In a bitter exchange of public statements, the Mayor of Cannes and the Préfet of the Alpes-Maritimes region have clashed over the decision to cancel the Yachting Festival which was due to start on the 8th of September
In a statement released at the weekend, Cannes Mayor David Lisnard called the show cancellation decision ”absurd, inappropriate, inconsistent and unfair.” He listed the safety measures which show organisers Reed Expo had adopted and stated that they were practical and had been approved by the Regional Health Authority.
However this afternoon, the office of the Préfet issued its own statement which outlined the compromise it had suggested to Reed on Thursday the 20th, bearing in mind that it had to respond to the increasing incidence of COVID infections in the region, which by then had exceeded the ‘alert’ threshold.
The Office of the Préfet listed its requests which included extending the show hours; accepting only pre-registered visitors; reserving the show for professionals; the separation of sail and powerboats across the show’s two sites and limiting attendance to 5000 visitors at each venue; the setting up of a one-way flow around the site and mandatory testing of all exhibitor personnel, provisions which it claims were rejected byte show organisers. As the original intention was to place sailboats in Port Canto and powerboats in the Old Port, at least one of these provisions had already been met.
It seems that despite Reed`s best endeavours it was placed in an untenable position by the Préfet and had no option but to cancel the Festival, which could be interpreted as being the only reasonable response to his last-minute demands.