Grand Pavois Organisation’s Board of Directors (an association managed by yachting professionals since 1973), is forced to announce today – Wednesday, August 26 – the cancellation of the 48th Grand Pavois La Rochelle, due to consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Grand Pavois Organisation has been working on the Covid-19 protocol since March 16 (start of the French’s lockdown) and has always followed, anticipated and adapted its sanitary rules to the Government measures. The boat show map has been modified as well with the suppression of the halls, a one way strolling on the pontoons and in the alleys has been set up together with people’s counting at the entrances to respect the number of people on-site, the respect of the barrier gestures was to be recalled by signage all over the boatshow, masks and hydro-alcoholic gel has been purchased… to be able to open the 2020 event in the strict respect of the imposed measures.
Grand Pavois Organisation was also the first nautical event to announce the complete deposit and options refunds if the 2020 boatshow had to be canceled because of the Covid-19.
At the end of July, fairs and events were allowed to be held again without gauge constraints as of September 1. But the Prime Minister Jean Castex’s announced – on August 11 – a new maximum gauge of 5,000 people gathering until the end of October – at least – with the possibility for Prefects (French officials) to exempt from this measure.
Grand Pavois Organisation presented all of its procedures in due time together with a precise implementation boatshow’s map and the sanitary protocols for all of the event’s publics (organisation, visitors, exhibitors, service providers, etc.) to the local and prefecture authorities. A request for exemption to obtain a gauge to welcome more than 5,000 people was also made on August 13.
This request for exemption was rejected, forcing the Grand Pavois Organisation’s Board of Directors to cancel the 48th edition, on Wednesday August 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm. The boat show was scheduled to take place from Tuesday, September 29 to Sunday, October 4.
See you in 2021
Grand Pavois Organisation is looking forward to seeing you in 2021, for its 49th event, from Tuesday September 28 to Sunday October 3.
Statement: Alain Pochon, President of the Grand Pavois Organisation Association:
“This cancellation is painful for our association and for all our exhibitors who expected the Grand Pavois La Rochelle to launch their 2021 season. We had many reasons to be satisfy by the forthcoming boatshow with an interesting number of novelties presented and many quality highlights at the event. We had scrupulously anticipated, many sanitary measures to propose a serene and qualitative 48th edition, but it so happens that the current state of the pandemic, its worrying immediate future and, of course, the 5,000 people gauge forced us to cancel this edition.
It should be noted that we already have an average of 2,500 exhibitors, staff and service providers on site every day. A gauge of 5,000 people would give us the possibility to welcome only 2,500 visitors at a given moment. I remind you that we usually welcome about 80,000 visitors within 6 days.
Thus it is impossible to imagine that we will reach these number in the actual situation. It is unthinkable to leave out visitors carrying an invitation or having bought a ticket and ask them to wait outside for a long time period, because the quota of visitors is reached on the site.
Also remember that we may be banned from opening at the very last moment even the day before the event due to the pandemic or a local cluster of active virus! This is a risk that we cannot take, for both the exhibitors who invest for their presence as well as for our partners and the visitors, many of whom come from all over France and Europe.
On behalf of Grand Pavois Organisation, I would like to thank all our institutional and private partners who remain loyal to our event. Thank you to Jean-François Fountaine, Mayor of the city of La Rochelle and President of the Urban community of La Rochelle, who was very involved with us, so that the boat show could take place. Thank you to the department of La Charente-Maritime and its President Dominique Bussereau that also gave us their unfailing support. Thank you to La Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine as a faithful partner as well. Finally, I would also like to thank the Prefecture of Charente-Maritime, with whom we have had regular contacts.
Also, considering this exceptional situation and the profound upheavals that this health crisis is bringing to our lifestyles and consumption behaviour, Grand Pavois Organisation will already start working on the 2021 edition, which will inevitably be different from what we have ever known before.”