Blue skies bathed the Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show in sunshine and success this weekend past. Held on the 10th and 11th of September 2011, it is the 9th edition of the show produced by the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach.
After a year off, the show has returned with more enthusiasm, a new venue, new time of year and success at its simple goal.
“All we want to do is bring loads of people here enjoying themselves” says Allan Robinson. This was clearly evident across the weekend on the faces of the many thousands of people attending the show and in the wonderful imagery captured across the weekend.
Six months in the making, the thirty plus local Rotary Club members, their partners, Dalwyn McErlane, John Nayler and sponsors weathered the critics and the odd economic tumbleweed to bring a show that offered plenty for every visitor.
A marina full of various vessels, sized from the Kevlacats to the 75 foot Endurance luxury yacht bedazzled enthusiasts. Under the big top people saw the latest in satellite telephones, marine electronics and hi-fi from makers like I-com, Raymarine and Fusion.
Elsewhere under the sun, the static displays offered Malibu ski boats, outboards from most manufacturers and the likes of the magnificient Brig Eagle 780 centre console rigid inflatable.
Regardless of product of service, exhibitors reported well. Engine, vessels, charters, fishing gear and apparel featured strongly in sales reports, sold to what mostly appeared to be an out of town crowd. The other signal of economic result was town's accommodation booked out, with one operator reporting that she “could have filled up twice”.
All this, the Fish D'vine seafood festival Sunday, Whitsunday Fun Race and after party together have turned the second weekend of September into a major event weekend with the entire local economy prospering.
Thanks go to the long list of sponsors, committed exhibitors, prize givers and supporters with complete information available at www.whitsundayboatshow.com