A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Benetti

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Benetti

Kinship

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

If you’re a fan of the water, you’ll likely be a fan of World Boating Day, which made a splash with its inaugural event in May.

By Dominique Afacan | 12 June 2024

The superyacht world has a jam-packed calendar of events – from races and regattas to boat shows and beyond. Last month, however, saw the arrival of something quite different. World Boating Day is a brand new, non-profit initiative, aiming to give the public unprecedented access to the rich and varied world of leisure boating, over the course of two days. 

The inaugural weekend was truly international, with almost 50 events hosted across the globe, a testament to the universal love of all things boating. Event hosts ranged from superyacht builders and marinas to smaller sailing schools and maritime organisations, all of whom organised their own events – allowing creativity and imaginations to run wild. 

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Feadship

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Feadship

Getting behind the scenes 

Dutch shipyard Feadship, for example, opened their doors in Hoofddorp and held a workshop for anyone interested in yacht design. The event was open to all but struck a real chord with aspiring yacht designers like one visitor, Jens De Klerk. “It was amazing to get a glimpse into the inner workings of a major design studio like Feadship De Voogt,” he said. “I got a peek into my dream world!’ 

Farouk Nefzi, Head of Marketing at Feadship explained, “World Boating Day highlights the importance of the superyacht industry on local, national, and international levels, showcasing skilled craftsmanship, top-level design, high-quality engineering, innovative technology, employment generation, and economic benefits.”

It was a similar story over at Italian shipyard Benetti, which put on a host of events to mark the occasion, including virtual yacht tours, a kids art workshop and even sea trials on one of their sailing yachts, Tridente 16. “Behind every boat, there is a heart full of love,” said one visitor. “The best part of our visit to Benetti was seeing finished, in-progress boats and renderings while our guide shared not only the technical details but also the personal and unique stories behind every boat.” Little wonder over 1500 visitors turned out for the occasion. 

In Turkey, Bilgin yachts catered to university students with their technical shipyard tour. “Engaging with these future industry professionals was incredibly rewarding,” said Tugba Sengun, Marketing Director. “As a company, we deeply value the contributions of the younger generation to the future of yachting.”

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Bilgin Yachts

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Bilgin Yachts

Creating new boating communities the world over 

The creation of so many boating initiatives and events had the double benefit of creating a real sense of community among visitors and organizers alike, and the addition of voluntary influencers – including the likes of Captain Kelly Gordon, Nicky Vaux AKA The Boat Princess, and yacht broker Jack Warwick – helped that community reach audiences far and wide.

“World Boating Day helps create a community among people who love the water by bringing together those who are naturally drawn to the ocean. This event highlights our shared passion for history, nature, and the sea,” says Italian Ambassador of World Boating Day Filippo Ceragioli.

World Boating Day has truly become a celebration that connects people from all walks of life. It’s more than just an event; it’s a movement that fosters a deep appreciation for the water and all it offers.

“Having a dedicated time every year to harness people’s shared interests, energy, and passion for the water creates an intense movement shining a spotlight on the opportunities to engage with the water across the world,” says Luke McCaul, Australian ambassador for World Boating Day. “If the world’s awareness of water activity increases every year as a result of World Boating Day, what a wonderful community that will be for our future.”

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Riviera Australia

A new event to celebrate the world of boating

Photo: Riviera Australia

A boating celebration every year 

There were myriad other events – from sailing school open days in Italy and yoga classes in shipyards to boat rides in Sydney Harbour and nautical knots workshops – as well as online options for those who couldn’t be there in person. The best news? The event is here to stay, with the wheels already in motion for a much bigger World Boating Day next year. 

A visitor summed it up nicely – “The event was a great success because it brings together many people who live by the sea, who work there, who practice sports, who love boats and everything that revolves around them!”

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