Early indications show that this year's Skandia Cowes Week (2-9 August) should attract over 950 entries

Early indications show that this year’s Skandia Cowes Week (2-9 August) should attract over 950 entries. As a result of 2003 being a Fastnet Race year, and because the Admiral’s Cup will be taking place the week before, race organisers are expecting more large yachts and overseas entries.

The bad news is however, the increase in this year’s entry fees by an average of five per cent as a direct result of being stung with a massive increase in its third party liability insurance premiums – from £7.5k up to £24k – in the aftermath of September 11th and the recent stockmarket falls.

Other news from the island is that the planned July opening of the re-developed Cowes Combined Clubs Regatta Centre by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in time for Skandia Cowes Week has had to be postponed owing to unforeseen delays caused by piling the foundations at the Bath Road site.

The Regatta Centre during Cowes Week will have a temporary home on Cowes Parade, forming part of the Wight Leisure Tented Village. The 25m x 5m marquee will be sited on the Royal Yacht Squadron side of the Village together with four 3mx3m portacabins for use as Protest rooms.

The new Regatta Centre will now celebrate its official opening in early Summer 2004 to coincide with CCC’s 40th Anniversary.

New Classes for 2003

Cork 1720/Laser SB3 both benefit from fleet expansion Formerly racing within the Sportsboat Class, this year sees the Cork 1720 and Laser SB3 classes both racing in their own classes.

The Cork 1720 Class is hoping to have up to 20 boats racing in its fleet and the Lasers will race with around 10 more boats than last year, bringing its fleet up to approx. 15 for this year’s Regatta.

IRC Bowsprit – re-named J-Sprit Class and open exclusively to all J-boats with bowsprits. Also, the J/92 is using Skandia Cowes Week for its National Championship during the first four days of the Regatta but is still sailing in the Handicap Class.

IRM – For the first three days of racing, IRM will have its own class and starts. IRM will then join IRC but there will be no IRM dual-scoring as per 2002.

This year, the overall IRM winner will also be awarded the Delta Trophy in addition to the usual Overall IRM prize.

IRC – IRC will again be split into eight classes however, the actual split will not be decided upon until a week or so prior to racing commencing. Cowes Combined Clubs Regatta Director, Stuart Quarrie cites the reason for this: “CCC wants to ensure sensible splits according to actual entries. This ensures that the class sizes are evened out as fairly as possible. We hope that the splits will be very similar to last year but we’re anticipating a mixed reaction to the news!”

XOD Class at SCW

The largest fleet at SCW comprising 70-80 boats is the XOD Class. At the specific request of the Class Association, CCC has agreed that on a day-by-day basis the Class may ask for a Committee Boat start so that the first leg can be to windward. This is especially important when the wind is in the North as witnessed on most days during the 2002 Regatta.