Pendennis Shipyard hired the Red Arrows for a display over Monte Carlo to help celebrate their 20th birthday

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team brought the Monaco Yacht Show to a virtual standstill this afternoon with a typically stunning display over the packed Port Hercules.

This clever initiative was the brainchild of Pendennis Shipyard’s Toby Allies who was looking for a way to celebrate the yard’s 20th birthday and entertain guests at the world’s leading showcase for superyachting. He certainly got the show’s attention and in the RAF’s 90th anniversary year the display was all the more significant.

With guests enjoying a champagne reception on the harbour’s breakwater the nine strong Hawk team thundered down from the hills above Monaco and burst over the bay taking the crowd by surprise. The half hour long display started with some precision formation flying and then, as the RAF commentator put it, they performed some ‘rock ‘n roll’ aerobatics including sequences like the Palm Tree and Synchro Split, Lancaster Roll, Shuttle to Diamond Chicane and Bend, the Corkscrew, Mirror Roll and a whole lot more.

The Hawks which at time looked perilously close to each other as they roared across Monte Carlo’s waterfront, had the crowd a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ as red, white and blue smoke trails smothered the fleet at anchor and left the crowd in awe. There was a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye as Britain’s best did their bit to the delight of the show goers.

A range of companies from the successful Superyacht UK Group, including titles from our own publishing group – Yachting World, Supersail World, Superyacht World and Superyacht Business – got behind the Pendennis initiative and the yachts on show and their crews showed their appreciation by emitting elongated blasts on their horns and klaxons which must have been heard across the border in Italy.

Organising an airshow like this takes some doing in a foreign country and long negotiations with the French authorities over airspace and altitude restrictions – one sailing yacht at anchor in the bay was reportedly asked to move because her mast height was deemed a hazard – were needed to pull it off.

Those interested in requesting a flypast or display can download further advice and request forms from the RAF Red Arrows website
It’s also worth pointing out that the Red Arrows have performed more than 4000 displays in 53 countries and fly in recognition of some 3000 RAF servicemen and women deployed around the world including two combat theatres in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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