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Paddleboards prove a hit at Scotland's Boat Show

by Stephanie Melrose 18 Oct 2019 16:23 BST 12-13 October 2019
Emma and Duncan at the Kip Boat Show © Sailingfast

A 12'6 Red Paddle Co Voyager paddleboard on display attracted a lot of visitors to the Sailingfast stand at the 33rd Annual Scotland Boat show at the weekend.

Thousands of people spent the weekend at the country's premier boat show at Kip Marina in Inverclyde at the weekend.

Sailingfast and sister company Paddlefast were among the exhibitors in the Royal Yacht Association (RYA) Scotland Marine Pavilion at the three-day show. They caught the attention of visitors with the display of two Red Paddle Co paddleboards. The 12'6 Voyager board and 10'8 Ride board from the 2020 range were available for sale.

Duncan Hepplewhite, director of Sailingfast based in Central Scotland explains:

"Despite the typical Scottish weather, we've had another successful year at the show. This was our third year taking part and with the growing interest in paddleboarding, it was the perfect platform to showcase some of the 2020 paddleboards. Given their size, they were quite the attention grabber.

"Most people who visited us on the stand were asking about the paddleboards. They were interested in what they were and how they might give paddleboarding a try if they hadn't already.

"It was really encouraging to hear that some people had seen our social media activity and knew about the special offers available and the fact we have the new 2020 paddleboards in stock already."

Visitors could benefit from a special container offer when signing up for a WASZP to be delivered in early spring, saving massively on the shipping costs. The deal is still running for orders placed by the end of October.

Additionally, as the retailer for Topper and Laser Performance in Scotland, Sailingfast is well positioned to provide advice on dinghies to sail.

Duncan comments: "We have an excellent understanding and experience of the various dinghies available in both ranges. So, we were able to provide advice to those interested in a dinghy to sail in terms of what will or won't suit someone's local sailing area and their crew set up - be it with kids or single handed for example."

In total, about 50 visitors to the stand entered the prize draw and the winner received a Zhik z-cru jacket and other sailing goodies.

While on the stand Duncan's wife and business partner, Emma Hepplewhite spoke to people about the buzz she got when she tried foiling recently and her plans to do it again soon:

Emma says: "Some say foiling is the future of sailing - it's fast, exciting to sail and makes for edge of your seat viewing. There's a reason the America's Cup teams are doing it, and the Sail GP guys are using the WASZPs for training in the various ports on the tour. The WASZP is a one design foiling dinghy which means it hasn't been retro fitted for foiling, as is the case with a couple of other classes. And the latest carbon foils are also affordable.

"Scotland's Boat Show is a key event for both of our businesses each year, raising the profile of sailing and paddleboarding and making it more accessible to everyone in Scotland. With 2020 being Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters, we are looking forward to an even more exciting and memorable event next year."

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