Sailing and rowing stars from London 2012 are to open the 44th Southampton Boat Show

The 2012 PSP Southampton Boat Show is set to be a celebration of British ‘on water’ sporting prowess with Olympic and Paralympic athletes opening the Show. The athletes, who will carry out an Olympian cavalcade around the Show on Friday 14 September, will then take part in the official ribbon cutting moment to mark the opening.

The athletes from the British sailing and rowing teams, fresh from competing in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, will come together for only the second time after the victory parade at the Mayflower Complex at 11am.

National Boat Shows Managing Director, Murray Ellis, comments: “The opening of the show is naturally fitting to this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show. Great Britain triumphed in the ‘on water’ sports at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – with the sailors and rowers winning 17 medals. To add to these incredible achievements, history was made within sailing with Ben Ainslie winning his fourth gold medal and 2.4mR sailor, Helena Lucas winning Great Britain’s first ever full Paralympic Games medal.”

Sailing yachts, RIBS, motor cruisers, powerboats, racing dinghies, whether it has sails or an engine or requires man power there is a boat of every shape, size and budget to suit all visitors. You will be able to walk among the array of boats on land or take to the pontoons of the purpose built marina to see them afloat and to watch the daily boat parade which includes historical, innovative and spectacular vessels, Show visitors will be treated to some reamarkable sights.

Also at the Show on Friday will be Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medalists Mark Covell and Ian Walker, skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing who will be launching Exposure Marine’s latest innovative products.

During the action-packed 10 day event the Sea Kitchen Theatre will find TV chef Mark Sargeant demonstrating top notch seafood recipes. Interactive food attractions will continue with the Great British Oyster Festival with oyster expert Katy Davidson, as well as local chefs who’ll be cooking up a storm.

As always there is ample opportunity for visitors to get out on the water. Kids not only get into the Show for free with a paying adult, but also have the chance to learn to sail with free 90 minute dinghy sailing sessions thanks to On The Water’s Get Afloat from Rockley Watersports. Show visitors can also get under the water with Try-A-Dive, or try boating first hand with Try-A-Boat in association with onthewater.co.uk.

Ladies’ Day on Thursday 20 September sees fascinators at the ready as attendees battle it out to be crowned ‘Best Dressed Lady’ whilst Team GB canoeist Lizzie Neave will be hosting the Ladies’ Day Challenge which will see some familiar faces compete on the water.

To find out more, and to buy tickets, visit www.southamptonboatshow.com.