Bright Sun Over The Hamburg Ancora Yacht Festival
Bright Sun Over The Hamburg Ancora Yacht Festival
Three days at the sea, and the water enthusiast knows again what really counts: the 5-star ancora Marina in Neustadt/Holstein presented itself for the Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival at its best last weekend, attracting 15,572 visitors to the exhibition grounds from Friday, 12th to Sunday, 14th May. Over the three sunny days the excitement for this year’s water sports season rose amongst the public and exhibitors alike.
Dealers and yacht representatives were delighted with the highly interested visitors exploring the yachts, many qualified questions were answered by exhibitors in the pagodas tents and the lectures on the two stages were just as busy as the fun sports trials offered on the beach.
Heiko Zimmermann, founder and MD of the organiser, Yachtfestival365 GmbH, stated after the three busy days that included two long party nights: “I am happy all around. The weather has of course played into our cards. The predicted gloomy outlook in the boat market was not noticeable at the Yacht Festival. We were told by the boat exhibitors of the very high quality of their visitors that came with a purchase intention and even unexpected sales. Our section about innovation in water sports, such as e-engines, was also well received.”
The introduction of ticketing in the 14th year of the boat show led to a small drop in visitors compared to last year, but for exhibitors this was more than outweighed by the high quality of the audience. “For us, ticketing has the advantage that we can accurately measure the number of visitors and better direct the flow of visitors,” said Heiko Zimmermann. “Our exhibitors were also able to invite customers and interested parties in a targeted way.”
Especially on the Saturday, the exhibition area with 180 moored sailing and motor boats on the pontoons, the exhibitors in 90 pagodas tents as well as in the modern exhibition hall offered plenty for everyone. Visitors strolled through the 5-star marina, headed for the yachts, enjoyed themselves in the event area on the beach and the offerings at the food trucks and even danced into an early summer evening at the concert in the harbour. “It was a great atmosphere. On the beach, fun sport enthusiasts had as much fun sailing, foiling and e-boarding as spectators in deck chairs. And in the harbour, the whole world of yachting lifestyle opened up. We have already been told that this is the Cannes of the North,” said Heiko Zimmermann, who was pleased to receive much praise – and also recognition from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, which has recognised water sports as a central element of tourism in the state. Thus, Julia Carstens, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Labour, Technology and Tourism in Schleswig-Holstein, came to help open the boat show on Friday.
Unanimously, the exhibitors from Germany and neighbouring countries reported very good discussions with their customers, from whom many purchases are expected in the post-fair business, in addition to the contracts signed during the show. Visitors came not only from the region, but from North Germany as a whole, Scandinavia and other European countries.
The location of the Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival in the Bay of Lübeck is perfect, especially for the Baltic Sea region, to develop the market in Northern Europe. This not only confirmed the show’s status as the largest in-water boat show in Germany, but also makes it one of the largest shows of its kind in Northern Europe. Visitors an exhibitors left on Sunday evening fulfilled and happy with the knowledge that their participation was worth their while – and more. The next ancora Yachtfestival will take place from 31 May – 02 June 2024.
Exhibitor comments on the Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival:
Mattias Evald, Marstrand Yachts, Sirena: “With the introduction of entrance fees, more people now came who had a genuine interest and also respect for the boats. This has been good for us. Being able to show the yacht here on the water gives the interested visitors a very different feeling than in indoor fairs. We are happy with our participation.”
Richard Gründl, Gründl Bootsimport: “The entrance fees have not affected the number of visitors for us. From our point of view, this is the most beautiful fair after Cannes. Regionally, the appeal is enormous. Internationally you can grow it bigger because the range of exhibits here really deserves an even bigger international audience.”
Maxim Neumann, Hanseyachts AG: “A super, well-organised trade fair. The priceperformance ratio is right and the timing is well chosen. Perhaps the future belongs to the in water fairs, but the weather of course also played along perfectly this weekend.”
Nils Heyde, Lagoon Catamaran Nord: “In Northern Europe, the Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival is one of the most important trade fairs and very much wanted by our group. It’s good that the boat show has caught on here. We would even like to stay one or two days longer in the marina. Everything was perfectly organised, including the online booking options. And if there was cause for criticism, it was immediately taken up and implemented. We see it as a general mission for all of us to bring people to water sports. That’s why we’re also happy about the great event area on the beach.”
