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U.S. exhibitors report success at Australian show

International exhibitors, including those from the United States, praised Australia’s 23rd edition of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show as a success, organizers said, despite an 8.4 percent decline in attendees.

About 36,500 attended the show, which ran from May 19-22.

Julie Balzano, from Enterprise Florida, managed a delegation of Florida companies that exhibited at the show for the first time.

“The overall consensus has been very positive,” she said in a statement.

One of the five manufacturers was Armstrong Nautical Products, and vice president Russ Sedlack said there were a lot of discerning customers at the show.

“We don’t normally sell off the stand, but people insisted they buy our product off the stand,” Sedlack said in a statement. He answered inquiries from international visitors from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Japan and China.

Nautical Structures president Robert Bolline exhibited at Sanctuary Cove for the first time with the Florida delegation.

“We are very optimistic to build business here and we have found the boatbuilders to be very open-minded and open to discuss business,” he said.

The American company Westport Shipyard was at the show in the Superyacht Australia pavilion.

“It is the first time at the show. … We also do Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Cannes and Monaco. We consider this a very good venue for international audiences,” vice president Philip Purcell said in a statement.

Jeff Druek, president and CEO of Outer Reef Yachts, said the company does 25 to 28 shows a year and was happy with the results from the Sanctuary Cove show.

“We had many positive leads,” he said. “Every show has been the same — the volume of visitors is down, but the quality is superior. The strength of the Australian dollar has driven interest. We find we are very well received. Sanctuary Cove, to us, is a ‘go to’ venue.”

Next year’s show is set for May 24-27.

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