By David Robinson

Five superyachts, including one over 100m (328ft) in length, are expected to visit Sochi Grand Marina for the 2014 Winter Olympics which start next week. The yachts are coming from Turkey and the US and among them will be the 49m (161ft) superyacht M.M.

The marina opened last October with berths for up to around 230 craft. Konstantin Saschenko, marina development manager, told SB: “We can accommodate yachts of 12m (39ft) and less, to 50m (164ft) and in exceptional cases up to 100m (328ft).

“No special rates for guest yachts are introduced,” he adds. “All of them will enjoy the standard high-season rate while resident yachts will have the low-season rate 1. Yachts of all types and all sizes can be provided with concierge services.”

Saschenko tells SB: “Sochi Grand Marina is owned and operated by the commercial seaport of Sochi JSC, which is a subsidiary of Novoship (an oil-shipping company). Novoship is a member of the Sovcomflot group, the world’s largest tanker fleet operator. Since the new marina was built, it has had several resident superyachts (4-5 each year). Before that, the old harbour of Sochi seaport, which served as a marina for 50 boats, accepted superyachts as well. Besides those who are resident, our guest-boats included the Samar.

“When the 108 meter yacht comes, it will probably be accommodated in the new harbour of the seaport,” Saschenko adds, “but not because the marina cannot accept it. It’s because the quayside dedicated for yachts of such class will be occupied by a Russian tall ship, the 105m (345ft) Mir.”

Currently most of the berths in the marina are taken by Russian owners and of these 70 per cent are local ones. As for the future, Saschenko comments: “At the moment the marina is fully finished but further expansion is possible. After 2016, when it is full, we plan to install more pontoons to expand it to 300 berths.”

The pontoons in the marina were supplied by Marinetek and SF Marine.