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Cowes Week regatta update

by Cowes Week Ltd 20 Feb 10:27 GMT 31 July - 7 August 2021
J/70 Grand Slam Series at 2019 Cowes Week © Louay Habib

As recently announced in the press, Cowes Week, in partnership with our technology sponsor aql, and the 1851 Trust (Ineos Team UK's official charity) were successful in securing funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to put a 5G network over the Solent.

The project, Connected Cowes, will enable us to fit 50 boats with high definition cameras at this year's regatta, and to stream live 360 degrees footage from those boats back to the Internet, the big screens and to our Cowes Live TV programme. Together with commentary on the action, the objective is for spectators and families ashore to be able to follow the racing much more closely than ever before. We haven't yet decided what to do about the live sound recordings... we may have to go silent!

A heads-up on the racing. We revert this year to our traditional dates, being the first week in August, so race day one is Saturday, July 31. There will be no racing however on the last Saturday so the final overall prize-giving on the Friday evening will be the last piece of the jigsaw.

There are some changes to trophy days, aimed at making a couple of days of Cowes Week racing attractive to some of the Class 0 and Class 1 boats in town for the Rolex Fastnet Race. Although race management is now a fully integrated process, trophies are awarded this year by the following clubs on the following days.

  • Saturday - Royal Southampton Yacht Club
  • Sunday - Royal Thames Yacht Club
  • Monday - Royal London Yacht Club
  • Tuesday - Island Sailing Club
  • Wednesday - Royal Yacht Squadron
  • Thursday - Royal Yacht Squadron
  • Friday - Royal Southern Yacht Club (with White Group trophies from the Cowes Town Regatta Committee)
This means that the Britannia Cup and the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, two of the most prestigious trophies in sailing, presented by the Royal Yacht Squadron, will be raced for on Wednesday and Thursday for Classes 0 and 1

We will of course be running our usual 17 One-Design classes in White Group as well a host of big boat one-designs, J109 etc. and possibly a Cape 31 class. Along with the GRP Cruiser class (production boats designed pre 1973) we have 4 classes of Performance Cruisers and 2 of Club Cruisers planned.

Where possible, we will be making up races across the fleets should we lose a day with too much, or too little, wind. We did this as a trial in 2019 and it worked well. The extra race will be a round the can's race wherever possible and we will rotate the extra race by class as it wouldn't be possible to run catch-up races for all classes every year.

We are also very pleased to announce that this year we will be having our first ever Cowes Week Opening Party. It's always great to kick off an event meeting up with old friends and we hope that the first Saturday of Cowes Week will become a legendary night. There will, however, be no fireworks this year as we move to "COVID-proof" the event, and as a consequence, reduce possible overcrowding at the outset.

Normally we would open entries in early January, but this year Super Early Bird will open up and resume for new entries at the beginning of March. Everybody who rolled over their entry last year (thank you if that was you!) will automatically be on the database again this year, but for the lowest entry prices there will be an extra month (ending March 31st) during which time the Super Early Bird discount will continue to be available.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Cowes for a week of world-class regatta racing, starting Saturday, July 31.

If you have any questions, feel free to use the "Ask Laurence" forum on the website or contact us at the office direct via .

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