ONE of the world’s oldest sailing regattas gets under way today as sailors and boats of all different shapes and sizes do battle on the Solent for the 2015 instalment of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
With up to 40 daily races within 34 different classes, the famous regatta that takes place until August 15 from the Isle of Wight will attract close to 800 boats and 8,000 competitors, ranging from day sailors all the way up to Olympic champions.
A particularly interesting entry list has been lined up, including a 50-strong international fleet from 18 different countries.
With this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week falling in a Fastnet Year, the number of big boat entries has increased.
Three Maxi 72s – Bella Mente, Jethou and Momo – will all be taking to the Solent to compete in the IRC Big Boats Series from Tuesday to Thursday.
Another highlight is sure to come from the annual round the island charity dash, the Artemis Challenge, featuring Volvo Ocean Race boats, including the all-female crew Team SCA, multihulls and IMOCA 60s.
Over 100,000 visitors are expected to line the shores of Cowes over the course of the week to enjoy the unique festival-like atmosphere and take in a variety of on-shore activities and live entertainment acts.
Eye-catching aerial displays from the Red Arrows on Thursday, plus the RAF Typhoon the following day – along with the spectacular fireworks display next Friday night – will bring the curtain down on the penultimate day of the regatta.
Family Day takes place tomorrow, while on Tuesday the annual Ladies’ Day will celebrate the contribution and achievement of women in sailing – recognising some of the major successes of women in the sport.
If watching isn’t enough, then sailing enthusiasts can get out on the water with one of the spectator boat rides, or try sailing themselves with the Volvo Sailing Academy on Saturday 8th August, or UKSA Try Sailing taster sessions happening during the rest of the week.
For those still looking to race in this year’s regatta, entries are being accepted up until 5pm the day before each race.
Find out more information at aamcowesweek.co.uk