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The Superyacht Forum Live - Pacific Tour wraps up in style

A truly inspiring few days along the Pacific Coast of Canada raises key issues and poses real solutions…

Flying out to British Columbia is an experience in itself. The connecting flight from Vancouver to Victoria Harbour on a 60-year-old De Havilland Otter, a single-engine seaplane, is worth the price of admission. Expertly hosted with famous Canadian hospitality by Victoria International Marina, we were fortunate enough to have a diverse and fascinating group of delegates join us for the inaugural Superyacht Forum Live - Pacific Tour, and the work is only just getting started. The full Live Tour video and follow-up discussions will be published in the coming days. 

My geography is pretty good;  I've spent a long time looking at maps and charts, and thought I had a passing knowledge of the North West Coast, despite never venturing as far north as British Columbia. Speaking with captains and spending time on the water with owner Steve Sidwell onboard SY Ascente (as well at significantly faster speeds with the team from Hurricane Ribs) gave me an appreciation as to how much one misses when looking at large-scale charts. The coastline in this region is fractal in its detail, and the cruising is as close to limitless as anywhere on earth. 

The Forum gave the chance for a group of highly influential industry stakeholders to bring their unparalleled levels of experience together. I must admit that I find the use of the term Blue Sky Thinking frustrating at times in this industry. Vague ideas of how the industry must change are too often spoken about and not followed up. Attendees at events are often spoken at, and not with. The Pacific Tour was different.

One of the most passionate and supportive advocates for the region is Ted McCumber, Managing Director of Feadship USA. One of the first to sign up for The Forum, McCumber, a long-time captain and former resident of the area, was a fountain of knowledge, and he shared his impressions from a few days in the Canadian wilderness.

"The Forum was incredible. What was interesting and what I really took away from it was the diverse group of people and their ideas. We all came together and it was so much fun hearing everybody's thoughts about how we're going to improve the industry, develop the region as well address environmental impacts. It was such a great experience, and I will certainly come again next year!" 

Ted McCumber - Managing Director, Feadship USA 

My faith in the industry’s willingness to change wavers at times. I have heard a lot of promises before. Part of the problem is scale, and the inability to implement change across an entire industry at once. The Pacific Tour gave us the chance to narrow the focus, and collectively frame and address a localised issue, with solutions that can permeate the wider industry.

The question was simple - How do we bring more yachts to this region, and in doing so, convey the positive economic impact while addressing the environmental consequences of their visitation? Providing a sustainability template that can help reframe the perception of yachting globally. 

Eleanor Briggs (left) - Head of Marketing & Creative at Arksen, local partner at The Forum

Representatives from the Cayman Islands and Marshall Islands Registry provided their input from the flag state perspective, key suppliers such as AkzoNobel gave their insight, and representatives from shipyards like Lurssen and Feadship added invaluable feedback.  Locally operating owners interjected with their decades of experience operating in the region, creating an immersive experience that developed a true mission statement and objective for the region, with lessons that radiate through the superyacht sector. 

Legendary explorer Victor Vescovo joined us via video link from his most recent expedition into the deep heart of The Pacific, challenging the delegates to push for more scientific research on board the fleet.

Victor Vescovo, and Rob McCallum, of EYOS Expeditions, join via video link from the latest Caladan Oceanic expedition.

Locally based designers, such as Greg Marshall and his team gave us a glimpse of the future with their use of augmented reality headsets, allowing the delegates to experience a full digital walk-through of an engine room design.  Laying down the marker by asking, can we bypass the drawing stage of design entirely?

Far from another event confined to conference rooms, the majority of The Forum was spent in break-away sessions in the pristine Canadian wilderness and on the water, because, why not?

Final break-away session at Island View Beach Regional Park

The full Superyacht Forum Live - Pacific Tour video will be published in the coming days, along with the follow-up discussions tackling the issues raised. As we look ahead to the next iteration of The Superyacht Forum Live Tour, ensure that you have secured your Executive Membership. There will be a diverse range of events globally, and of course, in British Columbia again next year. 

 

Profile links

Victoria International Marina

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