Oleg Tinkov was riding a motorcycle from the American town of Berkeley in San Francisco, he was returning from the birthday of a friend, where he drank vodka. On one of the corners, he did not calculate the speed, and his bright yellow Ducati Monster flew off the track straight to the ocean. Recovering, Tinkov found that the phalanx of one of the fingers literally dangles on his glove. This happened in the summer of 1999. “I’m all over-operated: knees, shoulder, neck,” admits Tinkov 20 years later. “My wife says it's time to slow down.”
To injuries businessman really no stranger. And it's not about drunk driving. In the early 2000s, Tinkov began freeriding, which, in his autobiography, calls "one of the most dangerous sports in life". The Alpine slopes quickly bored the businessman, he discovered heli-skiing: with the help of helicopters, freeriders can reach unbeaten heights around the world. Tinkov rode Alaska, Chile and Patagonia, but he loved Kamchatka most of all, where he has been spending several weeks a year since 2012. The company is made up of famous businessmen. In 2015, the founder of Baring Vostok, Michael Calvi, joined him and his partners at Tinkoff Bank on an expedition to the Kuril Islands. And in January 2019, another billion member of the Forbes list Leonid Boguslavsky (No. 95) was on the team of the billionaire who traveled 50 km to skis and bicycles to the South Pole. “I'm from Siberia, but the South Pole is really tin,” admits Tinkov. “Goed for years to come.”
In 2016, Tinkov returned from a regular trip to Kamchatka and came across a catalog of the Dutch shipyard Damen. In Russia, Damen, together with Rosneft, is developing a ship design for supplying ice-resistant oil and gas platforms. And in the catalog, which fell into the hands of Tinkov, was the presentation of the prototype of the 75-meter yacht SeaExplorer, created in collaboration with the American company Eyos Expedition, organizing expeditions to the most remote corners of the planet. The boat belonged to the category of Explorer, whose popularity in the yacht market in recent years is gaining momentum. “The demand for explorers is growing rapidly thanks to younger owners who want to explore unconventional places on the yacht, such as Alaska or Galapagos,” explains the founder of Yacht Harbor Dmitry Semenikhin. According to him, the distinctive feature of such boats is the opportunity to be on the road for a long time without refueling in ports. “Another ability is to overcome a big wave and ice, at least partially,” adds Semenikhin. Now, according to him, there are 40 such boats in the world, taking into account those that are in development. Among those launched are 72-meter-high Cloudbreak, whose owner is called billionaire Alexander Svetakov.
Tinkov caught on the idea and became, as he says, the first customer SeaExplorer. “This is the first private icebreaker in the world,” Tinkov says. His boat can be called an icebreaker with a stretch, rather an ice-class yacht. Thanks to the fortified hull, it is able to break the ice, but thin, up to 30–40 cm. In addition, the boat, capable of autonomous navigation for 40 days, has a bathyscaphe that allows you to explore the depths of the sea, four jet skis, two snowmobiles and two helicopters. The prototype was supposed to seat for only one helicopter. To accommodate the second, I had to increase the boat to 77 m.
A yacht with one helicopter cannot be called an explorer, according to Tinkov, it is not suitable for extreme expeditions. “Imagine that you are somewhere on the islands of Papua New Guinea,” he explains. - I climbed up on some mountain, and your helicopter engine died out. And to the nearest airport 10 hours of flight. And even if there is a helicopter there, it will not be able to fly so much and save you. ” In some places, the second helicopter is a prerequisite, for example, in Patagonia, heli-skiing is allowed only if there are main and reserve helicopters.
A yacht with one helicopter is not suitable for extreme expeditions. Therefore, on the yacht Tinkova two helicopters are located. A yacht with one helicopter is not suitable for extreme expeditions. Therefore, on the yacht Tinkova two helicopters are located. Photo from the archive of the press service
Tinkov did not disclose how much SeaExplorer cost him, limiting himself to a cost of over € 100 million. “There is an understanding that one meter is one million euros. I can only say: this understanding is very outdated, ”says Tinkov. “Depending on the cost of finishing, the price of explorer with a length of about 70 m and more can be € 55–75 million. Larger boats reaching 100 m and more can cost € 100–150 million,” says Semenikhin.
Why a billionaire explorer? “This is sailing, but completely different,” explains Tinkov. “This is about research, not about how to drink martinis and get around in Saint-Tropez.” According to him, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, popular with Russian yacht owners, are only 5% of the world coast. And on the remaining 95% almost no one. “I was recently in Madagascar. The nearest yacht was 1000 km away, ”recalls Tinkov. He himself plans to spend on the boat about 20 weeks a year, and take it all the rest of the time. Its explorer is part of the La Datcha project: Tinkov rents four of his houses to wealthy people in which he spends only a few weeks a year: in Courchevel, Val-Thorens, Astrakhan and Forte dei Marmi. The fifth La Datcha Tinki is building in Mexico.
In September 2020, Tinkov plans to show SeaExplorer at a show in Monaco, the main show of the world yacht market. After that, the boat will sail - a tour, which everyone can join to rent a yacht. The approximate route will pass through the Mediterranean Sea to the Seychelles and Madagascar, and then to Malaysia, in order to swim in April-June off the coast of Kamchatka and the Kuriles. There is no Northern Sea Route in terms of this yet - the commercial demand for this direction is not clear. But in January 2021 the yacht can be seen in the Antarctic.
Tinkov says he plans to dump and, with average charter prices of € 800,000 per week, take SeaExplorer La Datcha for € 690,000. He says that one of the Russian Forbes participants are asking to rent the boat for six months right away, and Bill Gates is interested in the possibility charter for three weeks.
The project La Datcha Oleg Tinkov devotes about 80% of his time. Only 20% remains at the bank, but the billionaire is calm: he says that he has a brilliant team of managers. The project La Datcha will get a finished look, if the villas and the boat are supplemented with its own island, he dreams. Tinkov was looking for options, but so far unsuccessfully. “Let it remain a dream, a person should have a dream,” Tinkov says. - Maybe I will sail in a boat and swim to some Papua - New Guinea or New Caledonia and say: “Damn! So here he is paradise! La Datcha should be here. ”