Sea and Celebrity at the London Boat Show - Exclusive Photos

The London Boat Show is not just another exhibition at the ExCeL, it’s another world entirely.

For ten days, the Custom House centre will be lined with celebrities, Olympians, watersport enthusiasts and, of course, boats.

The show got off to a glamourous start on Friday when crowds gathered to watch model, heiress and reality TV star Tamara Ecclestone officially open the show.

Wearing a pink and black lace dress, the daughter of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone cut the ribbon flanked by the London Swimmers before posing with male models on board Sunseeker, a luxury yacht worth �5.3 million, which was sold that morning.

Over 1,000 boats feature this year including Oyster, Jeanneau and the Princess yachts, which ranged from 42 ft to 85 ft in height.

Enhancing the glamourous theme was new exhibit “Luxury Lifestyle and Supercar Showcase”, starring top-of-the-range Ferraris, Aston Martins and Bentleys in the South Hall.

“Going for Gold”, a topical addition to this year’s show, featured eight Olympic class boats used by Skandia Team GBR, two British Rowing Team boats and five Olympic kayaks.

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Olympians such as national jetski champion Jack Moule and Team GB kayaker Lizzie Neave thrilled families and watersports fans alike by giving adrenalin-fuelled live demonstrations in the docks and in the Watersports Action Pool.

Another exciting first for this year’s show was of a more classic variety.

Punters have the unique opportunity to scale the rigging of the HMS Victory, Admiral Nelson’s famous Man O’ War during the Battle of Trafalgar.

Expert help came from Reg Hill, 69, who has worked as a rigger and watcher leader for 46 years.

Reg said: “They’ve all got these big harnesses but all I need is this piece of rope around my waist to get up there. “And the young lads say to me, ‘What are you wearing that for?’ but then I say, ‘yes, son, but I’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been alive.’”

Around 500 exhibitors filled the North Hall selling everything from top-of-the-range navigational gadgets to marine and casual clothing to binoculars.

The London Boat show runs until January 16 and tickets can be purchased in advance for �16 per adult with two children under 15 going free by visiting or by calling 0871 230 7140.