Le grand pavois, usually in mid-September
An International Boat Show that used to be a huge economic event in the region, Poitou-Charentes'.
Some hundreds of exhibitors would be there to represent their nations, with their newest items: boats, yachts, superspeed engines.
Well, think of huge and superspeed boats as items and not our simple pairs of shoes. Attendants gather both amateurs, newbies as well seasoned professionals. With on-water and on-the-ground displays according to the size of the boats.
Each year, the event has its guest country of honor, 2003 was Danemark year and 2004 would be South Africa's. The guest country would be in highlight, would present a big picture of its nautical sector. Along that, sampling of guest country's specialty food products.
Most interesting stand, I think, is the "Wood village". An area dedicated to longtime forgotten material and that is brought back to the style of the day. Personally, I always appreciated wood for its warmth and tradition. It seems to be the case of shipyards, architects, designers who are involved in research on modern techniques that would allow/enhance the use of wood in shipbuilding. Oddly enough, other categories use to attend the Wood village as well: the antiques dealers and decorators. Well, it's not that odd given that La Rochelle has a lot of those trinkets and antiques shops (see shopping tips)
Plus, demo and free first lessons are given to introduce sailing to newbies.
All of that usually attracts thousands of attendants in Port des Minimes area each year.
Pic of Port des minimes will come soon.
Check the website, it will tell you more.