BY Anna Cummins on 6 Jul 2023

More than a third of the people who attend an event like the Sydney Boat Show are said to be ‘keen on sailing’.

Sydney International Boat Show

The upcoming Sydney International Boat Show is placing a renewed focus on sailing for its 54th edition, which takes place from 3-6 August 2023.

The 2022 edition welcomed over 45,000 visitors and reported strong sales after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. The show takes place at ICC Sydney and on the adjacent marina on Cockle Bay, and is organised by the Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) and Mulpha Events.

The BIA reports that there are more than 360 sailing clubs in Australia. The BIA’s Neil Patchett says that more than a third of the people who attend an event like the Sydney International Boat Show are ‘keen on sailing’.

“The camaraderie of racing is also special, and so too is the challenge of getting the sail trim, boat trim and steering in synch with constantly changing wind strength and direction, whilst all the while sailing faster around the course than your competitors,” he adds. “There are sailboats suitable for all ages, abilities and budgets. Gender is not a barrier across the range of sailing activities, from leisurely cruising to racing at the Olympics.”

The 2023 show presents a mix of local club sailing through to ocean-going yachts, and live discussions with some of Australia’s sailing personalities in the Discover Sailing & Paddling Hub.

Nic Douglass

Nic Douglass

Multiple world champion Nic ‘The Sailor Girl’ Douglass will host one-on-one interviews with leading Australian sailors, paddlers and local clubs. Members of the Australia Women’s America’s Cup team, including Nina Curtis, who is also a crew member with Sail GP Australia, will also be at the event for meet-and-greets.

Douglass says: “Ultimately, my goal is to get more people on the water more often.”

Lisa Blair returns to the show on stage Blair holds the record for the fastest sail-powered circumnavigation of Antarctica, and being the first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Australia, 100 per cent eco-powered.

There will also be prizes and giveaways for those who sign up to learn more about sailing, with plenty of activities such as wingfoil demonstrations, ropes and rigging presentations, spinnaker packing competitions and loads more fun.

For 2023, the Boating Industry Association (BIA) also presents the Discover Sailing & Paddling Hub, offering insights into ways to start sailing, and featuring in-person conversations with endurance rower Michelle Lee on stage.

Sailing companies and brands, including Bali Catamarans, Bavaria, Beneteau, Corsair, Defour, Elan Yachts, Excess Catamarans, Fountaine Pajot, Grand Soleil Yachts, HH Catamarans, Lagoon, Leonardo Yachts, Leopard Catamarans, Minicat, Nautor Swan, Sailfish Catamarans, Seawind, and Tofinou have all confirmed attendance at the Sydney Boat Show 2023.

Catana 50

Catana 50

Another vessel making an Australian debut at the show is the Lagoon Sixty 5, presented by TMG Yachts. Dream Yacht Worldwide will feature the new Bali 4.6 Catamaran, making its Australian boat show debut. Also making its national debut is the Catana 50 bluewater cruiser. The Elan E6 performance cruiser makes its debut at the show, with the Dufour 37 making its Asia Pacific premiere.

The Yacht Sails Co will also be showcasing the Fountaine Pajot Isla 40 and the larger Dufour 470.

The Sydney Boat Show 2023 is open 10am–7pm from Thursday to Saturday (3-5 August 2023), and 10am to 5pm on Sunday (6 August 2023).

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