The building of a legend
Aello was designed in 1919 and launched in Hamburg in 1921 by Max Oertz, probably the most famous German shipbuilder of his time. Oertz built the famous imperial schooners Germania and Meteor IV for German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Meteor IV competed against King George’s V legendary Britannia and was used as a political tool by the Kaiser. Indeed the Kaiser played an important part in the creation of prestigious yacht clubs and the launching of international regattas.
Aello was created as Meteor’s IV sister vessel and is the only remaining large schooner of Max Oertz design in the world. Aello was build for the account of Greek merchant and art lover Antonios Benakis a descendent of an illustrious Greek family of Alexandria, Egypt. Antonios Benakis left behind him a legacy of Museums, art collections and in 1934 founded and became the first president of the Yacht Club of Greece.
Aello was the first yacht member of the Club and to this day one can see engraved on her beautiful bronze wheel the initials of the Yacht Club. When Antonios Benakis decided to move permanently to Greece he made his historic return voyage from Alexandria onboard Aello. After many years of sailing on the Mediterranean Sea, Aello was eventually acquired by a Baron and Admiral of the British Empire who began a lengthy voyage around the world that spanned over many years.
Aello was sold after the World War II and was subsequently abandoned in a mud-berth in England. Although she lay there for nearly four decades, the mud where she rested on had the fortunate characteristic of preserving its hull.
A new era
In 1985 Aello’s fortunes turned for the better as she was discovered by New Zelander Cameron Chisholm who did not resist to her elegant lines as he saw her laying abandoned in the river. He acquired her and undertook a lengthy restoration that lasted for more than four years and was carried out in Bristol and Southampton by Britain’s most skilled craftsmen.
The very wood from which this rare schooner was entirely refitted has a history of its own. Indeed the wood used was salvaged from a vessel that sank in 1917 that was carrying a cargo of Burma teak, an exceptionally rare and beautiful wood. The Burma Teak found in the bowels of the ocean was used to completely rebuild Aello and grant her a new breath of life, bringing her back to her former glory.
Part of her uniqueness stems from the fact that she is the only yacht worldwide that is build entirely, both hull and interior cabinetry, with this precious wood for the last 50 years. After a few voyages to Malta and the Mediterranean, Aello was acquired for a short period of time by an Italian sailing lover who took her to the Caribbean and the Pacific traveling via Panama.
In the 90’s Aello found its way to Maine and Fort Lauderdale of Florida, the largest sailing port of the United States as she was acquired by a member of one of American’s most famous families of industrialists. There she was groomed and perfected to become the ultimate racehorse, winning many international regattas.
After many voyages on the American coastline and expeditions across the Atlantic to take part in races, Aello founds it way back to Europe.
S/Y ‘Aello’ today
More than eighty years away from its original home, Aello was at last acquired by a Greek ship owner and art lover who brought her back to Greece were she enjoys her former glory, sailing under the Mediterranean Sea and sun.
Today Aello is the queen of the Mediterranean Sea as she is the only schooner of her size bringing together such history, incredible craftsmanship, speed and unparalleled beauty.