Jacqueline Bourey reacts to the controversy over the Cannes Yachting Festival

Cannes Yachting Festival

3 months after the Cannes Yachting Festival, Jacqueline Bourey delivers to BoatIndustry her version of the history of the Cannes Yachting Festival and her feeling on the controversy that marred the 2017 edition.

In 2017, the Cannes Yachting Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary. While a legal proceeding is in progress between Reed Exposition and the Fédération des Industries Nautiques who are fighting over the ownership of the Cannes boat show, each of the parties presented its version of the show's history to the media. Jacqueline Bourey, who ran the show from its creation in 1981 until 2001, had not yet spoken publicly. She chose BoatIndustry to break her silence.

For what reason did you choose to break the silence you had kept since the beginning of the polemic over the organization of the Cannes Yachting Festival?

Jacqueline Bourey: I wanted to set the record straight about the Cannes show. I was very surprised by Annette Roux's open letter which distorts the truth. So I wanted to react. I couldn't do it sooner because of health reasons, so I'm doing it now.

So what do you think is the history of the Cannes Motor Show?

Jacqueline Bourey: I was never just the technical organiser of the show. I created the Cannes salon in 1981 with my personal funds. We knew that the town hall of Cannes was thinking about a boat show. We went to see Mr Cornut-Gentille's deputy, the mayor of Cannes. We agreed and were able to start the exhibition. The fact of being known by the Paris show made things easier. After some time, we asked for the patronage of the Federation of Nautical Industries, which is normal, but we cannot say that it is the FIN which asked for the creation of the Cannes show. Moreover, she never paid a cent for the organization and we never gave her anything. We can even say that at the time, the FIN was not very enthusiastic because it was more a show of importers than of manufacturers, with many Italians. She was afraid that it would harm the salon in La Rochelle, but in the end it was more in Genoa that it did harm.

In 1998, I sold the show to Reed Exposition because I could no longer invest to continue developing the show. I stayed 3 years as president, then it was I who asked that Annette Roux succeed me.

What are your relations with the different parties today?

Jacqueline Bourey: I had always had an excellent friendship with Annette Roux. I haven't seen him for a long time, having completely left boating. Similarly, I have not had any contact with NIF since I left the lounge. As for Reed, Mr. Algoud, the former president, contacted me a few months ago, explaining his difficulties with the NIF. I told him exactly the same thing about the history of the show as I did today. The discussion between Reed and the NIF is their problem! I just don't want to distort the truth.

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