Skandia - Cowes Week title sponsor - is looking for this year's Skandia Squad for Cowes Week 15/5/06

Long term savings group, Skandia – title sponsor Cowes Week – is looking for crews to represent four different regions of the UK as part of the Skandia Squad which will race at this year’s event (29 July – 5 August).

Expert sailing knowledge is not required as fully qualified instructors from the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) will sail with the crews over the eight days of the regatta.

Each crew will comprise a team of three or four people who are willing to compete among the 8,500 sailors and 1,000 boats that converge on the south coast to take part in the world’s largest sailing regatta, which this year celebrates its 180th anniversary. Full board and accommodation will be provided in Cowes by the UKSA and each crew will be given the use of a Sonar racing boat.

The four regions include the North (including Scotland and Northern Ireland); the East; the West (including Wales); and the Midlands. The South will be represented by a crew selected by BBC TV’s regional news programme ‘South Today’.

Tim Sewell, Skandia’s sponsorship manager commented: “The Skandia Squad is for people who may not have the resources or experience to compete in an event such as Skandia Cowes Week. By linking with the UKSA we are able to invite sailors of all abilities – and that includes disabled sailors – to apply. This is a fantastic opportunity for people who thought sailing at such a major regatta was out of their reach.”

As well as free accommodation and the use of racing boats, the selected teams will enjoy a host of other free benefits, including Henri-Lloyd clothing, Mumm Champagne; travel to the Isle of Wight courtesy of Wightlink and access to the Skandia hospitality marquee throughout the week.

Applications will be considered from teams residing in the relevant region of the UK. All members of the team will need to be over the age of 18 years and be available for a training weekend on the Isle of Wight on the 8-9 July.

Full details and entry forms are available from the official Skandia Cowes Week website (>) or from Skandia Squad Entries, Skandia, FREEPOST SO1641 Southampton, SO14 7AY.

The closing date for entries is Monday 12 June 2006.

Successful teams will be notified by 23 June 2006.