World's oldest sailing regatta starts tomorrow

Skandia Cowes Week kicks off tomorrow, Friday 3 August, in Cowes, running until Saturday 11 August. Organisers Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) are promising one of the best ever weeks in the 181-year history of the event for the 8,500 competitors and some 10,000 visitors making their way to Cowes every day.

There are currently 978 boats entered in the regatta, ranging from Squibs and Hunter Sonatas to 100ft super-maxis ICAP Leopard and Alfa Romeo. It will be hard NOT to spot property tycoon Mike Slade’s new Leopard on the Skandia Cowes Week race course during the Big Boat Series being held on Friday 3rd, Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th August. Launched earlier this summer, this beast boasts a canting keel giving stability equal to 200 crew sitting on the rail, but without the added weight.

The Volkswagen sponsored Laser SB3 Class is the largest, with 98 boats currently entered. Tomorrow’s ‘King of Cowes’ competition will see winning skippers of last year’s classes battling it out to win a £50,000 car in a one-day SB3 regatta. With the likes of Mike ‘Moose’ Sanderson, Glenn Bourke, Russell Peters and the Budgen brothers battling it out to take home the spoils, the event looks to be a memorable one.

Start-wise, the first White Group start each day will be Laser SB3 at 1005 with next start being Etchells at 1035. The first Black Group start most days will be at 1030 except for Class Zero racing Fri 3rd when the start is at 1200 and on Wed 7th and Thurs 8th Aug when Class Zero will start at 1000. The first committee boat start each day is at 1100.