It was in 1973, in the midst of the oil crisis, that four pioneers from La Rochelle’s shipyards took the lead and formed the hard core of an independent professional association whose aim would be to coordinate and promote the interests of the water sports industry. They created the Grand Pavois association. Its ambition? To create an in-water show where it would be possible to boatyard managers, discover the boats in-water and, above all, make appointments to try out boats at sea.
THEY WERE HENRI AMEL, ROGER MALLARD, MICHEL DUFOUR AND FERNAND HERVÉ.
Henri Amel was a shipyard owner and an experienced yachtsman. His boats, named after the winds, were already experiencing a much-deserved success.
Roger Mallard, a ship builder, sold 750 models of the Écume de Mer in five years, more than half of which were for export.
Michel Dufour invented the counter-moulded hull, a process that he used in the construction of his famous Sylphe and Arpège.
Finally, Fernand Hervé, a well-known figure in La Rochelle, had mastered unit manufacturing, including moulds used for mass production by other shipyards.
A unique example in Europe and almost unique in the world of trade shows, the Grand Pavois Organisation Association has always been governed by professionals at the service of professionals and yachtsmen. As a result of this associative status, GPO has a very strong connection with the professional world of international yachting.
And it is for this reason that the show is always in line with the needs of the French and international market. It highlights the qualities of French, European and world production and it demonstrates the richness and multidisciplinarity of small boatyards which are very likely to choose the Grand Pavois La Rochelle as their annual show.
THE GRAND PAVOIS’ VISITORS? ENTHUSIASTS!
70% of visitors to the show are keen on water sport activities (boating, fishing, water sports)
44% of them own a boat.
Discovering new products is the main motivation of our visitors and everyone recognises that the main attractions of the show are the presentation of the boats in-water and the thematic spaces.
The Grand Pavois is the meeting place for enthusiasts!
Over the years, the Grand Pavois La Rochelle has become a major event in the international water sports calendar and is one of the top 5 international in-water boat shows.
AN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SHOW
In addition to the many foreign delegations that apply for guest country of honour status.
An average of 35 countries are represented via their brands at the Grand Pavois La Rochelle.
THE SHOW’S KEY FIGURES
80,000 VISITORS expected
3 KM of pontoons
300 BOATS EXHIBITED in-water
12 THEMATIC SPACES (sailing, fishing, board sports, traditional boats, tourism, sustainable sailing, etc.).