Yacht and Boat Show loses a day because of wind damage

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's billed as the largest yacht and boat show on the Gulf Coast and this is its first year in Mississippi. But strong winds came through Wednesday afternoon and destroyed a lot of the preparation work already done.

The Gulf Coast Yacht and Boat Show was supposed to start on Thursday, but it's now set to start Friday at 10 a.m.

Volunteers, workers, vendors and organizers came together to pick up the pieces caused by the wind.

"We were expecting 20 miles per hour winds and actually we had 60 miles per hour. There's just not any tent system around that's going to hold that," said Show Manager Rob Lynch.

Lynch said, thankfully, people came together to save the show.

"Volunteers pitched in, it was great effort and probably without that we would have lost the show."

Jim Warren is a boat owner and was at lunch when he received word the winds caused his boat to break loose.

"We expected the worse, of course, and found out right after I had gotten my plate and sat down to eat, so it kind of spoiled the lunch," said Warren.

He rushed to Jones Park, not knowing what to expect.

"And I got back and the Lord really blessed us," said Warren.

Other boat owners pulled Warren's boat out of pilings and docked it.

John Romangno is an ice vendor at the show and said there's a silver lining to the situation.

"Good thing it's over with and we can get everything cleaned up," said Romangno.

While the winds and the storm set the show back quite a bit, they said they're not giving up that easily and the show will go on.

"Quite a bit of rain water came in the tents and actually did some physical damage to the equipment. But overall, we got stuff to show. We're ready for the show," said Romangno.

"We'll have everything here ready to go by Friday morning. It's not our first time to have this problem. We'll get through it," said Lynch.

"We're in good shape," said Warren.

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