Earls Court opens its doors to the Boat Show

Earls Court Boat Show, opened today and will run from 1-9 December. It is the first time yachts have returned to Central London since 2002. Strictly Come Dancing stars Gaby & Kenny Logan and Penny Lancaster, wife of Rod Stewart, opened the show while burly members of the Royal Marine Commandos enacted a small war in front of them.

Attractions which drew the crowds included the whaler James Caird, which carried five people of Shackleton’s marooned party from the Antarctic ice to South Georgia, 91 years ago; the Contessa 32, Gigi, which was sailed around Cape Horn, and which has been restored by Jeremy Rogers and Gipsy Moth IV, Sir Francis Chichester’s 53ft ketch which returned from her second circumnavigation in May following a campaign to rescue her from wet rot at Greenwich.

Speaking at the show about their adventures were Michael Perham, the schoolboy who sailed the Atlantic in a 28ft trailer-sailer at the age of 14, Adrian Flanagan, who made a vertical circumnavigation in his steel yacht, Barbarossa, and Helen Lister, the paraplegic who makes voyages by blowing through straws and Tony Bullimore the circumnavigator recently returned from his bid to take Ellen MacArthur’s crown.

To find out more at www.earlscourtboatshow.com

Read what Dick Durham really thinks of the new show in his blog

Watch YM’s video preview of the show below: