The second Asia Superyacht Conference showcased over 40 superyacht industry and speakers from around the world and featured a strong representation from Asia and the Asia Pacific Superyachts Company.
Asia Pacific Superyachts, representing eleven South East Asia and Pacific regions of Superyacht support services, sponsored the Conference’s Opening Night Reception held on the Floating Bar at the stunning One°15 Marina Club with several directors participating as conference speakers.
Scott Walker, Managing Director at Asia Pacific Superyachts Pte Ltd. in Singapore, headed up the Opening Reception and welcomed conference guests assisted by fellow Asia Pacific Superyachts directors, including: Gordon Fernandes from Thailand; Captain Nick Coombes from Malaysia; Alvin Teh Wei Loong & Shirley Lye from Borneo; and from Bali & Indonesia, Richard Lofthouse.
Scott explained that as a member of the Association of Yacht Support Services (AYSS) and as a founding member of the Superyacht Singapore Association (SSA), his motivation and that of Asia Pacific Superyachts collectively, is to strongly support the Superyacht industry in Asia. Scott said he specifically became very involved in supporting the event as his company is directly involved in the superyacht business in Singapore.
“I wanted to be able to offer our experience and opinions as we do meet with a lot of yacht captains. Most of our client base is out of the Asia region, coming from Europe, sometimes from America. They aren’t familiar with the area and we are here in Singapore as their first stop, as a gateway to this whole new realm. They have very specific needs and desires which are much different from what goes on here in Asia. I think it is only fair to share this input and information with the rest of the group and to share the versions of what superyachts are. I wanted to actively make this effort and to be able to speak about this so that ultimately we can get a place, a white boat yard, to repair boats here”, noted Scott.
The high-profile international speaker faculty included key industry figureheads, influencers and decision makers with Asia Pacific Superyachts area directors in full support. Captain Nick Coombes was a featured speaker, presenting a focus on some of the global developments in the superyacht industry that will affect business in Asia. Nick Coombes is Director, Asia Pacific Superyachts and Chairman, Association of Yacht Support Services (AYSS) and a member of the Asia Superyacht Conference Advisory Board. He heads up the Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia region and has over 20 years of yachting industry experience, 16 of which were spent as a Superyacht captain, a role that he continues to undertake.
Captain Nick has extensive experience of Superyacht cruising in SEA and around the world, and reports: “Having sailed the waters of South East Asia for the past 16 years, I am fully aware of the spectacular cruising grounds available to visiting Superyachts. With the overpopulation of yachts in the Med, many large Yachts are also discovering this region, and will require the same levels of support and infrastructure they have grown accustomed to elsewhere. This conference helps realise what we have to offer and what we need to put in place to meet these demands for the future.”
Another speaker from Asia Pacific Superyachts, Gordon Fernandes from Phuket, Thailand, is among the general managers within the Asia Pacific Superyachts group of quality service providers (APS has 11 regional areas represented throughout Asia and the Pacific). Gordon has been based in Asia for over 13 years and has been involved at the government level in the process of allowing Superyachts greater access to the region. In fact, in 1998 Gordon helped organise the first visit of a private yacht to Yangon. Gordon spoke of the importance of bringing these Superyachts to Asia.
Gordon and Captain Charles Dwyer are Co-organisers of the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous, a prestigious gathering of sail and power mega vessels of international superyacht owners, managers, captains and crew – the event that shows Asia has a safe and fantastic cruising ground. The A/S Rendezvous is growing in international recognition and Gordon emphasized while many superyachts are already based here, more of these vessels need to call Asia home. The event held annually in Phuket, Thailand has an elite group of Superyacht industry international sponsors that support and promote Superyachts in Asia and includes: Principal Sponsor, Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards; Merle Wood & Associates based in Fort Lauderdale, USA; Rolling Stock of Spain; Boat International Media based in London; YACHTStyle of Hong Kong; The Chedi Phuket of Thailand; and Asia Pacific Superyachts.
Gordon Fernandes shared his experiences and presented information on bringing more Superyachts to Asia. Other presentations at the Asia Superyacht Conference focused on the particular needs of Asian buyers, environmental superyacht projects, changes in sales and distribution channels, refit yards and new build projects in China.