Mark Richards, CEO of Singapore-based Grand Banks Yachts, founder of Palm Beach Motor Yachts (PBMY), and skipper of Wild Oats XI, has been confirmed as keynote speaker for this year’s Industry Trade Breakfast at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) in Queensland, Australia.

Richards will discuss several topics at the event, including the realities of local manufacturing, exporting and managing costs, and the potential of robotics and automation in boatbuilding. “We are doing a lot of cool stuff in the high-end automation area and building techniques to stay competitive and ahead of the curve,” he says.

Also of interest will be Richards' plans for the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart, and a season of sailing ahead of the big one on Boxing Day. “Wild Oats XI will compete in the Sydney Gold Coast Race, Brisbane Keppel, and Hamilton Island Race Week,” he says. “There will be five 100-footers in the Sydney Southport (Gold Coast) Race, which starts 28 July. That must be something of a record.”

Over three decades, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) has played host to more than 10,000 exhibitors and welcomed more than 1.4 million visitors through the gates, resulting in an economic impact of more than A$3bn to the region in accommodation, spend and investment.

The 2018 Industry Trade Breakfast will be attended by local government representatives, dignitaries, industry leaders, local business operators and key exhibitors. It takes place on Friday 25 May at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort.