Supposed Owners Of Abandoned Superyacht Want Their Big Boat Back

The superyacht Alfa Nero docked in Falmouth Harbour in Saint Paul Parish, Antigua, on Wednesday, April 20, 2023. It’s been more than a year since the Russian superyacht Alfa Nero all 267 feet and 2,500 gross tons of it was abandoned in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua. Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

Jalonpnik – When the 265-foot Alfa Nero finally sold for $67.6 million at action this past June, we figured that was it; the orphaned superyacht had finally found a home.

Unfortunately for the government of Antigua and Barbuda, however, that is not the case.

We’ve been following the fate of the Alfa Nero since officials first began seizing Russian oligarch-owned superyachts at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia received strict sanctions from the international community for its act of aggression against the country.

This resulted in Russia’s monied class losing some of their biggest and bestest toys.

Many of these superyachts are owned by shell companies owned by different shell companies in order to protect assets.


When this scheme didn’t exactly work, wealthy Russians scattered with some leaving their big boats right where they were parked.

The Alfa Nero — with its six staterooms, helipad and crew quarters that can squeeze in 28 personal — is one such boat. U.S. officials figured out that the Alfa Nero was likely owned by fertilizer magnate and sanctions list rockstar Andrey Guryev, the 25th richest man in Russia.

The Alfa Nero has been parked in Antigua since the start of the invasion.

The small Caribbean country was paying $100,000 a month just for the general upkeep of the Nero (and that’s not counting crew costs and dock fees.)

When no one came forward to claim the boat Antigua held an auction, and gave the owner of the yacht 10 days to claim their property in March.

When no one came forward, the Alfa Nero was seized by April and was on the auction block by June.

The winning bid of $67.6 million came from ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and actually bumped up the entire nation’s GDP by four percent. As you can imagine, the country is eager to unload this boat and get the cash. Only now there is a new wrinkle, according to the Daily Beast:

“This whole damn thing has been like a Tom Clancy novel,” Darwin Telemaque, chief executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, told the London Times last month. “And I’m stuck in the middle.”

But just this month, another obstacle appeared: Guryev’s daughter, Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, who lives in London with her hedge-fund manager husband Alexei Motlokhov.

(The two recently caused a stir for trying to build a massive playground in the backyard of their $6 million, five-bedroom home, which neighbors deemed “more like a theme park.”)

In an appeal filed July 12, Guryeva-Motlokhov claimed she is the sole beneficiary of the trust that owns the Flying Dutchman, and thus the rightful owner of the Alfa Nero.

In her appeal, she claimed that the Antiguan government did not have the right to sell off her property and that the auction had been improperly executed, according to the Antigua Observer.

Her attorney, David Dorsett, told the Observer he intends to fight for her right to the superyacht, adding: “We just want our boat back.”

“We think the action of the government in taking possession of the yacht and selling the yacht is wrong on all levels,” he said.

“It is not the government’s yacht; they cannot just take it up and sell it to somebody else.”

For one, I think Guryeva-Motlokhov is right; its incredibly unfair for some foreign government to waltz right in and just take someone else’s property.

Perhaps she could take this philosophy up with her own government back home in Russia.


The government of Antigua and Barbuda counter filed against Guryeva-Motlokhov, saying the fertilizer magnate’s daughter has no standing to demand the Alfa Nero back.

For now though, Schmidt is stuck without his big boat (well, his second big boat) and refuses to pay Antigua and Barbuda until the boat is delivered.

The small country is scrambling once again to force the deal and get the Alfa Nero off their books.

The whole thing is a huge mess.







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  1. A huge mess indeed. I bet Antigua never bargained for this. Again the haste at which Antigua approached this divest and sale is coming back to haunt us. Like this is not going anywhere anytime soon

  2. @the author.

    Sis/madam. You cannot use the words ” abandon” and “seized” in the same sentence to describe what led to the sale of the Alpha, it’s one or the other and simply cannot be hot, period!

    I am really really tired of the journalism in Antigua.
    Get it right or don’t publish it at all,it only adds to the confusion that’s already out there and affecting the very public you are supposed to protect.

    Educate the people properly, and stop trying to blind them further to the truth. Smdh.

  3. Ship it or sail it or tow it or pul it or let the waves push it to the closest USA port of call !!!! Long term the war will be over and no more income from the USSR and they wont return to Antigua. Maybe we can ship to St.Kitts lol

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