By reorganising the show with motor expanding into Le Vieux Port and sail having Porto Canto to itself, the festival kept its essential DNA while also offering a more objective structure for its 611 exhibitors.
As we all know, the crossover between sail and motor is rather limited, so with the new format, visitors could target motorboat, yacht, or sailing yacht without having to waste time – or boat shoe sole – and not at all if they made use of the extensive land and sea shuttles.
Even with the major changes, the festival kept its soul. Le Vieux Port had 480 motorboats and yachts on display stretching in length from a two to 48 metres. The Pantiero terrace housed boats from 14 to 20 metres. The RIBs were at the centre of the show, while Quai Max Laubeuf hosted the brand new village dedicated to outboard and in-board engines.
The total number of monohull and multihull sailing boats rose to 128 (from 10 to 65 metres) with 119 new yachts in the new Sailing Area.
It takes a lot of confidence to change a tried and trusted format, especially with Europe’s leading in-water boat show and when Sylvie Ernoult, Director of the Yachting Festival first revealed the new concept at a press event at last year’s show, there were more than a few surprised faces, but it was a win-win situation all around for 2019.
“The shipyards’ demands for more in-water space to be able to exhibit more boats in even better conditions were met with over 400 linear metres of quayside dedicated to monohulls and over 400 metres dedicated to multihulls,” Explained Ernoult.
“On land, the Yachting Festival’s loyal sailing exhibitors and the builders and equipment manufacturers in this sector shared the 4,000sqm quayside area offered by this new space, twice the surface area that was available in 2018.”
Also to found at Porto Canto were the brokerage and toy areas. Here you could buy or charter a yacht, or take a look at the large collection of jetboards, longboards and aqua bikes, including several electric models. Something for everyone was definitely this year’s festival mantra.
Shipyards take the Cannes Yachting Festival extremely seriously. So numerous are the buyers in the South of France during September, that many builders don’t even give other boat shows a look-in. Cannes is often used as a gauge to the season ahead, and if this year’s festival is anything to go by, 2020 is looking positive.