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Winter boat show roundup

The Mid-America Boat & Fishing Show opens Friday at the I-X Center in Cleveland. The show, produced by the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, runs through Jan. 24.

On Jan. 19, all visitors who bring four cans of food for the Cleveland Foodbank will be given free admission. On Jan. 21, the show celebrates Put-in-Bay Day by reducing the admission price to $5 after 5 p.m. and by providing entertainment from Alex Bevan, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Ray Fogg, and Westside Steve Simmons.

The Northeast Ohio SPCA will conduct adopt-a-pet drives at the show on Friday and Saturday, as well as Jan. 23 and 24, and a wing-eating contest is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 22.

In the Angler's Alley area, visitors will be able to sign up to win a Raymarine A57D chart plotter/fishfinder and Raytheon Ray218 waterproof VHF radio from Taylor Marine. Day trips on the water for this summer, donated and hosted by local dealers, also will be given away at the show.

On Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, show organizers will donate $1 from each ticket sold to the Ohio State University Sea Grant Program to help fund Lake Erie research at Stone Laboratory.

Click here for information on the show.

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For the first time in its history, the New Orleans Boat & Sportshow will take place during the last week of January in 2011 and 2012. The show is not being held this year.

The show is confirmed for Jan. 27-30, 2011 and Jan. 26-29, 2012 - post-holiday dates that have been in demand for years, which coincide with the NFL playoffs "bye" weekend - the weekend between the league championship games and the Super Bowl - according to show producer National Marine Manufacturers Association.

"We've been trying for years to secure better dates for our dealers so more people could take advantage of the show and what it has to offer," said Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of southern NMMA shows, in a statement. "We couldn't be more excited about the late January time frame combined with the NFL bye weekend and believe the new dates will be a significant attractor for both our exhibitors and attendees."

The New Orleans Morial Convention Center will continue to be home to the show, which will mark its 41st anniversary in 2011.

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West Marine will announce the grand prize winner of its first "Green Product of the Year" contest at the 2010 Miami International Boat Show.

The $10,000 prize will be presented by West Marine chairman and founder Randy Repass at 10:15 a.m. Feb. 11 in the West Marine booth.

"As part of West Marine's mission to 'preserve and protect the marine environment' we launched the Green Product of the Year contest," said Repass, in a statement. "Our desire is to spur invention and development of green boating products. We had some terrific entries and hope to have even more next year."

With more than 40 entries, the judges made their selection based on eco-effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, applicability and breadth of market impact, innovation and originality.

Click here for information on the contest.

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Strictly Sail Chicago runs Jan. 28-31 at the Navy Pier.

The largest annual gathering of sailors in the Midwest welcomes more than 20,000 sailing enthusiasts of all skill levels to attend the four-day event to find the latest in sailboats and sailing products at the best deals, in addition to hundreds of educational seminars.

Strictly Sail Chicago offers visitors the opportunity to attend more than 200 educational seminars. Seminars allow sailing novices to learn the basics, while veteran seafarers can discover new techniques.

Seminars include: Sailing Made Easy, The Whys of Sailing with Captain Science and Cruising for Couples.

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Sail America executive director Jonathan Banks announced that Blue Water Sailing magazine was named "Presenting Sponsor" for the 2010 Strictly Sail Seminar Series to be held for show-goers attending the Strictly Sailing Chicago, Strictly Sail Miami and Strictly Sail Pacific shows.

"We are very pleased to have Blue Water Sailing come aboard as our new seminar sponsor," Banks said in a statement. "These events are always well-attended and draw thousands of sailors to the shows. With Blue Water Sailing's support, we will be able to more fully promote the seminars and offer a broader range of topics for sailors to enjoy."

Blue Water Sailing is a leading magazine for offshore sailors and cruisers.

Gill USA is joining the magazine in a cross-promotional Strictly Sail seminar incentive to include the offering of a sweepstakes featuring prizes of his-and-her top-quality Gill OS21 foul weather pants and tops.

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"Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha," a sailing documentary that depicts the sailing adventures of cruisers who participate in the Baja Ha-Ha cruiser's rally, will make its public debut at the Seattle Boat Show.

The film follows the 750-mile course of Baja Ha-Ha race to the cape, which begins in San Diego and ends in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The annual event, founded by Latitude 38 magazine 16 years ago, set a record for the number of boats registered in the class of 2009. On Oct. 26, 2009, 165 boats and 601 sailors participated and 150 vessels arrived at the finish line in Cabo San Lucas by Nov. 5.

Screening times are 3:15 p.m. Jan. 31 and 5:15 p.m. Feb. 3 in the 'red' seminar room.

Click here for a trailer of the documentary.


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