by Jeni Bone
The inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo, Australia’s working boat show featuring 36 hectares of power and sail boats to explore was officially opened at 10am today by Australian V8 Supercar driver and multiple luxury cruiser owner Russell Ingall, his wife Julie and two daughters aged 7 and 9 - Sasha and Jaz.
Gold Coast Marine Expo has gained momentum with strong exhibitor interest from marine industry leaders
The free admission three-day event will run over the weekend and is a great opportunity for people to meet the heart, soul and action of Australia’s marine industry.
There will be working demonstrations showing the boat building process, a YAK aerial show, international cuisine, fresh prawns direct from the trawler, travel lift displays, wakeboarding demonstrations, Kids Club with jumping castle and face painting and loads more.
The Artists Quarter will give local artists the chance to showcase their talent as they paint a nautical themed canvas which will go up for auction at the Club Marine Insurance Carnivale of Colour on the Saturday evening with proceeds from the auction going to local charities Paradise Kids and Sailabilty.
Russell and his family dressed in distinctive fluorescent orange X shirts raised a huge X flag to mark the opening of the inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo.
The show opened today with a flurry of visitors - more than 3,400 on the opening day - taking in the working boat displays, travel lift, parents occupying their kids with the jumping castle and face painting, marveling at the talented artists at work, the phenomenal YAK aerial show and wakeboarding demonstrations. The Westpac Rescue chopper even performed a rescue demonstration in the Coomera River (bull sharks and all!)
The response to the not-for-profit community event has exceeded all expectations and organisers say they are preparing for a very busy weekend.
Gold Coast Marine Expo spokesman, Stephen Milne said organisers were just ecstatic with the response from the public and the boating community. Attendance for day one was 3,435 people.
'We knew the Expo would be a popular event for boating families but we didn’t anticipate such a record crowd on day one,' he said.
'With lower interest rates and such beautiful weather there truly has never been a better time to buy a boat.'
The brainchild of Queensland’s boating industry leaders, the Gold Coast Marine Expo will feature hundreds of exhibits from the world’s best boating brands to explore sprawled over 36 hectares.
'It’s a great opportunity for the public to meet the heart of the Australian marine industry and take a behind the scenes look at this vibrant industry,' Mr Milne said.
'The Expo is a unique experience for families who wouldn’t normally have the chance to view the construction process through a factory tour or site inspection and with over 5000 metres of boats on display if all joined from bow to stern, there will be something for everyone from kayaks to super yachts, sail and power, new and pre-owned vessels.
'There will also be plenty of fun for the whole family with international food stalls, fresh prawns direct from the trawler, wakeboard demonstrations, a wooden boat festival, an artists quarter, Kids Club with jumping castle and face painting, Offshore Super boats display, YAK aerial show and mock rescues throughout the show from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
'The added bonus of free admission, free parking and public transport access from Coomera railway station by a shuttle bus directly to the Expo are all great incentives for families to come along and experience a whole new dimension in boat shows.'
Gold Coast City Marina will stage a working exhibit with their huge machinery including their 150 and 50 ton ship lifts and their 12 ton forklift. The 2011 Expo will be the first time that the public will have a chance to meet the master craftsmen behind the products and services that are - Queensland’s marine experts including Quintrex and Riviera.
There is a myriad things to see and do at the Gold Coast Marine Expo with the marine industries most respected brands exhibiting at the Expo, such as Grand Banks, Custom Powercat – Hairazor, Seawind Catamarans, Cabo, Grady White, Bayliner, Trophy, Walker Bay, Feelfree Kayaks, Baysport, Seascape, Savage, Horizon Aqualine, Quintrex, Bluefin, Yamaha, Whittley, Catalina, Arrow Yacht, Ocean, Riviera, Hampton, Alaska, Endurance, Hurricane, Horizon, Glastron, Cobalt, Lifestyle Boats, MEC Yachts, Maritimo, Mustang, Stacer, Crownline, Princess, Runaway Bay Pontoon Boats, 80’ Savana, Scimitar Cat, Brig Inlfatables, Sirocco Inflatables, Sealegs, Williams Turbo Jet Tenders, Tailored Marine, Allison, Seajay, Clarke and more.
Admission is free to the Gold Coast Marine Expo, there is free parking and for a gold coin donation people can catch a shuttle bus from Coomera Railway Station to the Expo.
The inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo will be held on November 4, 5 and 6 and will be open to the public free of charge from 9am to 5pm over the three action-packed days.
More at www.gcmarineexpo.com.au