The Riva Trophy, held in Monaco last weekend, was a triple celebration: 170 years of the Riva boatyard; 50 years of the Aquarama; and 90 years for Carlo Riva, who transformed the Sarnico boatyard into the iconic brand it is today with his range of mahogany motor boats.

The three days of festivities included a rally between Monaco and St-Tropez, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco and won by Aquariva Gucci Rivanya, while the ‘Be as Beautiful as your Aquarama’ parade was won by the crew on Rombouts ahead of the 1970 Aquarama Super Gala. Participants enjoyed a sixties-themed gala evening at the Monte-Carlo Beach while a grand parade of 30 Aquaramas in the bay paid homage to their designer, who totally reinvented the art of boating for pleasure.

“I don’t know what to say – I am so deeply moved!” said Carlo Riva. “My first thoughts go to Prince Rainier, who introduced me to the real Principality of Monaco in the late fifties. And then they go to Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, who did me the great honour of coming to greet me this weekend on my Aquarama Lipicar IV. Riva’s history is intimately linked to that of the Principality, thanks to the Princes, who have always been open to initiatives and encouraged the development of recreational boats, making Monaco the reference in terms of yachting,” he added at the Riva Trophy prizegiving.

The twin-engine Aquarama was first produced in 1962, with the prototype brought to Monaco that summer for her first sea trial – the test driver was head of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli. Thus began the irresistible rise of the Aquarama as the must-have tender. Owners included film stars from Ingrid Bergman to Brigitte Bardot and more recently George Clooney, as well as industry magnates and royalty.

The event was organised by Monaco Boat Service in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco and Credit Suisse. Carlo Riva concluded: “I would really like to thank the Yacht Club de Monaco and all my clients as it is because of them that I have been able to follow my passion and my dream. That is what has kept me so young!”

For more images of the Riva Trophy 2012, click below