Annapolis, Maryland. Set in the shadow of the State Capitol dome and the United States Naval Academy, the first edition of the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show was a tremendous success, commented Paul Jacobs, General Manager of the United States Yacht Shows, which produced the event. "We wanted to bring the substance and excitement of our fall tradition to the spring season," said Jacobs. "We considered that it might take time to build the spring show, so we were thrilled that the inaugural event was so well received by both exhibitors and boating enthusiasts."
Several thousand people attended the event, which featured more than 100 nautical vendors and service providers, over 50 impressive sailboats in the water, and more than 40 flea market participants. Accolades from attendees and exhibitors began to come in the morning after the show closed, said Jacobs. Yacht manufacturers and brokers reported boats being sold and quality leads being generated. Finance companies took multiple applications. Downtown merchants had unusually busy weekends, and the City of Annapolis benefited from income generated by renting space to the show's producers and from the tax revenue of admissions.
The three-day event created a nautical festival atmosphere, with a wide range of social and educational activities. Cruisers University, a comprehensive curriculum of classes for current and future cruisers, was combined with the sailboat show, with participants representing seventeen states and Canada. Wally Moran, a nationally renowned contributing editor of SAIL magazine who was among CU's high profile presenters, wrote, "I wanted to say thanks to you for putting on a first class production this past weekend. I very much enjoyed my part in it, and from what I saw and heard, those in attendance were quite pleased. Kudos to your staff on a job very well done. I think it's a most worthwhile project."
Additional highlights of the weekend included: the Annapolis Nautical Flea Market, a free Cruising Destinations Seminar Series, an Annapolis Community Boating Safety course for kids, and an opening reception featuring a live interview of Annapolis' own Around the Americas adventurer, Matt Rutherford, conducted by sailing legend Gary Jobson.
Ed Hartman, President of United States Yacht Shows said he was "gratified by the support we received from the sailing community. We appreciate that they gambled on the success of this new event along with us. At the request of nearly all exhibitors in attendance, plans are underway for the 2013 Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show."
In the meantime, vendors and boaters are marking their calendars for the 2012 editions of the venerable fall Annapolis shows: United States Sailboat Show on October 4-8 and United States Powerboat Show October 11-14. Information regarding all United States Yacht Shows events can be obtained at www.usboat.com or by calling 410-268-8828. Pre-show tickets are available on the web site.