It has been held for the past 182 years, is known the world over as the
greatest and certainly one of the most inclusive regattas in the yachting
calendar, and it officially starts on Saturday 2 August. Skandia Cowes Week
- the last year the event will bear this title as Skandia is relinquishing
its title sponsorship after 14 years - is hosting high-profile sailors,
high-octane racing and fierce rivalry on the water. With the inclusion of
the Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes at Skandia Cowes Week regatta, the
iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week and the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes
Week, the event is attracting some of the best sailing talent in the
world...and then there's the matter of over 970 yachts racing in 37
different classes with over 8,500 competitors taking to their start lines in
boats ranging from 68ft down to 20.99ft!credit: onEdition
Kirsty Gallacher, a TV Presenter, sailing onboard Sail Navy during this year's Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes.
The "Champions League of Sailing" -
The event, which is also justifiably proud of its shoreside entertainment
programme for competitors and visitors alike (the latter numbering in the
region of 100,000 over eight days) has enjoyed a fantastic partnership with
its title sponsor Skandia but, as with all good things, the relationship is
coming to an end after this year's regatta. The regatta's CEO, Stuart
Quarrie said earlier in the week, as part of an official statement: "Looking
ahead to the future of Cowes Week and life after Skandia, our ideal scenario
had been to announce a new partner in advance of this year's event. Although
discussions are progressing well, we are not in a position to make an
announcement before or during the regatta. However, we do have every
confidence that Cowes Week will have a new partner in place in good time for
the 2009 regatta."
Below are some of this year's many highlights and remember you can keep up
to date with all the latest news and views, weather, results and commentary
from Cowes Radio via the official website at www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk
The crew Earls Court Boat Show who came 2nd overall in todays Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes at Skandia Cowes Week, pick up thier prize from Colin Jackson.
The Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes at Skandia Cowes Week
Expect some fierce rivalry as famous athletes join 30 of last year's class
winners to race Laser SB3s
Television sports personality Kirsty Gallacher and former GB Olympic
athletes Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards are competing in The Volkswagen
Touareg King of Cowes @ Skandia Cowes Week regatta tomorrow, Friday 1
The inclusion of this trio of aspiring sailors creates a unique race within
a race that seeks to find the 'champion of champions' at Cowes. Racing
starts at 11:00, subject to weather.
In year two of this highly fought on-water competition, there are superb
prizes of a Volkswagen Touareg, Laser XD and Laser BUG up for grabs. On top
of all this, there is a great holiday with Mark Warner to be won for the
winning SB3 owner and a £500 spot prize for the 'The Most Passionate
Performance' awarded by Nexus Marine. www.kingofcowes.com
The iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week
Coinciding with the official start of the regatta on Saturday 2nd August,
the UK leg of the iShares Cup runs until Monday 4th August with a list of 11
runners and riders racing Extreme 40s and it is a series that promises to
deliver some fast and furious competition.
Daily starts are scheduled for 1400 off the mainland shore near Lepe. Racing
continues until 1700 and all boats are berthed in East Cowes.www.isharescup.com
The Ellen MacArthur Trust (EMT)
The official charity for Skandia Cowes Week is gearing up for its third and
final year of official association with the Event. It hopes to Oturn Cowes
blue' again and is encouraging everyone to dye their hair, fly blue flags or
just wear blue clothes. Scarlet Oyster, the yacht lent to The Trust by
Gordon Appleby for use during its summer trips and sailing regattas, will
again be crewed by children from The Trust. Gordon sadly lost his battle
with cancer in February and The Trust's entry into Skandia Cowes Week is
dedicated to his memory.
The EMT stand on Cowes Parade has rowing machines with the aim of visitors
rowing two million metres over the course of the week and raising funds at
the same time. Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare, Skandia Cowes Week's
official skincare sponsors, are continuing their support by supplying
sunscreen available to purchase on lanyards, with sales proceeds going to
the Charity. The official charity day is Monday 4th August and it
culminates in the Ellen MacArthur Trust Ball - an absolute Omust attend'
event which this year is being held at Osborne House in East Cowes. The
great news is that all the tickets have been snapped up!www.ellenmacarthurtrust.org
The Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week
Eight IMOCA Open 60s on the Start Line for charity race
Skandia Cowes Week welcomes back The Artemis Challenge. Organised under
IMOCA rules, it features some of the biggest names on the IMOCA circuit..
The Open 60 yachts will race against each other to compete for a generous
£10,000 prize fund that will be donated to the winning team's charity of
choice, with the skipper taking home the Artemis Challenge Trophy.www.artemisoceanracing.com
Liz Earle Ladies Day
Liz Earle Ladies Day is on Thursday 7th August and it recognises and
celebrates the contribution and achievements of women in sailing. The event
organisers are keen that nominations for the Liz Earle Ladies Day Trophy
should encompass all female sailors ranging from the Corinthian sailor and
those overcoming difficulties, through to those who have undertaken
remarkable challenges in sailing.
More women than ever now compete at the regatta and at least a third of the
8,500 competitors are female. To highlight the increasing involvement of the
fairer sex and to celebrate sailing as one of few mainstream sports where
men and women compete on equal terms, the Ladies Day Trophy is awarded as
part of Liz Earle Ladies Day alongside a host of other activities and
Skandia are once again running their highly popular Try Sailing initiative
in conjunction with the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA). Over the past
three years, hundreds of visitors have been able to take to the water for a
free one-hour supervised sailing lesson thanks to this scheme.
Anyone over eight years old qualifies for a session, which can be booked at
the Try Sailing booth on Cowes Parade. A specially designed boat, the
Artemis 20, is also available especially for disabled visitors wanting to
see what it's like to get out on the water.
The Liz Earle OClose Shave Trophy'
The inaugural Liz Earle OClose Shave Trophy' has been introduced this year
to be awarded annually to the overall winner across all classes who grasps
victory by the closest margin. The Liz Earle Close Shave Trophy recognises
high performance, tough competition and achievement, and will be presented
at the overall prize giving at the end of the week, together with a Liz
Earle goodie bag for each of the crew.
Watch the action from the shoreline or head into the heart of the action on
a spectator boat
Whether on shore or on water you can enjoy spectator-friendly commentary
One of the great things about Skandia Cowes Week is that spectators can
watch much of the racing from the shore. The Green (in front of the
Esplanade) and The Parade are great places to view the action and there are
also a number of fantastic opportunities to go afloat (details on the Event
website). There are numerous entertainments laid on for visitors and the
event is very family-friendly.
Tune in to Cowes Radio, providing exciting commentary on the racing as it
happens. Any ordinary FM radio will pick up the signal which is broadcast on
87.7 FM and also through loudspeakers along the Green and Cowes Parade.
One of the best locations to watch the starts ashore is undoubtedly the area
between the Castle of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the cannons - as long as
you don't mind the loud bangs! Here you can get right on the line and see
who got the best start and which boats were over the line. You can also hear
the race officers giving their countdowns and calling the starts from the
Royal Yacht Squadron battlements.