THE PSP Southampton Boat Show began today with tens of thousands of people expected at Mayflower Park for the annual celebration of all things nautical.

Television stars Nick Hancock and Dawn Porter launched the annual event at 11am after arriving on fully operational high-speed Second World War motor boats, known as the “Spitfires of the Sea”.

Another famous face, classical singer Katherine Jenkins, performed at the launch of the new luxury Sunseeker vessel.

The show, which last year attracted over 130,000 visitors, will also feature a Spitfire flypast to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Boat Show is the largest outdoor event of its kind in Europe, which will feature 1,000 vessels and 500 stands.

It will also be the setting for the fourth round of the 2010 Powerboat P1 SuperStock Championship on Sunday.

This will see up to 20 of Britain’s best offshore racing teams powering around Southampton Water.

The boat show runs until Sunday, September 19.