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