I am just back from the 2019 edition of the Monaco Yacht Show where it was fantastic to meet up with so many industry contacts – owners, yards, brokers, suppliers, media and more – and catch up on all the latest trends and news. Every year the display of yachts on show seems to get bigger and better and 2019 did not disappoint with an incredible line up of yachts. The stats backed up this feeling and show organisers have reported that it was the biggest show to date, with over 600 exhibitors and 125 yachts with a combined value of over $4 billion.
Three of these yachts were the recipients of the awards at 6th Monaco Yacht Show Superyacht Awards ceremony, held the night before the show. Congratulations to Sanlorenzo's Attilla, their new 64STEEL flagship, which won the MYS/RINA Awards for its RINA-compliant high environmental standards. Lürssen's TIS took out the MYS Exterior Design Award while 80m Abeking & Rasmussen Excellence received both the MYS Exterior Design Award and the coveted MYS Finest New Superyacht Award.
There is no doubt that Monaco is the most important event in the superyacht industry. It is the ultimate destination for anyone looking at buying or who currently owns or charters a yacht - there is nowhere else that such a combined display of yachts could be achieved. I enjoyed touring a wide variety of yachts including 72m Tankoa Yacht SOLO, 48m Bilgin Yacht Lilium and 49.9m Overmarine Samhan and seeing them up close.
SHOW VIEWS FROM ON BOARD SOLO
It was gratifying to hear that so many of the leading shipyards are keeping busy - at the Heesen press conference this year the yard announced to the press that it had sold the striking 59m FDHF all-aluminium motor yacht Project Skyfall. At the time of the Show Heesen Yachts had an impressive 12 projects in build totalling 664 metres. The yard also revealed a first look at their new 56.7m Project Akira - this 5700 aluminium yacht has a FDHF aluminium hull with exterior design by Omega Architects and interior design by Harrison Eidsgaard. Project Akira is a stunning design and I look forward to seeing her brought to life.
PROJECT AKIRA - Heesen Yachts
Other events included the Southern Spars breakfast which made a return this year, with the Auld Mug – the America's Cup – in pride of place. Southern Spars are one of New Zealand's most successful companies and the event profiled all the many projects the company is working on from superyachts to the America's Cup itself. It was also great to see such a strong presence from the South Pacific with a new focused South Pacific stand and individual presence from Tahiti and Fiji as well. I enjoyed learning about the planned Great Barrier Reef Census project organised by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef – giving superyachts a world-first opportunity to be a part of the important research and preservations efforts for the Great Barrier Reef. 40% of the Great Barrier Reef is uncharted so there is lots of work to do to chart it. There is no doubt that the South Pacific is fast becoming the must-do destination for superyachts, and growing numbers of yachts visiting the region reflective of that.With the America's Cup being hosted in Auckland in less than 18 months the momentum is certainly growing. Representatives of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, home of the America's Cup say that the America's Cup 2021 will be "like nothing else you've ever seen before."
MYS very much reflects the mood of the industry and it was encouraging to see some steps towards a more eco-friendly overall approach (though disappointing in many ways that they were very much baby steps). Burgess incorporated several different eco-friendly aspect to their show presence, with seating areas constructed entirely of ocean trash, and water bottle recycling stations. There was also a water bottle refill station at one of the show entrances which I made good use of and was pleased to avoid all plastic bottles throughout the show - not an easy achievement! I hope to see even more creative ways of tackling waste at next years show and continued commitment to lowering the impact of our industry upon the seas we rely on.
Thank you to the Monaco Yacht Show organisers for another incredible event. I look forward to writing several stories to come out of the show, and am already excited to attend in 2020 which will see the show celebrate its 30th anniversary.