Celebrity correspondent Hannah Emanuel has been talking to the stars at Skandia Cowes Week
Among all the other beautiful people at Skandia Cowes Week, celebrities can sometimes be hard to spot, but don’t doubt their attendance at this most prestigious event. Sailing can be a very humbling experience but the great and the good seem to love it and they have no qualms in joining the rest of us in the pub at the end of the day either. So who’s been out and about at Skandia Cowes Week?
On Thursday the town was oozing glamour when David Coulthard, Davina McCall, Bear Grylls, Lee Sharpe, Eric Peters and Andy Goldstein dropped in for a spot of sailing as they took part in The Open@Skandia Cowes Week in aid of Sail 4 Cancer
Simon Le Bon was in town yesterday ahead of setting sail in the Rolex Fastnet race tomorrow. His advice on winning races is “A happy crew is a good crew – don’t abuse people on the boat like Gordon Ramsay does in his kitchen. It doesn’t make for a happy crew, doesn’t make for a good crew and doesn’t make for winning races.”
Although best known for his activities on land, Alan Titchmarsh often takes to the water, he is a self confessed [Skandia] Cowes Week regular. We managed to catch up with him for a few words on what makes Skandia Cowes Week so special.
“I love the bustle and the manner of yachting folk – total single-mindedness when they are competing, and total relaxation when they’re not. The Isle of Wight is a special place, the Island folk are what sets [Skandia]Cowes Week apart from other regattas – the town may be overrun, but it still retains its individual identity”
As you may expect, there are also sporting celebrities, apart from the obvious sailing personalities, there are those better known for other sports – ex England rugby player Jeremy Guscott has been known to attend, often in his capacity as BBC sports reporter. We managed to grab a quick word with him on what makes Skandia Cowes Week so different other events on the sailing calendar. He explains that it is the combined sporting and social elements of the week that make it unique “As an event, it’s all about the occasion, not just about the racing – you meet some good people, have a good time – sailing is the serious element.”
Household names like Ellen MacArthur and Shirley Robertson made regular appearances at Skandia Cowes Week. Shirley is a Skandia Cowes Week competitor this year. She has, however missed the event in recent years due to her punishing three and a half year Olympic training schedule. She is pleased to be back this year aboard a TP52. There are usually Royal visitors to Skandia Cowes Week. This year HRH Prince Philip attended the blessing ofGipsy Moth IV. Geoffrey Hughes aka Onslow from ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ has also been seen, as well as Damon Hill and my personal favourite – Timmy Mallett.