Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest set to row in to Toronto Foreshore

KILABEN Bay boatie Graeme Knott is polishing up his pride and joy for one of the most popular events in the Lake Macquarie boating community.

Mr Knott is a founding member of the Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest Association, which runs the annual Boatfest at the Toronto foreshore.

The event attracts thousands each year to its exhibition of sailboats, steamboats and cruisers.

Mr Knott's Australian-made steamboat Eirene, which he claims "steals the show", will be on display again this year.

The 24-foot craft was built in 2000 based on an original 1894 steamer and gains plenty of attention from the crowds.

However, the running of the Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest has not always been smooth.

Mr Knott was on the original committee, when the event was named Heritage Afloat.

The committee dissolved in 1994 after the event lost sponsorship.

Not wanting Lake Macquarie to lose such a popular event, Mr Knott helped restart the association in 2010 under a new name - the Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest Association - with the help of Marmong Point Marina.

Mr Knott said he was grateful for the community's ongoing support of the event and hoped to see a big turnout this year.

■ Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest, April 19 and 20 at Toronto Foreshore. Entry is free.

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