Sensational RIB showcase
The 2023 Sydney International Boat Show was a successful first foray for the new range of Rigid Inflatable Boats from Zodiac and BRIG, making a welcome return to the boat show circuit after a one-year hiatus due to war in Ukraine.
Celebrating the return of the world’s leading RIB brand, Jaroslav Duma, Honorary Consul of Ukraine addressed the media at the official opening of the boat show, Thursday 1 August, conveying the importance of the Kharkiv facility’s return to production and export.
“Just 30kms from the border with Russia, Kharkiv was bombed solidly for weeks on end, from February until May 2022. BRIG management made the decision to cease production for the safety of its workforce. Many months later, after Ukraine forces took back the city of Kharkiv, BRIG rebuilt the factory and returned to production, restoring commerce, the livelihoods of families and some normalcy to daily life.”
Jaroslav thanked Sirocco Marine Managing Director, Neil Webster for his faith in BRIG and willingness to import the high-quality boats produced during war time.
“Perseverance, tenacity and defiance are characteristic of the Ukraine spirit,” said Neil Webster in his address to media, BIA officials and VIPs.
“We have been importing BRIG to Australia since 2006 and have been recognised as the Global Dealer of the Year for several consecutive years. The founders of BRIG are our friends and we are very, very pleased they are safe, well and continue to manufacture the world’s leading RIBs with even more determination and innovation.”
BRIG enjoyed 70 percent market share in Australia prior to the Russian invasion. “Not only does BRIG production support families in Ukraine, their boats create many jobs in Australia for our network of mechanics, engine partners, dealers, suppliers and service specialists,” explained Neil.
At SIBS, Sirocco displayed the all-new BRIG Eagle 8 and Eagle 670 which received enthusiastic response from boaties.
“They were extremely positive and expressed enormous sympathy for Ukraine. And because we had two of our BRIG colleagues here from Ukraine with us during the show, it brought the reality of the situation to everybody,” said Neil.
“BRIG owners came by and told us they were sincerely happy BRIG’s factory is back in production. They are already looking at upgrading. It’s a great brand and quality product.”
Also on show, the full range of Zodiac Boats, several Williams Jet Tenders and the Sirocco brand of RIBs.
“Sydney is always a great show for us,” said Neil. “People were generally positive and keen to hear about the various features of each brand. Zodiac attracted a lot of attention and people told us they were thrilled to see this iconic, pioneer of the RIB back in strong numbers again in Australia through a dedicated national distributor.”
The Medline range, from 5.8 to the flagship Medline 9-metre, is a fantastic family-friendly line that suits all activities, while the Pro range is a heavy-duty work boat or yacht tender, ideal for sailing clubs, pro or amateur anglers, scuba diving and much more. Then there’s the Zodiac Open line, which is a multi-activity range of RIBs for all kinds of watersports, or simply picnicking.
“As well as several sales, we have dozens of leads and expect them to convert to sales in the coming weeks,” Neil stated.
Sirocco Marine will receive several more containers of BRIG Boats in time for summer, available via Sirocco Marine dealers on the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.