In bright sunshine and a fresh south-easterly breeze, crowds of competitors are heading for Cowes this evening for Skandia Life Cowes Week which officially starts tomorrow morning."
In bright sunshine and a fresh south-easterly breeze, crowds of competitors are heading for Cowes this evening for Skandia Life Cowes Week which officially starts tomorrow morning. A total of 890 yachts will be on the start line confirming this event as one of the largest regattas in the world.
Most of the country’s top performing yachts, including the Farr 52 Bear of Britain owned by Kit Hobday and Tim Louis and other members of the recently selected Commodores’ Cup team, have been out on the Solent today fine tuning their rigs in preparation for what is expected to be a highly competitive event.
At the other end of the size scale in the 30-strong Dragon fleet, crews are preparing themselves for super-hot racing. Jeremy Field, a local Dragon sailor from Cowes who’s racing aboard the 1997 Petticrow Dragon Apalala with Chris Caws at the helm and Chris Jones in the middle, believes this year’s fleet will provide some extremely close racing. “There’s some highly talented crews turning out for this event,” commented Field, “including the likes of Eric Williams who finished second last year, Graham Bailey, Ian Ratnage from the Medway and Ken Freivokh. It’s going to be a tough event for us but I’m feeling fairly optimistic. Chris is a brilliant helmsman with a lot of local knowledge and, although he’s never actually won Cowes Week, I think we’re in with a really good chance. Obviously we’ll get more of an idea of our form against the fleet tomorrow but winning is definitely at the top of our agenda.”
Cowes Week is also known for its spectacular social calendar which kicks off tonight with the Royal Yacht Squadron ball and the Deep Safari at nearby Northwood House. For those looking for something different to black tie and ball gown, tonight’s marina entertainment at Cowes Yacht Haven features a DJ and live music from Billy No Mates and Remedy.
Yachting World is based here for the full eight days of this event, to bring you the latest news on www.yachting-world.com and www.ybw.com and also as official news supplier for the Skandia Life Cowes Week website, www.cowesweek.com. If you see us out on the water, ashore around Cowes or on our stand within the Yacht Haven, please say hello.