Cockle Bay free after Papal visit

Sydney Boat Show -Darling Harbour Sydney
Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay, site of the spectacular Sydney International Boat Show marina, was officially handed back to the Boating Industry Association of NSW at 0700hrs on Monday.

The Sydney International Boat Show, sponsored by NSW Maritime, is scheduled for July 31-August 5.

Cockle Bay, together with major sections of Darling Harbour, had been set aside for the recent visit by Pope Benedict to World Youth Day.

Although it was expected to cause major headaches for show organisers, the association’s marketing and event manager. Domenic Genua, said they were able to “work around it.”

“It did cause us concern, but now it’s all systems go and move in will start and we’ll have the marina looking just as it should,” Genua said.

Genua said he expected marina exhibitors to start moving the expected 292 vessels into the marina starting next Saturday. “We have some very busy days ahead of us, but all is on track for another first rate recreational boating exhibition,” he declared.

The six day show will open daily at 10am with the six halls of the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre trading until 8pm. The marina will close each day at 6pm.

A highlight of the show will be the daily appearances on the Better Boating Workshop stage of the daring young adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, who “crossed the ditch”, otherwise known as the Tasman Sea, in their kayak.

Other major attractions include the Yamaha Fishing Clinic, winners in the recent Australian Marine Industry Federation Boat of the Year awards, the Strictly Sail stage and Musto Fashion parades staged daily.

On-line ticketing has been made available this year for the first time and according to Genua interest and bookings have been strong.

For those who like interesting “tit bits” related to the show, this will be its 41st edition, show #1 having been staged in 1968.

With the six halls of the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre and the Cockle Bay Marina, more than 1100 boats will be on display.

To walk through the six halls, once only, visitors will cover 2.5 kilometres. If the vessels on the marina were lined up stem to stern, they would stretch from Cockle Bay to the Sydney Opera House (3.9 kilometres).

Setting up a show of the magnitude of the Sydney International is no overnight task; it involves a major logistical exercise with more than 2100 vehicle movements in the exhibition centre’s loading docks. About 5500 people will be directly employed at the show during the six days.

From 1968 through to 2007, an estimated 2.85 million people have visited the Sydney International Boat Show, with 80,000-plus expected to swell that figure this year.

Sydney Boat Show
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Admission charges for the 2008 show remain unchanged at $18 (single adult), $42 (family ticket admitting two adults and up to three children aged 6-17 years), $16 (Senior Card holders), $12 (Pensioners) and $10 (children aged 6-17-years.

Children under five-years admitted free.

For further information or to book on-line go to the website, www.sydneyboatshow.com.au