Thousands of boating enthusiasts have converged at Riviera and the Gold Coast City Marina in Coomera for day one of the inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo, which was officially opened by avid boater and Australian V8 Supercar driver Russell Ingall and his family.
The response to the not-for-profit community event has exceeded all expectations and organisers 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.
The Artists Quarter boats a wide variety of artists from all different backgrounds and mediums come together to create a marine themed artwork.
Artists set up their easel in the designated area within the Gold Coast Marine Expo where they will have views of the water, boats and the Expo itself. All artists will have from 9am until 5pm today and tomorrow to complete their marine themed masterpiece before they are exhibited and offered for sale at the Club Marine Carnivale of Colour, which will be held on the Saturday night. A selection of works will be auctioned with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to artists while the remaining 50 per cent will be divided equally between two local charities, Paradise Kids and Sailabiltiy.
The Gold Coast Marine Expo is a real community not-for-profit event with representatives from the Wasp Creek Rural Fire Service, the Rotary Club of Coomera River and the Rotary Club of Coomera Valley all volunteering during the three day event to raise funds for these community organisations.
There will be 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. To find our more visit www.gcmarineexpo.com.au