Southampton Boat Show cancelled on Covid-19 fears


The Southampton International Boat Show has become the latest yachting event to fall victim to Covid-19, after the show was cancelled yesterday (September 10th). But next month’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FIBS) is still scheduled to go ahead as planned.

Due to open today (September 11th), the Southampton event was cancelled on the orders of Southampton City Council, according to its organisers British Marine.

At 6.34pm on Thursday 10th September, on the eve of opening day, British Marine received the devastating news from Southampton City Council that the show could no longer go ahead due to the rising risk of Covid-19 and growing government fears,” according to a statement.

Detailed safety preparations had been put in place at show to protect the public and exhibitors from the virus, said the organisers.

‘Desperately disappointed’

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “We are desperately disappointed that BOATS2020 will no longer be taking place, especially receiving the news at the eleventh hour before opening. A tremendous amount of work has been put in and it was heartening to see committed exhibitors on-site today getting geared up for opening.”

Robinson added: “Alongside our exhibitors, we were ready to open a show that exceeded all safety requirements. We are truly perplexed as to why we are unable to run the show at least until Monday in line with the government restrictions imposed yesterday. The global pandemic and unprecedented times mean that the latest circumstances are beyond our control. Public health and safety come first and naturally, as the show organiser, British Marine must comply with all guidance.”

‘We are truly perplexed’

All BOATS2020 ticket holders will be offered a credit against their ticket purchase for Southampton International Boat Show 2021. The MDL Ocean Village event has also been cancelled.

Both events join a growing list of cancelled yachting events. Last month Ondeck Events cancelled its inaugural Olympic Yacht Show 2020, due to take place between October 1st and 4th. Earlier high profile cancellations included the Monaco Yacht Show and Cannes Yacht Show, both due to take place in September.

Meanwhile, next month’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FIBS) is still scheduled to go ahead between October 28th to November 1st. Special Covid-19 security checks – including temperature checks for all visitors ahead of admittance – will be put in place, according to the organsers.