Tenth Annual Strictly Sail(R) Chicago Starts February 3, 2005

More Than 250 Exhibitors Expected at Annual Event

CHICAGO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Strictly Sail Chicago, the largest annual gathering of sailors in the Midwest, will be held in Chicago at Navy Pier February 3-6. More than 20,000 people are expected to visit the four-day event to see more than 250 exhibitors showcasing the newest sailboats and sailing accessories on the market.

First held in 1996, Strictly Sail is now a ritual for thousands of local sailors who meet to discuss the upcoming season and to check out the latest sailboats, gear and accessories.

“Over the past decade, Strictly Sail Chicago has shown continuous growth in the number of exhibitors and attendees,” says Show Manager of eight years Kevin Murphy. “The city of Chicago has embraced the show, and has turned it into not only the biggest sailboat show in the Midwest, but the largest indoor sailboat show in the country.” Murphy adds that there will be special events at the 2005 show to give attendees the chance to celebrate the show’s 10th annual event.

In addition to celebrating its first decade and showcasing great new products, Strictly Sail Chicago offers attendees a great opportunity to learn about sailing through its comprehensive seminar series. Newcomers to sailing can learn the basics, while seasoned seafarers can discover new techniques. Sailing celebrities will also share tales of their experiences at sea.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring the kids along. Strictly Sail Chicago caters to families and children. The Kids’ Club — an activity center specially designed for junior sailors — gives kids the chance to build their own sailboat models, draw “sailboats of the future,” learn knot tying, and race boats in the makeshift “lake” on the show floor.

The show is open 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday. For more information on Strictly Sail Chicago visit http://www.strictlysailchicago.com/ .

Sail America is an independent affiliate of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), representing the sailing industry — a powerful group of enthusiastic companies and individuals dedicated to promoting sailing.

NMMA’s more than 1,500 members produce approximately 80% of the marine products used by recreational boaters and anglers in the United States. The North American pleasure boat market represents fully half of the global demand for these products and services. Retail sales of boats and related products and services amount to an estimated $30 billion annually in the U.S.

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