by Jeni Bone
The 2013 Gold Coast International Marine Expo is on to day three of festivities and activities, entertaining a host of people - exhibitors, family, friends and the public - last night for the Club Marine Shipyard Party, with live band, comedian, fireworks, fire dancers and a big barbeque for everybody.
Dean Leigh Smith, enjoying the positive vibe and enthusiastic crowds.
During the day, as temperatures soared, entertainment included the Expo High Divers presented by JSW Powersports and the Club Marine cooking show with show stalwart, Bart Beek, as well as several throaty laps from the BRIG jet boat.
Crowds topped 3,800 on Friday, up from 2,200 the year before. On Saturday, visitors topped 9,865, which was a massive 2,500 more than last year.
'It's worth it's weight in gold,' says Dean Leigh-Smith, one of the founders of the event and director of Gold Coast City Marina, as well as director at Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales, representing Alaska Motor Yachts, Hampton Yachts and Endurance by Hampton Yachts.
'There's such a great feeling to the show as you walk around. People are happy, it's interesting, there's heaps to see, exhibitors are happy. What's not to like?'
Visitors were enthralled by the diverse display of exhibitors throughout the 36 hectares of the Coomera marine precinct, and a range of seminars and demonstrations from wooden boat construction through to fiberglass construction of a new Riviera. There were shows of strength from the 50 Tonne Travel Lift, and Quintrex factory tours demonstrating alluminium tinnie construction.
Everything from kayaks to superyachts, fishing equipment to jet skis and everything else in between are on show over a 3km display circuit, and with live attractions and demonstrations taking place every 15 minutes.
Two times world high diving champion Steve Black leads the Expo High Divers. 'It is the first time the high divers have performed at the Expo and I am very excited to be part of this event. My home town is the Gold Coast and after travelling the world performing, it is great to be home,' he said.
The high divers are performing three shows daily with acts including a mix of Olympic diving, comedy diving, a 25m high dive and a daring fire dive to finish off the day.
Club Marine’s resident chef Bart Beek is an accomplished author, restaurateur and regular boat show exhibitor. He will be sharing his wealth of culinary knowledge in humorous and entertaining live cooking demonstrations held on the hour every hour between 10am and 4pm on Club Marine’s stand.
Another new attraction this year is the Family Zone which replaces the Kids Club from previous years. The Family Zone is a massive 2,000 square-metre site dedicated to family fun for children of all ages. There's a café offering healthy snacks and lunches, gourmet coffee with comfortable seating in a park-like setting to allow mums, dads and caregivers the chance to relax and unwind while the children are entertained with a kaleidoscope of activities. The Family Zone is open daily between 10am and 4pm.
The Expo is a partnership between Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard, Riviera, Quintrex, International Paints, and Clipper Motor Yachts who founded and helped stage this annual not-for-profit community and family focused event.
Easy access including free on site parking is a major draw card for boating enthusiasts from around the region.
Steve Samms, GM at Gold Coast City Marina said the vibe was excellent and exhibitors were extremely happy. 'They are having good sales, exceptional leads, all the tenants are positive. They're stoked. A lot of them are quoting on work. It's good to see the local community coming down - some of them saying they'd never been here before.'
The Gold Coast International Marine Expo will be held on November 1-3 from 9am to 5pm with free entry and free parking.
More at www.gcmarineexpo.com.au