This is going to be a very special Cowes Week as organisers integrate SailGP as a feature event of the first weekend. The Cowes Week Sailing Instructions have been updated so that hopefully racing can be completed in all reasonably normal wind scenarios, bearing in mind that well known saying “it’s never normally like this here”! Start times are broadly the same as last year but there will be a new start and finish line option, one in the eastern and one in the western Solent so that in the case of a late sea breeze races can still get away if the timing overlaps with SailGP. Cowes Week races should finish by 1500 so that boats get a chance to return to Cowes and watch the awesome spectacle of SailGP F50s racing, and visit the Cowes Week official shoreside venues at Cowes Parade Village, Shepards Marina, Cowes Yacht Haven, and Northwood House.
Cowes Week Competitor App
The Cowes Week Competitor App will give every crew member with an iPhone or Android device access to their own personal schedule of racing, course information for the day, race announcements, the official wind forecast that the course setters are working to, and the key social events taking place shoreside. New features this year include notifications when announcements or courses are released, together with a wallet of exclusive benefit cards that you can use during your time in Cowes.
Prize Giving on Friday, 16th August
The other major change this year is that the Cowes Week overall prize giving for all classes will be on Friday night starting at 1930 at Shepards Marina. Previously, Black Group finished on Friday and White Group on Saturday but going forward the points series for all classes will end on the Friday.
Saturday, 17th August – enter for the last day for £44 regardless of boat size!
Racing continues on Saturday, 17th of August for trophies presented by Cowes Town Regatta and there will be another prize giving that evening (at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club) for what is in effect a one-day regatta to end Cowes Week. Organisers hope to develop this into a fun, end of regatta extra day when perhaps crew are given a chance to helm and drivers go on the foredeck?!
The new Solent Team Trophy
The new Solent Team Trophy is open to teams of three boats, representing either yacht clubs or national flags where three boats are from the same country. The rules have been updated so that you now must have one boat from both Black Group and White Group, with the third from either. Get your team together now!
Still time to enter
You can enter online until 1700 on Thursday, 8th August. After this, entries can be made by visiting the Regatta Office or calling 01983 242049.
Visit the event website to find out more: cowesweek.co.uk.
Top photo: Cowes Week Fireworks 2018. Credit Tom Gruitt.