Ocean Safety organised one of the first events of the show when Charlie Mill from the company handed over a cheque for £500 to Clare Ross from Island based charity The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (EMCT). To enable the money to be raised, Ocean Safety advise sailors to drop off their life rafts, when they need to be checked out, to the EMCT base in East Cowes and the company donates an amount to the charity each time this happens.
Clare said that this arrangement certainly helped sailors as well as raising funds for the charity.
Shortly after this event the official opening of the show took place. ‘Phoenix’, which is 112ft long, took the role of ‘Sophie’ in the TV series ‘Hornblower’ and is a replica two masted brig.
For the opening ceremony she conveyed TV personality Matt Baker, who was accompanied by Frank Dixie and Jo Dixie-Goodwin, from the title sponsors PSP Logistics which has a base in Cowes and has recently sponsored young Island sailor Natasha Lambert by transporting her boat ‘Miss Isle’ after her latest fund raising adventure.
Also on board ‘Phoenix’ was Olympic medalist Iain Percy, a trustee of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Iain and Andrew raced together in the Star Class Olympic yachting. They took gold in 2008 and silver in 2012. Iain also struck gold in the 2000 Olympics in the Finn Class.
As the ‘Phoenix’ docked a number of children who have learned to sail with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the Official Charity of the Show, went on board to help cut the opening ribbon.
After seven years of sponsoring the Southampton Boat Show PSP have announced they are bowing out as the Official Sponsor. However, Frank Dixey said that after making this decision there was the chance of a change of plan so watch this space. PSP was the first ever Title Sponsor of the Show now in its 46th year.
Report and photograph by Alan and Suzanne Whitewood