Yacht Week began in 2008, but the idea was spawned in 2005 when a group of like-minded Swedish sailors (we might use the term sailors loosely) took a yacht across the crystal clear water that surrounds the Croatian islands. When they returned – as we all do – they posted their pictures on Facebook as a keepsake (and brag) of their holiday of a lifetime.
Within days, the group were bombarded with Facebook messages from those incredulously or jealously asking if what they were seeing was really the trip they had went on and how they could take part in the adventure next time.
That next time came when The Yacht Week was founded in 2008. Since then, the mushroom effect of interest from the Facebook and Instagram posts that are irresistibly appealing has allowed what was simply a week-long party of island-hopping in Croatia to expand to 45 routes across six countries, including Italy, Spain and The Caribbean. The Croatian routes remain the most popular, with an armada of over 100 yachts in the Adriatic Sea at any one time in the height of summer.
Jack Wills has been with The Yacht Week since the beginning too, carrying on the tradition from our humble Salcombe beginnings where the word of Jack was spread by being spotted on the backs of the seaside town’s nautical adventurers. It is common for The Yacht Week’s skippers and hostesses – as well as the holidaymakers – to be spotted in JW garms both on land and at sea. Visiting some of the most stunning beaches and hideaways in the world, it’s only right that you should look the part – after all, our brand was built on the sartorial side of seafaring.
So how does it work? Gather a crew together and choose your vessel, or buddy-up with people from around the world to join you on your sail, bring your own skipper or book one. Each trip starts with breakfast – from your on-board chef, if you like – and then sets of from its dock to the next location, stopping at coves and bays to swim off the night before, or joining other yachts mid-ocean in their now famous star formation. Then you sail off into the sunset to dock for the next party. From hedonistic all-nighters in Croatia to hiking volcanoes in Italy and sipping (throwing back) fresh Caribbean cocktails, this is not your average package deal.
The winner of our #JWTravels competition, who will enjoy a The Yacht Week trip with three friends, will be announced soon. Are you in the running? We’re already jealous of their impending Instagrams.
We managed to catch up with one of their skippers and he gave us the low down on what the week is really all about. Here’s what he had to say:
When, how and why did The Yacht Week start?
Having spent the summer skippering Yachts in the Mediterranean Founders William Wenkel and Erik Biorklund decided that the one thing missing from making this experience truly incredible were their friends. Interest was so high that they quickly saw 250 friends and friends of friends join them on what most people describe as “the best week of their life” – The Yacht Week was born. Since its origin in 2008 The Yacht Week now welcomes more than 16,000 people each summer.
We’ve worked together a few times over the years, what is it about Jack Wills and TYW that works?
Both The Yacht Week and Jack Wills champion a youthful, adventurous spirit and Jack Wills’ origins in Salcombe and its long history of supporting the local sailing culture made them the perfect fit!
What have we got to look forward to whilst holidaying on TYW this summer? What’s new for 2017?
We are launching two new routes this summer – Montenegro and Mallorca. Mallorca features the most beautiful and dramatic coastline including mountains and cliffs in the west to expansive sandy beaches in the east. Montenegro sees steep mountains covered in dense firs and cedars plummeting into the sea. Ancient fortress towns straight out of George RR Martin epics have their counterpoint in luxury developments in Porto Montenegro. Guests can expect adventure, travel and of course access to some of the summer’s most exciting and exclusive events.
We even caught up with TYW’s founder William Wenkel. He had the following to say about planning a killer summer: My recipe for having an amazing summer is simple – great friends, sunshine and the ocean! Nothing beats the sense of freedom sailing can give you!