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Southampton International Boat Show reveals new layout

by Olivia Powell

Southampton International Boat Show has announced that it will reveal a new layout at this year’s show, which will be taking place from 10-19 September 2021.

Working in partnership with Southampton City Council, show organiser British Marine has confirmed that additional land has been agreed for use at this year’s show. This larger space creates the opportunity for a new entrance to the show and festival area outside Southampton’s Westquay shopping centre.

The show will feature new zones that cater for specific interests. The first zone will be for paddle boards, kite surfers, kayaks and windsurfers, accompanied by a stage, street food, and music. There will be a Dinghy Zone geared towards the interest of dinghy sailors and high-performance sailing, and a Classic Boat & Day Boat Zone aimed at “celebrating the boats and craftsmanship that stands the test of time”. There will also be Mayflower Park and the marina, there will be power and sail boats, equipment and services on show.

Mayflower Park will include Europe’s largest purpose-built marina as its centrepiece.  There will also be a range of on-the-water experiences in the constantly active water park. Throughout the show there will be new dedicated features, including stages, live music, entertainment and guest speakers.

Through engagement with the relevant government department and Southampton City Council, British Marine will ensure that the show is a safe environment and will incorporate any necessary Covid-19 safety measures that may be required at the time.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “After more than a year dominated by the pandemic, we are delighted to be working with Southampton City Council to bring the show back to the city again and plans for the new layout and zone are really exciting. The show aims to inspire and capture the next-generation and growing number of get-afloat newcomers through the new zone experience whilst balancing the more targeted needs of serious boat buyers through the marina showcasing power and sail craft.

“Our end goal is to build on this national celebration of boating and watersports, offering a great day out for the family in one location and a way of enthusing next generations. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor, have never been on the water before or want to enjoy an array of watersports and the accompanying lifestyle all in one place, the show will demonstrate by example how accessible and safe getting afloat is and we’re looking forward to giving people this experience.”

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, deputy leader and cabinet member for customer and organisation, Southampton City Council, added: “While we were disappointed that last year’s event couldn’t go ahead, everyone’s health and safety must come first. I’m therefore really pleased to be working with British Marine again as we look to produce a safe, enjoyable and expanded show at Mayflower Park and other sites across the city. The organisers will be working closely with the city’s events safety advisory group, which includes representation from Public Health, to deliver an event that complies with government advice and the national roadmap out of lockdown.

“The Southampton International Boat Show is a key event in our calendar, and with plans for the show’s first ever Community Day and festival area, which aims to connect Southampton residents with the marine community, we are very much looking forward to welcoming boat fanatics young and old to the event and showing everyone what our great city has to offer.”

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