The Isle of Wight is gearing itself up for its second yachting event of the season. Cowes Classics Week, sponsored by the leading UK investment management company Charles Stanley, will run from the 21st to the 25th July 2014.
The regatta, now in its 7th year, is one of the highlights of the Classic sailing circuit and this year will see 160 boats with some 800 crew competing in the Solent. The event is organised by the Royal London Yacht Club and assisted by the other Cowes Clubs.
Racing will take place in the central Solent over five race areas. The fleet will race for an impressive collection of Royal London Yacht Club and Class trophies including a New Helm Trophy, and the overall winner receives the Charles Stanley 1792 Cup.
Entries for this month’s Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week look set to be significantly up on last year, standing at 145 today with Squibs and Mermaids expected on the Wednesday to Thursday making a total of 160 boats. The numbers represent and increase of 25% on last year and entries are still open until the 18th July.
This year will draw entries from a wide range of yacht and day boats from ex-America’s Cup 12-metres to the smallest boats, the two-man Flying Fifteen Class. The popular day boats, such as XODs, Darings, Sunbeams and Classic Day boat class, traditionally draw the largest fleets whilst Classic Cruiser/Racer division will be boosted by the inclusion of the SCODS, Twisters and Stellas, and the glass Nicholson 32’s and 36’s and Rustler 31’s – now 50 years old. Both the XOD and Sunbeam fleets will be using the event as a significant championship in 2014.
The yachts, representing 30 yacht clubs both in the UK and overseas, will be competing in 14 different classes over a number of race courses. Interest for newcomers continues to grow - over 40 entrants on this year's list didn’t compete last year. Crews are coming from the UK and overseas, including a crew from Perth, Western Australia.
Off the water, the social schedule is equally impressive with an opening reception supports by Charles Stanley, tea and homemade cake after racing each day provided by Winkworth, the Haines Boatyard reception on Tuesday, a dinner at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne on Wednesday, a Harken sponsored race-day and prize giving on Thursday and the Charles Stanley race-day and overall prize-giving on Friday.
For more information, please visit: www.cowesclassicsweek.org
The official charity this year is the Isle of Wight High Sheriffs’ Trust. More information at www.highsheriff-iow.org.uk