Cowes Week starts tomorrow, Saturday 1st August, and the Extreme 40s had three practice races today, now sensibly cited off The Green

Cowes Week kicks off tomorrow, with Day 1 of racing also for the Extreme 40s in the iShares Cup. Practice racing today gave the gathering crowds a taster of the action, with three races and three different victors, including Nick Moloney (BT) taking the last race in the shifty conditions. The ‘headline act’ for Cowes has sensibly been moved this year to racing off The Green and The Esplanade, so combined with the backdrop of the hundreds of other boats racing, will provide their designed spectacle to the Cowes public. Live commentary will be provided by Cowes Week Radio to keep the ice-cream eaters informed and help seal this event as the ‘red bull air race of the water.’ There’s also a new public race village and Extreme Bar set up at Egypt Point.
After the first two events at Venice and Hyeres, there are just two points separating the top four teams, but there’s a twist: series leaders BMW ORACLE Racing won’t be able to compete as they’re in San Diego testing their re-launced America’s Cup trimaran. But with a who’s who mix of celeb sailors on the helms, including locals Shirley Robertson on iShares and Mike Golding on Ecover, the Extreme 40s are bound to provide a spectacle, thanks to their speed and potential to pitch-pole. Race 1 is at 2pm tomorrow with a forecasted 10-12knot SWly.

Picture by Mark LLoyd: Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images