11 Questions with James Benson BWA Antigua
Axxess Marine knows how to get people talking. We have great partners, and we think you should know them! Axxess Marine’s Interview series: “Eleven Questions” is a rapid-fire insight into some of our favorite colleagues. Today we are speaking with James Benson of BWA Antigua.
James, how did you become involved in Yachting?
I began dinghy sailing at the age of 6 and never really stopped. Becoming a Captain was a fairly logical step though it took me a while to finally get there.
Did you choose Antigua or did it choose you?
I think Antigua chose me in the same way that yacht crew end up living in Palma, Antibes, Fort Lauderdale and Newport etc. I just ended up spending more time in Antigua than anywhere else and decided that it was somewhere that I would like to live.
How long have you been with BWA?
I opened the office in Antigua in November 2012.
What is it that keeps you in the industry and in Antigua after all of these years?
Sailing is in my blood and it’s the one thing I know the most amount. I’ve worked as a Captain, a charter manager and broker and now at BWA so I have a good overview of the whole yachting industry.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the marine industry faces in the next few years?
Well on a local level we need more marina berths and better infrastructure and that is applicable in most places. From a yachting point of view, better and more committed crew.
What sort of marine industry innovations are you most excited about?
I think that anything that improves on the carbon imprint that most yachts have and is less polluting is the future.
What is it that sets James Benson and BWA ANU apart from other marine services agents and agencies in the industry?
Being part of BWA the largest yacht agency in the world has many advantages for both our clients and on a local level the office in Antigua. We are able to offer all kinds of services and supply information to our clients that other agents can’t. After that we stand out from our competition simply by being more accountable, more committed and working longer and harder.
What is your favorite place to eat, drink or relax in Antigua?
Although Antigua has some excellent restaurants especially on the beaches my current favourite is Cecilia’s which is near the airport.
Which marine industry events or shows do you look forward to each year and why?
I like both the Lauderdale and Monaco shows, we work hard there but there is still plenty of time to catch up with colleagues and friends. The Antigua charter show is enjoyable for the yachts, crew and brokers, for us it’s full on and our busiest time of the year.
What do you look forward to doing when the season slows down?
The season does slowdown from April onwards and summers are very quiet here, so I can get time to work on the house and garden and spend time with the dogs.
Is there anything else we should know about BWA Antigua?
We are constantly trying to improve the way we work, investing in personnel and equipment and trying to become more efficient to benefit both ourselves and our clients.
Want to know more about James and BWA Antigua? Visit the BWA website www.bwayachting.com
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