The Red Arrows will be taking to the skies above the Southampton Boat Show this afternoon to perform their aerobatic stunts for the first time in the show’s history.

The display is scheduled to begin at 3.45pm.

Europe’s largest outdoor festival of boating got under way yesterday and will run daily until Sunday 20 September with a host of attractions, water-based activities, outdoor products and gadgets for sale and hundreds of boats on display.

The show’s marina, with more than 2km of pontoons and 300 boats exhibited, is one of Europe’s largest purpose built marinas.

Yesterday’s launch day saw Formula 1 and former Gadget Show presenter Suzi Perry, accompanied by Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, open the Sunseeker stand.

Now in its 47th year, the show at Mayflower Park has a new purpose built Aquarium, where visitors can explore rock pools, corals and anemones.

Top tips

Upon arrival to the Southamoton Boat Show, it’s well worth visiting the Try-A-Boat stand (A140) at the main entrance to the show to signing up for the free Try-a-Boat feature and free practical boating workshops with the RYA Active Marina team.

The Try-a-Boat feature enables visitors, aged 8 upwards, to get out on the water in the latest RIBs, powerboats and yachts. This attraction is in great demand so get to the show early as it’s first come, first served.

Other On The Water opportunities include taster sessions for 8 to 16-year-olds in paddleboarding and dinghy sailing, Adventure River Canoe Ride and Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP), and the Wet Wheels, wheelchair-accessible catamaran for disabled visitors.

Free RYA Active Marina on-the-water workshops will be running throughout the show, with four boats and a range of different sessions available, it’s the chance to gain top tips from expert instructors.

These workshops will run from 10:30am until 5:30pm every day, with each session lasting for 90 minutes, providing visitors with the opportunity to get afloat, refresh their boating skills and gain some real hands-on experience.

On-the-water workshops are taking place on two Match First 40s, a Sealine sc29 sport cruiser, and a 6.5m RIB. The 6.5m RIB is being used to run Powerboat Handling workshops, whilst an Introduction to Motor Cruising course is being run on the Sealine sc29 sport cruiser. Berthing & Boat Handling is being covered on board Match First 40, and for experienced sailors there are sessions on Spinnakers & Poling Out and Short-Handed Man Overboard on the second Match First 40.

RYA yachting development officer Guy Malpas said the Active Marina Experience had proved to be ‘extremely popular’ at the Southampton Boat Show over the last three years, with workshops becoming fully booked up every day. Sign up for sessions at the Try-A-Boat stand (A140).

The Active Marina Experience can be found at berth number M050, at the far outside left corner of the marina.

Guy added: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills with expert instructors for free. We’ve had great feedback about the experience, and both experienced and novice sailors tell us how much they’ve learnt from the sessions.’

For those who prefer to stay dry, there is the opportunity to explore boats including the Earl of Pembroke tall ship, recently restored and refitted, as well as the Red Arrow J109 yacht, which serving members of the RAF use to compete in sailing events.

The boat show’s 100ft big wheel is also a great way to experience a bird’s eyes view of the festivities, at a price of £4 for adults and £3 for children, and if there isn’t a large queue sometimes the kind wheel operators will let you go around an extra turn.

Thrifty visitors may do well to take a packed lunch as the price of purchasing refreshments can soon add up! Also dress for all weathers as even on a hot day it can be breezy down on the marina.

ARC Channel Islands rally launch

Tomorrow, the Southampton Boat Show will also see the launch of the new ARC Channel Islands rally.

World Cruising Club has teamed up with the RYA Active Marina programme and PBO to give aspiring cross-Channel cruisers the opportunity to join a fun and professionally- organised rally from Gosport Marina to Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey and Cherbourg in August 2016.

Visit the RYA lounge in the Holiday Inn at the show tomorrow, Sunday 13 September, from 3.30pm-5pm to find out more. Spaces are limited so be sure to register your attendance in advance at tinyurl.com/channelislandsrally

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Win the PBO Project Boat

Visit the PBO Project Boat at berth M612 (next to the Earl of Pembroke Tall Ship!) and you can enter a free prize draw to win our beautifully restored Snapdragon 23, Hantu Biru.

You can also enter the competition at the Time Inc marine media stand E1, where the latest subscription deals will also be up for grabs, and online at: http://www.pbo.co.uk/competitions/win-the-pbo-project-boat-hantu-biru

Hantu Biru’s lucky winner will be announced shortly after the London Boat Show in January.