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Annapolis show reports attendance boost

The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show saw a 19.7 percent increase in paid attendance during its April 22-24 run.

The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show saw a 19.7 percent increase in paid attendance during its April 22-24 run, according to Annapolis Boat Shows, the group that manages that show and three other regional events annually.

"We are only in our fifth year producing the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, but the show is growing and its many interesting features are contributing to our great progress," Annapolis Boat Shows president and general manager Paul Jacobs said in a statement.

This was the show’s best year to date, Jacobs said, adding that organizers were “thrilled with registration figures for the special sailing program.”

“Other than rain on Saturday morning, the beautiful Annapolis weather didn't hurt, either. We could not be more pleased,” he said.

A total of 190 new sailors participated in First Sail Workshops, which were co-sponsored by Beneteau, SailTime, the American Sailing Association and the Annapolis Boat Shows.

"This is the third time we have offered this workshop at an Annapolis sailboat show, and we are so excited by its tremendous success. Altogether the First Sail Workshop has introduced or reintroduced sailing to more than 500 potential sailors," said Todd Hess, chief executive officer and president of SailTime.

More than 120 new and prospective cruisers attended Cruisers University for four days of classes that included couples advice, navigation, weather and diesel engine maintenance.

"In 2015 we expanded Cruisers University by offering our curriculum twice a year during the fall and spring shows. Being unsure of the impact of the move to two sessions per year on registrations, our expectations were blown out of the water. We continue to teach between 125 and 150 cruisers at each show," said Nancy Grisham, director of Cruisers University.

"With mild weather, and an array of sparkling new Jeanneau and Fountaine Pajot models, Atlantic Cruising Yachts had unprecedented success at the sailboat show. Attendance at our booth and sales were up substantially over previous years," said Kris Vereen, partner and business manager of Atlantic Cruising Yachts.

"This year was by far better than last year," said Tim Wilbricht, president of Annapolis Yacht Sales. "Traffic was strong and consistent. We have half a dozen buyers that we hope to close next week."

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