July 5, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

It was to have been a new format event to replace the iconic Sydney International Boat Show, running from July 29 to August 1, but the cut down version of the show has now been cancelled.

A spokesperson for the Boating Industry Association (BIA) said the organisation had explored other dates for the Sydney Festival of Boating with venue ICC Sydney and “run a ruler over it pretty hard” but found it difficult to reschedule in 2021 given the “collision of extraordinary circumstances”. Options considered included dates that backed into Vivid Sydney, but these left insufficient time for the proper and safe installation and deconstruction, the association said.

The BIA will now swing its resources into a major marketing campaign – Discover Boating – to support the association’s members and the boating industry.

In announcing the event’s cancellation, BIA President Darren Vaux said the decision was made more difficult because the Sydney Festival of Boating had sold out of exhibition space and was oversubscribed for the event marina.

“The BIA believed the responsible action was to weigh up the facts, liaise with stakeholders such as our members, government and the venue partner, the International Convention Centre, and to make a decision this week,” Vaux said.

“Cancelling the event supports government efforts to get the current outbreak of COVID-19 and its highly contagious Delta variant under control. It also recognises the likely challenges that our local and interstate members and exhibitors will encounter over the coming weeks.

“Our priority was to deliver a celebration of the boating lifestyle and to do so in a COVID Safe way for our members, suppliers, exhibitors and public,” he said.

The Boating Industry Association is one of the biggest clients of ICC Sydney.