Interview / Cannes Yachting Festival: What actions to bring sailing enthusiasts to Port Canto?

Cannes Yachting Festival © Abracadabra Studios

The Cannes Boat Show, a new version, will open its doors in September 2019. The success of the move of the space dedicated to sailing yachts from the Old Port to Port Canto will be the focus of all the attention of the yachting industry. The show's commissioner, Sylvie Ernoult, defends the measures taken to ensure the success of the operation.

Less than 2 months before the opening of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019, the curator of the Cannes Boat Show, Sylvie Ernoult, answers our questions about the investment of the organizer Reed Expo, to promote the new sailing area in Port Canto.

You have entered into 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, provided they enter through the doors of the sailing area in Port Canto. They will be able to pre-register on the Internet to get back home faster or fill in a form with their license number on site. They will then have access to the entire lounge. The idea is to inform all sailing enthusiasts in France about this new space in Port Canto. We welcome tall ships from 10 meters, but we want to reach all sailing enthusiasts, even those who do not sail on large boats. We had few links with the FFV and the sailors before.

Beyond FFV Sailing, we also have an operation with the general public, not licensed. All visitors who return through the sailing area in the morning between 10am and 11am will have their entrance free. Cannes is now only the show for large motoryachts. We want to make it known and for people to 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 sailing in the morning.

What investment does this represent?

There are more than 50,000 visitors and it is not clear exactly what percentage of FFV sailors and sailboat enthusiasts are FFV licence holders. We cannot give any figures. Even if you see it as a loss of revenue, to attract visitors that satisfy visitors and exhibitors, it is worth it.

What about the Diam 24 trimaran regatta? What do you expect from it?

It is a communication issue. We couldn't make the hardware, with the space and infrastructure, without the software to make it live. The historical sail exhibitors come and play the game of moving to Port Canto, it was necessary to bring content with animation. There will be 5 boats and 4 races per day for 2 days, offshore, outside the dikes. We will 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 boarded in VIP offers for exhibitors and visitors.

Regatta of Diam 24

The shuttles between Port Canto and the Old Port were at the heart of discussions as soon as the sail was announced. What means are 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 show is the crossing (NDLR: pontoon opening in the middle of the Old Port) which creates a bottleneck. With departures outside the port, on the cruise ship, at the superyacht quay and on the Max Leboeuf quay which welcomed sailboats, it works.

What would be the success of the sailing area in Port Canto? For what purpose?

There is no target. Success is the satisfaction of the exhibitors in the sailing area. And an exhibitor is happy if visitors are happy and buy boats. The success will be their smiles from Sunday evening to closing time.

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