More than 200 superyacht captains and other industry professionals from the yachting world attended the 18th Benetti Yachtmaster event in Castelfalfi, Italy this year, making it one of the best-attended gatherings of industry professionals organised by a private shipyard.

The three-day networking event, which ran from February 7-9, was attended mostly by superyacht captains, but also engineers, industry operators, journalists and suppliers of crew and onboard services. The event opened with a presentation by Benetti general manager, Christos Ramnialis, who described Benetti’s growth strategies and how Yachtmaster plays a key role in them.

“Yachtmaster has become, year after year, an essential part of Benetti’s development strategy,” said Ramnialis. “Tackling subjects such as training for captains and their crew has the twin benefit both of helping professionals who must keep up-to-date to offer efficient service, and of helping Benetti learn about the perspective of captains and crew. This constant feedback is what allows us to grow and improve.”

There was a packed programme of workshops and conferences at the event, with speakers discussing everything from charter guidelines in the Mediterranean to social security contributions for seamen in France.

The most successful workshop based on its popularity was called ‘Cyber Security’, featuring a demonstration by international cyber security expert Cal Leeming. Another popular workshop was ‘Leading Millennials’, with Karen Passman from Impact Crew and captain Luca Triggiani in the roles respectively of moderator and panellist.

In addition to B2B meetings that involved live demonstrations organised by the event’s official partners, there were also live interviews with three superyacht captains.

Maria Grazia Franco, captain of a 72m (236ft) VSY, explained to the public how a woman can make it in the industry and arrive to command large yachts, and gave suggestions on how Millennials can break into the industry and be successful.

Roberto Cuomo, the captain of M/Y Skyler, the third Fast 125’ unit built in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, offered insights based on his vast experience and technical knowledge about a high technology yacht.

Ed and Mary Krieg, respectively captain and chief engineer, presented a photo report on their storied career sailing around the world onboard a Benetti Classic.

Benetti is part of Italy’s Azimut-Benetti Group. The company designs and builds composite motoryachts from 95ft-140ft, as well as custom steel and aluminium yachts from 164ft-240ft.