Less than 2 months before the opening of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019, the commissioner of the Cannes Boat Show, Sylvie Ernoult, answers our questions about the investment of the organizer Reed Expo, to promote the new sailing area of Port Canto.
You have formed a partnership with the FFVoile. What is the principle and what is the purpose?
The principle is that the Cannes Yachting Festival offers entry to all FFVoile licensees, on condition that they enter through the doors of the sailing area in Port Canto. They will be able to pre-register on the internet to get in faster or fill in a form with their license number on the spot. They will then have access to the entire lounge. The idea is to inform all sailing enthusiasts in France about this new area in Port Canto. We welcome tall ships from 10 metres upwards, but we want to reach all sailing lovers, even those who don't sail on big boats. We had few links with the FFVoile and the sailors before.
In addition to the FFVoile, we also do an operation for the general public, not licensed. All visitors who enter the sailing area in the morning between 10 and 11 am will be offered free entry. Cannes is now only the show for big motoryachts. We want to let people know and let them come and discover the sailing area. We know the inertia of people and the habit of coming to the old port, we want to regulate the flows and attract people to the sail in the morning.
What kind of investment does this represent?
There are more than 50,000 visitors and it is not known exactly what percentage of FFVoile licensees and sailboat enthusiasts. We can't give numbers. Even if you see it as a shortfall, in order to attract visitors and exhibitors who are satisfied, it's worth the effort.
What about the Diam 24 trimaran regatta? What do you expect?
It's a communication issue. We couldn't do the hardware, with the space and infrastructure, without the software to support it. Historic sail exhibitors come and play the game of moving to Port Canto, they had to bring content with animation. There will be 5 boats and 4 legs per day for 2 days, offshore, outside the dikes. We're going to put a Race HQ and a runner reception area in Port Canto to give visibility. This will also allow one passenger per boat to be included in VIP offers for exhibitors and visitors.
The shuttles between Port Canto and the Old Port have been at the heart of the discussions since the announcement of the relocation of the yacht. What are the means in place?
We guarantee a shuttle departure every 15 minutes, working on flow and capacity with small and large boats. We already validated the technical tests last year. We created "the pipes" with the shuttle lines. We know that the critical point of the saloon is the transom (Editor's note: pontoon opening in the middle of the Old Port) which creates a bottleneck. With departures outside the port, on the Croisette, at the Superyacht Quay and on the Max Leboeuf Quay, which welcomed the yachts, it works.
What would be the success of the sailing area in Port Canto? For what purpose?
There is no numerical target. Success is the satisfaction of the exhibitors in the sailing area. And an exhibitor is happy if visitors are happy and buy boats. Success will be their smiles from Sunday night to closing time.