Southampton Boat Show – what a blast!

Well I’ve just got home after a blistering day out at the PSP Southampton Boat Show where the sun shone brilliantly which cheered everyone up from the start of what turned out to be a really great day socially and from a business and networking perspective too… which was a bonus.

A couple of industry hacks in the Media Centre clearly started off their day out at the Show determined to be curmudgeonly. Both bore hangdog expressions whilst remarking to each other that here they were again, another year on and another year older and what’s changed and why do they bother doing this year after year etc. I suggest they stay at home next year!

I, on the other hand, was back with gusto, celebrating registering for my 26th consecutive Southampton Boat Show media pass.

I was on a mission and determined to enjoy my day out, feeling ready for action, wreathed in smiles even though my feet hurt already (after a brisk walk from the station with my friend and another PR colleague, Sarah Branson).

The EMT boat Scarlet Oyster returns safe and sound

The EMT boat Scarlet Oyster returns safe and sound

We started off welcoming home Scarlet Oyster, and the Ellen MacArthur Trust kids after the EMT’s epic 9-month Round Britain voyage of discovery, sponsored by Skandia and run, organised and nurtured 24/7 by my friend and a truly lovely man, Mr Frank Fletcher.


Ooops, I nearly forgot to mention that first of all a certain pop princess, Ms. Sophie Ellis-Bexter came in to the marina standing at the bow of a Princess motor yacht and it was she I gather who officially opened the Show at 11am but I missed that bit as was catching up with other PR friends and colleagues Sarah Wolf and Skandia’s Jo Rimmer; but I did see Sophie on the boat as they came alongside. Needless to say, she’s tiny and cute and posed beautifully for the assembled media.

The pop princess at a considerable distance!

The pop princess at a considerable distance!

Remember I blogged a little while back asking the question why the Boat Show chose a singer not a sailor to open the show? Well, I am absolutely no nearer having a sensible answer but I was surrounded by people asking the very same question!

Whilst on the pontoons I said my hi’s and how are you’s to, amongst others, Hilary Lister, Dee Caffari and Geoff Holt, all equally lovely, talented and oh so deserving of their plaudits. I am so proud to know them all.

Then it was off on a round of meetings with journalists. Feet aching but was still smiling as having so much fun catching up with everyone; it was one big party!

The list of press events was massive being the press & preview day; an astonishing array of marine electronic products were being launched, beautiful new yachts being exhibited which surely means people must want to buy them otherwise the builders wouldn’t be investing in building them.

Sunseeker had four world launches today – FOUR! That’s just greedy. And they had booked the Britain’s Got Talent girl band –  Escala – them of the metallic dresses, endless legs and stringed instruments.

Oh and I kept being shown these massive motoryachts that now sport balconies – yes balconies – little terraces that stick out from the side of the deck so you can move from your master cabin out onto your balcony.

Interesting chat over a nice glass of Pinot with Simon Owen, the Publisher of the IPC marine titles about the state of the industry, advertising revenues etc, then we were on to the Raymarine stand and a glass of bubbles for a product launch and a bit of fun with the Raymarine Record Breakers, mc’d by another friend and colleague Tracey Clarke. Lots of interesting people on the stand and caught with a variety of journalist friends. Thanks Alice Driscoll for making me feel welcome (as am not handling Nexus Marine – electronics – anymore, so no threat!)

Had to dash off to Scorpion RIBs to brief the owner Patrick Byrne prior to our press launch. En route to their stand I bumped into even more people whom I rallied to attend the launch of our new Scorpion Sport 6.5m at 2pm.  Amongst these was April Tod who freelances for various lifestyle publications and feeds stories to Richard Kay/Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. This is the perfect ‘go faster’ marque for her.

The Scorpion launch went very well with lots of interest and promises of coverage etc so very happy and the sun was still shining and everyone was still looking happy, bless them! I got very excited when Eddie Jordan turned up only to discover that he was looking for Steve Curtis who is usually to be found on the Cougar stand! Can’t win ’em all!

After another quick meeting with a man who wants me to run a centenary event in 2011 (if they can get the funding from a sponsor), Sarah and I met up again outside the Press Office and off we trundled back to the station filling each other in on our respective day. The good news is that she had a really good day too and we’re both having takeaway curries tonight.  Whoop! Whoop!  RESULT!


One response to “Southampton Boat Show – what a blast!

  1. Ah, that’s why we didn’t see you. We only had beer and wine on the stand. I should have got bubbly and pull out balconies! 😉

    At least my scouting party (Diane) caught up with you.

    Fingers crossed for another 9 days of good weather.

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