Blog > 2020 USVI Charter Yacht Show: What Went Down And Who Won

2020 USVI Charter Yacht Show: What Went Down And Who Won

by Mercedes Mansilla on Nov 26, 2020

2020 USVI Charter Yacht Show: What Went Down And Who Won

Due to the pandemic, and for the first time, the USVI charter show was celebrated virtually. Thanks to technology, the USVI's virtual charter yacht show allowed the judges to watch virtual tours of the yachts, as well as live interviews with the crews. The show, which took place from November 12 to November 15 at Yacht Haven Grande. It was a mix between virtual video walkthroughs and interviews, as well as the traditional in-person visits, food testing and awards celebration for local and non-local charter brokers. 

So, not even COVID was able to stand in the way of the USVI boat show! Which, thanks to everyone’s hard work, it was still made possible. Today we will show you everything you need to know: The winners, the best crew, the best food, and who’s got the best cocktails! So, next time you visit the USVI you will know what is your best bet, and charter along with the USVI with the winners. 

The Selection Process

Each crew was in charge of providing the judges with video tours of their yachts, where they showed each section of the charter, as they explained how it worked, what was new, and other interesting things. Each crew member had to record a video answering the judges’ questions, about their experience. After this, brokers and judges attended to try a selection of foods and desserts, to decide which one deserved to take the culinary prize home.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was smaller than in other years for obvious reasons. But fortunately, it lasted a few hours, where after a few words, the announcement of the winners began. Also, in the ceremony, the judges were able to test the crew’s abilities to make delicious and creative drinks. And thanks to its sponsors: Grey Goose and Captain Morgan, they were able to host the Cocktail Mixologist Competition as well. 

The Winners

Under this category, we can find the best yachts. There are three main selections: bigger (up to 66 feet or plus), medium-sized yachts (56 feet to 65 feet), and smaller ones (Up to 55 Ft), which were evaluated separately.

Best in Show (66-foot-plus): Elite

Elite is a motor boat that truly does justice to its name. It’s a spacious yacht, with a king-size bed, a VIP cabin, and two convertible twins, pullmans, and a gorgeous deck where you can relax. The living room and dining areas are also both elegant and spacious. It has a lot of space to accommodate 10 guests easily and comfortably, allowing each guest to enjoy personal space at the same time. The best thing? Their newest addition: the jacuzzi!

Elite’s Specifications:

  • Year Built: 2016

  • Size: 91.0 Ft

  • Builder: Sunseeker

  • Cabins: 4

  • Max Guests: 10. 

  • Number of Crew: 4

  • Cabin beds: 1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Twins, 2 Pullmans

About the Charter’s Crew:

Captain Gus Borlanos was born in the yachting capital of the world, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He spent much of his childhood in the Bahamas learning how to fish, dive, and navigate. He has always had a connection with the sea and was an avid sailor as a teen. After years of gaining experience, he settled in St. Thomas. With 19 years and over 20,000 nautical miles at the sea of experience, he now holds a US Coast Guard 200 Ton Master License. 

Chef Katie Saunders is very knowledgeable of local and organic food. She has a background in catering, resort event planning, cafes, and organic meals. Katie has always had a passion for cooking and hosting. With five years of experience in luxury yacht charters’ services, her culinary disciplines will astonish anyone who has the delight of tasting her food.Elite Yacht, Sunsekeer 91" - 2016

Best in Show (56- to 65-foot): 1st Place: Allure

Allure is a 64ft Privilege owner edition and it’s a premium and spacious yacht. When you enter, you can tell it’s all fully conditioned and fitted with high-end furniture and bedding. All cabins have ensuite bathrooms and luxury toiletries. It also has a space for anyone who needs to work and a desk where you can also watch the beautiful scenery. This yacht has a luxurious and peaceful vibe, and you can tell that the crew makes everything to provide you with the best experience possible.  

Allure’s Specifications:

  • Year Built: 2020

  • Size: 64.0 Ft

  • Builder: Privilege

  • Cabins: 3

  • Max Guests: 6. 

  • Number of Crew: 3

  • Cabin beds: 1 King, 2 Queens

About the Yacht’s Crew:

Captain Pierre and Chef Desree provide a luxury experience as soon as you step onto Allure. This couple has great passion and lots of experience in luxury charters. Both Pierre and Desree have worked on megayachts and they always had a passion for the ocean. Pierre also has a passion for mixology, so you can expect some delicious and creative cocktails for you to enjoy sailing the USVI.

Chef Desree has great experience in world cuisine and a passion for presentation, her food is a visual experience and it’s among the most delicate you can ever find. On top of that, she won several USVI chefs competitions for both Main entree and Dessert in 2019.

Allure-1606406646.pngAllure Yacht, Privilege 64" - 2020

Best in Show (Up to 55-foot)1st Place: Scuba Doo 50

Even if Scuba Doo is among the smallest, don’t be fooled, it’s pretty spacious and well-designed. This beauty can hold up to 8 people and it’s very luminous. It has a beautiful deck where you can relax in the sea, as well as enjoying your meals. It also has a spacious and comfortable living room area. Each cabin comes with its own bathroom and the queen-sized beds are extremely comfortable. The crew brings the perfect mix of excitement, creativity, relaxation, and professionalism, you can tell they both have years of sailing experience under their sleeves.

