Regatta heading for huge turnout as excitement grows

Cowes Week. Picture: Christopher Ison
Cowes Week. Picture: Christopher Ison
jpns-12-08-17 retro 2017

Royals - The Ducke of Edinburgh sailing off Cowes in his chartered yacht Yeomann XXII

THIS WEEK IN 1979: Racing royals set sail in the Solent

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ONLINE ENTRIES are open for Cowes Week 2015, which will take place in August (8-15).

Cowes Week was first held in 1826 and, as the largest sailing regatta in the world, attracts between 800 and 1,000 yachts in up to 40 classes across the seven-day event.

Around 7,000 competitors will race from August 8 to August 15.

The range is from weekend sailors to world champions and Olympic medallists, and this year the event is expected to be one of the biggest yet.

A wide range of cruiser classes will compete at Cowes Week, and these fleets have proven to be an increasingly popular introduction into racing at the regatta, serving as an alternative to the optimised race boats of the core IRC classes.

This year the sailing instructions for the event have been significantly simplified in a bid to improve the racing experience, and will be published a few weeks before the regatta starts, while the Island Sailing Club’s ISCRS rating system will be used to determine rankings.

All boats entering Cowes Week must ensure they fully comply with Category 4 of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, with organisers keen to stress that it is down to the skipper to ensure that nothing has been missed from the list.

Kate Johnson, Cowes’ commercial and marketing director, has expressed her delight at the events organised for Cowes Week, which currently include a ladies’ day and a family day.

Johnson said: ‘We are looking forward to an exciting Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2015.

‘There will be a real buzz around the week with some big boats taking part this year, including Maxi 72s, IMOCA 60s and Volvo Round the World boats, and overall entries look to be significantly up on last year.

‘Developments for this year include fun fundraising activities for UKSA on family day and a full programme for ladies’ day, including prizes for best-dressed female sailors.

‘Cowes Week will definitely the place to be to witness some action-packed racing.’