Reberth for show
The 46th Sydney International Boat Show attracted 58,901 visitors — down 7.8 per cent on last year — before closing a chapter in its history at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. The boat show venue for 25 years has been earmarked for redevelopment. Boat show organisers, the Boating Industry Association of NSW, have begun planning for 2014, with the undercover exhibits to be relocated to Glebe Island for three years during the redevelopment, while the on-water displays will remain in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour.
One of the good-news stories out of this year's boat show was the pledge from the minister for roads and ports, Duncan Gay, of a further $20 million for boating safety, access and infrastructure programs across NSW. Funding will support additional boating safety officers on the water this summer, improve safety signage, and help local councils upgrade regional infrastructure. Gay said funding initiatives would also help provide off-street boat-trailer storage and additional infrastructure for access to Botany Bay and Sydney Harbour. A study released this year revealed 5000 more berths would be needed on Sydney Harbour by 2021.
Bars put into view
NSW Maritime has upgraded its real-time cameras at 14 key bar-crossing locations from Brunswick Heads in the north to Bermagui in the south. The footage, previously only available on desktop, is now compatible with iPhones. Anyone in a recreational vessel must also wear an appropriate life jacket when crossing coastal bars. Authorities remind boaters to avoid crossing a bar when the tide is changing as this is when dangerous waves are most likely to occur. See maritime.nsw.gov.au/webcams/web-cam.html.
Wild Oats surfs
All eyes were on Wild Oats XI during this week's Hamilton Island Race Week. The supermaxi is sporting a radical retractable hydrofoil-type wing designed to make it faster downwind. Licensed by Dynamic Stability Systems in England, the wing and foil concept was said to stem from months of research into improving the yacht's surfability downwind in strong winds. The retractable aerofoil-shaped wing slots into a horizontal cassette that extends across the yacht at the waterline, between the mast and the keel. The foil is extended and retracted using hydraulic motors. In fact, Wild Oats XI can't sail without the aid of motors. Kind of ironic, really.