Scuba Doo’s Specifications:

  • Year Built: 2021

  • Size: 50 Ft

  • Builder: Lagoon

  • Cabins: 4

  • Max Guests: 8

  • Number of Crew: 2 

  • Cabin beds: 4 Queens

About the Yacht’s Crew:

Captain Charlie from Rhode Island has always been very fond of the ocean, which motivated him to become a lifeguard and diver. He joined the community of seasonal sailors racing classic 12 meters during the New England summers and diving the Caribbean in the winters. Charlie's experience in handling large yachts gave him the tools to become an excellent captain.

Chef Cammi, also from Newport, grew up sailing with her family. Raised on various sailboats throughout the Eastern seaboard and Caribbean islands, she is extremely knowledgeable of the sites and the local culture. Cammi has worked on yachts in New England, as well as catamarans in the Caribbean. Soon she started her culinary training, as she loves to experiment with local cuisines, creating delicious and healthy meals.

scubadoo-1606406704.jpgScuba Doo Yacht, Lagoon 50" - 2021

Best Crew In Show 

1st Place: Respite at Sea

Respite At Sea’s Specifications:

  • Builder: Lagoon

  • Built year: 2018

  • No Cabins: 3

  • No Guests: 6

  • Total Crew: 2

  • Cabin Beds: 3 Queens.

About the Yacht’s Crew:

Ross Matthews from South Africa has always had a passion for the ocean. On a road-trip in Australia, he found his love for sailing, and met Daniella, and made it their mission to make a life out of doing what they really loved: sailing.

Daniella Cox, from the UK, after a working holiday in Australia, realized she had a passion for sailing. Their passion for travel, sailing, and tourism brought them together. They truly deserved this price, as they always go above and beyond to make the charter personalized to each guests’ needs. 

Respite at sea-1606406748.jpgRespite At Sea's Yacht Crew

Culinary Competition

1st Place Lunch Entree: Blue Pepper

Denise and Taylor Melton, a couple from St. John, are the crew at Blue Pepper. They are hard workers and they strive to make sure everyone’s experience is something they will never forget. Such is it, that chef Denise has won the Lunch entree, with her delicious meals and her love for the culinary arts.

Blue Pepper’s Specifications:

  • Builder: Fontaine-Pajot

  • Built year: 2018 

  • No Cabins: 5

  • No Guests: 10

  • Total Crew: 3

  • Cabin Beds: 5 Queens

About the Yacht’s Chef:

Denise Melton, a several times award-winning chef at the USVI Yacht Show, was born in Brazil where she bought her first sailboat at seventeen. After 9 years of sailing experience as a yacht captain, she decided to pursue her other passion and become a chef. 

She loves Mediterranean and Caribbean food. Her cuisine has an influence from Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Brasil. She’s an incredible chef, able to adapt and personalize any menu to a guest’s taste. She also has extensive knowledge of special diets, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and paleo, etc. Her presentations are among the finest, so you can ensure her meals are on another level.

bluepepper-1606406926.jpgBlue Pepper's yacht entree

2nd Place: Elite

3rd Place: Allure

1st Place Dessert: Elite

The champion yacht Elite has done it again! This time thanks to Chef Katie Saunders. Katie is an immensely experienced chef. So, if you have a sweet tooth and a love for sailing you know exactly where to go. 

ELITE DESERT-1606406966.jpgElite yacht's dessert

2nd Place: Blue Pepper

3rd Place: Respite at Sea

Cocktail Mixologist Competition

1st Place for Grey Goose: Sea Esta

Sea Esta not only has a fun name, but it has the best drinks! Kristi and Brad have a diverse background within the charter boat and restaurant industry. Kristi’s culinary interest has also driven her to a love for mixology that really showed in the boat show!

Sea Esta’s Specifications:

  • Builder: Leopard

  • Built year: 2013

  • No Cabins: 5

  • No Guests: 10

  • Total Crew: 2

  • Cabin Beds: 5 Queens, 1 Twin

seaeste-1606407040.jpgSea Esta's yacht cocktail, 2020 USVI Boat Show

1st Place for Captain Morgan: Elite

Yes! Elite did it again! This time, thanks to the first mate, Jonathan Hardin, who not only loves sailing but who is also an excellent mixologist. Well done, Elite!

Elite Yacht, Sunsekeer 91" - 2016

1st Place Most Creative Cocktails: Blue Pepper

Our congratulations to Blue Pepper! This year they took several prizes back home! And for a great reason. This crew has always worked incredibly hard and with excellence, so they completely deserved it. Well done!

Final Thoughts

If you have missed the Virgin Island’s 2020 Boat show, then you now know everything, and we hope that with this article you find it easier to choose a yacht for your liking and according to your needs. Remember that the USVI are open to tourism and our crews are happy to receive you back in their beautiful yachts. If you want to see our available yachts to charter the USVI and the SVI click here