John Bertrand and Grant Warrington presented the trophies as Skandia Cowes Week 2004 drew to a close with the prizegiving ceremony

After a hard week of racing that has encompassed everything from creeping round marks in light airs to downwind blasts in 40 knots, Skandia Cowes Week 2004 culminated with the overall prize giving ceremony last night.

This year the event returned to the Skandia Cowes Week Parade Village, opening it up once again to the public with the mouth of the Medina River and the Solent, where battles have been won and lost over the week, forming the appropriate backdrop.

The guests of honour were Australian sailing supremos John Bertrand and Grant Wharington, both of whom are more used to being on the receiving end of the silverware. Nevertheless they proved excellent hosts when it came to presenting this year’s winners with their trophies. Bertrand, winner of the America’s Cup 21 years ago, is still sailing at international level, and Wharington is pushing the ocean racing envelope with his latest 95 foot canting keeler Skandia Wild Thing.

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place in each of the 40 classes, with additional overall prizes for the Black Group (excluding ISC 8 and 9) and the White Group. The Skandia Young Skipper’s trophy was another hotly contested prize. Introduced in 1996, this award crosses all classes and the winner must be under 25 on August 14 this year. The winner was still undecided at the start of the last race on Saturday. Introduced last year, the ‘Girls for Sail’ trophies were awarded to top placed female crews in both the Black Group and the White Group. No doubt these awards will greatly encourage further female competition at Skandia Cowes Week in future.

With the close of the prizegiving ceremony at 21:00 hrs, the 2004 edition of Skandia Cowes Week came to a happy end.

Next year’s event runs from 30th July to 6th August. Put the dates in your diaries now!