Get the blues for a good cause at Cowes Week


The Ellen MacArthur Trust is the new official charity for Skandia Cowes Week 2006-2008.  Launched by Ellen MacArthur in 2003, the Trust takes young people aged between 8-18 sailing to help them regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illness. The Ellen MacArthur Trust makes sailing accessible to children who, because of their illness would not otherwise been given the opportunity.

This year will see youngsters in recovery from cancer and leukaemia racing in Skandia Cowes Week. The Trust will host the inaugural Charity Gala Ball, and try to ‘Turn Skandia Cowes Week Blue’ on the regatta’s official charity day – Monday 31st July.

Ten youngsters from Northern Ireland and Essex, who have previously participated in The Ellen MacArthur Trust trips, will race in Skandia Cowes Week onboard the Oyster 48, ‘Scarlet Oyster’.

On Monday 31st July, the regatta’s official charity day, The Ellen MacArthur Trust is hoping to ‘Turn Skandia Cowes Week Blue’. Competitors and spectators alike can show their support for The Trust by dyeing their hair blue, flying a blue spinnaker, purchasing an Ellen MacArthur Trust blue wristband or simply by wearing blue clothes.  There will be spot prizes on the day for those wearing a blue Ellen MacArthur Trust wristband and those who have been the most creative in turning blue.

Charity day will culminate in the inaugural Ellen MacArthur Trust Gala Ball at The Haven Events Centre in Cowes Yacht Haven. The Trust’s two patrons Dame Ellen MacArthur and double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson will be guests of honour for the evening. 

Ellen MacArthur is excited at the prospect of the charity she founded being given the opportunity to raise much needed funds, and also allow The Trust to raise it’s profile through the association with the longest-running and largest sailing regatta in the World.  

“One of my personal highlights of this year has been attending the sailing trips with The Ellen MacArthur Trust. It is our third year of sailing and each one just keeps on getting better.  The kids are amazing, and it is fantastic to see some of them returning each year, their confidence and also their sailing ability just grows with every trip. I hope that as the main charity of Skandia Cowes Week, it will help to not only raise awareness about the trips and what we are trying to achieve, but also more funds to enable us to take even more children out on the water next year.” 

The Ellen MacArthur Trust and its volunteers will be visible throughout the week with their stand in The Parade Village where everyone will be able to play a Virtual Skipper game and aim to get the best daily score and win some great prizes.

The ‘Stars of Sailing’ race will take place on 31st July with competition winners partnering up with professional sailors to compete.  There will also be a chance to ‘Try Sailing’ for free in association with Skandia and the UKSA with any donations made towards the experience going to The Ellen MacArthur Trust.