By Cynthia Goss
Pacific Sail Expo 2003
Five-Day Event Coincides with Opening Day on San Francisco Bay
Oakland, CA – Pacific Sail Expo, which comes to Jack London Square this April, will bring the largest sailboat show of the West Coast to Oakland. With exhibitors bringing boats and gear from Europe, Asia, and 30 U.S. states, the display will be global. Yet this five-day event for sailing enthusiasts of all levels will be in perfect synch with the local scene: the show coincides with Opening Day on San Francisco Bay.
Pacific Sail Expo opens Wednesday, April 23 and runs until Sunday, April 27. Sunday the 27th is also Opening Day on the Bay, which marks the start of the San Francisco Bay boating season.
“Each year, Pacific Sail Expo comes to Oakland just when spring fever hits sailors in the region,” said Scot West, Executive Director of show producer Sail America. “But that region stretches pretty far–not only to Bay-area sailors, but to all those west of the Mississippi who are eager to get on the water . . .This year we’ve expanded attractions to help jump-start the season: we’ve added more seminars and new ways for people to get out on the water.”
Pacific Sail Expo will draw some 300 exhibitors and a fleet of over 100 sailboats, ranging from 8-foot dinghies to an 82-foot offshore passagemaker. The showcase of boats and equipment also includes over 80 free seminars on a wide range of topics and opportunities for the public to try sailing.
A new program called Discover Racing comes to Pacific Sail Expo for the first time. A fleet of Etchells from San Francisco Bay–an international racing class that is the boat of choice for many America’s Cup sailors–will give the public a unique chance to step aboard and get an introduction to the competitive side of the sport.
Each boat will come to Pacific Sail Expo with a skipper and one crew, and showgoers can join as crew in races that take place Friday and Saturday afternoons. No other boatshow in the United States offers a similar experience.
Discover Racing will be paired with Discover Sailing, a national introduction-to-sailing program that runs all days of the show. The pace at Discover Sailing is more leisurely, and showgoers can get their first taste of sailing on coastal cruisers, multihulls, and dinghies.
Several manufacturers have chosen Pacific Sail Expo as the site for world, North American, and West Coast debuts of new designs. While this fleet will define the cutting edge in sailboat design, two replica vessels of traditional design will bring the romance of a bygone era to the display.
The majestic rigs of 110′ brigantine Irving Johnson and the 103′ tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain will tower over the show docks. Irving Johnson, built in Los Angeles and launched in 2002, is making her maiden voyage to San Francisco Bay to attend Pacific Sail Expo. To celebrate her first landfall in the Bay area, Hawaiian Chieftain will sail to the Golden Gate Bridge to meet Irving Johnson on Thursday, April 24. Both vessels will sail to the show docks around 5:30 to 6:00 pm for a festive welcome.
Showgoers can book a passage on Hawaiian Chieftain for Thursday’s sail by calling 888-833- 7245. For information on winning a free passage, visit the Sail America Web site at www.sailamerica.com. Irving Johnson will be open to showgoers on Friday; Hawaiian Chieftain will be on view until Saturday.
Sailing enthusiasts in the 12-or-under age set are encouraged to get to Pacific Sail Expo early on the weekend days of the show. As part of an effort to raise safety awareness, Allstate will give a PFD (personal flotation device) to the first 100 children under 12 who enter the show gates on the weekend days.
Seminars, Special Events
With over 300 exhibitors traveling to Oakland from throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and Australia, showgoers not only have an opportunity to get a hands-on look at the latest in boats and equipment from around the world: they also have a chance to learn from leading experts. Over 80 seminars for all levels will be held throughout the show. Sessions on navigation, cruising destinations, weather forecasting, and the compelling stories of voyagers who have moved their lives afloat are only some of the topics covered in seminars that are free with the price of admission. There is also time to relax and meet other sailors. Friday night is exhibitor hospitality night, when many exhibitors entertain customers at their booth or boat. The Saturday night Cruiser’s Bash–free with admission and sponsored by Latitudes & Attitudes, The Log, and sailboatowners.com–has become an annual rite for West Coast sailors (for seminar schedules visit www.sailamerica.com).
New Technology, Lasting Traditions
A walk along the docks at Pacific Sail Expo gives showgoers a chance to see first-hand which boats and products define sailing’s cutting edge. Several boats are making world, North American, and West Coast debuts, including: the Tartan 4400 (world debut), Grand Soleil 43 (North American debut), and the Catalina 387, Corsair 36, Swan 82, and Tom 28 (West Coast debuts).
An Added Bonus for Young Sailors
Sailing enthusiasts in the 12-or-under age set are encouraged to get to show early on the weekend days of Pacific Sail Expo. As part of an effort to raise safety awareness, Allstate will give a PFD (personal flotation device) to the first 100 children under 12 who enter the show gates on the weekend days. Tickets at the gate for junior attendees, ages 6 to 12, are only $4.
Tickets can be purchased at www.sailamerica.com or by calling 1-800-817-SAIL (7245). Tickets can be purchased at the gate, or in advance at discounted rates (see below).
|Date||Advance Purchase||At the Gate|
|Wednesday April 23||$9.60||$12|
|Thursday April 24||$9.60||$12|
|Friday April 25||$12||$15|
|Saturday April 26||$1||2 $15|
|Sunday April 27||$12||$15|
|Any Two Days||$17.60||$22|
|All Five Days||$36||$45|
|Juniors (ages 6-12)||$4||$4|
|Wednesday April 23||12 pm – 7 pm|
|Thursday April 24||10 am – 7 pm|
|Friday April 25||10 am – 7 pm|
|Saturday April 26||10 am – 7 pm|
|Sunday April 27||10 am – 5 pm|
Pacific Sail Expo, now in its seventh year, is co-produced by Sail America and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Sail America runs Discover Sailing, a national introduction-to-sailing program, and six sailboat shows held each year throughout the United States.