Lowestoft Boat Show axed

Tourism in Waveney was dealt a major blow last night after it was announced the Lowestoft Boat Show had been axed.

Tourism in Waveney was dealt a major blow last night after it was announced the Lowestoft Boat Show had been axed.

The event which was launched three years ago had grown considerably, last year attracting more than 120 exhibitors and thousands of visitors to the region.

But following the retirement of show organiser Graham Kinnersley, no one has come forward to take over the running of the event.

Last night Mr Kinnersley was unavailable for comment, but in an interview with Motor Boats Monthly he said the mounting bureaucracy involved with staging the show including health and safety and insurance had become too much for him.

He said: "Last year's show was a success, but I'm 70 now and I've had enough of the pressure. I've had several people telling me they'd be sad to see it go."

He added that he had decided to stop running the show in the middle of last year and had since been trying to find someone to take it on.

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Last night, however, it emerged Haven Marina on Lake Lothing had expressed an interest in hosting the event in 2008.

Manager Sarah Hanna said: "At this stage it is a case of watch this space.

"It is very early days. We certainly couldn't have done it this year,

but we are looking at possibly starting afresh next year." Darren Newman, of Waveney District Council's tourism team, said: "It is disappointing that the Lowestoft Boat Show has come to an end, but we are hoping that it will not have too much of an impact on tourism.

"In an ideal world we would still have the boat show, but we have got so many good quality events coming into the area this year there will still be a tremendous amount for visitors to do."

Mr Kinnersley started the Lowestoft Boat Show, organised by his company County Exhibitions, in 2004.

It quickly attracted widespread interest in the marine community as the only major boat show on the east coast.

But while Lowestoft will this year miss out on the boat show, the town is set to host a stage in the Honda Formula 4 Stroke Powerboat Racing Series, which could attract as many as 50,000 boat enthusiasts to the region in July.