NMTA to produce its own wakeboard tournament

SEATTLE – More boats, more dealers and a wakeboard competition will highlight the third annual Boatstock, July 23-24, produced by the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

Returning to Renton, Wash.’s Gene Coulon Park for the third year, event organizers are happy with the increased participation and interest from its members.

“Last year, we opened up the event to include more types of boats and that doubled the number of dealers that participated,” said Daleen Esterhuizen, NMTA boat show coordinator. “This year, we’ve added a new element or two that has drawn even more members to Boatstock.”

Boatstock, presented by West Marine, features tournament boats, sailboats, runabouts and fishing boats available for demo rides, as well as free clinics for children and adults in beginning sailing from Hobie Cats Northwest.

“Boatstock has really turned into a terrific event for the NMTA and the public,” said John Thorburn, NMTA communications director. “In two days time, more than 500 boat rides were given to people attending the event last year. It’s a great experience for the public to get a taste of boating and a good opportunity for our members to reach out to those people. It’s a tool to grow boating – to plant the seeds of boating in the people’s minds. Members who participate in the event should be applauded for recognizing the importance of that point and for sacrificing time and money to help in that effort.”

New to the event is the Northwest Wakeboard Invitational – a day-long double-up tournament featuring pro-level and top amateur wakeboarders from the region on July 23. Renton government and park officials have granted event organizers permission to use the logboom area to the northeast of the Boatstock venue for the event. Thousands of dollars are up for grabs as cash prizes for top finishers in the tournament.

“Producing our very own wakeboard competition is a new venture for the association,” Esterhuizen said. “We saw this as a great tool to attract a younger audience and more exposure to Boatstock. As a result, more tournament boat dealers have signed up to provide free boat rides.”

With the Professional Wakeboard Tour competing in British Columbia two weeks prior to Boatstock and one week after Boatstock in Portland, Ore., NWI organizers are optimistic about the future of the event as officials from the tour will be in the region at the time.

“The professional tour has wanted to bring an event here for a long time,” Thorburn said. “With many of the watersports industry leaders calling the Seattle area home, it’s a natural fit to hold an event here. The problem is that there hasn’t been a suitable venue nearby. If the July event is successful, it could go a long way in establishing a permanent stop on the tour schedule.”

The NMTA has partnered with Clear Channel Radio for the third-straight year and will promote the free event on the media company’s Seattle radio stations as part of IKEA Renton River Days. Boatstock is part of the NMTA’s Grow Boating program.

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