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Cannes Yachting Festival 2023 Review: Europe's largest in-water boat show an unmissable marine event

by Cannes Yachting Festival 22 Sep 03:56 PDT
Cannes Yachting Festival 2023 © Cannes Yachting Festival

The Cannes Yachting Festival ended on Sunday 17 September after six exceptional days. In the idyllic setting of the French Riviera, 705 5- to 50-metre boats (motor, sailing, monohull or multihull), including 130 world premieres, were presented by the largest French and international boat builders.

Alongside them, the latest equipment and accessories, and service companies (architects/designers, interior fittings, institutions, marinas, etc.) exhibited on the outdoor quays and in the Palais des Festivals. The 55,000 visitors to the quays of the Vieux Port and Port Canto discovered numerous innovations, whether in water or on land, which serve developing the sea economy and protecting the maritime space.

"The 46th Cannes Yachting Festival has just closed its doors under the best auspices. This year we reached a record with 705 boats and 55,000 visitors from all over the world (more than 130 countries). From the first days of the show, we got a lot of positive feedback from our 610 exhibitors, who were very satisfied with sales generated and visitor quality. Many eco-friendly innovations were showcased in all areas of the show, and our visitors made good use of the "Green" route and appreciated it. The new, in-water area for small boats from 8 metres long also found its audience. We are proud and pleased with these results, which acknowledge our efforts to continually meet both our exhibitors and visitors' expectations as best we can," Sylvie Ernoult, Director of the Cannes Yachting Festival explained.

A visit around two ports to see all those involved in the yachting sector

The Vieux Port is entirely dedicated to those in the motor boat industry, and featured more than 540 boats this year.

The Jetée and Super Yachts Extension brought together international boat builders, including the legendary Benetti, Custom Line, etc. In total more than 70 yachts over 22 metres long were displayed.

On the other side of the traversante, Quai Max Laubeuf presented around twenty power catamarans in water, including impressive boats measuring up to 24 metres long and 12 metres wide, with more than 70 small- and medium-sized monohull boats (rigid and semi-rigid) also exposed on land and in water.

Remaining in the Vieux Port, in the Palais, the Luxury Gallery brought together an exclusive selection of well-known or more exclusive brands, artisans and high-end services.

For the first time the Vieux Port accommodated around fifty small 8- to 12-m boats exhibited in water in a new marina near the areas displaying the RIBs and "100% electric or hybrid" boats. Also on the Pantiero, more than 90 equipment manufacturers exhibited alongside boat builders making small and medium-sized boats.

Quai Saint Pierre presented a selection of speedboats, all vying with each other in terms of design and technology.

At the other end of the Croisette, the new sailing boats were moored in Port Canto in a dedicated area displaying 115 10- to 30-metre boats, including around thirty making their world debut. A magical setting for a sailing ambience! In this area, visitors were also able to explore the Start-up Village, designed in partnership with Mer Angels and BNP Paribas Banque Privée, which showcases innovations in the sector. From a surfboard made using seaweed to a solution providing assistance at sea, or a water purification process, 12 gems came to present their solutions for making the yachting world even more attentive to yachting enthusiasts' needs and their expectations, particularly in terms of preserving the planet.

On the other side of Port Canto, visitors were able to admire the 48 large second-hand yachts on sale or available to rent, including 9 large sailing yachts. Water toys were displayed in areas on land, which are constantly developing towards sportier, more technical and eco-friendly products with a higher design spec.

Activities in Port Canto

The exhibition organised activities in Port Canto from 5 pm to 7 pm for the first time. After the toys demonstration, musicians took over to start two "Happy Hour" hours, enabling exhibitors and visitors in the Yacht Brokerage sector to finish off the day in a social, festive atmosphere.

A marine industry that is increasingly green

As the season's first international boat show, the Cannes Yachting Festival teams are in the front line to see the growing efforts various companies in the marine industry are making to reduce their carbon footprint. Boat builders love the sea and in turn are very concerned about preserving the marine ecosystem and nature in the broadest sense of the term. Equipment and engine manufacturers also join them to find solutions for energy efficiency and savings.

By following the " Green Route " which clearly identifies the products and initiatives that are moving in this direction, visitors were able to see the evolution that is under way and admire technological gems using "greener" propulsions: propeller and/or engine design to reduce energy consumption, particle-scrubber filter solutions, rotorsails or turbo-sails, 100% electric or hybrid thermalelectric propulsion, LNG or bio-LNG, E-fuels, etc.

The Cannes Yachting Festival also witnessed the first Posidonia Alliance launch event. Made up of public, private and NGO actors, Posidonia Alliance aims to establish the conditions for a strong and visible collective dynamic, capable of raising genuine awareness of preserving Posidonia among citizens, elected representatives, boat enthusiasts and all those involved economically and socially on the French Mediterranean coast. RX France, via the Cannes Yachting Festival, has joined forces with the Fédération des Industries Nautiques (French Federation of Nautical Industries) within the Posidonia Alliance.

Inauguration with David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes

Just like every year, the Cannes Yachting Festival was honoured to welcome the Mayor, David Lisnard. He came to inaugurate the show in the presence of Hugh Jones and Michel Filzi, Presidents of RX Global and RX France respectively, Sylvie Ernoult, Director of the Yachting Festival, as well as Jean-Paul Chapeleau, Chairman of the Fédération des Industries Nautiques and many officials. After cutting the traditional ribbon, the Mayor went to meet exhibitors in the Vieux Port.

A new development project for 2024

During this 46th edition, management members of show organiser RX France presented the project for the September 2024 edition to exhibitors. The project for the next editions was prompted by the major renovation and modernisation plan for the Vieux Port that is being carried out by the City of Cannes and the new port operator, Marina Vieux Port de Cannes (MVPC, made up of IGY Marina and the Fayat Group). To take into account the development, some of the exhibition areas on land and in water that are currently in the Vieux Port will be moved to new areas in Port Canto. The 2024 show will therefore extend even more in Port Canto, which will be able to accommodate more boats around a new loop that will make visits easier.

Acknowledgements to partners

For the 2023 edition, the Yachting Festival had the pleasure of accommodating prestigious partners: Textron Aviation, Roche Bobois, ByMyCar, Mer Angels, BNP Paribas Private Bank, Louis Roederer, Fathom, North Sails, Wajer Yachts, Pantaenius, Pixelight, Mercury and Yamaha.

Moving towards a lighter carbon footprint

The Cannes Yachting Festival, supported by RX's global policy working towards making the ecological transition by improving its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, has taken several steps over the past two years:

  • many documents, which are usually printed, have been digitised (the visitor map is included in the show catalogue, the show access passes (tickets and badges), etc.),
  • use of recycled and/or recyclable materials (furniture from the press Villages made of recycled and recyclable cardboard, carpets from the aisles and stands can be recycled, and most of the show signage is recyclable).

Undertakings by the show restaurateurs, service providers and exhibitors join these measures.

The Festival also works closely with the two ports, respecting their "Clean Ports" certification and their "active biodiversity" commitments.

This year, for the first time, GREEN BEE UPCYCLING went to see exhibitors during set-up and take-down to raise awareness of sorting waste, complementing communications sent out before the show. At RX France's request, it was also responsible for finding companies interested in the materials used at the show and prepared to recover them to recycle them, such as the brushed cotton used for the tents, which can become fuel in construction.

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