The Monaco Yacht Show signals the end of the Mediterranean season and a preparation period looking ahead to winter cruising destinations; it also offers an opportunity for the entire AYSS organization to come together at the Annual General Meeting each year. With members in over 40 cruising regions, our AYSS member yacht agents are providing the best shore-side marine agency services available to the superyacht agency. Whether a visiting vessel needs berth reservations and immigration formalities processed or assistance with a large-scale event, detailed excursion planning, or fiscal guidance, our agents know their region and can expertly support even the most complex needs of superyacht captains, brokers, and owners. The AYSS logo symbolizes more than membership in an association; it also provides a guarantee to those arriving in port that their yacht agent meets the highest standards of operations in that region.
This year, the 2017 AYSS AGM took place at La Rascasse, just steps from the entrance to the Monaco Yacht Show in Port Hercules, and we were very pleased to welcome 27 member representatives to the meeting. The record turnout and the high level of engagement with which members participated was energizing for the entire group particularly this year with the large number of initiatives and projects we are about to undertake. Paramount on the minds of everyone at the meeting was the state of affairs in the Caribbean, and I am pleased that Lucille Frye of BWA Yachting (SXM), Heather Grant of Erika’s Yacht Services (SVG), and Gianmarco Francheshi & Eloise Green of Anchor Concierge (ANU), three of the six AYSS members in the Caribbean, were able to attend this year. It is with this in mind that I am pleased to share with you that AYSS is proud to be supporting the Superyacht Aid Coalition. SAC is bringing the industry together under one umbrella to coordinate aid in the stricken areas of the Caribbean not only in the immediate time but also for the long term. Specifically, AYSS will be providing local agency support and expertise liaising with local maritime authorities to assist yachts that will be transporting much-needed supplies and help to the area. I am very pleased that we will be able to support the recovery and rebuilding of this region, which is an essential focal point to our industry. All logistics are being coordinated through Yacht Aid Global. (Very shortly we will be sharing with you more information on the coordinated efforts being made, but in the meantime, I would like to encourage everyone in the industry to consider making a donation to the cause. You can do so by clicking here.)
We were pleased to welcome three exceptional guests to this year’s AGM who shared insight into a variety of topics related to yachting. Ed Thomas is the founder of Superyacht Content, a social media influencer in the superyacht sphere who talked to us about the power social media holds in building and enhancing brand footprint online. (Superyacht Content also manages AYSS’s social media efforts so we were also able to learn first hand the results of our campaign, which has been running for almost a year now.) Yerin Hobson is Technical Director with Arrow Services Monaco which provides yacht and project management services to the industry; he spoke about a variety of challenges being faced today in building and operating superyachts, particularly as the size of vessels gets infinitely larger. Mike Taylor with the Minton, Treharne & Davies Group shared specific examples of how they have used their analytical testing and inspection services to ascertain seaworthiness of vessels, particularly useful in the aftermath of an accident, natural disaster, or in preparation for refit and repair periods.
The AGM provided an opportunity to confirm Council Members, evaluate new membership applications, and confirm a whole host of initiatives this year from show and event participation to sharing best practices. We welcomed over 50 industry professionals to our networking cocktail event, MonacoNet, on Thursday evening and look forward to hosting other events at upcoming shows in the coming months. Looking forward, AYSS will be represented this year with a stand at FLIBS in November; if you are planning on attending, please do stop by and say hello. At the Antigua Yacht Show, we will be hosting an informative breakfast hour called Yacht Agents who go the Extra Mile: Nothing Beats Local Knowledge at The Officers Quarters at the Nelson’s Dockyard. All are welcome to join.
2017 has been an exceptional and extraordinary year. With many fiscal and legislative changes still in flux at the moment, our role to advise and support visiting superyachts has become ever more important to ensure a successful and hassle-free stay for captains and crew in port. This year, as we work to support the rebuilding of those communities affected by Hurricane Irma, AYSS has reinforced its commitment to ridding our oceans of plastic, and in addition to various association-wide initiatives we are currently working on, we continue to encourage our members to be involved in ridding our oceans of plastic waste in their local regions. I look forward to strengthening our collaborations across the industry, welcoming new members and continuing to support the ever complex and changing needs of the industry this year.
With regards & fair winds,
Chairman – AYSS