Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Sanctuary Cove to celebrate 25 years of evolution

by Sarah Ruggiero on 12 Jun 2012
Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2010 Sarah Ruggiero


On the busy marina, Bob Wonders is watching a young couple who’ve presumably taken the day off to admire the boats. Hand-in-hand, they are the epitome of young love. And in company of one of the multi-million dollar yachts on display, they look ready to set off on honeymoon.

'When I was a kid a bloke wouldn’t even tell his wife he was buying a new boat,' says Wonders, chuckling through a thick white moustache. 'She would be lucky if she found out.'

While his eyes follow the excited couple as they examine a nearby power cruiser, Wonders reminisces about the local boating industry, harking back to a time when Technicolor hulls and stainless steel appliances were futuristic designs and inconceivable elements.

'It was only men back then,' says Wonders. 'But today they certainly make an attempt to promote the female side of things. It’s amazing how the industry has grown.'

Wonders has been a boatie since his youth. As an established industry personality, he spent much of his career with Riviera and Maritimo. He’s seen the industry grow and prosper, adapt to economies’ needs, and change with customers’ desires. But most importantly, he’s watched the boating industry become a reflection of each era.

'The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show is certainly a sign of changing times,' says Wonders. 'Talk about home away from home, the comforts on board today would have absolutely blown people away 30 or 40 years ago. With flat screen televisions, microwave ovens, coffee makers. The improvement in boating in that sense has just been amazing.'



Aside from the greater inclusion of female boaties, Wonders credits the evolution in product with the industry’s growth.

'Gasoline engines are faster and diesel engines are lighter,' explains Wonders. 'Fibreglass has improved out of sight. The interiors of boats are absolutely magnificent. Some of them would make a double page spread in Architectural Digest.'

And some of them have. Many of the catamarans, yachts, and cruisers on display have featured in magazines articles, television specials and online advertisements all over the world.

But with improved products, comes hefty price tags.

'The prices have changed since the beginning of the show,' explains Wonders. 'For example a boat selling for $200,000 would have been at the higher end 25 years ago. The most expensive boat here is the Grand Banks, built in Singapore. A magnificent boat, it’s yours for four million.'

But according to Wonders, the Boat Show wasn’t always so grandiose. In fact, as he describes it, Sanctuary Cove’s initial events were meagre in comparison.

'It was a very small show when it started out,' describes Wonders. 'I can remember there were a few tinnies along the marine village and it was hard to tell exhibitors from attendees.'



In contrast, 2012 saw nearly 38,000 attendees walk through the door, a 1.6 per cent increase from last year.

'The show just grew gradually over the next couple of years and it certainly became the biggest non-capital city boat show in Australia,' says Wonders.

Boat show organisers agree.

'The [boat show’s] evolution has been remarkable,' confirms Phil Shaw, Events and Operations Manager. 'From the first show when they had about 40 boats on the water and 40 to 50 exhibitors, right up to the biggest year which had 450 boats on the water and 427 exhibitors.'

While Shaw has spent time promoting and organizing the show nationally, another official, Barry Jenkins, has seen the accumulation of his 24 years of involvement result in raising the show’s international status.

'Sanctuary Cove [Boat Show] opened in January 1988,' said Jenkins, Boat Show Manager of International Relations. 'It was such a success that we decided then that we would continue the Boat Show. As the industry grew, the boat show grew with the industry.'

Jenkins knew that in order for the boat show to succeed, the event needed international recognition. This global status has propelled the Boat Show’s evolution from local show, to an event with international stature and pull.

Sue Thomson, the Boat Show’s General Manager said the addition of international customers and brands has brought a new dimension into the Show.

'I think it’s important to build on our [international status] each year,' explains Thomson. 'We hold our international status quite proudly. It’s important for us every year to work in partnership with industry associations and our delegates to bring international visitors to the boat show. We’ll continue to work on that.'

One thing the Boat Show doesn’t have to work on is its location, boasting one of the best venues in the world.

'I can remember the manager of the London Boat Show being here a few years back in the year 2000,' recalls Jenkins. 'He spun on his heels in the middle of the marina village and said ‘this is the best venue in the world to run a boat show.'

Sanctuary Cove, nestled into the northern region of Queensland’s Gold Coast, is accredited with a portion of the Boat Show’s 24 years of success. Owned by Mulpha Australia Limited, the $2 billion complex is ‘Australia’s leading and most successful master-planned community’.

Many feel Mulpha’s commitment to balancing community and commercial expectations helped provide the ideal waterfront venue in which to operate the Boat Show.

'It all centres around the marina village, which has restaurants and retail and commercial and all sorts of things within it,' explains Jenkins. '[The village] pumps along all year so that when we start building the Boat Show around the village, the village actually becomes the heart of it all and provides the pulse that makes the rest of the boat show work. That helps us then create the atmosphere in which the Boat Show exists.'

It’s this heart that has Boat Show officials anticipating next year’s anniversary event.

According to Winson Chow, Mulpha’s Chief Operating Officer, planning is already underway for the celebratory show, which is geared to highlight Sanctuary Cove’s 25 years of evolutionary progress.

'As we head towards the significant milestone of the 25th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, 23 to 26 May 2013, we are looking forward to an even stronger event,' he said.



Although specific details won’t be released until closer to the event, officials promise the anniversary celebration will be bigger than ever before.

'I guess it’s kind of reached its maturity,' said Jeni Bone, Boat Show Media Liaison. 'From the 25 year onwards the plan is to diversify and be more dynamic year after year.

It’s this ever changing, dynamic approach that will continue to cement Sanctuary Cove’s annual event in premier boating scope and stature.

'The boat show will go on to support the industry through the 25th and beyond,' asserted Jenkins. 'Its about selling boats, its about selling equipment and everything else that goes with boating. But it’s also a lifestyle. It gets you away from the world. And there is no doubt then when you get on the water, it’s another world.'

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Does the America's Cup really need a Star Chamber?
The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London in the past week or so. Officially the date hasn't been publicly announced. The venue hasn't been publicly named, and the parties have appeared before a Panel that is publicly nameless.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's road to Bermuda
Part 2 of the interview with Emirates Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby. In this part of the interview we look at what is going to happen once Emirates Team NZ get their 'AC49.5' sailing in Auckland, and how the campaign may shape up before they leave for Bermuda. Ashby wouldn’t be drawn on whether Team New Zealand had started their AC50 build, with July being the usual start of what is usually a five-month build and commissioning period for an end of December launch.
Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's new AC49.5
Sail-World talks with Emirates Team NZ skipper, Glenn Ashby on what is different about the team's new test boat Just under 11 months out from the 35th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand does not seem to be in its customary place at the front of the starting grid to be the first to launch their Challenger, or are they? Although they will be one of the last of the six teams to launch an AC45 Surrogate, Emirates Team New Zealand may have stolen a march with a boat that is as close as you can get to an AC50.
Posted on 9 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun