Saturday 31st July sees the start of the 195th edition of Cowes Week, the world’s longest running sailing regatta and, after a year away due to Covid, the Cowes Week Ltd (CWL) team are excited to see many regular competitors returning and to welcome newcomers to the event.
This year sees a number of changes as the CWL team work to ensure that 2021 is the best yet!
The weather outlook
Cowes Week Meteorologist Fiona Campbell comments: ‘The long range weather outlook for Cowes Week is a promising one with no sign of stifling heat from high pressure or strong storms. The prevailing wind will be the one we know and love so well on the Solent: west to south west, funnelling up the western Solent and with some thermal enhancement on the sunniest days there should be plenty of champagne sailing. Wind speeds should average between 6 to 16 knots for the first half of the week at least. There may be the odd passing showers but with plenty of sunny spells air temperatures should reach low to mid twenties, feeling cooler on the water in the breeze & much warmer out of the wind in central Cowes.”
Weather forecasts, sponsored by Sevenstar Yacht Transport, are updated twice a day on the website and more frequently on the Cowes Week Competitor app.
New additions and changes for 2021
One of the biggest changes this year is there will be more starts and finishes from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, making for more exciting racing for competitors and spectators alike.
A completely new class to Cowes Week this year is the Club Cruiser Division who will have their own start. There will be a further three starts in the Performance Cruiser Division. A new trophy for the Club Cruiser Division is being sponsored by The Cruising Association.
A great addition for competitors this year are the MUSTO Morning Briefings at 09:30 each day with Regatta Director Laurence Mead and Meteorologist Fiona Campbell supported by members of the British Sailing Team and well-known sailors giving their insight into tactical plans for the day. The briefings wil be broadcast live and then be available to view via the website and the App.
New for this year are the daily prize givings which will take place on the Parade each day at 17:00. The prizes presented will be for the previous day’s racing.
The new Cowes Week App is available to all, with competitors getting their own personal guide to the regatta, both ashore and afloat, including course data for the whole crew. A version of the App is also available to visitors to Cowes and to remote spectators bringing them closer to the action and keeping them up to date with all that is happenng at the Regatta. The Cowes Week App is also the place to go to watch all of the starts live, as they happen, from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Cowes Live is one of the most comprehensive presentations of sailing from any regatta in the world.
The biggest fleet of Sonar one designs for more than a decade will gather at Cowes Week 2021 for the UK Sonar National Championship which is being run as part of the Regatta.
Cuvée 450 Solent Team Trophy – Entries are still being accepted from club teams for this trophy which must be made up of at least one boat from White Group and one from Black Group. The winning team receive a Magnum of Cuvée 450 for each skipper. The Royal Yacht Squadron have entered a very strong team, made up of Adam Gosling’s Yes! David Franks Leon and Jonathan Calacione’s Calypso.
2021 sees the first ever Opening Party for competitors sponsored by Cuvée 450. Being held at Cowes Yacht Haven on Saturday 31st July, competitors will be able to enjoy free bubbly whilst catching up with old and new friends after the first day’s racing.
The Overall Prize Giving takes place on Friday 6th August at Cowes Yacht Haven with magnums of Cuvée 450 for all class winners (and a few magnums for other ‘special moments’ we catch on camera!!)
Sadly, there will not be any fireworks or a Red Arrows display this year, but there is still plenty to see and do at the various venues around town throughout the week with entertainment and bars on The Parade, Cowes Yacht Haven, Shepards Marina and at Northwood House. Further information on the entertainment schedule can be found on the website.