A week is slightly longer than the calendar norm according to Skandia Cowes Week, but is there any pressure for Cowes Combined Clubs to rest on the eighth?
Although Skandia Cowes Week used to run for nine days, and has been held successfully over an eight-day period (Saturday to Saturday) in more recent years, some typically time-pressed 21st Century participant might argue that the ‘week’ is still too long.
According to Stuart Quarrie, the duration of Skandia Cowes Week owes much to tradition, but it also recognises that to shorten the event would lose a weekend or half-weekend of racing. That would be a significant miss for owners and crews that cannot take time off during the week. Quarrie commented: “If a large proportion of competitors decided that Cowes Week should run for seven days, the CCC would probably only organise seven days. Surveys conducted every day during the event include questions that ask ‘Is the regatta the right length? and ‘Should we have a lay-day?’ The answers really depend on what the weather is doing during that particular week!
“Three years ago, it was windy every day and by the last Saturday everybody was so tired, saying: ‘Please, do I have to go racing again?’ Other years, when there’s hardly any wind during the week, but it picks up on the last Saturday with a beautiful sea breeze, everyone goes home thinking: ‘Thank goodness we raced on the final Saturday.'”