A look at the likely contenders at the forthcoming Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes 18/7/07

With less than three weeks to the inaugural Volkswagen Touareg King of Cowes at Skandia Cowes Week regatta – see previous news story here, the organisers have announced the official runners and riders list.

The event, which takes place on 3 August, will see 27 top helmsmen, each class winners at Skandia Cowes Week in 2006, compete head to head in Laser SB3s three-race regatta.

Watch out for some top talent including J/109 helmsman David Apthorp who’s sailing with Geoff Carveth, the recently crowned Volkswagen Touareg European Champion. Plus Mike (Moose) Sanderson who hopes to represent ABN AMRO 1 on Chris Darling’s SB3 – rumour has it he has been practicing in an SB3 off Cowes.

Last year’s SB3 winner at Skandia Cowes Week, Russell Peters is one of the favourite. Drawn with David Wilkinson and crewed by International 14 sailor Zeb Elliott, expect to see some good results from this team.

Glynn Williams (Swan Class) has been drawn with SB3 Class secretary Venetia Wingfield. With International 14 sailor Martin Jones as crew, their challenge in the SB3 Allotment Club could be worth watching.

Peter Baines (X One Design) – former Olympic squad member and renowned Flying Dutchman sailor and America’s Cup veteran – is also one to keep an eye on. He has won more than a few championships in his time and is one of the most successful Solent sailors on the circuit today.

International 14 legend Ray Rouse (Contessa 32) has 60 years sailing experience under his belt. Light airs could favour this wily chap whose local knowledge of the Solent is renowned.

BBC Sports presenter Gabby Logan teams up with 11-times Skandia Cowes Week class winner Graham Bailey (Etchells) on board Laser SB3 Team Touareg with Craig Burlton. Gabby recently attended a SailLaser course in Weymouth to learn to sail an SB3.

Others to look out for include Northern Ireland’s Kenny McCullough (Skandia Cowes Week winner in IRM – TP52Panthera, Alistaire Richardson (Extreme 40Basilica) and Andy Budgen (Sigma 38The Project) crewed by his brother Ian.

David Graham, director of Performance Sailcraft Europe, joint organisers of the event commented:”To be honest, you can’t write any one off. On the day anything could happen – I’m really looking forward to seeing the battle unfold on the water.”

Team list