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Sailing heads up the news this week - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 15 Feb 23:00 GMT
AC40 Simulator Training with the team © Nic Douglass Sailor Girl

The Team Australia Challenge campaign for the 2024 Puig Women's and Youth America's Cup has established an education and training Pathway Program to mentor the next generation of emerging, pathway and elite sailors through a charitable status with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF).

Campaign Patron John Bertrand AO said the opportunity generated by the new America's Cup campaign and the exceptional technology innovation with the AC40 yacht, named world boat of the year in 2023, provided an enormous chance to attract and retain talented sailors. Having entered a partnership last year with Australian Sailing to enhance skills development within the current America's Cup squad, Bertrand said the additional support of the ASF to recognise the Education and Training Pathway Program would attract wider support.

One of Australia's leading yacht clubs, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, has been awarded the International Clean Marina and Fish Friendly accreditations following a rigorous independent environmental audit. Home of the classic Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the marina is located on Sydney Harbour in Rushcutters Bay and is home to over 200 boats, including many offshore racing yachts.

The 78th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race saw 103 yachts take the start line on Boxing Day 2023 to embark on a relentless test of determination, as well as physical and mental resilience. The race was a resounding success and one of the closest in history with two boats battling it out to cross the finish line within seconds of each other.

Safety on the water is paramount and volunteers from Marine Rescue NSW's 46 units across the state completed 703 search and rescue missions in January, safely returning 1,788 people to shore. Greater Sydney was the busiest region in NSW with 285 missions while Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie was the most in-demand unit, completing 106 search and rescue missions. A quarter of last month's missions were emergency responses and Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell is pleading with boaters not to become a statistic with the boating season continuing until Anzac Day.

"Summer is by far from over at the moment, our message to boaters is to make sure that they don't get complacent, that they keep safety front of mind and they make the right decisions before they go boating on the state's waterways," Commissioner Barrell said.

As we progress through 2024, boat show preparations are happening and we are starting to receive news of exhibitor's offerings. At this year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 23-26 May, Sirocco Marine will have a massive line-up of Rigid Inflatable Boats from the world's leading brands. Occupying their traditional space along Masthead Way, Sirocco Marine dealers from all over Australia will present around 30 boats in total, representing the most popular models from BRIG, Zodiac and Williams.

Slava Rodionov, co-founder and CEO of BRIG, which manufactures in the Ukraine city of Kharkiv, will attend the show and meet with owners and dealers to present the innovations and plans for 2024. "Visitors to this year's SCIBS will be able to inspect a wide range of RIBs from Zodiac and BRIG, including the larger models in the 6 and 8-metre segment," said Sirocco Marine Managing Director, Neil Webster.

New boats arriving in Australia include Axopar, who are proud to unveil a new generation of adventure boats with the epic Axopar 29 range. Premiering at boot Düsseldorf 2024, the Axopar 29 Cross Cabin and Sun-Top models have been developed and refined from the iconic Axopar 28 and herald a new era of adventure, blending customer feedback with cutting-edge enhancements in functionality, usability, comfort, and quality. With its bold design and innovative features, the Axopar 29 range offers exceptional value and sets a new standard.

Peter Hrones, Founder of Eyachts, was extremely impressed at the launch in Europe, remarking, "Every feature is meticulously crafted, elevating the Axopar 29 to a class of its own in the market. One particularly striking attribute is the expansive side decks, boasting a 30% increase over its predecessor making navigating these decks forward-facing a breeze."

ILIAD Catamarans continues to consolidate its position as an emerging force in the long-range luxury power catamaran market with its appointment of Atlantic Yacht & Ship, Inc. as the brand's exclusive dealer in the United States and The Bahamas. The new dealer appointment has been confirmed on the eve of ILIAD Catamarans' US debut at the Miami International Boat Show from 14-18 February where it will showcase the ILIAD 53F.

The appointment of Atlantic Yacht & Ship, Inc. is a key strategy in ILIAD Catamarans expansion into the broader international market after firmly establishing itself throughout the Asia Pacific region since its launch in 2019.

Overseas, Sealegs International, a leading manufacturers of quality amphibious boats, this week announced its plans to relocate a portion of its manufacturing operations to Malaysia. This move comes as the result of a comprehensive evaluation of factors, primarily driven by the need to address increased manufacturing costs in New Zealand following the Covid pandemic.

Sealegs CEO, David McKee Wright, highlighted significant cost increases as the primary driver for the decision stating, "The rising cost of manufacturing in New Zealand post-Covid has presented challenges, resulting in increased prices for our valued customers worldwide. Our objective is to make the joy of amphibious boating more accessible to a wider audience by identifying ways to reduce manufacturing costs - a relocation of some of our manufacturing operations will help facilitate this."

Another overseas event, Superyacht Australia, proudly reports the success of its Australia Thailand Rendezvous event held in Phuket, Thailand, marking an important return to engaging with South East Asia since the last event in February 2020. The event, sponsored by Echo Yachts at Phuket Yacht Haven Marina on 9 February, saw an impressive turnout with 17 superyachts in attendance on the day and 22 engaged throughout the week.

More Oceania Marine Business news at from the largest boating news network

Stay in touch,
Peter Rendle -

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