Why pick a singer not a sailor to open a Boat Show?

Maybe I need one of those ‘smiley’ faces with its tongue placed firmly in its cheek inserted HERE, just before I comment, not so much on the choice of pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor to open the Southampton Boat Show, but on why it isn’t Mike Perham doing the honours given his superb and totally topical achievement.

It seems that the delightful 17 year old is otherwise engaged at 10.30 on Press & Preview Day and the show must open at 11.00.

Mike, the more obvious and topical choice of a sailing personality to open the Show is a teenager who clearly lives by Dame Ellen’s adage that if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything, and everyone should live their dream etc.  He is already booked in for a Mastervolt (a main sponsor to Mike’s round the world campaign) product launch. Well done to them for their foresight!

I guess that NBS, the show organisers, probably hadn’t even considered asking Mike because they couldn’t guarantee that he’d be back in time or be interesting enough to actually do anything as high profile as officially open the show. However, Mike is the embodiment of what sailing – whether racing or cruising – needs to help fly the flag and promote the sport. He speaks eloquently and can encourage and enthuse other young sailors to live their dreams, with the right training and support network around them.

But I would draw the line at allowing a 13 year old (male or female) to sail solo around the world.

See this piece on http://www.yachtsponsorship.com/2009/08/celeb-to-open-boat-show/

Celeb to Open Boat Show.

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Everything about Mike is here: http://www.totallymoney.com/sailmike/


2 responses to “Why pick a singer not a sailor to open a Boat Show?

  1. The Boat Show organisers and their associated PR people are a joke. These are the same people that got Kelly Brooke to open the London Boat Show surrounded by the Navy – as if the ‘hello sailor’ cliche hadn’t been done to death.

    If you’re going to pick a pop-star at least see if you can get one with some boating credentials. Simon Le Bon?

    This is just another exercise in trying to sell the boat show as something completely different. Why not do some hard work and try to interest the media in your actual product and associated stories rather than lure them there with a e-grade celebrity?

    When will the boating industry stop trivialising itself and be proud of the great people who do amazing things around the world under the UK flag?

    What kind of message does this send to world-class athletes and business people who are trying to promote boating and sailing. Sorry – you’re not good enough – we’re going to get a singer to flog their album instead.

  2. Hi Peta,
    Interested to see that you would draw the line at allowing a 13 year old to circumnavigate the globe. Yet that 13 year old has as much single-handed experience as Mike had when he set off, plus her plan is for a 2 year voyage. I was astonished to find that the Dutch authories did not know this when they branded it as child ause and put her under a care order.
    Another knee Jerk politically correct reaction, or the right decision before things go too far. I know that I do not know the answer, but do think that Laura has been stopped from going sailing without all the facts being known.

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