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Cowes Classic Week

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Published 11:47 on 24 Jul 2019

Cowes, UK. 24th July 2019 - With just four days to go before the first race of Cowes Classics Week, tension is building amongst the fleets to speculate on the opposition they will be facing and the favourites to win. Entries officially close on 25th July although some later entries may be considered.

The first races kick off next Monday, 29th July when four committee boat race areas, and one fixed shore line just in front of the historic Royal London Yacht Club on the Parade at Cowes, will host the 130 or so yachts that are taking part.

The Royal London is welcoming entries from one design classes and one-offs whose classic designs which were drawn up 50 years ago or more. Despite their vintage lines, some are almost brand new, like Osprey in the Swallow class, built just last year and Solent Sunbeam Sky, built the year before. With new yachts coming into these tight one design classes, the competition can be expected to be formidable, yet these tried and tested classes originated in 1948 and 1923 respectively.

Amongst the fleets, which include not just the one designs, but cruisers, Folkboats, vintage Swans and plenty of others, are some truly historic craft. Andrew Hitt's Spinaway, a quirkily named Plymouth Hooker is the oldest competing yacht, built in 1889, but still extremely capable of getting around the race course. A regular to the event, Spinaway will have plenty of competition in a six strong gaffer class, competing against the likes of Bob Fisher's Rosenn, built in 1896, and Steve Meakin's Cormorant, built in 1911.

Expecting to enjoy some tight windward leeward courses in the Solent are classes including Squibs, Bembridge One Designs, XODs, Darings, Vintage Dragons, Solent Sunbeams, Swallows, and other classic keelboat designs.

Mike Fox, Captain of the Daring Class, anticipates the action on the water. "Cowes Classic Week has become a regular and much loved regatta in the Daring sailing year, both on and off the water," he says. "With predominantly windward leeward courses and well matched boats, the racing is always closely contested. Darings race for the Metre Regatta Trophy which has been won by four different boats in the past five years, reflecting the open nature of the class and event. Will 2019 see another new name on the trophy? The odds seem favourable!"

Mike sums up the week for every class, adding "Cowes Classic Week is more than just racing. Well organised events each evening provide ample opportunity to discuss the day's events, review what might have been and enjoy the company of other classes all of whom have a common interest in classic sailing craft."

The benchmark yacht to watch out for next week is Lawrence Wride's Sunmaid V, which carried off the ultimate trophy of the week, the historic 1792 Cup last year. When Lawrence summed up the week for his 1967 One Tonner last year he stated that "Perseverance and patience in the tricky conditions" seemed to pay off. It remains to be seen if these are the key skills needed for 2019.

Other returning winners include James Meaning in the XOD class with Gleam, and Roger Wickens with his 1938 Solent Sunbeam Danny.

The busy social calendar includes the Winkworth Tea and Cakes which are held after racing each afternoon at the Royal London Yacht Club. New for 2019 is a display of interesting and classic cars at the Classic Boat Museum event on Tuesday evening which includes an Aston Martin DB2/4 with a fascinating provenance. The Cowes Corinthian YC and the Island Sailing Club are helping on the water. Red Funnel, Signature Sponsor for Cowes Classics Week, is providing invaluable support for both the organisers and competitors including discounted travel fares to the event.

Information, including the race programme and social events, are on Racing takes place from 29th July to 2nd August 2019.

Image: Sunmaid V - the 2018 winner of Cowes Classics WeekPlease click on the image for a high res version and credit Tim Jeffreys. Further images are available from the Press Officer.

Regatta Organisation:
David Gower, Regatta Chairman
Gill Smith, PRO

Anna Howie, Regatta Secretary
01983 300 727

Press Officer:
Marina Johnson
ClearLine Communications Ltd
07774 623539

Notes to Editors:

Please contact the Press Officer if you are a journalist covering the event and need to get out on the water. There may also be spaces to crew on a competing yacht for members of the media. All photographs to be obtained from our official photographer, Tim Jeffreys. Contact the Press Officer.

