by Emma Slater
The RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts and Yachting and Suzuki, proved as popular as ever this year with dinghy enthusiasts from across the country and as far afield as India and America flocking to Alexandra Palace, London.
2011 RYA Volvo Dinghy Show
'We had some 9,000 people attend this year’s show, which is two per cent up on last year’s figures.
'The halls were jam packed on Saturday, but attendance was down a bit on Sunday. However with sunshine and good wind Sunday it was a great day to go sailing!' commented show manager Paul Bayliss.
Being the only show in the world dedicated to dinghy sailing it really is a must for all dinghy sailors and enthusiasts. Throughout the weekend visitors had the chance to check out new boats, redesigned boats, kit, gear, books and much more, as well as pick up some top tips from some of the very best dinghy sailing and windsurfing experts around.
Visitors also had the chance to mingle and get up close and personal with some of the sports elite sailors including double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Gosling, Team Volvo for life sailors: Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison, Paralympian Helena Lucas and RS:X windsurfing champion Nick Dempsey, as well as Skandia Team GBR’s Penny Clark and Vendee Globe skipper Mike Golding.
'This has been the best Dinghy Show I have seen yet! I’ve loved it. Some brilliant boats and a great buzz', commented Mark Jardine, Editor of Yachts and Yachting Online.
From hard core racers to cruisers, families and youngsters the show had something for everyone. Main stage talks attracted big crowds as did the more hands on coaching sessions where visitors got to experience everything from rolling around on a fitness ball to improve core stability to the always popular rig tuning session.
Younger visitors whizzed around the show collecting diamonds in the Diamond Treasure Hunt and built some great racers in the Holt Blow Boat Challenge.
Some of the show’s younger visitors commented: 'The whole show was all good! I had lots of fun doing the treasure hunt. I hope mum brings us back next year.' - Gabe, 10, West Lancs Yacht Club.
'It was really good. My favourite thing was the sailing simulator.'- Olivia, 8 Midlands SC
The show was also a great success for the exhibiting sailing clubs, associations and retailers.
'We had a wide range of visitors to our stand and not just dinghy sailors. It was great to have people showing interest in our club was well as meeting the other local clubs exhibiting at the show. We have had some very good discussions with like-minded people, including trade and possible sponsors', explained Meryl Deane, Chichester Yacht Club, Dinghy Committee.
'The show was been an outstanding success. We have had great visitor quantities and have had lots of fun as well', commented Kim Allen, Managing Director, Allen Brothers.
'We have been delighted with the number of people visiting the show this year and helping us make the show’s 60th birthday a huge success. Thanks to title sponsor Volvo and supporting sponsors Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki. We are now looking to 2012 when we hope to make the show even bigger and better than ever', concluded Paul Bayliss.
To see all the news from this year’s show visit the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show websiteClick_here!new and check out pictures from the show on http://www.flickr.com/photos/60363087@N05/!Flickr!new.
We hope to see you there next year!