Two shows, two countries, and a great start to the season!

Two shows, two countries, and a great start to the season!

Did the start of the European charter and brokerage season have a spring in its step? Whatever you do outdoors, the weather has a very big part to play in your overall feelgood factor.

On April 6, Antibes was bathed in sunshine for the set-up day and this remained a constant for the entire 5th Antibes Yacht Show, which ran from the April 7-10.

SYW has supported this ‘start of the season’ show for the past four years and I use it as a barometer for the rest of the year; on this occasion, there was a clear rise in confidence among the broking community.

Charters were booked and several brokers informed me that some very exciting contacts had been made. The enormous Lürssen MY Dilbar was not in the show, but certainly formed a super backdrop along the quay from the scores of yachts presented by some of the best charter brokers in the business.

The Mayor of Antibes M. Leonetti opened the show and honoured M. Rayon (AYS honorary president from 2007 ). That evening plans revealing a new extension to the International Yacht Club Antibes were presented, and officials decided to rename Le Quai des Milliardaires to Quai Camille Rayon – a justified gesture as M. Rayon is the creator of the IYCA.

This year, two large marquees replaced the previous year’s small tented villages, giving the show’s 13,000 visitors shade from the spring sunshine. Within the marquees you could find a diverse group of exhibitors (180 in total), providing everything from yacht insurance and fenders to gourmet food provisions – in fact, everything but the kitchen sink, although I do remember there was a company manufacturing sinks!

Antibes, we miss you already, and year on year you grow in stature – à tout à l’heure!

Just a month on, and it was time for the MYBA Boat Show in Genoa – though I remember it rained on every day of the show in 2010 and I was not looking forward to another bout of deck-shoe trenchfoot!

As I headed through Gatwick North Terminal looking for the departure gate, I was hoping that I had packed enough waterproof gear. But it was a very warm Sunday afternoon in Genoa that greeted me as I bought my bus ticket to the hotel. So, the weather looked promising and I now looked forward to Monday for the start of MYBA Boat Show, which ran from May 2-6.

Day one was hot and I wondered about using the umbrella for shade rather than rain! A total of 79 yachts were presented stern-to along the Marina Molo Vecchio, the Aquarium Quay, and the new Marina Fiera which was accessed by ferry and a shuttle bus.

The quality of the exhibiting yachts was exceptionally high, with a number of new yachts having only just left the yard. It was good to see some long-time private yachts that were now available for charter, including the very special Oceanco MY Natita.

This show is exclusively for the top charter brokers from around the world and it allows them to view the charter yachts available for the season ahead. This year 350 brokers attended along with 59 exhibitors who lined the Marina Molo Vecchio in order to display their companies goods and services. I met the gourmet provision lady again, along with marina operators and fuel suppliers.

The MYBA Show organisers work very hard to ensure the success of this unique charter show in this vast working port. I’m pleased to say the weather was hot most of the time and I returned with a suitcase full of unused waterproofs and feet any chiropodist would be proud of.

These two impressive shows set out their stall and provided an exciting start to what I believe will be a very successful year ahead.

To see photos from the Genoa show, click here.