THOUSANDS of people will descend on Southampton tomorrow for the start of the 44th PSP Southampton Boat Show .

The biggest annual marine event on the south coast begins at 11am with several sports stars appearing at the show, including Jenson Button, Helena Lucas and Dani King.

Visitors to the show will not only be able to catch a glimpse of sporting heroes but also see luxurious crafts and listen to adrenalin-filled stories from experienced sailors.

More than 120,000 people are expected to attend the ten-day show at Mayflower Park .

Running until Monday, September 23, the show features one of Europe’s largest marinas with over 2km of pontoons and up to 1,000 boats.

Murray Ellis, managing director of National Boat Shows, which is organising the event, said: “With so many things to see, do and learn there really is something for all boating enthusiasts, those new to the water and the whole family.

“Throughout the show, celebrating its 44th year, visitors can marvel at boats ranging from £300 dinghies to multi-million-pound sailing and motor yachts.

“Family favourites alongside many new attractions, coupled with stunning views of the marina, will make for an enjoyable day, so there’s no excuse not to come and soak up the atmosphere.”

Paralympic gold-winning sailor Helena Lucas will be joined by silver medallists from the Sydney 2000 Olympics Mark Cavell and Ian Walker to open the event at 11am.

Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button will be joined by TV pundit Eddie Jordan when they launch two new superyachts tomorrow at 11.30am.

Hampshire cycling wonder-woman and gold medallist Dani King is expected to make an appearance at the show.

Visitors can also get out on the water or see demonstrations from the Royal Marines Association as well as impressive flotillas.

Warsash sailing veteran Mike Golding will be at the event promoting his campaign to become the first British man to win the Vendee Globe round the world yacht race.

On Sunday teenage powerboaters will be hitting the water in the 2012 Honda RYA Youth RIB National Championship finals.

Ladies’ Day also make a return next Thursday with the Daily Echo-backed competition for the best dressed lady set to be as hotly contested as ever.

Powerboaters Shelley Jory -Leigh and Sarah Donohue are two of the speakers promoting girl power.

On Wednesday another sailing gold medallist, Andrew Simpson, who secured gold in 2008, will be speaking at a business breakfast.