Racing at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2015 regatta starts this Saturday, 8th August and in advance of the regatta we recommend that all competitors and boat owners coming to Cowes take note of the following to ensure a safe and enjoyable week for you and your crew.
Cowes Week Regatta
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2015 runs from 8th to 15th August. During this period many sailing vessels of all types will be racing in the Solent, in the approaches to Cowes Harbour and Southampton Water, and within The Precautionary Area. Boat owners and skippers should be particularly vigilant and maintain an efficient lookout for large vessels and sailing vessels and, at all times, should navigate with caution in the area. For further information, including details of race start and finish lines, please read Local Notice to Mariners No 28(T) of 2015.
A modified Exclusion Zone around the breakwater construction works is in force with the main change being an extension north to No. 2 buoy; this now marks the northwest corner of the Exclusion Zone. All vessels are reminded that they must stay outside of the Exclusion Zone at all times. Please see Local Notice to Mariners No 26(T) of 2015 for full details.
Navigation instructions and diagrams pertaining to the breakwater Exclusion Zone are also contained in the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Black Group and White Group Sailing Instructions (SIs). Ideally, two people on each boat should know the SIs backwards and should get together, maybe over a beer or two, in advance of the regatta to check for any gaps in their knowledge!
Local tidal flows
Of particular note for mariners visiting Cowes for the first time since the construction of the new breakwater in 2014, is the change to tidal flows in the harbour. The main changes in tidal flows are limited to the flood tide between High Water -3hrs and High Water -1. During this period there is a reduction in cross-fairway tidal flows between No 1 buoy and the Island Sailing Club (ISC), but an increase in cross-fairway flows between the ISC and Red Jet Terminal. The existing pre-breakwater cross-fairway tidal flow has, in effect, moved south.
We advise you to read Local Notice to Mariners No 25 of 2015 and our website section on Local Tidal Flows for further information.
All competitor race packs will contain copies of Cowes LNTMs Nos 25 and 26(T) of 2015; these will be given out at registration by Cowes Week Ltd.
Red Funnel ferries
Due to the heavy concentrations of sailing vessels on the water during the regatta, the Red Funnel vehicle ferries and Red Jets will be escorted into and out of Cowes Harbour by CHC harbour patrol vessels. Small craft must not impede the safe passage of large vessels and must take into consideration the cross-fairway current, particularly when outbound from Cowes.
The high-speed Red Jets will be operating a special, enhanced timetable from 7th – 16th August. The passenger vehicle ferry timetable can also be viewed on the Red Funnel website.
Cowes Week Fireworks
The famous Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Fireworks Display will take place on Friday, 14th August. The fireworks will be launched from a barge in the Outer Fairway and CHC will enforce an exclusion zone around the barge to protect spectating craft from fireworks fallout and debris. A Local Notice to Mariners will be issued in advance of the fireworks display.
Top photo: courtesy of Olek Creations