The 5th annual Poole Harbour Boat Show (PHBS), in association with Sunseeker, which took place from 7th – 9th June, welcomed a record number of visitors from across the south and beyond. Event organisers are delighted with the continued success and growth of the event and reported thousands heading to the quayside and marina to enjoy the vast array of entertainment, boat displays and activities on offer over the weekend. Despite the heavy rain and high winds, which had threatened to spoil the popular event, visitors headed in their droves to Poole port and the sun did come out!
The PHBS is run by Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) and has the proud boast of being the largest, FREE to attend boat show in the UK. The Boat Show’s ambitions and theme are to get people ‘on the water’, particularly young people and this was certainly achieved. The show had something for everyone, including over 100 boats on the water, including tall ships, celebrity style yachts and motor cruises. There was an impressive line-up of ‘on-the water’ activities and workshops which included free taster sessions, allowing visitors to try their hand at paddle boarding, kayaking and dinghy sailing. Visitors were urged to ‘simply turn up and book a slot’.
There were many ‘firsts’ for the show and this year included the Poole Bay 100 Power Boat Racing which saw over 33 power boats in the marina, preparing to race out at sea at up to speeds of 120mph.
Newfoundland Rescue dogs made their first appearance and proved to be a huge crowd puller.
The show’s ambitious eco plans caused a stir with many new eco initiatives introduced and welcomed by the public. These included; efforts to eliminate use of single-use plastics wherever possible, ‘top tips’ provided by the organisers encouraging exhibitors to be eco-friendly, urging visitors to bring refillable water bottles and the provision of refill stations. Refillable coffee cups were also provided to exhibitors.
Of particular interest to visitors was the display of some of the plastic waste that had been collected from just one weekend of the recent ‘Big Harbour Clean Up’, which was run in collaboration with PHC. Rosie Bailey, a Big Harbour Clean Up organiser advised, “Over just one weekend of the harbour clean- up we collected enough plastic rubbish and waste to fill 4 skips! Our display at the boat show, which showed just a portion of what was collected, has instigated lots of conversations and interest from show visitors. It has been fantastic for awareness.”
Poole Harbour Marketing Manager Tracy Payne advised, “We have more plans for the 2020 Boat Show to become even more environmentally friendly. Watch this space!”
Poole Harbour Commissioners CEO Jim Stewart enthused, “This has been a hugely successful boat show. We have had lots of additional features this year which have proven to be very popular. We really feel that our mission to ‘get people on the water’ has been a success and attracted visitors to the show. The marine environment focus this year has also shown to be extremely popular and grabbed attention. We hear from marina exhibitors that boats have been sold and excellent sales leads achieved, which is excellent news. Over the weekend we welcomed the ‘Grand Circle Travel’ 7-star cruise ship, Corinthian, into the port. No doubt the cruise ship guests were thrilled to be part of the show.”
The next Poole Harbour Boat Show will take place on 12th – 14th June 2020.