Ross Tailor

News: Cowes Week 2009 Starts Today.

August 1, 2009 by Ross Tailor
View large version of image: Cowes Week 2009 Starts Today.

The world famous UK Cowes Week sailing yacht regatta 2009 gets underway Saturday the 1st of August, for the 183rd year.

This year 8,500 yachtsmen and women head to the Solent to compete across 37 different sailing classes in the largest and oldest sailing regatta of its kind. The participants at Cowes range from weekend sailors to world class professional racers. This years the xtreme 40 catamarans will also be in attendance and the Fastnet race is a follow up.

Added to the huge list of competitors and yacht will be an expected 100,000 visitors who will be watching the sailing on the water and enjoying the entertainment and wild parties. Cowes week represents a one of a kind yachting event with a unique atmosphere and there is always plenty to do ashore. The fun includes street theatre, air displays, live music and of course the renowned Cowes Week fireworks display on Friday, 7 August. The yachting regatta has a fantastic festival atmosphere providing free fun for the whole family.

Highlights for the week include the iShares Cup, the RNLI official charity day, Ladies Day, Come Racing, and the Artemis Challenge.

The iShares Cup at Cowes Week, 1-3 August
For the third successive year, the UK round of the iShares Cup will be held during the first three days of Cowes Week.

For the first time, the racing of the Extreme 40 catamarans will take place within metres of the Cowes shoreline extending along The Green and Egypt Point. These amazing racing catamarans add exhilaration and a fantastic sensational display for all those gathered to watch the racing.

The RNLI Charity Day, 3 August
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is Cowes Week’s nominated charity for 2009. There is an exciting series of events planned throughout the week, including a ‘Get Your Kit On’ Competition, and a Crew Training Experience on Cowes Parade.

The official charity day will take place on Monday, 3 August when the RNLI will hold their Cowes Week Charity Supper, supported by Talisker single malt Scotch whisky. Tickets are still available and can be purchased from the RNLI charity stand on Cowes Parade.

Ladies Day, 4 August
Ladies Day recognises and celebrates the contribution and achievements of women in sailing on Tuesday, 4 August. More women than ever now compete at the regatta and at least a third of the 8,500 competitors are female.

Come Racing, 31 July-4 August
LaserPerformance and Pelican Racing have teamed up to offer members of the public and Cowes Week competitors the chance to ‘Come Racing’ during Cowes Week, after the 1,000 boat fleet have finished for the day. For the first time ever, for just £10, visitors to Cowes Week can learn how to sail an SB3 and have the chance to race against nine other Laser SB3s.

The Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week, 5 August
Cowes Week welcomes back the third annual Artemis Challenge, a 50 mile high-speed sprint around the Isle of Wight for IMOCA Open 60s. £10,000 will be donated to the charity of the winning skipper, with the skipper taking home The Artemis Challenge Trophy and there will be some high profile celebrity names onboard, so watch out for those famous faces!

The Famous Fastnet Race:

The Fastnet Race has also attracted an international sailing yacht fleet of large racing yacht contenders

Perhaps most notably is sailing yacht Beau Geste which is a recent Bruce Farr designed IRC 80 which was launched earlier in 2009. Yacht ‘Beau Geste’ has a Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok as her owner and well known sailor New Zealander Gavin Brady helming.

Also the Italian Luna Rossa (of America’s Cup fame), Patrizio Bertelli’s yacht STP65 will boast a selection of America’s Cup yachtsmen.

The founder of the Carphone Warehouse, Charles Dunstone, has recruited Ray Davies, another experienced America’s Cup tactician to call tactics on the TP52 racing yacht he owns called ‘Rio’. This yacht is one of the favorites to retain the prestigious New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup.

Cowes Week Website: http://www.cowes.co.uk

Xtreme 40 catamarans: http://www.extreme40.org/page.php?id=28

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