The countdown is on to Christmas, and more importantly, Boxing Day (two weeks exactly, by the way) when the crews hit the water and the rest of us roll off the lounge to watch on the box or on the Harbour, this country's most hotly contested bluewater race - 630 nm through some of the most treacherous and testing conditions on earth - which ranks the race among iconic events such as the Melbourne Cup and the cricket Test Matches between Australia and England.
Wherever we are on Boxing Day, watching the Sydney-Hobart start is a tradition best enjoyed with cold turkey and ham leftovers, plum pudding crumbs and regrets about imbibing too much of everything rich.
We still have another week before Christmas, so I will hold off salutations until then and in the meantime, encourage you to spend some time today going over the host of stories gathered from around the globe - all useful for the business and pleasure of boating.
Marine13 is shaping up to be a highly relevant and compelling international industry event, with high calibre speakers coming onboard and delegates starting to book. The latest is the Global Marina Institute (GMI) which will meet to discuss international marina education and certification. The Board of GMI comprises marina leaders from Britain, Spain, France and Australia.
GMI Board member and Chairman of the Marine13 Steering Committee, Jeff d'Albora said the meeting of GMI at Marine13 'will benefit the marina and broader marine industries'. There will be many more speakers, sessions and opportunities confirmed in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.
Devastating news this morning for boat owners at Horizon Shores, with Queensland Fire and Rescue Services confirming 20 boats destroyed by a boat shed fire at the marina 20 minutes north of the Gold Coast. Still no word as to the cause of the blaze or how much damage to the premises.
On a brighter note, the team from AIMEX/Superyacht Australia is pleased to announce support for the 2013 Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards from long-time partner, Club Marine - its 5th consecutive year as sponsor. In announcing the insurer's support for next year's Awards, Club Marine CEO, Greg Fisher said: 'The Club Marine Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards provide well deserved recognition to businesses in the Australian marine export and superyacht sectors'.
Superyacht Australia is also the subject of our major feature this week - with testimonials from members as to the evolution of the organisation under AIMEX's wing, its initiatives and targeted approach to the international marketing and promotion of Australian industry.
All the best as we wind down to holidays - be they ever so brief for many of us!
Here's hoping for clear skies and pleasant conditions to place boating top of mind before Christmas! Our RIB now has a trailer, so look out you flathead and bream hiding at Jumpinpin!
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