Winning Smile: Rafa Nadal on his 80 Sunreef Power (Part 1)
An island boy at heart, Nadal has spent his whole life in Mallorca, where the Spanish tennis icon now spends his free time on his new 80 Sunreef Power, Great White.
You can take the boy out of Mallorca, but you can’t take Mallorca out of the boy. Except that with Rafa Nadal, you couldn’t even take the boy out of Mallorca.
Despite becoming one of the greatest tennis players of all time and one of the world’s most famous sportsmen, Nadal has lived his whole life on the Spanish island where he was born. He remains a home boy, attached to his friends and family, his beloved island and the sea.
Nadal, 34, has talked of wanting to get back to the tennis court since the ATP Tour was suspended in mid-March, less than two weeks after he won his 85th singles title with his third career win at the Mexican Open. However, the arrival of his new 80 Sunreef Power in June has enabled the energetic Spaniard to make the most of his time away from the court in the last few months.
Soon after Great White was delivered to Mallorca, Nadal boarded the huge powercat at Club Nautic Porto Cristo in Manacor with a group including his father Sebastian, younger sister Maria Isabel (Maribel) and wife ‘Xisca’, whom he married in Mallorca last October, the pair having been dating since they were teenagers.
The hard-working Spaniard – whose punishing training regime and phenomenal fitness helped take him to the top of the sport – was soon on board in a T-shirt, shorts and cap, among those cleaning the boat and scrubbing the decks before taking her out.
Covid-19 has enabled Nadal to spend spring and much of the summer at home for the first time since he became a touring pro, and his first forays with Great White were around Mallorca and fellow Balearic Islands Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
“Because I’m from an island, I find it difficult to imagine my life without the sea, so I’m very excited about this boat, also because I’ve never owned a catamaran before,” Nadal says in an exclusive interview with Yacht Style.
“I’ve been able to spend so much time with friends and family this year, so having the new boat here has been a great opportunity to stay together in a positive atmosphere.”
Nadal has been boating with his dad since he grew up on the island’s east coast in Manacor, where he was born and still lives. When Nadal was young, his father had a small speedboat and today Sebastian owns a 34ft Australia-built motor yacht that they share.
“Since I was a kid, I fell in love with the sea. I have a lot of great childhood memories of going out on a small boat with my family and friends. We usually went out early in the morning and came back late in the afternoon. Those are very nice memories,” says Nadal, who has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles including 12 French Open crowns.
More recently, Nadal owned a Princess V62 and an MCY 76 before buying Great White, which measures 80ft in length and has a beam of almost 38ft. Such luxury yachts are a world away from what he could imagine owning when he was a young, although it’s less surprising that he made his living from sport.
His uncle Toni Nadal was a tennis pro and the man who famously groomed him into the ‘King of Clay’ with unprecedented success in the French Open and other clay-court tournaments, although Nadal has also won four US Opens and one Australian Open on hard courts, and two Wimbledon titles on grass.
When young, Nadal also aspired to become a pro footballer like his other uncle Miguel Angel Nadal. ‘The Beast’ earned 62 caps and played in three World Cups for Spain, and won five La Liga titles with Barcelona in-between two spells with Mallorca.
“When I was young, I was super happy with this small boat that my father owned and I never dreamt about owning any type of boat,” says Nadal, who became a professional tennis player at the age of 15.
“Of course, later I wanted to have my own boat, but the main thing I had in mind was to continue doing what I did when I was a kid, just with a little bit more comfort. I still just want to share great moments with my friends and family and discover the ocean, discover beautiful places that we have here around the island and visit different countries.”
SNAPPING UP GREAT WHITE
Nadal has been a regular visitor to the Sunreef booth at the Cannes Yachting Festival in recent years and was very familiar with the brand ahead of buying his first yacht from the Polish shipyard.
“I’ve known Sunreef Yachts for years and my impression of the company has always been great. Since I visited their catamarans for the first time during the Cannes show years ago, I always thought catamarans have amazing advantages because of the amount of space you have on the boat and the comfort is unbelievable,” says Nadal, who won the men’s singles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has a record 35 ATP Masters 1000 titles
Ironically, Nadal was inspired to buy a large powercat after seeing the Sunreef 80 sailing catamaran on its debut at Cannes in 2018. Although he was blown away by the size and finish, he was more interested in a power catamaran so he had more control over how quickly he could get away and back in time for training or other appointments in his hectic schedule.
Notably, he also had to assess whether the future powercat version could fit in the Porto Cristo marina near his house. “When I saw the Sunreef 80, I said, ‘Wow, that’s huge! I went inside and loved it. I also knew it was the biggest boat I could have in the small port of my village,” says Nadal.
“I asked Sunreef if they produce a power version, because today I don’t have a lot of time for sailing. Sometimes I like to go and come back on the same day or next morning to keep practising, so when Sunreef presented the project of the 80 Sunreef Power, I fell in love.”
Note: Part 2, including photos of Great White’s interior, will appear on www.yachtstyle.co
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