Providence show sees ‘new life’ with new owners

Posted on Written by Reagan Haynes
Rome Kirby, of America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA, received the 2014 John H. Chafee Boater of the Year Award at the show. At left is  Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management director Janet Coit, and at right is Rhode Island Marine Trades Association president Wendy Mackie.

Rome Kirby, of America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA, received the 2014 John H. Chafee Boater of the Year Award at the show. At left is Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management director Janet Coit, and at right is Rhode Island Marine Trades Association president Wendy Mackie.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Marine Trades Association president Wendy Mackie wanted to beef up content at the 2014 Providence Boat Show, which ran from Friday through Sunday.

Although the group had only owned the show for 100 days prior to the event, it made an effort to step up the content with interactive seminars and demonstrations.

In addition, the association wanted to draw attention to the long and deep history the state has with sailing, a component that had all but disappeared at prior shows.

“It really was a goal of ours to not only breathe some new life into the show, but to give people a flavor of what Rhode Island has to offer boaters,” Mackie told Trade Only Today on Friday at the show.

Doug Wielhouwer, senior vice president at Eastern Yacht Sales in Hingham, Mass., said it was nice to see more attention paid to the sailing segment.

“Rhode Island is known for sailing, and we’ve had a good increase of sailboat exhibitors over last year — it was all but dead at this show,” he said. “There’s been a lot of sailing in the general media, and also we’ve just got more young people coming in for the first time in years.”

The interactive events, such as the Surfset pavilion at the show, pleased some attendees. The demonstration, put on by FloorTime Studios of Middletown, R.I., featured surfboard simulators that are part of a growing exercise trend.

“There weren’t as many interactive sites last year,” said Ann Hampson of the Paul Cuffee Charter School, who brought a small group of students to try the surfboards out. “There has been a lot more for the kids to do this year. This is really fun.”

Rhode Island native Rome Kirby, who is at age 23 was the youngest member of the U.S. sailing team Oracle, winner of the America’s Cup, received the 2014 John H. Chafee Boater of the Year Award from RIMTA on Friday afternoon.

“We all know that these kinds of events lift all boats, so to speak,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management director Janet Coit, who won last year’s award, at the event. “What an honor to be on the same plaque as people like Rome Kirby.”

Kirby told the audience that the experience of being on the AC72 when it flipped “was scary.” Despite that, Kirby indicated that the Volvo Ocean Race might be more challenging than the America’s Cup race.

“Volvo is long, and that’s hard,” Kirby told attendees gathered at the show’s new pavilion. “Physically and emotionally, the Cup is intense, too, but Volvo is probably tougher.”

Kirby also recounted some of the challenges of the come-from-behind win by the U.S. team.

“We weren’t sailing that well to begin with, but we turned it around and got a bit lucky to not make a mistake,” he said.

A demonstration that preceded the award ceremony featured sea-to-table fish preparation by the Ocean House, with no-heat fluke appetizers served with jalapeño, blood orange and other ingredients in an appetizer that attendees sampled.

“I don’t like raw or cured fish, but that was really good,” said one attendee as she looked for another sample from the tray.

Welcome to TradeOnlyToday’s premium content! To continue reading, please register now, for access to 10 free stories per month. Or subscribe, for unlimited access to all TradeOnlyToday content!

Click here to Register ... it's free!

Basic subscription: Registered members get free access to 10 premium content stories each month!

Not a member yet? Click here to Register!

Already a member? Click here to Login!

Subscribe ... for unlimited access!

Individual subscription: $29 for unlimited site access for one year.

Small Business subscription: $140 for unlimited site access for up to 10 members of a company for one year.

Corporate subscription: $300 for unlimited site access for all members of a company for one year.

You may close this dialog after seconds.

Comments

3 comments on “Providence show sees ‘new life’ with new owners

  1. VISSIONQUEST

    I went to see if this show was making a come back. Seemed enjoyable, but when the ticket seller does not inform you the show closes in 1/2 hour, there is a bad taste left in the mouth. An indoor show on a Friday evening that only goes till 7, does not give you time to travel after work and see the show.

  2. Wendy Mackie

    Dear Vissionquest – One of the things we learned during this first year of producing the show is that we should keep the doors open longer on Friday and Saturday night. We do apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you will try again next year. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at wendy@rimta.org to provide additional feedback if you have any. As new owners and producers of the show, we want to make sure we have the comments and suggestions of exhibitors as well as show goers to make it the beset it can be.

    Thanks so much for your comment and your patronage!
    Sincerely,
    Wendy Mackie, CEO, RI Marine Trades Association

  3. Andrew Canepari

    As a first time exhibitor at this show, it surpassed my expectations in terms of traffic that I received on Saturday and Sunday, and in call backs and sales that I saw (and am still seeing) after the show.
    I only display at a few mid-sized boat shows in the northeast each year (including Hartford, CT, which was on the previous weekend), and Providence was one of the better shows for me.
    I’ll be back next year, especially if they extend the hours on Friday night as Wendy mentioned is in the works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.

Vote Today

What is the best outcome for the marine industry in the November mid-term elections?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Search Boats for Sale

Length
Year
Price

Login to Trade Only Today

Lost Password