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Round Up: Antigua is back in business – Yotspot at the ACYM After Show Mingle

By Georgia Tindale 

As we get our skates on and think ahead towards 2022, we can look back fondly on our trip to Antigua for the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, and, more specifically, at the Yotspot After Show Mingle which we were proud to host alongside Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting.

The event took place on 8th December 2021 in aid of Yacht Crew Help, a free 24/7 multilingual helpline for those working in the superyacht industry. With hundreds of industry professionals in attendance and filling the venue at Nelson’s Dockyard, the event brought major positive vibes to the island thanks to its swinging 60s theme. 

The industry certainly did not disappoint in its commitment to dressing up (as we knew it wouldn’t), with attendees truly going the extra mile with both their flower power outfits and their exceptional shapes on the dance floor. 

As event organizers, it was important for Yotspot to show our solidarity and support to Antigua – a place which holds great significance and fond memories for many of our team as an incredible yachting location, and which has faced particularly difficult times in recent years as a result of the pressures posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

With countless jobs and livelihoods lost or under threat as a result of Covid-19 and its associated travel restrictions, the impact on Antigua and its surrounding area has been particularly harsh, as a consequence of the severely reduced tourism in the area which has resulted in major damage to the local economy. 

Inevitably, the pressures and uncertainties relating to the pandemic have also affected the ability of the industry to host events, meaning that we were especially pleased to be able to host the After Show Mingle, whilst abiding by all of the required safety and security measures. 

As many of those who attended commented, as well as being a fabulous night out, the After Show Mingle offered comprehensive proof that Antigua is both ‘open for business’ once again and more than ready to welcome the industry back with welcome arms, thanks to its characteristic openness and warm hospitality. 

And, most importantly, thanks to the incredible generosity of those in attendance and those who supported the event both in person and from afar, the Yotspot After Show Mingle managed to raise a grand total of £4,248 in aid of Yacht Crew Help, with key supporters including Superyacht Charities and cosponsors Axxess Marine. A raffle took place at the event, with luxurious prizes provided by various international companies. 

The topic of crew mental health has, quite rightly, been garnering a great deal of attention in recent years and is something with which our own team are very familiar (see our recent blog post by Yotspot’s Sarah Diggle-Whitlock for more information about this). The Yotspot After Show Mingle offered its guests the long-awaited opportunity to let loose and enjoy themselves in a relaxed and friendly setting, reconnecting with industry friends and colleagues from which we have all been separated for far too long.

Consulting our crystal balls and looking ahead to 2022, we ask ourselves, what does the future hold? Although it can be hard to make firm predictions in the current climate, what is not in question is the drive and energy of the yachting industry to keep growing, improving and supporting those who need it most during these unusual times. We say, bring on the rest of the year! 

If you’re experiencing even a touch of FOMO (fear of missing out) after not managing to make it to Antigua this time, follow Yotspot on social media for details of our future events. 

About Yacht Crew Help

Yacht Crew Help (YCH) offers a free-of-charge 24/7 multilingual helpline for anyone working in the superyacht industry. It is run by ISWAN, a charity which works to improve the lives of seafarers and their families worldwide through services, resources, strategies and advocacy work. 

Its specialist yacht crew helpline team are trained in emotional support, listening skills and suicide risk assessment, offering an empathetic and non-judgemental space to all callers. Wherever you are located, you can reach out, day or night, and you are guaranteed to speak to someone who cares. 

Between its launch in November 2020 up until the end of September 2021, YCH has helped a total of 182 yacht crew with a wide range of problems including psychological health, contractual issues such as unpaid wages or unfair dismissal, and bullying and harassment. With your help, YCH can continue to provide help to even more people in need in the industry, as there is an obvious, and ever-growing, demand for its services. 

For more information about Yacht Crew Help, visit their website. You can donate to keep the helpline running by visiting their Justgiving page. If you’d like to become a partner/supporter and explore ways to help improve crew welfare, contact georgia.allen@iswan.org.uk