Words By: Keith Pereña
Photos By: Jung Francisco and Abrito Rosellosa Jr.
With the cold wind, touching the seas as cruisers of all shapes and sizes are moored on the docks, it was hard not to have a great time at the recent Dubai International Boat Show which took place last March 3rd to the 7th at the Dubai International Marine Club at Mina Seyahi. The event was attended by thousands of visitors who were either in the market for a yacht or simply admiring these prestigious aquatic machines. Other than yachts, this year’s Boat Show also introduced other water disciplines such as SUP, fly fishing, kayaking and diving to name a few.
On the outset, the Boat Show displayed the latest and greatest of boating with marine powerhouses showcasing their latest models of yachts and other craft. Also, it was a chance for interested buyers to look into what could be their next cabin cruiser in the buyers section where free tours inside the yachts was also provided. Wintry March breeze and elegant boats always go hand in hand, and it’s in the Boat Show where it reaches its zenith.
In the Outdoor Display Area, proud media partner OutdoorUAE was present to provide cheers and smiles as they demonstrated some SUP skills (with some splashes in between) pleasing visitors – young and old alike. Other than that, visitors were also amazed after posing for photos in OutdoorUAE’s very own photo booth with visitors taking home photographic souvenirs of the day they went and witnessed as the bespoke titans of the sea exhibited their regal nature.
It was also during the Boat Show where experts in the field imparted their tips and tricks via the Marine Talks. The lectures were delivered by notable experts such as Sean James, who talk about coaststeering in the Musandam region and is currently on his way to the top of the world as of late; Ian Ganderton and Steven Bennett who, in separate talks discussed essential kayaking know-how and the challenges that they have faced; seasoned fly fishermen Kit Belen and Chris Bamford who talked about the issues that fly fishing faces in the UAE; and renowned freediver Alex Boulting who gave a talk about his freediving adventures and the things that he constantly learns from these experiences.
A crowd of eager learners paid attention as these experts shared, laughed and inspired other enthusiasts as well as inspiring starters to continue loving their sport and discovering a new route to travel. The talks inspired and challenged the audience which in turn gave rise to multiple questions thus providing a space for intellectual discussion between the speakers and the audience.
From my seat during the Marine Talks, it was nice to hear from Kit Belen and Chris Bamford about fly fishing. I admit I’ve only been introduced to fly fishing during that time. But after hearing them impart their knowledge, I might actually give it a go. Other than that, one thing I also noticed is the presence of kids during the Marine Talks. It was a pleasure to see the younger generation taking interest in the life of the outdoors; they even raised questions! Of which Chris and Kit gladly answered.
Other than Kit and Chris, Ian and Steven shared their kayaking adventures around the Musandam area and the challenges that they faced not only there but also across the Emirate. Another amazing session was hosted by Alex Boulting who even brought freediving champion Alexey Molchanov with him as he talked about the sport within the context of the UAE. What’s also interesting to note about Alex’s talk was his amazing use of audience participation as he gave breathing exercises to a very eager audience. It was an 5 nights of beautiful learning.
Apart from elegant yachts, the show wouldn’t be complete without some music. Living up the event was international artist Melisa le Rue who gave stellar renditions of the latest pop music as well as giving new life to hallmark classics.
In entirety, the Boat Show was a wonderful display of not only yachts but also of knowledge. With more involvement from the watersports lifestyle community, the Boat Show has become more than just a melting pot for people to look into buying a yacht but it has also become a stage for learning more about water sports. With this development and the presence of the Marine Talks in this year’s Boat Show, we can all expect another amazing Boat Show come 2016. This year’s show is proof that the event has escalated into a place where enthusiasts enjoyed learning a thing or two as they walked along the steps of Mina Seyahi amidst the kings and queens of the seas – the yachts.