The first ever Whyte & Mackay Earls Court Boat Show celebrated its official opening yesterday with a lively turn out from the press and invited guests. Katie Derham welcomed fellow Prince's Trust Ambassador Penny Lancaster on stage to cut the Whyte & Mackay ribbon - with a little help from the Royal Marines who abseiled from the roof of Earls Court to present her with a pair of scissors.
Penny was also joined on stage by Kenny and Gabby Logan, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton and Britain’s Olympic sailing hopefuls, Team Mirabaud - Sarah Webb, Sarah Ayton and Pippa Wilson.
It was an action packed day that saw Fashion Shows, wakeboarding demonstrations, a live link-up from Dee Caffari, the launch of the Round Britain Race, Yachtsman of the Year Literary Award announcements and presentations from boating legends.
In the Whyte and Mackay Bar, Jonathan Dimbleby swapped notes with Katie Derham, whilst the Management of Whyte and Mackay soaked up the atmosphere with a ‘Spirit of the Water’ cocktail especially made for the show.
India's answer to Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya, self-styled 'King of Good Times' and Chairman of Whyte & Mackay Ltd, made a late appearance at the show after his flight from India was delayed by fog, but just in time to buy a pair of Sebago shoes.
This morning His Excellency Bruno Gomez-Acebo Borbon, nephew of the King of Spain visited: 'It's fantastic to be at this new show - there is such a great atmosphere. I was particularly taken by the British built Pearl 60 that shows great innovation and design.'
James Brooke, Managing Director of the Whyte & Mackay Earls Court Boat Show says, 'We've heard from exhibitors and visitors that the show is a fantastic success and we've fulfilled our promises. I'm extremely proud of the show but what really put a smile on my face was to hear my sons George and Harry say 'wow' as they walked through the doors!'