Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Juan Martin del Potro, Petra Kvitova, Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov and many other tennis players enjoyed the player party at the China Open in Beijing.
In the interview with Boat International, Rafael Nadal talks about how boating makes him feel “free”, what he does first thing in the morning when on board, and many other things…
What are your first memories of being on the water?
I don’t remember the first but I have a lot of great memories being with my family and friends, spending days on the water around Mallorca, and crossing to Menorca and coming back the same day.
Growing up in the Balearics, do you think you were always destined to love the sea?
Well, that’s my world. I have always lived near the coast, between Manacor and Porto Cristo. My father, ever since I was a kid, had a small boat and I loved to go out with the boat and dive. Every time I have the chance, I come back to Mallorca and get on the water. I have always loved the feeling of adventure a boat offers you. You feel free.
You’ve owned Beethoven, your Monte Carlo Yachts 76, for a year now. What were you looking for in a boat?
I visited a lot of different yachts, and the MCY 76 seemed perfect for the kind of life I like to lead on board. The use of space is different and unbelievable. The main saloon is totally open and not like other boats where there is a living area, then a closed galley and a separate helm position. I like the fact that I can sit in the saloon and see out the front; it makes the boat feel bigger. The aft cockpit, too, feels bigger than on other yachts in the class. The same goes for the flybridge. I love the exterior, of course, but the interior is also very important because it’s like a house for me. Even if I am staying in Porto Cristo, I sometimes come on board and live here.
Did you make any specific customisation requests?
I changed the main saloon a little bit, and opted to move the galley to the lower deck. I added an extra sofa at the back of the saloon in place of the standard dining table. With the doors open, it’s a great place to sit and you really feel in touch with the water. You only use an interior dining table in winter; in summer, you can eat on the aft deck, up on the flybridge or on the bow. [For] when we do want to eat inside, I had a removable table inserted. I spent a lot of time thinking about this solution, which also means we can swing the TV out and watch it from the aft cockpit. After dinner, if the weather is good, I like to stay outside and watch TV. I think this is perfect.
Have you owned boats previously?
We have a Riviera, which we use for fishing. My father uses it the most. Before the MCY 76 I had a Princess V62. I enjoyed that boat, but this is another step up.
How do you use the boat?
Lots of different ways. Even in the winter, for example, I finish training at three in the afternoon and I say “OK, I’ve done enough”. I check the weather and if the conditions are good I say to my captain “Let’s go!” and we spend the afternoon on the water. I put my neoprene on and go snorkelling in the bay, I have dinner and sleep on board. The next day, early in the morning, I come back to port and head to training. I do that a lot. When I have more time I love to go for whole weekends or even for a whole week. But I’ve only had the chance to do this once or twice.
Do you bring other tennis players on board?
Andy Murray came and used the boat with his team for a few days, but I wasn’t on board. I have been on board with Feliciano López, Marc López, David Ferrer and Juan Mónaco. A lot of the Spanish players come here to practise and we always go out on the boat. I was with the footballer Fernando Llorente on the boat last week. Everybody who comes on board is always very happy.
Have you got a favourite corner of the boat?
It depends on the time of day. I love the flybridge – the views are fantastic. The bow lounge is amazing, too. When I bought the boat I wondered about installing some handrails around this area, but the yard told me: “You can do it if you like but we don’t believe it’s necessary.” They were right – you don’t feel like you might fall off. I like to relax here when it is not too warm during the day.
Do you use a captain, or helm yourself?
I have a captain. I need a captain, since I am not here all the time. My captain is a great friend, ever since I was a kid. When I come home and sometimes my friends are working, my family is working, my girlfriend has to work, I just go out with my captain. I don’t have the licence but when I’m there with the captain I do like to drive the boat. In fact, I love it.
Do you keep a lot of toys on board? Continue reading “Here’s why Rafael Nadal loves his yacht so much”