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<P class="text">I am writing this column in the middle of a sleepless
night, having just come back from attending the 2007 Sanctuary
Cove International Boat Show &ndash; and <em>what a show!</em></P>

<P class="text"> My staff and I are all exhausted from the endless industry
functions, awards ceremonies, product launches and other events that
make up this great show.</P>
<P class="text"> More than 450 exhibitors were spread over 16,000 square
metres of displays on the hard stand and under the pavilions, showcasing
an unbelievable 823 boats and PWCs for sale &ndash; and the sensational
Queensland weather welcomed a record crowd of more than 53,000
visitors to the show.</P>
<P class="text"> According to the organisers, more than $150 million
was spent at The Cove this year &ndash; Riviera alone claimed sales
of 30 boats totalling more than $34 million, including five of their
Australian Marine Awards Boat of the Year-winning Riviera 4700 Sports
Yachts (read more of the Australian Marine Awards elsewhere in this
<P class="text"> Other local success stories included Mustang holding
orders worth over $8 million, including five of their new M43 flybridge
models, and Sunrunner reported 11 high-end sales worth around $7 million.
Sunseeker led the way for the importers, taking orders totalling
nearly $32 million.</P>

<P class="text"> I did not talk to a single one of our boat builders,
dealers or agents at the show this year who were not similarly
enthusiastic &ndash; especially
those lucky enough to have been visited by one of the many international
trade delegations looking to buy up big on Aussie exports.</P>
<P class="text"> All of this speaks volumes for the health of the Australian
marine industry. We are literally spoilt for choice with the myriad
of world-class product on offer from some of the planet&rsquo;s best
manufacturers, both at home and abroad. The only things you could
not buy at the show were the two things all of us need most in order
to enjoy the great Australian boating life &ndash; time and money.</P>
<P class="text"> If you are one of those lucky buggers who took the
plunge and spent some of your kids&rsquo; inheritance at the show, just remember to
give us a call so we can arrange to insure your new pride and joy
before you take delivery!</P>

<P class="text"> As part of our show activities, we joined the rest
of the marine industry for the Australian Marine Awards, held at the
Marriott Resort in Surfers Paradise.</P>
<P class="text"> When you are part of something as good as the Australian
marine industry, you deserve every now and then to frock-up, kick
up your heels, sink a few glasses of your favourite poison and pat
yourself and your peers on the back for a job well done.<br />
The Awards are presented by the Australian Marine Industries Federation
and its media partners, and recognise excellence in the design,
engineering, manufacturing and retailing of boats and other marine
products, with categories including Exporter of the Year (won this
year by one of this country&rsquo;s most dynamic home-grown success
stories &ndash; Ronstan),
Marina of the Year (Jeff D&rsquo;Albora&rsquo;s sensational Soldiers
Point Marina at Port Stephens) and the Club Marine Safety Award
(won by the superb Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge).</P>
<P class="text"> Club Marine has sponsored the Awards for the past two
years and a lot of people have been asking me why &ndash; what&rsquo;s
<em>in it</em> for Club Marine? My answer is consistent and clear: in order
to have a sustainable and world-class marine industry in this country,
we need a viable and meaningful awards system that rewards and
recognises excellence &ndash; and if we don&rsquo;t stump up the money
to support the Awards, who will?</P>

<P class="text"> The AMIF Awards system may not be perfect &ndash; it
can certainly be improved, and the more people from around the marine
industry and the media who get their bums out of the cheap seats and
join us, AMIF and the other Awards partners down on the playing field,
the better they&rsquo;ll be.</P>
<P class="text"> If, like us, you make your living out of boats or boating,
I invite you to join us in supporting this worthwhile endeavour and
play your part in making sure the Australian Marine Awards continue
to grow and evolve into the sort of highly regarded awards program
we can all be incredibly proud of.</P>
<P class="text"> Drop me a line &ndash; email <a href="mailto:ceo@clubmarine.com.au">ceo@clubmarine.com.au</a> </P>

<P class="text"> Regards, </P>
<P align="left"><img src="/images/internet/clubmarine/sign.gif" width="150" height="45" /><br />
<span class="style2">Mark Bradley<br />
Publisher and CEO<br />
Club Marine Limited </span> <br />
<span class="style2">E-mail: <a href="mailto:ceo@clubmarine.com.au">ceo@clubmarine.com.au</a></span></P>

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