About Cowes Classics Week

Cowes Classics Week, now in its 12th year represents the camaraderie and corinthian values that underpin our great sport. The event is organised by the Royal London YC, assisted by the other Cowes Clubs. The Week is intended for all metre boats; 12mR, 8mR, 6mR, 5.5mR and Daring (glass 5.5s), Classic dayboats and one designs including, but not restricted to, Dragon (classic and modern), Solent Sunbeam, Bembridge/Classic Redwing, Seaview Mermaid, Swallow, Squib, Victory, XOD, Bembridge, Royal Burnham and Yarmouth One Designs, Star, Tempest, Vintage Dragon and Flying Fifteen. Classic yachts include, but are not restricted to, Folkboat, SCOD, S&S Swans, Nicholson 32 & 36, Rustler 31, Twister, Stella and Spirit of Tradition yachts and one-offs that meet the eligibility criteria.

About the Sponsors:
Signature Sponsor
Red Funnel is once again proud to sponsor Cowes Classics Week, this year as Signature Sponsor, and hopes that the discounted rates in place for the regatta will encourage even more mainland based boats and crew to take part this year.

Red Funnel operates vehicle and Red Jet Hi-Speed passenger ferry sailings throughout the year between Southampton and East and West Cowes, carrying in excess of 3.3 million passengers and 860,000 vehicles across the Solent. The company also offers ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages.

Supporting Sponsors

Winkworth is a leading estate agent with more than 90 franchised offices operating in the mid to upper segments of the UK residential housing market, with offices in locations along the South Coast of England including Brighton, Westbourne, Southbourne, Poole, Milford on Sea, Highcliffe, Mudeford, Brighton and Worthing. Winkworth has been a sponsor of Cowes Classics Week for several years by providing tea and cake after racing each day and presenting prices to race winners during the week.

Classic Boat Magazine is the international magazine for classic boats. Every month the world's most beautiful classic yachts and traditionally designed workboats are showcased alongside a wealth of news, opinions and reviews by the best writers in the business.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is the statutory harbour authority for Cowes Harbour, with a jurisdiction from the Prince Consort north cardinal buoy in the Outer Harbour up the River Medina to the Folly. CHC provides logistical support to the event from the positioning of event branding to the provision of swinging moorings for dayboat classes and marina facilities for cruisers & metre boats.

Kendalls Fine Art Gallery exhibits an extensive collection of contemporary and traditional art together with sculptures and antiques. Throughout the year the gallery hosts regular exhibitions of both new and existing artists' work, as well as including displays of its extensive stock of fine art. It exhibits a range of fine art in different genres and medium, many of which are based around the sea and sailing. Kendalls hosts a Reception for competitors on Thursday.

Robert Oatley Vineyards is the latest venture of the Oatley family winemaking dynasty, which was founded by the late industry legend Bob Oatley. His legacy continues in his eldest son Sandy, who worked alongside his father for many years and inherited his passion for the wine industry.

Created in 2006, Robert Oatley Vineyards aims to embody the best that Australia can produce, matching classic grape varieties to the leading wine regions of Australia. Consistently scoring over 90 points with the critics and having collected too many medals to detail, the winery has been rated 5 Red Stars by the renowned wine critic James Halliday since 2013.

Yachting has always been in the blood of the Oatley family and their name is known worldwide for the Wild Oats XI superyacht – a record time holder and nine times winner of the blue water classic Sydney to Hobart race.

Clare Lallow was established in 1867 and has an unrivalled tradition of boat building, restoration, wood working and service. With dedicated painting, rigging, fabricating, sail making and engineering departments, Clare Lallow can offer a complete service to yachtsmen. They can use their cherry picker for mast work which would otherwise need the mast to be removed and they have a slipway for hauling out. They offer a round the clock repair service during Cowes Classics Week and other major sailing events and their fuel berth is open seven days a week.

Zhik UK was founded before the Athens Olympics when it was noticed that the sailing apparel markets could do with a spark of innovation. There was clearly scope to bring in technically proficient gear to help athletes win gold. Since then, Zhik has not only achieved this, but combined it with a fresh outlook in styling.

We now sell a brilliant range of products into an international network covering more than 40 countries, in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific. Top sailors choose Zhik gear to win world championships, and demand it for their Olympic campaigns. The Zhik brand has a very strong presence with the elite athletes in sail racing.

In the centre of Cowes, the sailing capital of the world, you can find the Zhik UK store where you will find the most extensive range of Zhik under one roof anywhere in the UK. You'll also find here our experienced staff who will be able to help you with all of your requirements.

Last updated 11:03 on 3 March 2020

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