As former head of the Cannes Boat Show and with three years as CEO of Camper & Nicholsons under his belt, it’s little wonder that Eric de Saintdo felt well-placed to start up a yacht show of his own. The result is Cannes Collection, an exclusive gathering of the world’s most desirable superyachts, prestige cars, helicopters, real estate, fine watches and more – which kicks off today and continues until Sunday.

So what is it that Eric felt was missing from the already crowded yacht show market? “It’s the first time there’s been a show here like this in June,” he explains. “It’s a good time for new buyers who want something last minute for the summer.” Add to this the diversity of product and the fact that almost everything at the show is available to buy there and then, and the result is a new, diversified offering, specifically targeting owners.

Eric de Saintdo

"The Monaco Yacht Show is one of the best shows in the world,” continues de Saintdo, “but it’s become industry focused. Do you think most owners are interested in engines or electronics? They have a chief engineer or a captain to take care of that. If they go to a show they should be able to buy something – whether that’s a boat, a helicopter or a car. Even when you’re at a show like Top Marques, you can’t do a sea trial on a 50m yacht and then go straight to the helicopter. There’s a big difference. Everything is grouped together.”

Despite a promising start and a decent number of yachts in attendance including 47m Heesen M/Y Sirocco, 50m Amels M/Y Malibu and 46m Palmer Johnson M/Y Blue Ice, de Saintdo is realistic about the inaugural edition. “It might take four years before we start making money, but we are prepared for that," he says. “My experience has enabled me to see both sides of the story and I now know what both brokers and owners want.”

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