Last year we had a battle between Earl's Court and Excel as they competed to be the premier boat show of London. Dockland's Excel won hands down as the old halls in Earls Court were empty and deserted - see the post here.
I was interested to find out if there had been any improvements this time round so spent this afternoon in Earls Court (above) and found that a few changes had indeed been made.
Firstly the exhibition had been scaled back to just the one hall, the smaller of the two, and not quite filling it either. Secondly the name had been extended to cover now the Sail, Power & Watersports.
And there were more people there: not exactly packed but not the ghostly halls of doom of last year.
Though all wasn't going that smoothly - clicking on the web site to find out the news & events got this appropriate message:
I got the strong feeling the event is struggling. Part of the problem is pre-Christmas most people are more focussed on the coming festivities rather than planning for next year, and thinking more about spending on presents than sport - if indeed if people are spending at all in these credit crunch days.
Maybe that's the reason that more than a few stands seemed to have nothing at all to do with sail, power or watersports.
I tried to find the least relevant stand and it was a close run thing, with those for perfume, toy helicopters, bean bags, Italian scooters, and racing cars, but the winner was the one for a lap dancing club!
An update on the more appropriate stands tomorrow.