Cowes Week is the largest, longest running and most prestigious international sailing regatta in the world. This magnificent Isle of Wight event takes place in The Solent around Cowes and features an eight-day racing programme. It encompasses people from all walks of life, of all ages and abilities and a range of boats as diverse as the crews participating. Cowes, which is renowned as “the yachting capital of the world” has plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafés to choose from, not to mention the fantastic array of shops. It is highly recommended that accommodation required during the regatta is booked well in advance as the town becomes awash with visitors and competitors.
This famous yachting event is special to everyone involved, whether sailing or not. Anyone can take part, with amateur sailors competing alongside Olympic and World Champions. The atmosphere on shore is carnival like, with plenty of open-air activities and entertainment, culminating in the spectacular fireworks display on the final Friday evening. A typical Cowes Week will comprise of around 1000 boats and in the region of 8500 sailors. The boats, which range from high-tech racing machines to classic day boats are split into 40 classes which race on each of the eight days.
Cowes Week is one of the biggest events on the Isle of Wight and has been held every year (except during the two world wars) since the first race started at 9.30am on Thursday 10th August 1826. The inclusion of an extensive social programme organised by the yacht clubs and classes participating in the regatta, as well as attendance by members of the Royal Family have ensured that this event has a firm place on the British summer season’s social and yachting calendar. There is a history of yachting in the Royal Family as it was a popular pastime of King George IV, which resulted in the formation of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Website: www.cowesweek.co.uk
Cowes Week is traditionally held during the week beginning on the first Saturday after the last Tuesday in July (except where the tides make the traditional dates virtually unworkable). 2012 Cowes Week is 11th - 18th August.