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Henri Lloyd 2016 Freedom

Entries now open for 10th anniversary Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week

by Marina Johnson on 13 Mar 17-21 July 2017
Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week day 4 © Jake Sugden Photography / jakesugden.photosheter.com

Cowes Classics Week is back once again in July 2017 with a newly branded sponsor title, courtesy of Charles Stanley Direct, a new division of Charles Stanley, which will be sponsoring the event for the first time.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is expecting up to 180 yachts to attend the event for some spectacular Solent racing. The Royal London Yacht Club will be welcoming the many classic classes, some of which have competed since 2008 and others which have joined in along the way as the first decade has seen the event grow into one of the most iconic on the yachting calendar.

Classics including a number of 6 metres while a strong showing of Darings, Solent Sunbeams and Swallows and Bembridge One Designs will all be attending the five day event (or four for some classes) which starts at Cowes on 17 July. In addition, the XOD class, which regularly musters over 50 entries, is expected to be the largest fleet once again and the Vintage Dragon class, which made its first appearance last year, looks to be increasing in numbers. The Flying Fifteen class will be celebrating its 70th year with an anniversary race on Monday 17th July.

Handicap fleets will include Old Gaffers, SCODs, Twisters, Vintage Swans and a historic assortment of other yachts whose design pedigrees date back to 1975 or before. A handful, incredibly, were built in the nineteenth century and are still racing regularly. Several majestic 8 metres are also indicating that they will take part. In addition the Seaview Mermaids and National Squibs will be appearing for one day each during the event. Spirit of Tradition yachts, more recently introduced but providing they are to a classic design, such as the Rustler and Tofinou, also compete in their own class.

The 2017 Notice of Race has now been published and information is available on the new 2017 website at www.cowesclassicsweek.org. Two races a day, or three if weather necessitates, on committee boat windward-leeward and round the can courses, will satisfy the keenly competitive spirit of the one design classes, while handicap classes and larger yachts will sail over round-the-cans mid-Solent courses. Finish lines at the end of each day will be on or near the Club's shore line so it's quick and easy to get ashore.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club are all supporting the Royal London YC in organising the event. A full social calendar of after-racing activity, including the legendary daily afternoon tea and cakes at the Clubhouse, adds to the fun and social atmosphere of the week. During the first ten years of the event the Royal London has built up an enviable reputation for international level race management, good courses and fast results, no mean feat considering that racing is underway each day on five separate race courses.

Charles Stanley Direct Cowes Classics Week is grateful to supporting sponsors Haines Boatyard, Harken, Winkworth, Classic Boat magazine, Cowes Harbour Commission, Kendalls Fine Art and Red Funnel, and is delighted to welcomes Henri Lloyd for the first time.

This year's chosen charity for the event is Sea Cadets Cowes. The cadets will be active throughout the week assisting with flags and fund raising and helping with equipment and in the regatta office. Contact www.sea-cadets.org/cowes.

To download the Notice of Race, visit www.cowesclassicsweek.org.

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