Food trucks, live music, VIP boat trips, waterbike demos, and much more at reformatted 2019 show

Cape Town International Boat Show organisers Messe Frankfurt have confirmed major changes to this year’s format, which now incorporates second hand boat sales in a new on-water display area, as well as a new luxury lifestyle space within the Robinson Dry Dock.

The 2019 edition will feature numerous new events and family-friendly attractions aimed at boosting attendance and bolstering the profile of the local boating industry. Food trucks, VIP boat cruises, live music, and free public talks and workshops are among the new show items. “There will also be a much bigger kids area with a commitment from the Messe Frankfurt team to make the show as a whole a lot more family friendly with activity and fun for the entire family,” the organisers told SABBEX.

For the first time private individuals and brokers will be able to showcase their boats at a second hand boat space, a move likely to attract a wider range of potential buyers. The new luxury lifestyle area will include a marquee with exhibitors offering sports equipment and luxury watch brands, among a broad selection of other wares. A central stage area will add an interactive element with live events.

The long list of water activities reads as follows:

  • SUP area and demonstrations
  • SUP race hosted by SUP Cape Town and Red Paddle
  • Dragon Boat Racing exhibition
  • Flyboarding, hoverboard and electric surfboard exhibitions
  • Waterbike demonstration
  • Cape Town International Boat Show Canoe Polo Tournament
  • Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy Youth Invitational
  • Foiling Demonstration
  • Harken sail-by after the Harken Round Robben Island Race
  • The Great Optimist Race
  • Sailing Clinic
  • NSRI rescue demonstration

Messe Frankfurt is hoping the new format will help breach the 10 000 visitor mark this year in the show’s 19th edition, with 150 exhibitors and 70 luxury boats on display.

According to figures posted on Messe Frankfurt’s website, last year’s show attracted around 8500 visitors, representing a 54% increase in visitor attendance.

This year’s Boat Show also coincides with another first for Cape Town: the first urban canal swim at the Waterfront featuring open water swimmer Ryan Stramrood and Olympic swimmer Michelle Weber. The Waterfront Canal Challenge is a fundraiser for Waterfront Rotary Club and aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution.. It is touted as the only South African open water swimming race in an urban canal.

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