Southampton International Boat Show, Britain’s biggest festival of boating, returned today with British Marine President, Paul Gullett, CEO Lesley Robinson, Chair, Matt Beckwith, former President Ian Cooke and Richard Roberts, British Marine Hampshire Ambassador, CEO & Founder TheYachtMarket.com welcoming visitors and declaring the show open.
While over on the water professional fly boarder, James Prestwood, also marked the opening of the show in dramatic style cutting the show ribbon mid-summersault.
To mark the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the show will hold a minute’s silence on Friday 16, Saturday 17, and Sunday 18 September and will close on Monday 19 September. The show entrance is home to a tribute where visitors are encouraged to leave plastic-free flowers and a timeline of Her Majesty’s time in Southampton is also on display within the show. The Royal Navy also have a memorial showcasing Queen Elizabeth II’s connection to the Royal Navy over the years.
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Europe’s largest, purpose-built show marina, the much-loved show is back better than ever for another year. Crowds were out in full force to see Prestwood, on the water, cut the official ribbon mid-summersault while bright blue smoke filled the air.
The 53rd edition of the show sees opening day visitors exploring multiple attractions and zones including Watersports, Dinghy, Classic & Day Boat alongside the On the Water Zone and the brand-new Quayside Club VIP experience. Newbies and seasoned pros took to the water on stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and RIBS, giving them the chance to soak up the atmosphere and sample life on the water.
CEO of British Marine, Lesley Robinson says: “British Marine and the whole UK marine leisure industry were deeply saddened by the loss of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We’ve all agreed that closing the show as a mark of respect would be the most appropriate course of action to join the nation in remembering The Queen on Monday 19 September.
As we open the doors on our fifty third show, we are pleased to see such a big turnout and are excited to welcome many more visitors over our nine-day run. Our aim is to get as many people as possible out on the water regardless of ability. There are many opportunities for visitors to try something new, from taking a high-speed RIB ride to testing their balance on a stand-up paddleboard.”
Key features at this year’s show include:
‘On the Water’ zone - The On the Water Zone allows you to get afloat! Whether its dinghy sailing or paddleboarding. With Try-a-Boat you can try something new or sharpen your existing watersports skills with experts from Rockley Watersports on hand to help, there’s something for everyone.
Exhibitors - All the best British and international marine brands showcasing the latest technology in boats and gadgets. Ticket holders can also find holidays, books, courses, all types of clothing from specialist offshore kit to the latest fashions, SUP… The list goes on and on.
Quayside Club VIP experience - Brand new to the show, the Quayside Club VIP experience is available to add a touch of luxury to any day offering hospitality of the highest level. Three exclusive VIP packages are available, White Sea, Coral Sea and Black Sea.
Mayflower Park - Offering a chance to relax and soak in the atmosphere – from fresh-out-of-the-water oysters, an array of international street food, delicious cocktails, and chilled Champagne, you won’t be short of food and beverages throughout the show and within the Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant. Also returning to the Mayflower Park is the Ocean Hall and Guinness Bar, both firm favourites with show visitors.
The Dinghy Zone - The place to be for sports and sailing dinghies, trailer boats, cruisers, boat builders, high-performance equipment, sailing clubs, holiday providers and training options in one place.
Foredeck stage - From leading experts on a whole host of topics from Swallows and Amazons to buying a boat; rowing the Atlantic to flare disposal. You’ll be able to ask the experts your burning questions and enjoy conversations with likeminded enthusiasts.
Classic and Day Boat Zone - Celebrate the boats and craftsmanship that stand the test of time in this zone. Classic boat enthusiasts and seasoned boaters will be able to find all the equipment they need to keep their treasures gliding across the water.
In its fourth year of a five-year sustainability pledge, Southampton International Boat Show is proud to announce the launch of the new Environmental Innovation Showcase (EIS), located in Ocean Hall. The showcase will shine a spotlight on the best of the marine industry’s new products, highlighting to consumers how the marine industry is becoming greener and cleaner and what they can do to become a more environmentally conscious boater.
It will provide a unique opportunity to showcase those businesses working towards a cleaner marine environment and provides a fantastic opportunity for exhibiting businesses to promote their innovative products or services to boat show visitors.