Water World: Cabo Marine Show Celebrates 5th Anniversary
The Cabo San Lucas Marina has long been the heart and soul of the Land’s End city. It’s the first stop for incoming cruise ship passengers; home to hotels, restaurants, and tourist shopping meccas Puerto Paraiso and Luxury Avenue; a seasonal home to luxury yachts; and the launch point for fishing charters, whale watching excursions, snorkel and dive trips, sunset sails, and the rest of the area’s world-class, water-based activities tours. But rarely is the marina the official center of the city’s attention, as it was last weekend, May 15 – 17, when the 5th annual Cabo Marine Show drew thousands of locals and visitors to Docks L-M-N at the IGA Marina, behind the Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort.
Although only five years old, the Cabo Marine Show is already the longest running boat show in Mexico, and the most important nautical expo on the country’s Pacific Coast. Each year, it features the latest goods and services from some of the top names in the maritime industry, with dozens of booths set up along the marina boardwalk. But five years in, the show continues to evolve, and this year’s event saw a subtle shift in focus, with much of the attention turning to the new and used boat market, and the 20 plus boats and yachts on display in the water beyond the booths.
A host of big-name yacht brokers were on hand to show off their top seagoing listings, including Otaduy Yachts, United Yacht Sales, Emerald Pacific Yachts, Hallmark Yachts, Picante Sportfishing, La Paz Yachts, and Pisces Group Cabo. And Cabo Marine Show organizers were clearly interested in expanding upon the expo’s early success as a social networking platform and showcase for the premier purveyors of offshore gadgets and playthings, and moving the boats themselves into the spotlight.
“We are pleased to see that our boat show has been taking a constant and natural evolution from the traditional exhibitors on the floor to a more pronounced in-water display of both new and used vessels — which is the purpose of any boat show, departing from the usual convention center format to an in-water exhibit more similar to boat shows of international stature,” said Oscar Avalos, Director of MAA+Eventos Meetings and Conventions, which partnered with show founder and organizer Sergio Igartua.
Despite the millions of dollars worth of boat sales, however, the latest edition of Cabo Marine Show retained many of its familiar touches: live music enlivened the evening hours; VIP cocktail parties offered yacht club ambiance; wandering visitors made pit stops at marina drinking and dining landmarks like Solomon’s Landing, Baja Cantina and Tiki Bar; and of course a bevy of well-known vendors promoted their their latest products from booths set on prime waterfront real estate, from tropical sunglasses king Maui Jim to the Los Cabos Tourism Board and Bisbee’s, host of the world’s richest fishing tournament. Even a few local artists and artisans got in on the act, offering up nautical themed paintings and jewelry.
Five years is a significant anniversary, and the latest show was something of a landmark, not only in terms of Cabo Marine Show’s age and expanded focus, but its further entrenchment in the Los Cabos festival firmament. It’s now a fixture of the annual event calendar, and one of the key showcases of the the city’s de facto commercial center: the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Bisbee’s Black and Blue may still boast a higher profile, but the marlin tournament, at heart, is all about what’s lurking under the local waters. The Cabo Marine Show is about what floating on top, and where they call home.
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Photos courtesy of Cabo Marine Show and Los Cabos Tourism.