53rd Southampton International Boat Show opens

SIBS 2022

The opening ceremony of the 53rd Southampton International Boat Show took place at Mayflower Park this morning (16 September 2022), in front of queues of visitors eager to get in to view the hundreds of boats and brands on display.

Under sunshine and clear skies, proceedings were opened by a heartfelt tribute to the Queen and her longstanding relationship with Southampton.

The show is honouring the Queen by holding a minute’s silence on Friday 16, Saturday 17, and Sunday 18 September. Organisers British Marine have confirmed that SIBS will be closing the show for the state funeral of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday 19 September.

SIBS 2022 opening ceremony
British Marine CEO Lesley Robinson declares the show open

The Royal Navy also have a memorial showcasing Queen Elizabeth II’s connection to the Royal Navy over the years, while the show has also erected its own tribute at the entrance to the show, where visitors are welcome to lay flowers.

CEO of British Marine, Lesley Robinson says: “British Marine and the whole UK marine leisure industry were deeply saddened by the loss of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We’ve all agreed that closing the show as a mark of respect would be the most appropriate course of action to join the nation in remembering The Queen on Monday 19 September.”

Tribute to Queen Elizabeth at SIBS 2022
A memorial tribute to Queen Elizabeth at the entrance of SIBS 2022

British Marine president Paul Gullett highlighted that this is the fourth of five years into the show’s sustainability pledge and asked that if flowers are left, the plastic is taken off and disposed of elsewhere.

In his opening remarks, Gullett added that the challenging agenda of sustainability impacts the entire industry, and affirmed that British Marine will continue to focus on it, with the environmental awards to be announced later today.

SIBS 2022 Queen tribute
A minute’s silence will be held every day until the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19 September. Image courtesy SIBS/Parsons Media

In its fourth year of a five-year sustainability pledge, Southampton International Boat Show has launched the new Environmental Innovation Showcase (EIS), located in Ocean Hall. The showcase will shine a spotlight on the best of the marine industry’s new products, highlighting to consumers how the marine industry is becoming greener and cleaner and what they can do to become a more environmentally conscious boater.

This year’s show offers more than 500 boats and 350 marine brands for visitors to check out against the backdrop of Europe’s largest, purpose-built marina, Mayflower Marina.

Crowds were out in full force to see professional fly boarder, James Prestwood, on the water, cut the official ribbon mid-summersault while bright blue smoke filled the air.

James Prestwood at SIBS 2022
James Prestwood cuts the ribbon in dramatic style

The 53rd edition of the show sees opening day visitors exploring multiple attractions and zones including Watersports, Dinghy, Classic & Day Boat alongside the On the Water Zone and the brand-new Quayside Club VIP experience. Newbies and seasoned pros took to the water on stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and RIBS, giving them the chance to soak up the atmosphere and sample life on the water.

“As we open the doors on our fifty-third show, we are pleased to see such a big turnout and are excited to welcome many more visitors over our nine-day run,” says Robinson. “Our aim is to get as many people as possible out on the water regardless of ability. There are many opportunities for visitors to try something new, from taking a high-speed RIB ride to testing their balance on a stand up paddleboard.”

SIBS 2022

Key features at this year’s show include an ‘On the Water’ zone; the new Quayside Club VIP experience offering hospitality packages; Mayflower Park, with food and drinks; The Dinghy Zone; the Foredeck stage – featuring talks from leading experts on a whole host of topics; and the Classic and Day Boat Zone.

Adult tickets are on sale now for £26, and up to two children aged 15 and under are permitted free entry to the show with every paying general admission adult ticket. A full breakdown of ticket costs and packages is available online.

SIBS 2022

Termed as a ‘bucket list’ experience for many, open water swimmers are also being invited to swim 1.25km around the show on Sunday morning (18 September 2022), to raise money for Rose Road, a charity that provides family support services, overnight respite care, domiciliary care, community outreach and day services – described as a lifeline by parents and carers. Registration is open online, with a few places remaining.

The Marine Industry News team will be at SIBS throughout the show. For more information, or if you want to find us, don’t hesitate to get in touch or email us on info@marineindustrynews.co.uk.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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