The 18th, annual Cape Town International Boat Show took place from 19-21 October at the V&A Waterfront. The 3-day event was organised, for the first time, by new owners Messe Frankfurt South Africa (MFSA), and presented by Mercedes-Benz X-Class and featured over 100 exhibitors. This year’s show drew its biggest audience yet, and boasts an increase in visitor attendance of over 50%.
Some of the major successes of the 2018 show was the expansion into the luxury lifestyle sector, a dedicated kids’ area and, for the first time, the inclusion of interactive on-water activities.
The show featured some of the finest in luxury boats. One of the largest being the HQ2 by Two Oceans Marine. Boating World also displayed their Fountaine Pajot MY 44 Motor Yacht, which was crowned ‘European Power Boat of the Year’ for 2018.
“This is the first Cape Town International Boat Show organised by Messe Frankfurt. We are extremely satisfied with the results of the event. Our focus this year was to ensure that we could establish a good quality platform from which to grow the show into a truly international event,” says Konstantin von Vieregge, CEO, MFSA.
Visitors were treated to fantastic displays of flyboarding, motorised surf boards and stand-up paddle boarding. Competitors got their adrenaline pumping during the Cape 31 regatta, which departed from the show to race across Table Bay. Spectators got behind the Royal Cape Yacht Club Youth Invitational match race which featured 4 teams of 4 sailors per team. The race was an exciting one with the winning team being rewarded for good starting, boat handling and teamwork skills. Other interactive displays included exciting canoe polo matches and a very energetic dragon boat race across the Marina.
The inaugural Great Optimist Race which focuses on overcoming the odds was hosted by Greg Bertish, big wave surfer, charity campaigner and double heart surgery survivor. The race, which took place at the Cape Town International Boat Show was aimed at raising funds for sick and needy children across the Western Cape. On the day, 42 sailors, most of them complete novices, set off on a tricky three-lap course through the V & A Waterfront in front of thousands of spectators. Competitors ranged from celebrities to captains of industry, and medical survivors, all of whom raced for glory in little optimist boats. It was shark attack survivor, amputee and adaptive surfing champion, Caleb Swanepoel who took the glory.
The Cape Town International Boat Show will once again take place at the V&A Waterfront from 18-20 October 2019. MFSA is set to continue the growth of the show and position it amongst one of the world’s best boating events.
“The initial feedback we have received form exhibitors and visitors who participated in this year’s event has been tremendously positive. We are extremely grateful for the support from SABBEX, and our headline sponsor Mercedes-Benz X-Class, as well as our other sponsors and partners,” says Joshua Low, Group Exhibitions Director, MFSA.
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