Every year, more than 1,000 yachts and boats participate in Cowes week, situated in the Solent off the Isle of Wight, entering into races each day, with more than 100,000 spectators flocking to Cowes to witness the regatta. This year, the biggest week in the British boating calendar takes place from 3-10 August, and hopes to be the most popular with boaters and spectators alike.
Cowes week is predominantly a sailing regatta, with crews from a huge variety of backgrounds from across the globe taking part in races and boating activities out on the sea and inside the marina. The easiest way to reach Cowes is on a high-speed boat from Southampton Town Quay, and is the quickest option. People travelling with cars should opt for a full-sized ferry.
A series of ‘round-the-cans’ courses are set up for professional and amateur sailors alike, starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line and running an interesting range of routes through the sheltered water close to the harbour and the unusual tidal conditions found in the Solent. Cowes Week is great as it gives casual sailors the chance to rub shoulders on the sea with Olympic athletes, and every sailor is treated equally.
However, Cowes Week 2013 will also be a fantastic week for people who just want to come along and watch. Whether you’re a boating fanatic or simply curious, you will have a rare opportunity to get up close to the yachts on the Solent and find out more about them from their owners. Cowes itself has lots of pubs, restaurants and little coffee shops, and the week gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Isle of Wight.
In the evenings, crews and visitors will have the chance to partake in some of the fun social activities on offer, from the Yacht Club Balls to the spectacular firework display on Friday 9th August to celebrate the end of the week.
If you want to enter your boat to partake in Cowes week, make sure you fill in your entry form in good time, and get your boat in top condition. There are lots of yacht specialists who will be able to get your boat up to scratch so that it’s in peak condition for racing. They will make sure your yacht is completely ready to race to put you in the best possible position, and you can show your boat off with pride in just a few months in the beautiful Solent.
Edward Smythe is a fanatical sailor who has been enjoying the regattas of Cowes Week as both a partcipant and spectator for more than twenty years