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Major waterway development brings some joy to Gold Coast - MarineBusinessWorld.com newsletter

by Peter Rendle 24 Sep 15:00 PDT
Multi-million dollar investment supports local jobs and Gold Coast waterways access © Boating Industry Association

A significant announcement by the Queensland Government will bring some good news to the residents of the Gold Coast whose tourist and hospitality industry has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 border closures.

The Palaszczuk Government has announced more than $35 million will be invested in the Gold Coast's waterways over the next four years to create more than 100 jobs, upgrade facilities for boaties, maintain navigation and improve access through dredging navigation channels.

The jewel in the crown, $5.5 million to dredge the Gold Coast Seaway and the North and South navigation channels, will support 18 jobs and better access between the coast, ocean and Australia's $74 billion maritime industry. Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the investment program would create more opportunities for the city's Superyacht and marine industries, as well as jobs for local contractors as part of the Palaszczuk Government's plan for economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile a French marina builder is finding new ways to build and manage marinas. In the 21st century where traditional land planning methods are running out of steam, designing sustainable projects for maritime shorelines and nautical spaces that serve multiple purposes is becoming a priority for local communities. It is in this context that Poralu Marine, the world leader in the construction of aluminium marinas, is making a significant shift and launching "Marina Management & Consulting" (MM&C), a revolution in its market.

Poralu Marine is using its 35 years of experience in designing marinas to break away from traditional business models, which focus solely on the leisure aspects of a marina. By moving from manufacturer to manager, operator, and investor, the world leader is responding to strong market demand and revolutionizing its core business. The company is the first in the world to offer such a complete and tailor-made solution while mastering the entire value chain.

A household name among sailors, Harken, has been purchased by its employees. Peter Harken a founder of the company, explains, "Throughout the years, Olaf and I have been approached by lots of good people interested in acquiring our business. The way we decided was simple. We turned down every offer that didn't present a brighter future for our people than we could create on our own. We started this company to build the best sailing products we could at a fair price. We've had good success doing it, and that makes us proud. What we might not have anticipated was how much the culture of this place means to its success. My brother Olaf, Art Mitchel, and I tried to build a place where people could take chances and not be afraid to fail. More and more it's our people who have made this place the leader it is. Today, we're acknowledging an ownership change. It's time for those who have worked with us to own Harken."

Staying with sailing, one of Australia's oldest yacht clubs has won a coveted award. After its biggest sailing season in the club's 161-year history, Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) has won the 2020 Sport Promotion Award at the Australian Sailing - Victoria Awards. Australian Sailing - Victoria announced today that Royal Geelong Yacht Club is the recipient of this award, after being named a finalist two weeks ago, alongside James Mitchell from Sandringham Yacht Club and the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV). RGYC has continually delivered high quality events including its annual Festival of Sails and bi-ennial Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong. The success and growth of these events has allowed RGYC to attract and deliver world class events including a variety of National and World Championships.

Further news on the sailing scene comes from my home town in the UK. The annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing is postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual event reassembling some of the sports' leading personalities from all over the world will be held on November 24.

MaxComm Communication, organiser of the Yacht Racing Forum, and Host City Portsmouth (UK), announce the postponement of the event to November 2021 due to COVID-19. "We have worked tirelessly to create a high-quality event", says Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Forum. "Unfortunately, recent developments and government regulations, travel difficulties and quarantine measures have forced us to take this difficult decision. Postponing the Forum to next year, two months prior to the event, is the only solution that provides clarity to our stakeholders." Mark Bowden, Portsmouth Harbour Marine, says: "We are naturally disappointed but there was no alternative. That said, we are pleased that this is a postponement, and that the Yacht Racing Forum will still be coming to Portsmouth next year. This will enable us to showcase south coast marine businesses and those from around the UK to an international audience in the stunning setting of Portsmouth Harbour.

And Zhik, a world innovator and supplier of sailing apparel and accessories have announced two new Dry Bags. Joining Zhik's range of technical luggage for sailing and water sports, are two different handy dry bags. With the new Zhik 30L Dry BackPack you can carry your wet kit home, knowing there's no water going to drip out, or keep your dry kit dry when the weather is kicking off. The new Zhik 6L Drybag Hi Vis is perfect for keeping small items safe and dry on board, or inside a daypack or holdall, this bright, High Vis 6 Litre Drybag stands out and is easy to find in poor light. Made from 100% waterproof fabric with taped seams, it is supplied with a stowable pouch and packs right down for compact storage, fitting easily inside another bag or pocket.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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