August 26 2020
It is by means of a press release that the Board of Directors of Grand Pavois Organisation has just announced that it is obliged to cancel the 48th edition of the Grand Pavois La Rochelle, for the reasons and consequences linked to the Covid-19 epidemic.
Grand Pavois Organisation had been working on the Covid-19 system since Tuesday 16 March last (editor's note, the date on which the containment linked to the epidemic began) in order to be able to hold its 48th edition under optimum safety conditions.
The organisation had always followed, anticipated and adapted its health protocols, as well as its implementation plan (editor's note, removal of the halls, direction of traffic on the pontoons and in the aisles, counting at the entrances to respect the visitor gauges in force, respect of barrier gestures, purchase of masks and hydro-alcoholic gel...) to be able to hold its 2020 edition in strict compliance with the measures imposed.
Grand Pavois Organisation, which is an organisation run by yachting professionals, was the first nautical event to announce the reimbursement of the deposits paid in connection with site fees and ancillary services if, because of Covid-19, its 2020 edition had to be cancelled.
In this sense, the cancellation of the show will not constitute for the exhibitors an outright loss of the amounts already paid.
For local tourism professionals, the cancellation of the Grand Pavois is a real earthquake, which comes just as the summer period is coming to an end.
Although at the end of July and initially, fairs and exhibitions could once again be held without gauge constraints from 1 September, the decree of 13 August last by Prime Minister Jean Castex reinstated a gauge constraint of 5,000 people until the end of October, leaving the possibility for prefects to derogate from this measure.
Grand Pavois Organisation presented all of its systems in good time, i.e. a precise implementation plan and the health protocols intended for all those attending the event (i.e. organisers, visitors, exhibitors, service providers, etc.) to the prefectural and local authorities, and a request for an exemption to obtain a gauge for more than 5,000 people was immediately made on 13 August last.
This request for exemption was refused in view of the current health risk, forcing the Board of Directors of Grand Pavois Organisation on Wednesday 26 August 2020 at 3.30 pm to cancel this 48th edition, which was due to take place on Tuesday 29 September and Sunday 4 October.
The cancellation of the boat shows is a real question mark for the professionals of the yachting industry, in particular the boat builders, for whom the shows are the first vector of unit sales.
Very clearly, and as the 2021 nautical season begins, after a very special 2020 season, which will be an excellent vintage, nautical practice having proved to be an ideal leisure activity to share good moments with family and friends in complete safety, covid obliges, the shipyards will have to imagine new ways to put their boats forward, to promote their novelties, to facilitate sales.
After this announcement, the whole profession now has in mind Le Nautic de Paris and then the Boot Düsseldorf, which we wonder if they will be able to take place.