Edition 62 – A statement that explains it all! The ACYM has been in existence for a great many years and is without doubt the forerunner of every other yacht charter show around. The Antigua Show has evolved to embody all that Yacht Charter Agents, Captains and Crew require, enabling them to network together whilst experiencing the unique ambience that these extreme vessels have to offer, and indeed Antigua itself. The yachts on the dock in Antigua form the backbone of the Caribbean charter fleet and viewing is an essential cog in the wheel for any agent wanting to offer a vessel to a client with confidence, knowing that what he has seen, touched, heard and mentally experienced is the real thing, is up to date, and that the crew really are up to the tasks expected of them.
Since that first show, way back in 1961, the Caribbean charter industry has evolved significantly and many of the vessels that now charter have not only grown massively in size, but also in value. It is not unusual today to see yachts of 100m on the dock in Antigua, that charter out at colossal sums often running into millions of $ over extended periods. If you had a client willing to invest in a superyacht vacation, it has to make sense that their agent would view a vessel before recommending it to them, and at the Antigua show it is also possible to see what other vessels have to offer. Get it wrong and not only would the client never return, litigation could well follow, and as a plus, viewing these vessels is made possible within the historic backdrop of English Harbour.
But the past few years have been tough for the Antigua Show, and other similar shows, with fewer vessels on the docks. The cause without doubt has been the recent pandemic, added to which the cost of fuel that has risen sharply. With no 2020 event, the 2021 show had a massive decrease in numbers with owners not wanting their crews to catch Covid. 17 yachts turned out, strangely the vendors and agents enjoyed the compact gathering and the yachts and crew that braved the six days of course had the agents to themselves. 2022 saw 34 yachts attend and again the feedback was very positive. What have we instore for the 2023 event, no doubt more yachts, and now that individuals have regained their confidence to travel, the turnout of brokers and vendors is expected to also grow, hopefully back to those numbers that we had grown to expect.
As mentioned above, the recent 2022 event was attended by 34 yachts and some 300 agents from all corners of the globe. Nestled along the docks were many beautiful yachts such as the recently refitted Lurssen built, 72.54m M.Y. Coral Ocean, captained by Will Kaye and Dùghall macLachlainn. Also to be seen, the 96.23m Feadship M.Y. Faith, again with rotational Captains, Luke Humphries and Nicholas Long, and the 54.86m M.Y. After You, with Captain Wesley Kriedemann at the helm. Also in attendance, but not on the dock, we had the floating legend M.Y. Christina O, which at 99.06m was the longest vessel on display, the agents, and everybody else that wanted to get onboard, had to be ferried out to her at anchor, an adventure in itself.
There were, of course, also a great selection of sailing yachts, the largest being the Dubois designed Radiance at 36.88m, captained by Fabiano Capuccini, she was followed by the 30.48m Afaet with Captain Barry Duck in command. There were also an assortment of multihulls to visit, this fleet has grown massively over the years, due in part to their shallow draught, perfect for entering the many secluded bays and reefs that the Caribbean has on offer.
All of the major brokerage houses were represented, Fraser Yachts, Y.CO, Yachtzoo, The Luxury Yacht Group, Hill Robinson, Burgess, Morley Yachts, Ocean Independence, Northrop & Johnson, Nicholson Yachts, Worth Avenue Yachts and several more.
The show was spread over three marinas, Nelsons Dockyard, Antigua Yacht Club and Falmouth Harbour and there were many functions that took place. The Concours de Chef Competition, the Superyacht Charities Sundowners Evening, The Welcome Cocktail Networking Evening, the daily Informative Hour, The Start of the Season Party, Antigua Yacht Club & Falmouth Harbour Marina Night, various Seminars, The Nelson Dockyard Marina Night, The ACYM After Show Mingle and to end the show yachts could take part in The Sail Day and take their favoured brokers for a short trip out to sea. This is not to mention the great variety of onboard events, private dinners and parties staged by the Crews themselves.
As the industry gradually regains its confidence, it is felt that the 2023 show will return with more yachts, many more it is hoped, that will offer visiting brokers impressive viewing and networking opportunities. Above all this should allow them to recommend, with full confidence, those yachts that they discover here in Antigua to their clients, that is what a Charter Yacht Meeting is all about!
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