Rendez Vous CNB 2018

As you approach the port of Portoferraio, you immediately ‘savor’ the majesty of the mighty bulwark of Fort Stella and Fort Falcone, the silent sentinels watching over the ancient Medici Docks. The feeling you get is a strong embrace, warm and protective. No wonder Horatio Nelson1, the great British Admiral, affirmed that “all men and vessels are safe in Portoferraio, which for its expanse is the safest port in the world”. All that dwells in the Medici Docks, from the buildings facing the sea to the boats moored at its peers, reflect into the body of water of the harbor with a light that offers ever new suggestive and moving glimpses, especially at sunset. This immensely fascinating historic framework has been chosen as the location to celebrate the tenth edition of the French shipyards CNB (2)(Construction Naval Bordeaux) annual meeting, the 2018 Rendez Vous. This special event, organized for the first time in Italy, was in fact hosted by Portoferraio. All of the 15 participating yachts (CNB 60, CNB 66, CNB 76 and CNB 77) were moored near the Gallo Pier, arousing the curiosity and interest of both locals and tourists, who were attracted by their extraordinary beauty and state-of-the-art design. These high-tech yachts stand out for their original, elegant lines, the comfort of their interiors, their speed and easy maneuvering.

The Rendez Vous was promoted by Oceanis Yachts, which beginning this year markets the CNB brand in Italy, and was organized by Rossella Celebrini, being entrusted with the management of the entire event, thanks also to the precious collaboration of the Town of Portoferraio and Cosimo de’ Medici (3). The event began on Friday evening with a welcome cocktail held at the Linguella Archaeological Museum, whose inner courtyard was devoted as dinner buffet area (dining services provided by the Hotel Hermitage), while the surrounding areas facing the ancient Roman site and the Martello Tower, and the sea, respectively, were chosen as lounge areas. On Sunday evening, the Linguella Archaeological Museum hosted an elegant cocktail concurrently with the regatta awarding ceremony. The regattas took place on Saturday and Sunday, blessed by the sun and a favorable wind that guaranteed the excellent outcome of the race, thus ensuring the pride of the crews and the success of the event. During the first day of races, participants moored their yachts in one of the most beautiful coves of the Island, the Gulf of Biodola. After welcoming speeches and thanks to the crews, a special prize was awarded to yacht architect Philippe Briand as exceptional helmsman during the regattas. Among the event partners, mention goes to Thienot, Volvo, Incidence, North Sails and the Hotel Hermitage. A precious support for the organization of the regattas was provided by the Coast Guard officers (Capitaneria di Porto) and the Naval League (Lega Navale). A Napoleon inspired gala dinner could not be missed to pay tribute to CNB and the French Emperor. The gala dinner was held on Saturday evening in the heart of Portoferraio, in the magical framework of the Piazzale della De Laugier, next to the suggestive Napoleon Staircase, leading to Villa dei Mulini, which recreated the atmosphere of times gone-by, worthy of Napoleonic grandeur, with an ad-hoc designed setup and enjoying the presence of the Petite Armée (Elba association focusing on Napoleonic reenactments).

Special entertainment was offered by the exquisite voice of Cristina Cioni, daughter of the famous Elba-native tenor Renato Cioni, accompanied by renowned musicians. At the end of the dinner, the official video of CNB was projected on the ancient façade of the De Laugier military barracks. The cherry on top of this special gala dinner were the fireworks exploded into the starry sky of the ancient Cosmopolis that illuminated the town with their lights and colors. This three-day event was organized down to the tiniest of details, from its planning and logistics to the setup of the historic locations, to the great satisfaction of the participants and CNB executives, who left the location along the famous pink-stone staircase lit by torches likewise the Piazzale De Laugier. After walking along the winding roads of Portoferraio, they reached their yachts moored at the ancient Medici Docks, which physically offer the sensation of an embrace, warm and protective. Not by chance, as stated by British Admiral Horatio Nelson, “this is the safest port in the world”.


1) Lord Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson and 1st Duke of Bronté (1758 – 1805) was a British flag officer of the Royal Navy. For his three decisive naval victories where he was commander-in-chief, he is still today one of the most cherished and acclaimed English national heroes.

2) CNB is the shipyard of the Beneteau Group active in the building of luxury custom sailing ships and motor yachts. It also manufacturers CNB-branded semi-custom yachts, whose float is currently made up of two models: the 76-foot CNB, sold in 2013, and the 60-foot CNB, which was sold some years ago.

3) The Medici Docks are managed by the company Cosimo de’ Medici, whose headquarters are located at the main entrance of the port opposite the Gallo Pier, offering a strategic view for the control of the docks reserved to tourist boats providing approximately 60 berths.