loved to go out with the boat and diving, doing many things on the sea. I had a boat, well… we had a Riviera, for fishing and I still own it. We use it for fishing, or even sunbathing. My father uses it very often. Before the MCY 76 I had a Princess V62 too. I enjoyed the boat but this is another step and I really love this one».
Do you like to steer your boat yourself?
«I have a captain. I need a captain. I am not here all the time... I think you need a captain with this kind of yacht and, at the same time, I spend more than a half year not being at home, so I need somebody to take care of everything.
The good news is that my captain is a great friend of mine, ever since I was a kid, so when I am here, it’s even better. When I come home and sometimes my friends are working, my family is working, my girlfriend has to work, I go out with my captain who is also my friend, so that’s unbelievably good.
I very much like to drive the boat, yes. I don’t have the licence to drive this kind of boat but when I’m there with the captain I do and I really love it».
Could you tell us something about your sailing trips? What they are like, with whom you prefer to share your cruises, what is your relationship with the sea?
«I love to be with my friends, I love to be with my family, I love to be with my girlfriend when I have the chance. Those are the people I am normally with when I am on board my boat. Every year, I take a week just with my friends to go around the islands, we have a lot of fun. It’s becoming a tradition for me and for all my friends since I was a small kid, so we are always together doing this trip, every year. It’s one-week trip, normally five to seven days, it depends how much time we have, but less than five days never happened and, when I’m with my girlfriend I try to go for many days as well. Quite often, you know, in the afternoon I go out at sea with my yacht and sleep away. I come back the next morning to work.
I try to go with my cousins, I have a lot of small cousins, like thirteen between ten and fifteen years old and I love to be with them, sometimes I go with them too. Those are my trips».
In your opinion, is sailing an adventure? Can you tell us about any significant events as a boat-owner?
«Well, always when you are on a boat you have to be ready because weather conditions can always change and it’s a little bit of an adventure. I like the feeling that sometimes the sea provides you, because things happen suddenly and you need to be quick in taking decisions. For example, last year we were coming back from Ibiza and we had very, very rough conditions for one a half hour on the way to Mallorca. The waves came over the boat so well, it was tough, but I was also happy to be in the middle of those sea conditions. I was cruising with the MCY 76 and the boat resisted very well and I was happy to see how she reacted in those conditions».
Why did you choose this kind of boat? What has impressed you most about the MCY 76?
«After visiting a lot of different yachts, the Monte Carlo Yachts 76, personally for what I need and the kind of life I like to have on board was the perfect one. The use of space is different, the space is unbelievable, there is space at the front, great space at the back. It’s true that here, in the main saloon there are no separate places and everything is more open, you know. Not, for example, like on all the boats where there is living area and then a closed galley, and then the captain’s main helm separated one from the other.I like the fact that it’s more open because I can see in front. I feel like it’s bigger, you know, I feel like everything is easy to use. I personalised the back part of the main saloon a little bit and I really like it a lot, I feel that I have everything. I think the space at the back in the aft cockpit is also great, I feel the back area is much bigger than on most of the yachts in the same category. That’s so important for me. I like the fact that I can have a nice fly bridge too, not a lot of boats of this size have a nice fly bridge, none have the front part like this one, the bow lounge area. I love the exterior life of course, but at the same time, I like the interior life because it’s almost a house for me. Even if I am staying here in Porto Cristo, I sometimes come on board and live here, so I like to be on the sofa and watching TV in comfort. I have two TVs, so when there are people inside, you know, we can watch the football and we can watch in parallel what we really want to see. With the home cinema and two TVs it is unbelievable for me.There can be ten people inside the boat and I feel there are so many different areas to be. You feel that you have enough space like on a much larger yacht».
In your opinion, what are the most important details of a boat? Aesthetics and design? The Functional ones? The spaces? The hull? Or the performance?
«At the end of the day, it is about everything. The hull is important to feel comfortable and safe when you are navigating but, at the same time, it is also important the boat does not create problems. A yacht is a complex thing and there is a lot of electronics inside. So it’s important to find easy solutions for the problems that every boat has, because all boats may have some small things and it’s important to have easy solutions for these. When you are on board, you don’t want lose days because something has happened. So, it’s important to find a boat with clear and easy solutions. And then, for sure, the design is important to me too. Even if I pay more attention to comfort and safety rather than the design, obviously you want to have a boat that satisfies and makes you happy because you think is beautiful. That’s why I have this boat, because I thought this is the best for me now. Personally, I love the boat, the style and I love the comfort she provides».
Where do you prefer sailing with your boat?
«Well, normally, I stay between Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Cabrera, all around the Balearic Islands. In Mallorca I think there are two different kind of places; it’s a combination because on the West side we have the back of the mountains, Sierra Tramuntana, which is amazing, amazingly beautiful but it’s true that there are not many beaches, it’s different... the views are different. On this side of the island where we are now, the East side, there are a lot of beaches, it’s flatter.
I like both things. You know, the mountains are unbelievable because you see them falling into the sea, it’s amazing. At the same time, here we have a lot of beaches and nice places that I can go away to. We can swim, in a clear water, 100% crystal clear everywhere. I love, you know, both sides. There are also a few other places that I want to know. I would like to discover all the Mediterranean, to take the boat and go to Croatia, to Greece, to Turkey. For sure, Sardinia and Corsica too. Discover the Mediterranean is one of the things I’m focused on, one of the goals that I have in the next couple of years when I will have the chance. Today, it’s not possible. It is too important for me to keep doing well the things that I am doing and be professional today, but it’s something that I really want to do in the future. Go out with the boat and be there for two months, getting familiar with all the Mediterranean. That’s the first step and then I would love to be to the Caribbean with the boat. I think it is a great place to be because there are a lot of islands close to each other and you don’t need to cruise for days to reach them. It’s something that I really want to do».
How much time do you manage to spend aboard in a year?
«Actually, my yacht is one of the places where I spend more time when I am in Mallorca. I love to be here, I love to be in Mallorca, I love to come back and to be with my friends, with my family, with all the people that I really love. I mean, it is something very important to maintain, close to me. At the same time, it is so important to have the boat always waiting for me, even if I don’t use it every time. It is so important to know I can use it every time that I need it. This is something that makes me happy and helps me to enjoy and to distract myself when I need it».
If you compare a tennis match and crossing the sea, what would you say they have in common?
«Sincerely, I don’t think there are many similarities. They are different things. Maybe if we talk about sailing, the competition is a different story, you know. Because the way I am... I don’t have the time to go sailing or this kind of things. I use the boat when the conditions are mostly good, so I am not in a competition. I love competition of course, but when I am on my boat I am not competing, I just relax and have fun with my family and friends».
«The model Nadal has chosen, the MCY 76, can be considered an icon in the yachting world. Since its first presentation, this yacht has made waves in the industry confirming Monte Carlo Yachts to be a global pioneering project breaking new ground», said Federico Peruccio of Monte Carlo Yachts. «We are honoured to have Rafa in the MCY family and thrilled to see him delighted for having chosen the MCY 76. Some personal customizations make his yacht even more unique and we know that its understated elegance, privacy features and inherent nautical qualities are the perfect match for him and for anyone that truly loves the ocean».