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Big Pimpin'

Pioneering carbon race boat builder, international yacht broker, Admiral’s Cup-winning skipper and helmsman, creator of the Hanse Yachts brand and now founding director of the award-winning YYachts shipyard… Michael Schmidt is one of the sailing world’s great all-rounders with several careers’ worth of experience packed into his five decades at the cutting edge of marine industry innovation. But why on earth did he go back to the hard graft of establishing a new shipyard when he could be enjoying a well-earned and comfortable retirement?

‘Well, a few things came together,’ he says. ‘If like me you have sailed all your life, virtually since birth and then built thousands of sailing yachts, you have a certain wealth of experience. You have an idea of how a yacht should sail, what a good interior should look like and how the technology should work. When I had time a few years ago and was looking for a boat for myself, there was nothing that came close to satisfying me. So I started to have a yacht built according to my ideas. Lorenzo Argento and Sir David Chipperfield designed the 80-footer Cool Breeze together with me.’ Read on.