1.75 m VHF: Channel 69 Report an Incident

News - 23/06/14

Cowes Breakwater Project and Cowes Week

Press release issued by Cowes Week Limited: Work started in May this year on the long-awaited new detached breakwater for Cowes Harbour, which will give the marinas and moorings protection from northeasterly winds and minimise damage to boats caused by strong winds in this direction. 

The project is contracted and managed by Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC), who has been working hard with Cowes Week Limited (CWL) to minimise any disruption during the course of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. An Exclusion Zone around the works will be in place throughout the 18-month development, but CHC and its contractor, Boskalis Westminster, have adapted the schedule of works to reduce the impact on the regatta. 

Commenting on the development, Stuart Quarrie, CWL’s Sailing Director said: “This is great for Cowes in the long-term. As with many long-term plans, during the construction phase there will be some short-term management and planning, and we are working closely with Cowes Harbour Commission to ensure any impact to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is minimised.”

Cowes Harbour Master, Stuart McIntosh added: “We are pleased to confirm that our contractor, Boskalis Westminster, has agreed to delay the commencement of the import of gravel to build the main core of the breakwater until after the completion of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Cowes Harbour Commission is grateful for this co-operation which will assist us in our work to deliver a robust safety management plan with Cowes Week Limited and reduce the impact of the breakwater construction on the regatta.”

The Exclusion Zone will be in place throughout the regatta and the contractor may still be carrying out works within the Zone and have other small work vessels within the harbour area. The Exclusion Zone applies to all vessels and is primarily to safeguard them from damage from submerged chain, anchors, floating pipelines, and associated vessels as well, of course, as the breakwater under construction.  The Exclusion Zone will vary in size and shape during different phases of the project but will be fixed for the period of the regatta, and although construction is still in an early phase, the level of the new structure is already almost level with low water on spring tides.

One difference that competitors will notice in the Sailing Instructions this year is the option for White Group dayboat classes to start from a line on the Shrape off East Cowes. This will be used on days when the weather necessitates running racing for these boats in the relative shelter of the Eastern Solent, but when the tide at the start time will be flowing strongly towards the west. On such days, Black Group yachts will start on the inner part of the RYS line instead of their normal Bramble line, which will create a great spectacle for those ashore as well as providing some added variety and excitement for the teams racing in Black Group.

There are more details about the Exclusion Zone in the Notices to Mariners published by Cowes Harbour Commission – these are updated regularly to reflect changes in the size and shape of the Exclusion Zone:

This year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place from 2nd – 9th August. Enter at http://aamcw.co/yourentry before midnight on Sunday, 27th July to benefit from the standard entry fee.