Paris, a celebration of watersports

Amidst introductory session, beginners’ sessions and demonstrations this Thursday, visitors to the Nautic Paris Boat Show have had the chance to thrill at the many highlights in the colours of the Festival of Watersports. The good news is that this colour is set to last and even intensify over the coming days. Indeed, between now and Sunday, there are a wealth of surprises still to discover at the Porte de Versailles.

In the run-up to the 15th edition of the Festival of Watersports
Organised across the whole of France, on the coast, on the inner waterways and the rivers, the Festival of Watersports has become an unmissable nautical meet over the summer season. This major event is the perfect opportunity to discover the wide range of leisure activities and watersports and meet some of the various protagonists in the domain through the coming together of over 500 sites. It’s also an original way of getting to know France’s culture and maritime heritage a little better. Imbued with a spirit of conviviality, the Festival of Watersports is geared towards one and all, from beginners to old hands, the young and the not so young, sportsmen and women to ‘one-day eventers’. Prior to discovering the delights of the 15th edition of the event on Sunday 6 July 2014, the crowds at the Nautic can enjoy a number of the highlights familiar to the festival. As was the case on Saturday and again yesterday, on 14 December, between 1230 and 1400 GMT, visitors to the boat show will be able to participate in some introductory and beginners’ sessions (stand up paddle, windsurfing and then wakeboarding) at the Spot Nautic. Better still, before all that, tomorrow at 1900 hours, close to the pool in Hall 1, visitors can attend the awards ceremony for the first Watersports Festival Competition Prize 2013, in the presence of the dayboat group from the French Nautical Industries Federation, partners to the competition, and members of the Organisation Committee.

Watersports in Lower Normandy under the magnifying glass
This Thursday, on the Nautic Stage, the Lower Normandy region offered up a special ‘watersports’ debate. Among the main topics up for discussion was the range of nautical events available in Lower Normandy, offshore racing and the marine network in general. Ten or so guests were in attendance to discuss the different subjects, including Fabien Delahaye, recent winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre in the Class40 category alongside Sébastien Rogues, some local Figaro sailors and a number of protagonists involved in the region’s watersports.

Easy does it on the ‘Bato-Labo’
Usually nestled at the heart of the permanent exhibition at the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly in Lorient, the Bato-Labo (Lab Boat) arrived on the Brittany stand at the Nautic yesterday. In this way, visitors to the show had the chance to discover her this afternoon, participating in a number of experiments along the way. Among the themes tackled ‘aboard’ were energy, ropework, meteorology, navigation, sea safety, as well as food, with a little impromptu tasting session involving freeze-dried meals. A great way to totally immerse yourself in the daily life of a sailor!

DONIA wins the Prix du Bateau Bleu 2013
Colette Certoux and Yves Lyon-Caen, Vice-Presidents of the French Nautical Industries Federation and Gérard d’Aboville, President of the Regulatory Body for Sailing, Yachting and Watersports, awarded the Prix Bateau Bleu 2013 yesterday at the Nautic Paris Boat Show. The winner was the company Andromède Océanologie for their DONIA application. Free of charge the latter application enables all yachties and boat captains to position themselves in relation to the plant life on the sea bed and thus avoid dropping anchor in Posidonia sea grass in the Mediterranean. The product, now officially launched, has been developed by the Andromède Océanologie company in partnership with the Agence de l’Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse (Rhone, Mediterranean, Corsica Water Agency) and the Direction Interrégionale de la Mer Méditerranée (Inter-regional Management of the Mediterranean Sea).

Focus on Design
Design is the keyword at the Nautic 2013 as the show is keen to highlight the fine work by the country’s naval architecture and design firms by organising the Nautic Motor Boat Design Awards.

Among the plethora of models eligible for the prize some five craft have reached the final stage of the competition. The winner will be selected by a jury made up of designers: Odile Decq, Philippe Starck and Cédric Ragot. The Price of the Nautic Motor Boat Design Award will be put back on the Scene Nautic tomorrow at 7:00 pm.

The Bénéteau MC 5 is designed by Nuvolari & Lenard, which is more familiar with creating luxury superyachts rather than launches. Based in France’s Vendée region, the yard has pulled off another blinder by offering an average sized launch of very high quality in terms of aesthetics and performance. At Four Winns, the second candidate, Christophe Lavigne has come up with a bow-rider with surprisingly clean lines. The style of the interior fittings is amazingly simple, giving the boat a gigantic living space in which to accommodate up to 12 guests.

Jeanneau, with the NC14, boasts two very prestigious designers in Garroni Design and Tony Castro. The design of their launch is very dynamic and incisive and is a really well-studied concept for a functional, family living space: a single-storey living space, a huge submersible platform aft, plentiful stowage and vast double cabins.
At Prestige the 450 Fly by Garroni Design is a classic, but top of the range interpretation of the Fly launch, with its fitted-out terrace above the cockpit providing panoramic views across the water. In this way, Prestige is playing with a chic and discreet fit-out, marked by a sublime sea etiquette befitting of the Jeanneau yard.
Last but not least, the final competitor in the running for this prestigious price is the ‘so British’ Sunseeker Portofino 40. The latest sports model from this range by a large yacht designer is perfectly in keeping with the pure tradition of versatile, luxury launches able to elegantly make headway towards a remote, heavenly anchorage at over 30 knots…
In addition to these five finalists, Hall 4 of the Nautic abounds with beautiful craft, whose aesthetics are stunning. These include the beautiful M-shaped hull of the Bayliner Element, which enables her to turn on a sixpence with incredible stability. In stark contrast is the Finnish XO270 RS, which combines a sharp, ultra sporty hull below the waterline and a fully-rounded, fully-glazed wheelhouse.
The motorboat category surfing the neo-retro wave is also very well represented at this international boat show with some seriously well-designed models like the Frauscher 858 Fantom and the Bahama 24. Showcased by the Black Pepper yard in a plain version, the Bahama 24 skilfully incorporates teak for its deck and cockpit, as well as its seating and windscreen frame. The Rhéa 27 Escapade and the Numo 500 are equipped with a beautiful flared bow and stabilising winglets, they too an invitation to lap up the ‘dolce vita’ with the current.
For an even more thrilling experience on the water just take a glance at the highly responsive Malibu Wakesetter 21 VLX or the Mastercraft X46. These too are very well-studied craft with a single aim: to create ‘the’ wave which will take fans of wakeboarding and wakesurfing to seventh heaven. Indeed these new, fast-developing sports are all about surfing the wave created by the craft’s wake. No rope, no handle, the wakesurfer is as free as the air…
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