Sydney boat show
The 2013 Sydney International Boat Show (August 1-5) is the 25th and final exhibition at Darling Harbour prior to its billion-dollar redevelopment over the next three years. The indoor component of the show will be staged at the Sydney Exhibition Centre on Glebe Island, but the floating marina on Cockle Bay will remain the "home port" for the bigger boats. The show is open August 1-5, 10am to 8pm in the halls and 10am to 6pm on the marina. See sydneyboatshow.com.au.
Amazing Las Balsas
Sydney boat show speaker Elyse Guevara-Rattray, from Ecuador, is the daughter of Luis Anibal Guevara, who was one of 12 men on three rafts that crossed from Ecuador to Australia in 1973. The three rafts, each measuring 46 feet (14 metres) long and 18 feet wide, were made of massive balsa logs secured together with wooden pegs and handmade sisal ropes. The daring 14,000-kilometre voyage across the Pacific Ocean set out to prove that the Pacific Islands may have been populated by migrations from South America. The raft adventure ended 179 days later at Ballina on the NSW north coast. Hear all about it at the boat show. See lasbalsas.com.au.
Middle Harbour show
This weekend's Middle Harbour Boat Show at The Spit offers a preview of some of the standouts destined for the Sydney boat show. SBM Maritimo has the new Maritimo M50 Cruising Motoryacht with the first-ever Euro transom on a flybridge Maritimo model; the stylish S50 Motoryacht with upgraded interior and Miele appliance package; and a rebadged Mustang 43 with shaft drives now dubbed the Maritimo S43. The exclusive SBM display includes Maritimo and Mustang models, quality used boats and trades from 30-75 feet. Across the road at d'Albora Marinas, e-Marine will have Back Cove and Sabre boats from Maine, while MW Marine has Jeanneau power and Prestige cruisers from France.
Sydney - Gold Coast
A high-quality fleet of 50 yachts will contest the annual 384-nautical-mile Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race starting on July 27 at 1pm off Nielsen Park. Bob Oatley's super maxi Wild Oats XI, which smashed Brindabella's 13-year-old race record with an elapsed time of 22 hours, three minutes, 46 seconds last year, is line honours favourite and is set to go even faster following extensive modifications. See goldcoast.cyca.com.au.