Gold Medalists Open Southampton Boat Show

Britain's best loved on-water boat show opens Friday 14 September and runs until Sunday 23 September at Southampton's Mayflower Park.

There's over 500 Exhibitors showcasing hundreds of new boats and brands and it includes the UK's largest purpose-built show marina, hosting 350 boats,

There's also an active marina, where people can try a boat and get afloat and the Royal Navy's P2000 HMS Ranger.

Olympic gold medalists Ben Ainslie and Helena Lucas -both from Hampshire - will officially open the show at 11am on Friday 14th September. F1 driver Jenson Button will also be there to launch two new super-yachts.

National Boat Shows Managing Director, Murray Ellis said:

“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 the 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. This combined with what the Show has to offer highlights the potential for on-water sporting legacy in the UK.”

On land there will be:

- boat clinics - talks and demos from experts and meet Olympian Lieutenant Peter Reed MBE

- Try a dive: 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

- the Sea Theatre Live! - gastronomic treats with celebrity chef Mark Sargeant

- the latest industry technology, gadgets and gizmos

- many exhibitors will be hosting opening events and Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline set high standards with their glamorous celebrity guests

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