After Christmas, I come down with flu and a chest infection which set me back a few days, meaning I was catching up with work just days before leaving to go to London.
This year we decided to have larger stand and take both a Drascombe Lugger and Coaster. The Lugger had already been sold, while the Coaster was a four and a half year old one, which people thought was a new one. It goes to show what a great job the men do in the workshop to make a boat into a show boat.
London Boat show was different this year, with the decision made to make it a five day show, there were some grumble between exhibitors. Personally, I love the London show, why? Because you do not have to worry about the weather at all.
For the fourth year, I was joined for the duration by Dick Pizey, it does seem to be a good working team, I often say "Brains and Beauty" but we can never agree on who has what.
The first day went very quickly, we were joined by friends Ian and Glenys who were as always happy to help on the stand if needed.
We left the show quite promptly as we were meeting fellow exhibitors to attend the Marine Trade Awards event at Canary Wharf.
Jeff and Rob joined Dick and myself to have a quick drink to start the evening we then headed off in a taxi for a fun filled evening, it is not often I get the chance to dress up, so I made the most of it.
On arriving at the Pearson Room at Canary Wharf, the room was full of around 160 other people who wanted to be part of this event.
Sitting down to a lovely three course meal, between each course there was presentation of awards, the Chairman Paul Martin from BHG Marine presented the awards.
The Woman in Business Award went to my dear friend Suzanne from Barton Marine, and was very much deserved.
The evening rounded off with a free casino, now, I have to say I am not really a gambler, but as it was fake money, why not join in and have some fun. We were all given £100 to cash in, so off to the table I went, I preferred roulette so stayed there for the evening, I seems to be doing quite well, and then heard there was a trophy for the person with the most amount at the end of the evening, so as it had gone past midnight, I counted my chips and placed them all on black £2,400 to be exact, waiting for the ball to land, I closed my eyes, only to open them and find it had landed on red. Oh well, you can't win them all can you.
What a great way to end the first day of the boat show.
Waking up and feeling a tad tired, off for the second day, today Simon along with Lauren, Jamie and Kyle visited us today. I do love having my family come along and be part of the show.
During the five days we enjoyed seeing the usual boat show visitors, along with meeting some new Drascombe owners. Having two of us there, we had time to talk to other visitors who were very much interested in our boats, along with talking to owners about replacement spares.
Soon the five days were over, my first thoughts were that I wanted it to carry on, as it is always so nice to talk to owners old and new, however the five days drew in a lot of people, so all in all it was worth it.
Getting back from London on the Monday gave me a few days at home before then flying out to Germany to visit Boot Dusseldorf, not that I need to explain about the boat show as it is the biggest one in Europe.
Once arriving in Dusseldorf we check into our hotel, the Lady Astor is certainly one I would recommend to anyone, lovely comfortable rooms, great selection of breakfast food, and local to both the train and the old town.
Saturday morning after breakfast, Dick P and I head to the train station, our entry ticket of 15 euros also includes travel for the day around the city. We arrive at BOOT to the largest exhibition centre I have ever seen. We head to hall 13 as we wanted to concentrate on the areas with sailing boats, it was certainly and eye opener to see so many different boats, the show is far greater than the London Boat Show and it is no wonder why, every water sport imaginable is exhibited there.
We walked around the halls which were of interest to us, as well as catching up with some friends who exhibited there.
Once our visit to the show was over, we headed to the only shop you have to visit in Germany, Steiff. After a lovely long walk, we found the shop and I managed to buy what I wanted for that special little man.
We then headed into the old town and had a meal before meeting up with friends, we headed to one of the pubs and spent an interesting a lively evening listening to a pub singer.
The beer was flowing very quickly and so was the G&Ts.
Sunday was spent having probably the best breakfast I had ever had at Schwan Restaurant, where it is an all you eat breakfast buffet for 13 Euros.
After breakfast we had an enjoyable stroll around Aldstadt which was lovely, the weather was good for us, and it was lovely to see something different than exhibition halls.
Monday we caught our flight back home after an enjoyable few days, where we certainly had our eyes opened to a different boat show, and what one should look like.
RYA SAILABILITY CONFERENCE - WYBOSTON LAKES
A couple of months ago I contacted the RYA sailability people asking if it would be possible to attend the conference which they hold every year. We last went about five years ago, so I thought it would be good to attend again.
We collected the last Drascombe Longboat which we built for Queen Mary Sailability last year, and took her to be on display outside of the centre.
Zingaroo looked lovely with all the sails up and us well admired.
During the day there were a number of workshops being put on, I was lucky to join in on two of them, while Dick went to another one.
It was certainly interesting to talk to groups who use our boats and to get their feedback. The Drascombe is certainly a boat used by many sailability groups.
During the day, it was good to put faces to names of people who I have spoken too over the years, and to meet new groups who were showing an interest in getting funding for a Drascombe for their own group.
All in all, the first part of the year have been very exciting, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the year brings.
Here's to a good sailing year