Thousands of sailing aficionados of all ages visited the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show at Jack London Square, Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15. Space sales increased by seven percent, and overall attendance was up more than eight percent, with advanced ticket sales up by an impressive 24 percent. This four-day sailing spectacular featured nearly 100 sailboats, gear and accessories from more than 400 different manufacturers, more than 100 seminars, on-the-water sailing clinics, free sailboat rides an America’s Cup AC 45, and the entire Clipper Round the World Race fleet.

“This was the strongest Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show we have had in recent years, with both exhibitor space sales and attendance back to pre-recession levels,” said Sail America Executive Director and Strictly Sail Pacific Producer Jonathan Banks. “The combination of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet and an America’s Cup display, along with a brand new exhibit hall, additional special events and an aggressive marketing plan, resulted in a good uptick in attendance. There was great energy at the show and many exhibitors reported strong sales as well – a win-win for everyone!”

“The new Jack London Marketplace Building was an outstanding venue for exhibitors at the show this year,” said Svendsen’s Marine Chandlery Manager James Morgan. “We experienced increased foot traffic and sales were great.”

From learning the ropes to planning your dream cruise, the top names in sailing presented hundreds of free seminars and a collection of advanced on-the-water sailing seminars as part of the Blue Water Sailingsponsored seminar series. Sail America teamed up with ASA and Club Nautique to offer an expanded Discover Sailing experience with both free sailboat rides and a series of on-the-water sailing clinics – both a huge success. Additional show highlights included a Small Boat Zone, an Author’s Corner and a Fun Zone for the little ones. VIP Day drew more than 100 VIP attendees who enjoyed a special Napa Valley Wineries wine tasting party on board the USS Potomac, goodie bags from NautiGirl and a variety of raffle prizes.

“We had bigger crowds than in previous years, with high enthusiasm from attendees,” said Debbie Reynolds from Passage Yachts. “Attendees seemed to have a lot of fun at the show this year. People are ready to buy boats and get back on the water sailing.”

As part of this year’s show, Strictly Sail Pacific hosted the California stopover of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, the world’s longest ocean race. The fleet of 10, 68-foot sailing yachts arrived in Oakland from Qingdao, China and remained on display throughout the show. Attendees were able to climb on board the racing yachts and talk to crew members about what it is like to race around the world for a year. There was a special sendoff on Saturday morning at which Mayor Quan presented a special proclamation proclaiming Saturday, April 14, 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Race Day. Hundreds of onlookers cheered the boats as they left Jack London Square for the start of Leg 7 to New York.

“Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show has been fabulous this year, we increased the number of boats we had on display over last year and are so pleased with the quality of this year’s attendees,” said JK3 Yachts President Jeff Brown.

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