Strictly Sail Pacific & Powerboat Expo draws more than 12,000

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — The 2009 Strictly Sail Pacific & Powerboat Expo drew more than 12,000 guests to the five-day event, according to a release from event producer Sail America. Total attendance was down slightly from last year’s gate of 13,200.

The newly combined show is a merger of Strictly Sail Pacific and the Northern California Marine Association’s Pacific Power Boat Expo. The show brought together more than 250 sail and power exhibitors from April 15–19 at the remodeled Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif.

“By all accounts, Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo was a great success,” Jonathan Banks, executive director of Sail America, said in the release. “We had the same number of exhibitors as last year, and while attendance was down slightly, exhibitors were pleased with the quality of the attendees and the level of retail activity. We’re very pleased with the results considering the current state of the economy and the dramatic drop in attendance that many other boat shows have experienced this year. The strong attendance underlines the importance of boat shows and the continuing passion people have for sailing and other boating activities.”

The event featured a large in-water fleet of sail and power boats in addition to on-land exhibits, special events, features and seminars. Attendance at Sail America’s seminar series exceeded 5,000 — the largest turnout ever, according to Sail America. Also, more than 350 people signed up for a free Discover Sailing sailboat ride, and the Latitudes and Attitudes Cruiser’s Bash had a record turnout of nearly 400 people.

The show also introduced several new features this year, including the Green Boating Zone, Kid’s Day from West Marine,; free seminars for kids from Call of the Sea, sailboat rides for kids with special needs from Heart of Sailing as well as tours of the educational vessel, The Derek M. Baylis.

“The combined show was an excellent move, and offered great value for both sailing and power boat enthusiasts,” Trish D’Anna, owner of D’Anna Yacht Center, said in the release. "We’ve received several promising prospects from the show and we are looking forward to the start of the spring season.”

Next year’s show is once again scheduled for mid-April at Jack London Square.

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