A record 238 entries competed in this weekend's Little Britain Challenge Cup and over £150,000 was raised for charity

The Little Britain Challenge Cup, the construction industry regatta now in its 18th year, was held off Cowes, from 8-11 September. The event attracted a record 238 entrants from every area of the business, making it easily the largest European industry sailing festival.

There were 42 new entrants along with double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson on Prime Evil, Ian Walker and Russell Peters on John Merricks, and Andy Beadsworth on Exabyte 2.

For the practice race on Thursday, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, over a 130 yachts took part but on Friday, the first day’s racing had to be abandoned due lack of wind. The situation didn’t look too promising on Saturday morning wither but the early cloud cover broke by noon to allow pulses of breeze to filter through, and for the racing to get underway in a wind bracket of 3-5 knots for a shortened race.

This year for only the second time in the event’s history there was a tie for the Little Britain Challenge Cup with honours being shared by newcomers Amey Love Shack and Languard Investments.

After each day’s racing over 2,500 entrants partied hard with the high point of the social side being the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night, when the largest sit down dinner seen on the island was held in the 36,000 sq ft marquee. Cowes was also treated to a world record ‘heads and tails’ game, which raised £12,695 in 15 minutes.

The Little Britain Challenge Cup proves that it is possible to have fun and raise over a £150,000 for charity. The main beneficiaries will be the Cirdan and Jubilee Sailing Trusts, as well as the Ellen MacArthur Trust, the Andrew Cassell foundation and the John Merricks Sailing Trust.