Sunshine, sailing and TV stars, plus and boat launches provided a glittering start to the PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014

Triple Olympic medallist Iain Percy and TV presenter Matt Baker arrived in style to the PSP Southampton Boat Show on the Tall Ship Phoenix.

They

were then joined on board by young ambassadors from Ferndown and

Sandford first schools, plus the sons of the late Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson –

Freddie and Hamish, who had sailed in on the PSP Logistics Clipper race

yacht.

Iain Percy OBE, who claimed gold at the Sydney and Beijing

Games and silver at the London 2012 Olympics and is now skipper for the

America’s Cup challenger Artemis Racing, admitted it was an emotional

experience to return to the show without his former crewmate.

The

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation trustee said: ‘I realised the last

time I was here was with Andrew. It was a sad moment but I’m also really

proud of what we’ve managed to achieve in Andrew’s name, because of who

he was. It really is remarkable.

‘I’m really proud that the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is the show’s chosen charity, I feel it’s a fitting partnership.’

Sunday

21 September, the final day of the show, will coincide with Bart’s

Bash, a Guinness World record attempt in Andrew’s memory to create the

world’s largest sailing event – with hundreds of sailing venues around

the globe holding races simultaneously.

Iain, who will be

competing with Freddie from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing

Academy, added: ‘Bart’s Bash will be the world’s biggest sailing event

ever. It’s to celebrate Andrew and to celebrate the whole sailing world.

‘The world’s greatest sailors, friends of Bart, are doing the race. It’s going to be very, very special.’

The fun of boats

Countryfile

presenter Matt Baker said: ‘I’ve done all sorts of sailing, just before

the Sydney Olympics I came here to the Southampton Boat Show and raced

in a dinghy with Shirley Robertson and beat a certain Iain Percy.’

(Iain chipped in: ‘You fell in though.’)

Matt added: ‘That’s the point with going out on boats, against the elements and the weather, to get out there and explore.

‘You

don’t need to be a multi-billion pound businessman, it’s about

experiencing it, here at the boat show is a chance to ask those in the

know.

‘If you’ve seen me on Countryfile you know I like to get out there and try it, so it suits me down to the ground right here.’

TV’s

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman and Formula One mogul

Eddie Jordan were the celebrity guests at the Sunseeker 86 Yacht launch

event.

Founder of Sunseeker yachts Robert Braithwaite said: ‘What we do as a company is to sell dreams, because no one needs a boat.’

Claudia joked: ‘I’d have to disagree. I need one.’

Eddie said he became a Sunseeker customer in 1986 when he bought a Mohawk 29. Now the owner of the Sunseeker 155 ‘Blush‘ completed earlier this year, he added: ‘I never looked back.’

Product launch bonanza

Among

the many boat and product launches at this year’s show was The

Wheelyboat Trust’s new debut model, the Coulam Wheelyboat V20,

Crewsaver’s new ErgoFit Extreme lifejacket, Standard Horizon’s new

GX2200E – the first DSC VHF radio with built-in dual channel AIS

receiver, GPS receiver, VHF antenna duplexer and 30-watt loud hailer.

Sailing

Rallies launched two new rallies for 2015 and 2016,and Sealine launched

its new S330 sports cruiser and the UK premier of the F380.

All aboard the PBO Project Boat

Practical Boat Owner’s budget restoration boat, Hantu Biru,

a Snapdragon 23 bought on eBay for £510 and restored to its former

glory, is on show at berth M465 – near the Adventure of the Seas cruise

ship.

PBO Art Editor Kevin Slater welcomed more than 30 members of

the public on boat the PBO Project Boat in the first morning. He said:

‘They all say “It’s amazing” and asked how long it took.

‘On average it’s taken a day a week for the last two-and-a-half years. It proves it can be done.

‘One chap who visited said he bought a Trident 24 on eBay around the same time for £51 and has been following Hantu Biru’s progress, doing jobs at the same time.

‘It’s great to hear how many people have been encouraged by it. They like the fact it’s been restored and not renewed.’

PBO Deputy Editor Ben Meakins, who along with Editor David Pugh led the restoration project, added: ‘If Hantu Biru stays this popular all week it will be great. I was worried we’d be standing here on our own but it’s been non stop.’

Pictures:

Iain

Percy and Matt Baker with Freddie and Hamish Simpson and the other

Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation young ambassadors and show sponsors Jo

Dixie-Goodwin and Frank Dixie

The Tall Ship Phoenix. Both credited to onEdition 2014

PBO Deputy Editor Ben Meakins with the PBO Project Boat, at berth M465