First event is a cracker

The first Gibraltar Boat Show has been deemed a great success by the organisers and the host of exhibitors that flocked to the Med event.

Check out our gallery of images from the show by following the link at the bottom of this page.

More than 10,000 visitors enjoyed four days of sunshine and the latest motorboats at the event, held in Gib’s Ocean Village complex near the airport.

May 2010 has already been penciled in for the next show.

Organiser John Wood says: “Putting on the first international boat show in Gibraltar was always going to be a challenge, but positive feedback from sponsors, exhibitors, the Government and visitors has been exceptional so we’re already making plans for next year with great excitement.

“We had a hunch that larger national events in Madrid and Barcelona were not only geographically distant from southern Iberia but also slightly impersonal in terms of matching local needs and it seems that our preconceptions were accurate.

“Sales and prospects across the board from yacht brokers to associated marine services and peripheral industries from supercars to residential property have exceeded expectations giving us a solid platform for 2010.”

Running across the Easter weekend from 9 to 12 April, the show saw Azimut, Sunseeker, Pershing and Fairline as well as a host of other exhibitors keen to tap into the affluent southern Iberian market.

Dominic Byrne, Managing Director of Sunseeker Spain and Gibraltar, says: “It was definitely worth attending and we made a number of sales.”

Miko Sheppard Capurro of Sheppards and Raymarine adds: “It was great to see a real carnival atmosphere across the Easter weekend.”

The raft of activities to capture all ages included a Kid’s Zone, a parade by the Ferrari Owners Club of Andalucia and on-board experiences by Royal Navy and police vessels.

An Armed Forces versus Celebrities charity football match in aid of Help for Heroes provided a finale to the show.

The Royle Family’s Ralf Little admitted he was nervous beforehand: “The armed services guys looked massive, sharp and very very fit. We’re going to last about two minutes.”

After 90 minutes the teams were locked at 3-3. Despite three saves from Big Brother’s Ziggy, the Forces eventually nicked it on penalties but credit must go to Olympic relay expert Derek Redmond who took his (missing) penalty in style with a 60 metre sprint from the halfway line.

Thousands of pounds were raised for Help for Heroes while a donation also went to Mencap through the sale of show programmes.

Follow this link to our gallery of Gibraltar boat show images .

Here’s more information about the show:
www.gibraltarboatshow.com