The Southampton Boat Show kicked off this weekend with special guests, Michelle Keegan and the British Sailing Team in attendance. Running until Sunday 25 September, the Show will showcase the very best that the international boating world has to offer. With hundreds of boats on display, including 330 on the stunning marina itself, the Southampton Boat Show is a festival of boating fun for all the family.
Already there has been a boost for Irish exhibitor MGM Boats with its agency for the Lagoon Catamaran voted best by UK Sailing title, Sailing Today.
Key Irish Marine Industry figures are expected to the show this week including Irish Marine Federation Chairman Damien Offer, Paal Janson of Dun Laoghaire Marina, Brian O'Sullivan from O'Sullivan's Marine in Tralee. Also exhibiting at the show is Conor Fanning with the X-Yacht brand. Bernard Gallagher and James Kirwan of BJ Marine in Greystones will be on the Beneteau stand.
MGM Boats is celebrating after the Lagoon 42 was announced as the winner in the Multihull category in the 2016 awards, which were presented at a champagne reception on Friday , the opening day of the Show. MGM Boats is the Irish dealer for Lagoon Catamarans.
On the back of her new hit BBC show, Our Girl, multi-award winning actress Michelle Keegan officially opened the Southampton Boat Show 2016. Michelle said “I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s Show. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time onboard boats around the world, but there’s nothing like seeing all these spectacular boats displayed together in one place here in the UK. It’s an incredible experience.”
The Show also played host to the British Sailing Team, which included Olympic medallists, Giles Scott, Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills and Nick Dempsey. Gold medal winner, Giles Scott said: “The Southampton Boat Show is a highlight on any sailor’s calendar and is a great place to spend time with family and friends. It’s something everyone should experience”. Saskia Clark, Women’s 470 sailing gold medallist, said: “Having an annual event like the Southampton Boat Show that gives the opportunities for people to try out different types of water activities is crucial for the sport of sailing. Who knows, maybe the next generations of Olympic medallists are among us here today?”
Featuring one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas, and as one of the world’s top 10 Boat Shows, the event plays host to lots of family-friendly attractions, including:
• Plenty of free on-water experiences, including Try-a-Boat, offering unique opportunities onboard the latest RIBs to luxury yachts, and the Get Afloat! attraction, where 8-16 year olds can try out dinghy sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding
• The Festival Stage, powered by Datatag & the COMPASS scheme, hosting live music, talks from boating professionals and fashion shows across the 10-day event
• A number of spectacular air displays over the Marina, powered by KUBE, including performances from the Royal Navy Parachute Display Team and renowned British fighter aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane
• The magnificent Artemis tall ship, with visitors being able to climb aboard her stunning deck
• Bumper Boats, sponsored by Sunseeker in support of Macmillan Cancer Trust, offering the younger Show visitors the opportunity to master steering
Over the course of the Show, visitors will be able to explore over 130 debuting boats. Among them are the World debuting Hanse 588, Cormate U23 Racing Edition and Greenline Hybrid 36, and the UK launch of the Azimut 55S and Sunseeker Predator 68 MK II.
There’s close to 600 brands exhibiting at the Show this year, with nearly 30 of these making their first appearance, including powerboat manufacturers BIC Aluminium and Alpha-Centauri and sail yacht brands North Carolina (EDPNC) and Nautor’s Swan.
Flights from Dublin to Southampton include handy day return schedules with Flybe