Sydney shaping up to go on sail despite GFC

The Boating Industry Association of NSW, organiser of the Sydney International Boat Show, remains confident that boaters will embrace the 2009 show (July 30-August 3) despite the economic downturn.

As of earlier this week, exhibitor space had almost reached its capacity with only a small pocket of floor space remaining within the vast halls of the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre. Bookings for space in the Cockle Bay Marina were not so strong, but BIA marketing manager Domenic Genua was confident the 180-vessel target would be achieved.

Showgoers will be treated to a smorgasbord of yachts on the marina, ranging from 8.2m to 16.1m. Renowned Australian builders Azzura Marine, Seawind Catamarans, Lightwave and Buizen Yachts will all display new models, while imports include Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter and Hanse. Largest yachts on the marina will be the Hanse 54 displayed by dealer Windcraft Australia, while importer US Yachts will show the smallest in two US-built Hunter models, the Hunter 27 and the Hunter 27 Edge, both 8.2m.

Of course, the Sydney International Boat Show is far more than just another boat show; it's a spectacle of entertainment with attractions that appeal to all in the family, even those not necessarily dedicated boaters.

Making a welcome return visit to Darling Harbour are the young men, Justin Jones and James Castrission, who attracted world headlines when they “crossed the ditch” (the Tasman Sea) in their voyage from the NSW Central Coast to New Zealand aboard their kayak. Visitors can speak with the intrepid pair and see close-up the seemingly “flimsy” vessel that carried them to fame.

Sure to be a major feature of the 2009 show is the display of some of the most magnificent vessels ever seen on local waterways. As Domenic Genua declared, “Nothing draws a crowd like the stunning craftsmanship that goes into the creation of classic vessels.” The Sydney Heritage Fleet and the Classic Speedboat Association will present an array of craft, both sail and power, showing off the classic and creative alternative to today's “plastic boats”.

Two special guests at the show will be skipper Pete Goss and the Spirit of Mystery. Pete Goss built the 11.27m vessel after hearing of the original Mystery that brought seven Cornishmen to Australia 154 years ago. Mystery, an open lugger-style craft built in Newlyn, left its home port in November, 1854 and voyaged 11,800nm in 116 days before arriving in Melbourne on 14 March, 1855. Proud of his ancestry and an accomplished wood worker, Pete Goss built an identical replica, named her Spirit of Mystery and recreated the voyage. See the vessel and hear his amazing story.

Pete will be one of many interesting speakers at the Better Boating Lounge, incorporating the Strictly Sail stage.

With final touches still be put to the show, Domenic Genua has promised “a few other surprises”.

On-line ticketing is again available and those purchased on-line will have their tickets delivered by mail at no extra cost. Ticket prices are: single adult, $18 (at the gate), $15 (on-line), children under 15-years, $10 (at the gate), $8 (on-line), family ticket admitting two adults and three children, $42 (at the gate), $35 (on-line), three-day pass, $39. For further information visit the show's informative website,


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