Greeted by blue skies, this year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) was officially opened by Queensland Governor, Penelope Wensley AC, at 9am today, on May 22. Wensley spoke of the economic contribution of the marine industry to the Australian economy, estimated at $8bn per annum.
From 9am, crowds began to pass through the gates and exhibitors in the pavilions, streets and on the marina began to notice the influx from around 10am. And while official ticket sales for day one are yet to be finalised, online ticket sales are up 50 per cent on the same time last year, boding well for the next three days.
“The buzz round here is fantastic and in a generic sense we think this reflects a continuing improvement in the economic climate,” says Johan Hasser, Head of Events at Mulpha Sanctuary Cove.
“With online ticket sales up 50 per cent on last year and some of the early reports from exhibitors, we’re expecting a very good weekend in terms of both sales and attendance.”
Traditionally viewed as “trade day”, day one has been hectic for Horizon Motor Yachts Australia, reporting strong interest, lots of people through and a proliferation of boaties.
“The people here are actually shopping,” says Sean Madgwick, sales manager at HMYA, adding that the people through were a mix of their database clients and new people.
At Multihull Central, Brent Vaughan says the first day got off to a really busy start.
“It’s going to be a cracker of a show!” he predicts. “We have been run off our feet,” he says, referring to the Outremer which is on display in Australia for the first time.
“Probably the first time in the southern hemisphere,” he states. “This multi-award winning model came here from France and is built really solidly for cruising and performance.”
At Pacific Motor Yachts, Brett Thurley reports “steady and strong” visitor interest from 10am.
“We have 13 boats and we’re here to do business. There are buyers here today, there’s no doubt about that. No question!”
Dean Leigh-Smith with the Alaska and Hampton Yachts brands is very happy so far. “There are a lot of good clientele coming on to the marina,” he says. “Both clients and new people. We are looking for sales, not big numbers.”
Vicsail too is happy with the quality of visitors for the first day. “It has been good so far,” says Cheryl Stanton. “We are anticipating good potential sales in the Lagoon range. People say they are looking for big boats and we have the Lagoon 52 right here to suit them!”
Tony Ross at Ensign has a 42 Vision and 35 Sport in the Bavaria brand at the Show. He says he is thrilled that the sun is out.
“It does make a difference to numbers and in some respect, sales. We are seeing some new faces, a quality crowd. We have great hopes for Friday and then over the weekend,” he said.
A veteran of SCIBS and many more shows around the world, Kevin Barr from BarzOptics is in his usual high-traffic position on Masthead Way.
“The numbers seem to be good. The people who are here are spending.”
Next door, Uliboards is experiencing “awesome response” to their product, which is very popular at the moment – the SUP board.
“It’s our best first day at SCIBS for five years,” says Tanzer Husnu.
“We have the boards at a good price, $1,300 which is a $400 saving, so people are taking advantage of that.”
Tanzer is confident of selling out of the 15 boards that they brought with them from Victoria.
The 2014 Boat Show showcases a wide variety of international boating brands, products and technologies on display alongside the superb backdrop of the award-winning Sanctuary Cove marina and The Marine Village.
Tickets are on sale now online and at the gate. Adult day passes are $25, with concession passes available for seniors and students. Children under 18 are free.
In 2014, SCIBS has teamed up with Translink to provide free train travel for all pre-paid ticket holders for travel to and from the show.
Visitors to SCIBS are entitled to free train travel on all regular Queensland Rail City Network trains when they display a pre-purchased ticket to the event, along with accessing the free ‘Park ‘n’ Ride’ services from Helensvale.
The $A2 billion Sanctuary Cove, located on the northern Gold Coast, is Australia’s leading and most successful master-planned community.
Featuring two 18 hole championship golf courses, a 300 berth marina, five-star InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Country Club including full fitness centre, tennis courts and 25m swimming pool, Sanctuary Cove is also home to some of the most diverse waterfront, golf course fronting or hilltop residential house and land options on the Gold Coast.
At the heart of the community is the Marine Village – Sanctuary Cove’s very own waterfront commercial, retail and dining precinct, with more than 80 tenancies.