Event news

Sailing supremos John Bertrand and Grant Wharington are confirmed for Cowes

To kick-start Skandia’s 10th Anniversary as title sponsor of Skandia Cowes Week (7-14 August), Skandia will be joined by Australian sailing supremos John Bertrand and Grant Wharington at this year’s Event.

John, currently ranked World No. 2 in the Etchells class will act as an Ambassador for Skandia’s twinned event, Skandia Geelong Week, taking place from 21-26 January 2005.

Grant Wharington is the hard-to-beat skipper of the Skandia Maxi Wild Thing. And the best news of all? The five lucky teams who are shortly to be announced as this year’s Skandia Squad, will benefit from John and Grant’s enormous wisdom and sailing experience as they help coach the Squad members at Skandia Cowes Week 2004.

Iain Hall’s Schock 40 Wraith heads for UK waters and Skandia Cowes Week

With a crew manifest that includes Dave Ullman, Tom Schock, the designer, Matt Brown and Tom Paulling, Iain Hall’s Schock 40 Wraith, built in the US, is hoping to attract a lot of attention at Skandia Cowes Week.

She will be the first Schock 40 to be seen in European waters and Iain reckons that her black hull and black sails will create a ‘suitably menacing’ sight on the Solent this August. Wraith has recently left the US, bound for the Panama Canal, and she’ll be delivered to Hamble Yacht Services at the end of June for commissioning. Thence follows some shakedown sailing before the full crew complement merge at the beginning of August for a serious workup.

Full Pelt X/Jo Richards

The 10th in line of Full Pelts owned by Stephen Fein and designed, built and managed by Jo Richards will be undertaking one of her first major competitive outings at Skandia Cowes Week. She’s 36ft and weighs in at 1700kg – and she’s been rated 1.704, the highest IRC rating currently issued and more than the MaxZ86’s (1.648). The new boat has a 800kg canting keel and will field a crew of six. Full Pelt is of Carbon/Nomex construction – SP Materials, built by an ex-GBR build squad, carbon mast, future fibres composite rigging, and UK/McWilliam sails. She has impressive power-to-weight ratios – in excess of a 49’er, so the aim is that upwind planing is possible. Full Pelt X is competing in the Round the Island Race, at Cork Week and Skandia Cowes Week.

?& the Russians are coming!

A team of 11 Russian yachtsmen are competing on the IMX 45 Follow Me, representing the Regional Social Organization “Sport Club UTS”.

On the Multihull front

This year sees the first-ever Multihull Class being catered for at Skandia Cowes Week and one interesting entry that has come to light is that of the 10.9m Wingover from Brian Wilkinson who is preparing for the 2005 Single Handed Transatlantic Race.

Wingover is the only boat of its type north of the Equator. In her modified form, she is in some respects, a half scale ORMA class trimaran with a rotating wingmast and water ballasting and with these features incorporated in the boat during the 4-year build, her design was clearly ahead of her time. Originally designed for the Jester Class of the OSTAR race, Twiggy’s have established a strong pedigree for offshore and ocean racing.

Watch out! Watch out! The Weakest Link’s about!

Anne Robinson’s acid delivery and her verbal put-downs have given her a reputation as the rudest person on television. ‘You’re a coward, aren’t you?’; ‘We’re not fainting with admiration here’; ‘pathetic’; ‘appalling’; ‘shameful’; ‘stupid.’ – just some of Anne’s choicer phrases!

On 11 August 2004, a team from the BBC TV Quiz Show ‘The Weakest Link’, hosted by Anne Robinson, is coming to Skandia Cowes Week in search of new victims! The Weakest Link researchers will be based at the Sail 4 Cancer marquee in Cowes Yacht Haven between 11am and 1pm and will spend the rest of the day out and about canvassing spectators, competitors, organisers?in fact anyone and everyone?to ask if they would be interested in being considered for the 6th series.

For more information log onto www.cowesweek.co.uk