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Sailing is in the limelight this week - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 23 Nov 2023 15:00 PST
The 54th ORC Congress © Offshore Racing Congress

The 54th meeting of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) concluded today with a summary of the results of this year's hard work of the committee members and staff, along with descriptions of new initiatives and innovations in technical and support services for offshore sailing. 2023 has been a good year for ORC.

The system issued 13,525 certificates in 41 countries around the world through the end of September and is on track to match or exceed the 14,789 certificates issued last year. This makes ORC the largest measurement-based rating system in the world. Besides providing rating services for all sizes and types of monohulls (Racers, Cruiser/Racers, Superyachts, and Sportboats), ORC has launched this year the new ORC Multihull rule system.

Australian photographic and videography agency Salty Dingo has won the Yacht Racing Forum Award ('The Delegates Award') in the 2023 Mirabaud Yachting Image Awards. The Awards, open to professional yacht racing photographers from around the world, attracted entries from 144 photographers from 30 nations this year. Salty Dingo Co-Founder Craig Greenhill's image of supermaxi Hamilton Island Wild Oats competing in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race proved a winner for delegates attending World Sailing's annual conference and marine trade show METSTRADE in The Netherlands.

The third edition of the Golden Globe Race, a solo non-stop retro adventure in small full-keel yachts, saw 17 sailors set out from Les Sables d'Olonne on September 4th 2022. Eight months later only three would finish. On top of the list, a South African woman, Kirsten Neuschäfer, broke all records. She crossed the line in a blaze of glory with a simple, unassuming smile and humble words of gratitude to her followers and supporters.

Her story and that of the other sailors who were not there, kept millions around the world enthralled from day one. Every sailor faced their own personal challenge alone and often questioned why they were there, right to the end. Emotions ran high, month after month, and the GGR following grew every day. The Meltwater media analysis found an equivalent advertising/PR value of €213 million.

Garmin, a innovative and recognised marine electronics manufacturer, recently announced the quatix® 7 Pro - its next-gen high-performance smartwatch optimised for marine life. Purpose-built for life on the water and packed with wearable tech for everyday fitness, wellness and convenience, it features a stunning 1.3" AMOLED display with a premium, scratch-resistant sapphire lens. Explore longer thanks to a battery life of up to 16 days in smartwatch mode.

What's more, the quatix 7 Pro features two new apps - Trolling Motor Remote and Fish Forecast - that enrich life on the water for mariners, boaters and anglers.

"Our new quatix 7 Pro is designed with a marine lifestyle in mind. With these new, innovative features that are purpose-built for mariners, sailors and anglers alike, the quatix 7 Pro can make a day on the water more enjoyable. While it also brings a level of style and sophistication to your life on shore as well." - Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Global Consumer Sales.

On the show scene and on the first day of METSTRADE Show 2023, ATL Composites (Australia) and their joint venture partners, von der Linden GmbH based in Wesel, Germany, exhibited the DuFLEX, DuraKore and Featherlight panels range, manufactured by their joint venture company, vdL Composites GmbH. For 11 years ATL Composites and M.u.H. von der Linden have worked together to supply customers across Europe in a range of different industries, including architecture and construction. ATL in Australia supplies all the resin used in the panels made by vdL Composites for Europe.

From the start of opening day, Director at ATL, Lorraine Duckworth, said the visitor traffic was heavy, noticeably up on previous years, with "ever expanding international visitors interested in composite construction". She adds, "An interesting trend this year is strong enquiry from companies on reducing the weight and speeding up the construction process of interiors for boats, in both power and sail."

From Hong Kong, the Lantau Yacht Club Boat Show 2023 - Festa Nautica was a resounding success. As one of the key visions of Auberge Hospitality, Festa Nautica redefined the concept of luxury, presenting a curated selection of high-end, elegant vessels represented by seven dealers displaying fourteen esteemed brands. The three-day yacht spectacular was launched with a grand opening ceremony on 3 November, graced by six esteemed guests, who looped a rope around the ceremonial mooring bollards in a symbolic gesture.

From New Zealand, The Whangarei Maritime Festival at Whangarei's Town Basin Marina was a huge hit drawing over 13,000 people, making it one of Northland's biggest events of the year. The free family-focused festival celebrated Whangarei's maritime spirit past, present and future with on-water and shoreside displays, hands-on activities, entertainment and seminars.

A wooden boat festival has also been announced for Auckland. Taking place from 1-3 March 2024 as part of the Moana Auckland Festival it will tell the stories of classic boats of all types, on the Auckland Waterfront.

Awards: Brunswick Corporation has announced its Mercury Marine division was named a 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Award honoree in the Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy category for the Avator 20e and 35e electric outboards. This is the third CES Innovation Award for Mercury. In 2022, Mercury's V12 600hp Verado outboard engine won the award in the Vehicle & Transportation category, and in 2021, Mercury's 1st Mate Marine System technology won in two categories, earning the Best of Innovation designation in the In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety category and CES Innovation Award honor in the Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation category.

On a sadder note, the NSW Coroner is seeking as much awareness as possible amongst the boating public to the safety issues raised in the Beeby Inquest. The Coroner's Office has asked BIA to assist in a follow up request to the boating media to help with any further publicity to promote the findings from the inquest. You can view the findings online. Please consider how you may be able to assist.

Keep a look-out,
Peter Rendle -

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