A Wally sailing yacht is instantly recognizable. They’re the ones that from ashore appear to consist of one uninterrupted line and onboard are marked by an almost entirely flush deck. Often painted in murky metallic hues, they can seemingly merge with the sea – stealth yachts that rip fast through the sea. So what marks out the WallyCento, its new range of 100-footers that as in the past are designed as cruiser-racers but with an increased emphasis on performance?

Aside from being significantly lighter and more reactive than the previous generation of Wally yachts, the Cento range will be distinguishable to connoisseurs by its unique steering wheel. Created by celebrated German designer Konstantin Grcic, the new helm is crafted from a mix of advanced composites with a carbon look finish. “Wally has a certain DNA – elegance and comfort combined with high performance,” says Grcic. “I knew the form had to have a structural logic, but also be beautiful to look at.”

Recalling Grcic’s iconic Chair One design, the new steering wheel borders on sculpture but follows the Wally philosophy that form follows function. “The design seeks to strike a harmonious balance between performance and comfort, between rational and emotional,” he says before commenting on his ultimate inspiration: “Wally’s own brand identity was my best reference for the task."

“I wanted to give the wheel a very rational, even edgy design which would clearly express the dynamic forces of steering such a maxi yacht. The precision of its function is captured in the tapering shape of the three spokes. Their sections are designed to provide strength where it is needed and lightness where it is affordable.

- Konstantin Grcic