At a press conference in London on 15th November, Bill West, Marketing Director of Skandia Life announced his company’s continued sponsorship of Cowes Week until the year 2002
At a press conference in London on 15th November, Bill West, Marketing Director of Skandia Life announced his company’s continued sponsorship of Cowes Week until the year 2002. Skandia has supported the event since 1995. The sponsorship package is worth ‘1.5 million and, as Stuart Quarrie from Cowes Combined Clubs commented, allows the entry fees to be kept at a level to attract the maximum number of entries. ‘Without Skandia’s support entry fees would need to be increased by at least 100%, which would have a serious effect on the success of the Regatta.’
In 1999 there were over 900 entries and the organisers are hoping for a record entry for 2000. These will, however, have to be restricted to 1000 as the local infrastructure would be unable to cope with any more. Under a new pre-registration scheme, 400 entries have already been received.
Despite talk of big changes, Quarrie denied that there were any plans for a two week Regatta ‘in the foreseeable future’. The Committee boat starts successfully introduced in 1999 will continue and cash prizes, in the form of Skandia MultiFUND investments worth ‘2000, will be awarded to the top boats in the black and white groups.
The Maxi One fleet will be returning for the second year, although it is not anticipated that the ILC 70s will attend as 2000 is not a Fastnet year.
One maxi that will attract much attention is Mike Slade’s new maxi ‘Leopard 2000’. This all carbon, water ballasted, 90 footer ‘a bit like a blown up Whitbread 60’ is designed by Reichel Pugh and weighs in at 36 tons. Due to be launched in May, she will be sponsored for her first season by Skandia Life and will be attempting a number of records, including round the island, currently held by Slade in Longabarda.