The London Boat Show
The Collins Stewart London Boat Show is a huge success with over 500 exhibitors and more than 1,000 boats displayed. Visitors were treated to live entertainment, a fashion show, and lectures from legends in the world of boating. Guests also got to try out the latest water toys at the event. Visitor count in 2008 was over 127,000 and 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 numbers are expected to grow each year. Targeted at smaller boats and water sports equipment and marine paraphernalia the show also has something for those interested in large superyacht for sale, both motor and sail.
The highlight of any boat show, of course, is the new yachts and marine equipment on display. At the London Boat Show guests can view everything from a £545 dinghy, on display by Red Marine, to the £11.5 million tri-deck Sunseeker Luxury Yacht. And the exhibitors of the boats were just as pleased to display them as the guests were to view them. The Sunseeker exceeded the £80 million in sales that they had gotten from last years’ show. Northshore Yachts reported sales up 50% from last year. Sealine showed a 10% increase from the 2007 show and have taken deposits on the SC47, which isn’t due to launch until September. Even though the visitor count was very close to that of the 2007 London Boat Show, they came ready to spend some money in 2008.
The next major London event is the very first Marine Experience at the British International Motor Show, which is coming up very soon in July of 2008. Following the Marine Experience is the very popular Southampton Boat Show in September. Both promise to be filled with exhibitors and lots of fun events. The 2009 Collins Stewart London Boat Show is scheduled for January 9 through 18, and promises to exceed the 2008 show in exhibitors as well as visitors.
One of the most exciting events in the London Boat Show is the boat races. The first day of racing started with the 29ers race, followed by the 49ers. Third was the Ovington Boat Grand Prix. Then on the following day there was only one race, and it was a boat race that will not soon be forgotten. The Yachts and Yachting Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race is an event that featured boats of all sizes and sorts and was more fun to watch than the shenanigans of the hare when racing the tortoise.
The final day of the show featured the Watersports Zone. This display was put on by the British Stand Up Paddle Surfing Association (BSUPA) and introduced the new sport of stand up paddle surfing with information and training. They even held contests at the boat show for the UK’s latest watersporting phenomena, which were quite a hit.
The sport of stand up paddle surfing is exactly as it sounds. You stand up on a surfboard and paddle out into the waves. This sport can be traced back to Hawaiian beach boys who used to paddle surf out to yachts to photograph tourists. It wasn’t a sport then, but a job. The BSUPA has made stand up paddle surfing into a sport that is increasing in popularity, with enough people getting into it that they now have a racing even schedule on their website.
Undoubtedly the most popular event at this year’s London Boat Show was the Sea Queen Stage Show. This raised stage for live entertainment featured three shows a day. The shows, produced by Incandescence, is an acrobatic show reminiscent of the Cirque du Soleil of France.
Other interesting and fun features included the kite surfing simulator, which attracted over 700 visitors, and the Volvo open race simulator took in 3,800 guests. 20,000 guests went on board the HMS Exeter and it’s a wonder they didn’t fall right off because over 35,000 pints of Guinness were consumed.