In the final days of April, the picturesque waterside city of Nafplio, in Greece’s Argolic Gulf, transformed from a tranquil spot into a bustling hive of energy for the Mediterranean Yacht Show (MEDYS). As one of the largest crewed yacht shows in the world, the eighth edition saw 92 yachts descend on the Greek city with a combined LOA of 3.5 kilometers, while more than 750 visitors from 31 countries came to witness the glorious selection of yachts on display and gain valuable insight in what yachting in Greece is all about.
Hosted by the Greek Yachting Association (GYA), the five-day charter show proved hugely successful, not just in terms of visiting yachts, but in the buzzing atmosphere that fills the port of Nafplio. The show’s bountiful social calendar across the five days and classic Greek hospitality is palpable throughout the course of the show and sets MEDYS apart as an intrinsically unique event in the superyacht industry.
Marking the start of the Mediterranean season, before each of the attending yachts embark on their busy charter seasons around Greece and the wider Mediterranean, the show’s full program was peppered with items such as the annual chef’s competition, cocktail-filled evenings — such as that celebrating women in yachting hosted by Atalanta Golden Yachts — and parties including the Captains & Crew Party by HYCA.
The president of the GYA, Michael Skoulikidis explained that the charter show now has a large waiting list of superyachts looking to bask in the action. “The last three shows (2019, 2022, and this year) have been excellent and at full capacity,” he explained. “In these three years we have had a waiting list; and this year there were 30 yachts over 24 meters, hoping to attend.” In fact, the show has been in such high demand that Skoulikidis has hinted at some rousing developments for the 2024 edition of the show, with the wheels already in motion for a show that promises even more excitement.
“We are here to help the Greek yachting industry progress,” says Capt. Antonis Papadimitriou of 50-meter Ouranos. “I’m very proud that we have had a lot of interest and enthusiasm towards the boat since we have been here at the show. I hope that we are on a good wave of Greek yachting.”
The eighth edition of MEDYS also saw the return of the chef’s competition, under the theme Zero Waste from the Greek Seas. Considered a hugely important way to showcase their skills and gain recognition in the superyacht industry, this year’s stiff competition was judged by two chefs each with two-Michelin stars, George Papazacharias of Delta Restaurant in Athens and Antonio Mellino of Ristorante Quattro Passi in Nerano, as well as brokers Anzela Zurlo and Bobby Bigio.
“It was a great experience, and the level of cooking during the competition was outstanding,” said Judge Bobby Bigio of Camper & Nicholsons. “It was fascinating to see how each of the chefs approached the brief, being conscious of using every part of their ingredients, and seeing the high level of cooking that is achievable in the galley.”
After two days of rigorous testing, the judges confirmed that the winners of the 2023 chef’s competition was Chef Emmanouil Perros of Zen, who took first prize in Category A after demonstrating a remarkable level of innovation, skill, and execution of the theme. Perros's refined and modern approach to his dishes were commended by the judges for capturing the brief perfectly with creativity. Chef Evangelos Vasileiou from 32-meter Tropicana secured the second place, while Chef Victoria Shcherbakova of 28-meter Wide Liberty took home the third place. In the same category, the table scaping competition was won by Nikoleta Patara, also of Wide Liberty.
For the A Platinum category this year, competition was just as fierce and it was Chef Tatiana Konstantinidi of Hakuna Matata who was awarded first prize. The winning dish was the stand-out of the entire competition, said to embodied the bold and exciting future of Greek cuisine. Chef Dionysios Lykiardopoulos from 85-meter O'ptasia secured second place, while Chef Dimitris Paidis from 50-meter Jo I took third. The best tablescape in this category was awarded to Nicole Petrou of 35-meter Sole Di Mare.
The BOAT International Captains' Club also held an event during the show with a breakfast in collaboration with GYA, that saw several attending captains at MEDYS catch up over coffee before the fourth day of the show commenced.
“All the captains and crew here at MEDYS have set a fantastic example of the Greek charter fleet,” says former captain Guy Mannering of Cecil Wright. “The show has an impressive footfall, a great array of yachts on display, and the energy here is amazing.”
After five days of activity, the show was closed with the ceremonial sounding of the horns filling Nafplio with the resounding blare. Crew on board each of the yachts gathered on the decks to witness the moment, marking the end of a successful event. GYA President Skoulikidis stated, “Having watched MEDYS grow from a regional show to its current world-class status, I can confidently say that we are sailing into a new era.
“Our record-breaking success in 2023 has set the bar even higher for the future, but we are not resting on our laurels — our team is already hard at work preparing for an even more spectacular event in the coming years. So, fair winds and following seas, and we look forward to welcoming you aboard for another unforgettable journey.”