Nearly 30,000 visitors to the show on Saturday makes it the biggest ever London Boat Show attendance

Visitors have been swarming to the 50th London Boat Show at ExCel all weekend. In fact, with long queues to get into the show for most of the day on Saturday, it wasn’t surprising to hear of the record attendance of 29,800 visitors on that day.

The light, bright, spacious atmosphere of the new Schroders London Boat Show venue and the added benefit of being able to step outside to view the dockside exhibits has proved an immediate success. Even with nearly 30,000 visitors milling around the two main exhibition halls, the wide aisles and endless walkways seem to dilute the crowd and create a pleasant environment.

James Gower the marketing director of the show said: “We, the organisers of the show, are totally ecstatic at the moment, but we do however, have to remain cautious because it’s early days. But the signs are good so far. Even today, Monday, the halls are looking very busy. We are continuously talking with the venue and the transport providers and keep our eyes open all the time to ensure things are running smooth. The signs from last weekend shows that everything coped very well and we’re looking forward to welcoming more visitors next weekend.”

Yesterday’s waterside activities which included the Carmela Cup two-boat national team racing event, was also a great success with spectators flocking to the dockside to catch a glimpse of some of the country’s top team racers in action in the strong gusty winds. See news story here. 

Today sees the start of the Indoor windsurfing Championship in the specially-constructed 70m x 30m pool which, according to Gower is already drawing in the crowds. The championship however, which should have started on the opening day of the show was postponed due to structural problem with pool. Despite the rumours flying around ExCel about a security guard been swept away by the tidal wave of escaping water from the pool, Gower confirms it really was not that dramatic, adding: “We lost water over the edge but there’s still an investigation going on about what really happened. It’s not really that clear but we do think it’s something to do with the structure underneath. It wasn’t that dramatic because the water leaked over a period of time. The fire brigade pumped out the rest of the water and then it was dismantled and re-erected using a different company and re-filled with 2,500 tons of water.”

The show continues to run until next Sunday (18 January) with late night opening on Thursday (2130). see show guide here.