The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is a hive of activity this week as it undergoes a massive transformation from world-class boat building and repair precinct to world-class marine exposition site.
The first stage of this massive task took place over the weekend when Expo organisers walked the entire site to mark out all of the individual 200 plus displays that will make up the 2.5 kilometre display circuit.
More than 190 exhibitors, entertainers and vendors will roll through the gates this week and begin setting up their displays and stalls for what will be a marine Expo extravaganza.
Hundreds of boats ranging in size from kayaks to superyachts have now started to move in and set up either on land or at the impressive on water display, which will feature more than 120 luxury boats alone from Australia’s and the world’s leading marine brands.
All the exhibitor spaces have been marked out, the gardeners are pruning the hedges and watering the gardens, boats are being moved into place, trucks and forklifts are buzzing everywhere delivering equipment including, the Yamaha Supertank that holds 14,000 litres of water.
Marquees are being erected; the factories and refit sheds are being cleaned out in preparation for the weekend’s factory tours, while the Jetlev Jetpack and Flyboard X Flyers rehearse along the Coomera River. The Roulettes have surveyed the area in preparation for the weekend’s entertainment, and Riviera’s boat builders are putting the finishing touches onto the 5000th Riviera, which will be launched at a special gala dinner on Friday night.
Riviera has also located one of the very first models ever built in 1980, a 38 Flybridge MKI, which will be displayed alongside the 5000th boat at the Expo.
Rain and strong winds reaching up to 30 knots over the weekend didn’t dampen or blow away spirits, as excitement builds in anticipation of one of the biggest and most entertaining events in Expo’s short history.
Held by the marine industry for the industry, the not-for-profit second annual Gold Coast International Marine Expo is proud to offer a family-friendly, community focused event with free entry and free parking. Organisers are asking people to give a gold coin donation in support of the Expo’s charities, which include the Rotary Club of Coomera River, Wasp Creek Rural Fire Service, Paradise Kids, Sailability, and the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter Rescue Service.
Gold Coast International Marine Expo spokesman Stephen Milne said it was extremely satisfying to see the Expo coming together so quickly and professionally.
'We learnt a lot last year and have implemented many new marketing and set-up strategies to enhance our 2012 Expo,' he said.
'Our small team and voluntary committee have worked tirelessly on this event for the past 12 months and to see the fruits of our labour coming together this week is a great achievement.
'We are expecting a huge crowd of more than 20,000 people through the gates over the three days of the Expo, and we look forward to showcasing the life blood of the Gold Coast marine industry to the world.
'This year more than 200 leading marine brands will be displayed over a 2.5 kilometre show circuit, we have over 40 new exhibitors, and an action packed line-up of entertainment has been secured.
'Our website traffic is receiving more than 1000 visitors a day now as our national television campaign kicks in and we publish our event time table.'
The Westpac Surf Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service will be holding mock rescue demonstrations throughout the three-day event showcasing the skill and techniques used by their experienced crew at 1.30pm daily.
The main attractions over the three day event include the Yamaha Supertank Fishing Show with hourly presentations, an impressive on water gravity defying Jetpack performance by Jetlev Jetpack Australia and Flyboard X, the RAAF Roulettes will perform an aerobatic show at noon daily, and there will be a Class 2 Offshore race boat display.
'One of the major highlights this year for sailing enthusiasts and sporting fans is the chance to meet Olympic sailing gold medallists Matt Belcher and Malcolm Page, and we feel extremely honoured to have these two elite athletes come along to the Expo on the Saturday.
'Another highlight of course is Gold Coast City Marina’s 50 tonne marine travel lift, which will hoist a 54 foot Alaska motor cruiser out of the water and manoeuvre it safely back into the water.'
The Saturday night Shipyard party is always a popular event with free admission, the Artists’ Quarter Charity Art Auction and the spectacular fireworks display at 7pm.
Quintrex factory tours will be held on Friday at 9am, 10.30am, 12pm and 2pm, demonstrating the aluminium boat building process. Quintrex will have experienced welders on-hand to demonstrate and explain the latest techniques used in crafting Australia’s favourite aluminium boats.
Riviera will host live seminars daily taking people through the stages of their luxury boat construction from 3D computer aided design to the industry leading standard of highly sophisticated boats. Riviera’s world-leading engineers and naval architects will explain the latest in marine technology in a very interactive manner.
The Little Pirates Kids’ Club will once again entertain the children with jumping castle and face painting, and there will also be a host of international food stalls and live entertainment.
The Gold Coast International Marine Expo will be held on November 2, 3 and 4 from 9am to 5pm with free entry and free parking.
To find out more visit the Gold Coast Marine Expo website.
by Stephen Milne
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12:37 PM Wed 31 Oct 2012GMT
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