The 51st annual Antigua Charter Yacht Show opened yesterday, and the sense on the docks was that the show felt smaller and quieter than last year.
With about 25 fewer yachts and uncrowded docks, the show seemed that way. But this is the West Indies where the pace is more relaxed and deadlines merely suggestions. All visiting Europeans, Americans and others must remember to wind their watches to island time.
Captains and crew weren’t bothered by the seemingly slow start.
If their yacht was a repeat visitor to the show, they explained the low number of tours by saying brokers most likely visited new yachts first.
If they were new to the show, they reasoned that seasoned brokers were just flying in yesterday and not expected on the docks until today.
If they were in Falmouth Harbour (the farthest marina from the show’s registration desk at Nelson’s Dockyard), they explained the clear docks by saying the brokers must have started viewing yachts in the Dockyard.
The slow start is a bit of a tradition, captains and crew said, and most fully expect the show to awaken beginning today.
“It’s always like this on Monday,” said one captain on a 56m yacht. “It’ll be busy by Wednesday.”
There was some news yesterday. Palma-based E3 Systems launched its new 4G LTE service at the show, enabling guests on yachts to watch streaming live video with no buffering delays and watch multi-channel IPTV in HD as well as speed up response time for Internet uses and quicken downloads.
“It will improve the quality of communications for every type of yacht, owner, guest and crew,”
said Roger Horner, managing director of e3. “It is very fast, has massive data limits with no excess charges and covers all the main yachting locations.”
Also, Camper and Nicholsons has used the show to announce that it will bring Alison Rentoul, also known as the Crew Coach, in-house to work with the crews on its charter yachts.
She’ll create and implement original crew professional development projects to help crew deliver better charters. The company is hosting the breakfast seminar on Friday about the topic and then offering a full day of seminars for its fleet of captains, chief officers and chief stews.
There is more news to come, including a look inside M/Y Nassima, the new 49m yacht built by Acico Yachts. The yacht arrived just before the show in Antigua and wasn’t quite ready for viewing on opening day.
We are on island time, after all.