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France. The Grand Pavois de La Rochelle celebrates 40th edition

Friday, 20 April 2012

A 40th anniversary edition in 2012!

A story closely related to boating history.

A 2012 poster that honours the visitors

The Belem will attend Voiles de Nuit

The Guest of Honour 2012: Brazil

The Grand Pavois, international in-water boat show, will be held from 19th to 24th September 2012 at the Port des Minimes in La Rochelle. More than 850 exhibitors are expected on 100,000 m2 of exhibition space. 300 boats will be exhibited afloat among 750 vessels attending the show. Brazil will be the guest of honour. "The one for real fans", the Grand Pavois offers a unique opportunity to try the boats at sea before purchasing. The Grand Pavois is one the 5 leaders for international in-water boat shows.

Back to the history...

In 1973, while the oil crisis was going on, four of La Rochelle's boatyard pioneers decided to react and create the basis of an independent professional association that were aiming to coordinate and promote the interests of the local boating industry. They, then, launched the association the Grand Pavois, that was aiming to create an in- water boat show where it will be possible to meet the heads and executives of most boatyards and to test the boats at sea.
They were Henri Amel, Roger Mallard, Michel Dufour and Fernand Hervé. Henri Amel was a boatyard’s founder and an experienced yachtsman. His vessels, that were named after type of winds, were already well-know and successful. Roger Mallard, boatyard manager, sold 750 copies of his Écume des Mers in five years, more than of them half for export. Michel Dufour, as for he, invented the counter-moulded hull, a process that he used in the manufacture of his famous Sylphe and Arpège. Fernand Hervé, is one of La Rochelle's emblematic figures, he mastered the made-to-measure production and that includes the moulds that were used for series production by the other yards.

Unique in Europe and almost unique in the world of exhibitions, the Association Grand Pavois is still governed by professionals for professionals. The show, meets with the expectations of French and International markets, it highlights the quality of French production, European and global interests and shows the multiple skills of small boatyards that are very likely to choose the Grand Pavois as their annual trade fair.

From yesterday to nowadays ...
Years pass ... and are - fortunately - not alike! Also, since 1973, the attendance of both visitors and exhibitors has rocketed.

In 1973, 34 exhibitors attended the Grand Pavois that was set in front of the Forum des Pertuis - Quai du Lazaret. There were 64 boats on display on the water and moored at two pontoons. And 3,709 visitors came to this first show from 21st to 24th September. What about today? In 2002, the symbolic number of 100,000 visitors in 6 days is reached. A symbolic figure that will be exceeded or almost reached every year since. You should know that in 2012, more than 100,000 visitors are expected and 850 international exhibitors from 38 countries should attend. We expect 750 boats with 300 boats afloat.

The Grand Pavois' visitors: aficionados!

According to a survey conducted by the La Rochelle’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, nearly 70% of the visitors stated that they practised water sports and among them, 43,5% own their own boat. 32% of them reported visiting the show with the intention of buying a new boat, 35% of powerboat for owners and 30% of sailboat owners. Seeing the new boats and products is the visitors main motivation and all of them say that the main attraction of the boat show is the afloat exhibition, but also areas like the Wood Village, the guest of honour's pavilion, or the Beach... The Grand Pavois remains the meeting place for enthusiasts: it is its strength!

The Grand Pavois fans are honoured on the 2012 display!

If most of the international boat shows annually value the products, very few pay tribute to their visitors. This will be the main communication axis of the 40th Grand Pavois.

The concept? A portrait photographer took pictures of the Grand Pavois's visitors during the 2011 boat show. Nearly 400 portraits were taken in six days. After an initial selection - by a panel of marine professionals and communication jury - of 40 portraits, the visitors of Paris Boat Show elected four pictures in 2011. These four portraits will be seen on the communication and advertising campaign celebrating the 40th edition of the Grand Pavois.

An emotional 40th edition…

The exhibitors’ private party, the anniversary book, the presence of boats that participated in the very first Grand Pavois in 1973... A special "Voiles de Nuit", the pyrotechnic show on Saturday 22nd of September for the general public! In addition of several surprises that are already planned, there will be a huge one in the outer harbour that same night, the exceptional presence of the Belem: a magnificent example of French heritage that will stay in the Bassin des Chalutiers for several days.

Brazil guest of honour in 2012
Brazil is back! Already guest of honour in 1997, Brazil will - once again - be celebrating alongside the Grand Pavois in 2012. The presence of Brazil as the guest of honour is part of a major international promotion process, led by Embratur to promote the country as a nautical tourism destination. After having doubled the number of foreign tourists in five years, Brazil prepares its "golden decade" in terms of tourism and international reputation, particularly in international sporting events as the host of the Football world Cup in 2014 and the summer Olympics in 2016.

Mr. Marco Lomanto, Director of products and tourist destinations for Embratur (Brazilian Tourist Board) explains: "We are very pleased to be invited as the guest of honour at the Grand Pavois 2012. Our wish is to develop nautical tourism but also to develop economical bonds between our two countries. We have a massive potential for tourism development linked to water sports and we would like to take advantage of our participation in the Grand Pavois to promote them. We also want to develop our institutional relationships but also business by attending the Grand Pavois. For us, the Grand Pavois is really a unique opportunity to promote destinations in Brazil." 


Name: The Grand Pavois

Venue: Port des Minimes - La Rochelle - France

Dates: From Wednesday 19 to Monday 24 of September 2012 from 10:00 am to 07:00 pm

Exhibitors: 850 from 38 countries

Boats: More than 750 boats displayed with 300 afloat

Guest: Brazil

Characteristics: Villages and themed areas, sea trials, news and World previews…

Visitors: 100,000

See  La Rochelle images

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 April 2012 )