Cannes Boatshow 2018:

I was fortunate to escape for a week from the cold Cape winter to the sublime coffee and croissant culture of the Cote de Azur for the 2018 Cannes Boatshow.

The Cannes Yachting Festival is the #1 “In the Water” Boatshow in Europe for sail and power vessels mainly between 30ft and 70ft. There are much bigger boats and some smaller tenders on display but the major brands who play in this mid-size market have their biggest range on display at Cannes. New models are launched at Cannes to the world’s boating media and the many thousands of visitors.

Port Pierre Canto, a classy marina, a 10 minute ferry ride away, closer to Juan le Pin was home to the large brokerage show for superyachts over 22 metres.

I met with the Boatshow Organisers to understand costings, availability, protocols and the potential for a South African presence in the future. The answer was a typical French “non!”. They are full. The old port of Cannes where the mid-size sail and power boats have always been displayed is 110% full, jammed packed.

However major changes are being made for 2019. Due to the fact that the old port is currently full and also due to the added demand from multihull manufactures needing more space, with new builders in the multihull sector, models for 2019 from Dufour and EXCESS (the new Group Beneteau catamaran brand) to name just two and generally more models and larger sizes of multihulls have caused the organisers to completely rethink the Show from 2019 onwards.

From 2019 the marina of Port Pierre Canto will be the home of ALL the mid-size sailboats, catamarans and monohulls plus related equipment manufacturers and service companies. Sailing boats only. It will be the largest mono and multihull exhibition in Europe. There will be space for SA manufacturers. No Rates yet but we are on the waiting list and once we have an idea of rates and timing we will circulate.

The Cannes Boatshow was extremely busy and there were many South Africans visiting, from SA designers to SA builders (trend spotting and stealing with their eyes), potential buyers, current owners, charterers and Robertson & Caine stood proud with their catamarans on display at The Moorings exhibition dock.

I also felt huge pride discovering and re-connecting with South Africans popping up as key players in the international boating scene, skippers and crew on the megayachts, owners of Yacht Management companies, well established charter brokers and agents in Europe and USA, designers, brokers, chandlery owners, delivery skippers and crew agency owners. We have an extensive network of proud and hugely experienced South Africans out there willing to share knowledge, local expertise and contacts for the good of our industry.

The Cannes Yachting Festival from 2019 onwards is worth considering.

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