Cowes Week Sails on a High

As the one hundred and eighty third year of Cowes Week comes to a close, the organisers report another classic year. "It's been a great week," say Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Limited.  "In the first half of the week we had ideal conditions and great sailing; the second part of the week saw sunshine and light breezes which made for more challenging racing.  Whatever the weather, the 890 plus entrants into Cowes Week 2009 enjoyed their time on the water creating an eye-catching spectacle for visitors on the shore."


The iShares Cup at Cowes Week, Saturday 1 -Monday 3 August 2009

For the third successive year, the UK round of the iShares Cup was hosted during the first three days of Cowes Week. For the first time, the racing took place within metres of the Cowes shoreline extending along The Green and Egypt Point, adding a sensational display for all those gathered to watch.

After an exciting three days of fast-paced racing, Oman Sail Masirah won the UK round of the iShares Cup; taking the lead in the series at the halfway stage of the Cup's six-round European circuit.

Ladies Day at Cowes Week, Tuesday 4 August 2009

World renowned sailor, Sam Davies, won the Cowes Week 2009 Ladies Day Trophy.  Sam won this prestigious award for her outstanding achievements as one of the world's most talented female offshore sailors. 

Meanwhile, from men in pink dresses to girls in designer t-shirts, the Solent was awash with colour as male and female crews dressed up to try to win a bottle of Champagne G.H. Mumm delivered to their boats by a stylish James Bond-inspired water butler in a sleek speed boat.

Now in its fourth year, Ladies Day celebrates the achievements of women in sailing; one of very few sports where men and women compete on equal terms.

The Artemis Challenge, Wednesday 5 August 2009

The third annual Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week saw celebrities onboard to sail in a one day race for IMOCA Open 60s.  Famous faces included Bryan Adams, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank, Harry Potter actors Oliver and James Phelps and ex-Coronation Street actress Denise Black.  All of whom sailed with stars from the sailing world such as Sam Davies, Ellen MacArthur, Dee Caffari, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston,to name but a few.

Wednesday saw light breezes for The Artemis Challenge and the initial plan for a race around the Isle of Wight was changed to a round-the-cans course in the eastern Solent.  BT was the winner of the race with Pindar in second place.

Stunning air displays and fireworks wowed 50,000 spectators

There was an action-packed programme of displays in the run up to the famous Cowes Week fireworks including performances from Sea Vixen, the Red Arrows and a full rescue demonstration by the RNLI (supported by HM Coastguard).

Some of the many notable performances this year came from RIO in IRC Class 1 who won six out of seven races during the week, The Listening Company onboard Sunsail # 1 which was sailed by a number of experienced and novice sailors, and Jenga V which was the overall winner of IRC Class 5 and also of Black Group as a whole. 

Cowes Week also welcomed back a number of young sailors this year, with the youngest skipper, Fred Warren-Smith at 13 years-old, racing his Squib Aquabat. By contrast, a number of veteran Cowes Week racers have also enjoyed some great racing, including 75 year-old ex-Olympian Stuart Jardine racing his XOD, Lonestar;  overall class winner of the largest class racing at Cowes Week this year.

The overall prize giving takes place in the Events Centre in Cowes Yacht Haven from 19:00 this evening.

As Cowes Week draws to a close for another year Cowes Week Limited invites competitors to ‘opt-in' to become part of an exclusive online community and provide detailed feedback on this year's regatta - interacting with Cowes Week CEO and sailing veteran, Stuart Quarrie, via a live web chat.  Gaining perspectives from competitors in this way will aid general improvements to the Cowes Week experience. Those wishing to participate should go to the post-regatta survey available on the home page of the Cowes Week website.

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