Paddle River Experience unveiled for Southampton Boat Show 2017

Daily Echo - 30 August 2017

A QUIRKY attraction to get people out on the water has been unveiled for this year’s Southampton Boat Show.

Organisers British Marine, in partnership with sponsors, have unveiled a new paddle river experience which will take pride of place in Mayflower Park.

The attraction will consist of a 60-metre waterway circuit which will be knee-deep surrounded by lush greenery transforming the area into a woodland stream.

Participants of all ages and ability will be able to try their hand at canoeing or paddle boarding without getting wet.

The attraction is being organised by the team at Southampton Water Activities Centre.

Jon Bilby, commercial manager at the centre, said: “It’s quite ambitious but it’s all about getting more people onto the water and participating in boating and watersports activities.

“The paddle river experience will be completely hands on and will allow everyone to try out a range of paddle sports including canoeing and kayaking in a unique way.”

Construction of the attraction began several weeks ago and is expected to finish on Monday.

A passenger boat will allow hundreds of visitors to enjoy a trip in the Solent, giving impressive views of both the show and Southampton.

The showboat will be able to hold more than 340 people and will sail twice an hour between 12 and 4pm on selected days throughout the show.

Adults and children will also be able to try their hand at bell boating, a twin hulled open canoe seating up to 12 people, while visitors can climb aboard a 72ft round the world ocean race yacht for a special sailing adventure in the heart of the Solent.

Gemma Hunt, from CBeebies programme Swashbuckle, will be helping to kick off all the action. She said: “I love being out on the water myself and this event is the perfect place to introduce little ones to life on the ocean waves.”

This year’s show will run from Friday, September 15 to Sunday, September 24 featuring 600 exhibitors and 330 boats.

Recent news