Published: Friday, 26 April 2013
Mike Fulton

The 7th Antibes Yacht Show closed its door on a very successful note. The organisers were happy that attendance has kept on growing. Over 15, 000 people visited this year. Buyers from China and the US came for the sole purpose of seeing what special vessels were showcasing this year. 

Fewer Exhibitors But More Visitors At Antibes Boat Show

The event ran from April 18 to 21 on the docks of the old harbour and at the Antibes Yacht Club. The footprint of this year’s show was smaller, but this was expected, as the organizers took the decision to concentrate on boats of over 20 metres and so smaller boat makers were missing this year. Despite this, the show attendance still grew. 

"I think the show was better because we focused on the larger yachts," Muriel Penoty, the show's organizer, said after the show. "Not being so spread out was better for the exhibitors, and it also meant there were fewer curious visitors and more quality prospects."

Fewer Exhibitors But More Visitors At Antibes Boat Show 1

Most exhibitors seemed busy during the show. "We met with some good potential clients, including some Chinese people who made an offer on one of our yachts," said Foulques de Raigniac, a broker with Gaspard Yachts. "It wasn't as busy as last year, but we had more concrete activity."

The International Superyacht Society (ISS) held all-day seminars on Friday on issues impacting owners and their crews. Nearly 100 people attended the closing sessions. There were also seminars and recruitment sessions for visiting crew held at the crew lounge.

A new chef lounge was established this year where a Michelin-recognized chef, from Gourmet Deliveries, met with yacht chefs and participated in some of their scheduled activities.

Vicem’s 46-metre Vulcan flagship, the only new boat there, was officially launched at the show. "We chose the Antibes show as our launch point, rather than waiting for Cannes or Monaco, so that the boat would be seen before summer," said Sebahattin Hafizoglu, Vicem’s chairman. "We also felt Antibes was a good backdrop for a superyacht of this caliber. It fits right into the Côte D'Azur."

Fewer Exhibitors But More Visitors At Antibes Boat Show 2

The highlight of the show was the Prestige Yacht Auction, held on Saturday afternoon. Styled like a fine arts auction, with a professional French auctioneer and a live television feed to the Star Deck in Monaco, the event succeeded in selling the 77.7-metre expedition vessel Lone Ranger, as well as creating post-auction bids on various other yachts.

Lone Ranger was reportedly the only yacht sold by show's end, though the auction put Oracle Star on the radar screen of multiple buyers. "After the auction, the boat had three bidders who brought the price 22 percent higher than its reserve price," said Tim Morley, the Monaco-based broker. "Within 48 hours, a deposit was paid on the boat."

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Morley, who plans to hold the auction again during the Monaco show, reckons it could become an annual event at the Antibes show.

The show organizers were very happy to help The Water of Hope Association through their raffle. The Association collected €1,975 which will represent seven drinking water wells for the children of Cambodia. Great thanks were again given to Air France for their very generous first prize for the raffle.