Kick Off Soiree for 23rd Annual Yacht & Brokerage Show Make a Big Splash by Betty Alvarez

The Welcome Channel & Sunset Harbour Yacht Club (SHYC) celebrated the launch of the 2011 Yacht & Brokerage Show with an official VIP soiree on Wednesday, February 16th from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. More than 300 guests attended the invite-only soiree featuring an unforgettable night of luxury.

Gracing the blue-carpet to pose for pictures were special guests including Princess Thi-nga of Vietnam; John Dane III, president and CEO of Trinity Yachts; artist Stephen Gamson; Jay Hartley, president of Regions Bank; David Meers, chief operating officer of Vision Airlines; Skip Zimbalist, president of Show Management; Steve Sheer, director of marketing with Show Management; Lissette Gonzalez, CBS 4 meteorologist; Madeline Paredes, associate vice president of GMCVB; Alan Solis of Urban Icons Marketing; David Rolland, president & CEO of Van Der Bauwede Genève and April Donelson of The Welcome Channel.

Sunset Harbour Yacht Club provided a beautiful waterfront backdrop for the celebration which included two 147ft. mega yachts which served as floating champagne lounges featuring a One Sotheby’s gallery and art exhibition by Daniel Bottero.

Celebrity chef Jackie Salas served passed hors d’Å“uvres including lobster bisque; petit filet mignon wrapped in bacon with spicy avocado sauce; tempura shrimps with mango chutney; Madras curry chicken; pork tenderloin bites with cherry port wine sauce; fresh fish Ceviche and Cajun crab salad. Cocktails were sponsored by Rums of Puerto Rico, Polar Express and Palm Bay International Fine Wine & Spirits.

After a night of poolside dancing to Tony Wilson and the Godfather of Soul Band, guests were treated to a commemorative cake by Salas shaped to resemble the mega yacht Pure Bliss which was part of the event.

More than $10,000 in prizes were raffled off throughout the evening, including round trip airfare from Miami to Destin with two-night resort accommodations courtesy of Vision Airlines, a Van Der Bauwede special Yacht & Brokerage Show commemorative watch, a two-night stay at The Lodges at Eagles Nest in North Carolina, complimentary dockage at SHYC and more.

Additional presenting sponsors included Mercedes Benz, Urban Icons Marketing, Pioneer Linens and One Sotheby’s International Realty.

The highly anticipated event marked the start of the Annual Yacht & Brokerage Show’s 23rd year. Every year, this event transforms Collins Avenue into a multi-million dollar presentation of brokerage yachts including the world’s most extraordinary and uniquely designed vessels from the world’s foremost boat builders and brokerage houses.

“We are excited about this opportunity,” said Steve Sheer, Show Management’s Director of Marketing. “Anytime that we can be a part of an event like this, it just sheds more positive light on the show and of course the marine industry.”

Photographs by Betty Alvarez copyright 2011