When the annual day comes for 1,000 boats and 100,000 people to descend on a small town on the Isle of Wight, two words come to mind… Cowes Week.
Cowes Week is the UK’s biggest regatta, and hosts not only a roster of world-class sailing events but a celebratory atmosphere fusing an array of ages and agendas, over eight days. The regatta population ranges from carbon fibre-clad professionals, first-time competitors, to visiting spectators including families and festival goers. The ratio works out around 8,000 competitors to over 90,000 spectators, and this year the regatta runs from the 10th to 17th of August. With humble beginnings in 1826, it’s an essential fixture in the annual sports calendar as the hub of performance yacht racing (as well as a great excuse for a good old knees up, in the name of sailing). So here is the go-to guide for Cowes Week 2019.
First thing’s first – it’s Cowes Week, so watching some of the action should be the first port of call. The waters here have challenging tides and potentially ruthless conditions, and Cowes Week programme of events hold a whopping 350 races over 8 days, divided into 40 different classes.
There are many accommodation options, including:
For competitors looking for sailing instructions on how to enter, along with first-timer guides and race documents, follow the ‘Taking Part’ links on www.cowesweek.co.uk. Also on the site is Cowes Week winners, Cowes Week weather forecasts and Cowes Week accommodation.