Tomas Svensson, Shogun Yachts: “We sailed here from Stockholm with our two yachts. That was already a great opening of the season. But the days here in Neustadt were also perfect. We had great interest for our boats, especially the quality of our full carbon yachts with high comfort interested our visitors very much. Our world premiere, the Shogun 43, was very well received.”
Thomas Hougaard, Nordship Yachts, Faurby: “It was super. Of course we were lucky with the weather, but the quality of the visitors was also particularly high. The introduction of the entrance fee has resulted in visitors coming who really want to see the boats. These are real truly interested parties. We are happy about this concept, so the number of people on visiting the boats was good and worth talking with. For yachts, the show is a dream with many brands coming together.”
Falk Morgenstern, First Class Yachting, Fountaine Pajot: “Ticketing allowed us to write to our customers in a very targeted manner and send out tickets. This has proven to be very successful. But we also had spontaneous visitors on board. If we have boats ready next year, we want to come back.”
Thomas Nielsen, Yachtsport Eckernförde, Saare: “The atmosphere was good as always. That surprised us given the general, political conditions. The customers were euphoric. We had an international audience, even from the Czech Republic, who came to us very specifically. Already in the past we could assign many sales to this fair and we expect the same now.”
Dines Pontoppidan, Diamond Yachts, Saffier: “Especially on Saturday we had a great day with many customer meetings. The entrance fees ensured that we had a pleasant frequency on the boats. The organisation went very smoothly. We are happy to be there again.”
Arne Petersen, AP Yachting, Bavaria, Arcona, Nautitech: “It was much better than expected. The organisation was great. We liked it. We are very happy, even though our three brands ran differently. We still have to evaluate the interest for the Nautitech catamaran. For Bavaria, we want to keep the participation like this in the future, and the interest in the Arcona yachts was so good that we want to expand the participation.”
Sven Heinze, Sail and Surf Pelzerhaken: “We were represented for the first time directly on the beach with our sailing and surfing offer. That was cool. The afternoons on Saturday and Sunday worked well. We had a total of 52 taster courses taken. The link from the beach event area to the fair area could be improved a bit, so that the visibility to us is a bit bigger. But we also invited people directly ourselves in advance, and that worked well.”
Andreas Medicus, Hamburg Yacht Insurance Schomacker: “We are very satisfied with the new concept. Last year there were maybe a few more visitors, but that didn’t bother us at all. Saturday in particular was strong.”
Adrian Zühr and Thorsten Franz, Firmenich Bootsversicherungen: “A very good show, we will be back next year. And we also plan to come to Wedel for the in-water Boat Show in September.”
Hasso-Christian Höher, Pantaenius Yacht Insurance: “We held talks in a very good mood. That was certainly also due to the weather. An inwater boat show is something special for the customers and offers us a great opportunity to present ourselves. Due to the introduction of the entrance fee, the number of visitors was slightly lower than last year, but the customers were very interested in our product and knew what they wanted.”
Olivier Christen, Bernhardt Apparatebau (Secumar): “We are thrilled with the event. The atmosphere was great. The topic of safety is important to us and has found a broad framework here at the Hamburg ancora Yachtfestival. We are always in the direct vicinity of Pantaenius and like to use the synergies that arise from this. It has been shown overall that the water sports industry works very well together at this fair.”
Oliver Wiegand, German Sailing Association: “We are satisfied with our performance. The weather was fantastic, which is of course always important at an in-water boat show. The visitors came in a good spirits and they had very specific concerns. Nice conversations developed from that.”
Volker Martel, Elvström Sails Travemünde, Christian Thiele, Elvström Sails Fehmarn: “The quality of the visitors was better than last year. We had fears because of the introduction of the entrance fee. But it went well this year – maybe also because the weather was so good. Let’s hope it continues like this in the coming years.”
Oliver Leu, Oleu Watersports: “The fair showed it: There are still sailors, water sports enthusiasts – and also summer. The choice of date was a stroke of luck. We enjoyed it.