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Cowes Week Regatta update

by Mary Scott-Jackson 24 May 16:33 BST 31 July - 7 August 2021
Ziggy in IRC 7 on Cowes Week 2019 day 7 © Paul Wyeth / CWL

We hope you will join us at Cowes Week this year - we are at full speed ahead planning for a great event.

Irrespective of recent updates about the Indian variant of COVID we feel confident that we will have some great boat racing. We are adapting existing plans to space things out so that we maintain a level of social distancing in all of the race office locations, and at this stage the assumption is that indoor socialising will be completely open, but talking with our hospitality partners there isn't any doubt that they could adapt to a table only service requirement should that be necessary.

To date entries are running about 15% ahead of 2019 so we are expecting good numbers across all fleets. Our new Club Cruiser class is proving very popular and based on current trends there will be over 250 IRC boats racing as well.

We are delighted to welcome Paul Anthony Gidley and his team from Slimline Wine Limited who have joined Cowes Week as sponsors of the new Cuvée 450 Cowes Week Opening Party. Paul has very kindly contributed free bubbly to the opening party festivities which will make sure we kick off the Regatta with a lively social.

In 2019 we introduced a new Solent Team Trophy which was won by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Cuvée 450 are also sponsoring the trophy and there will be a Magnum of bubbly for each skipper in the winning team at the Overall Prize Giving on Friday 6 August. The competition is open to any three boats representing any yacht club, or national authority if there are not three boats from the same club but they are from the same country. There must be at least one boat from Black group and one from White group within that three-boat team, so get your teams pulled together now.

Another opportunity for competitors to get together after a day's racing will be at the newly introduced daily prize-giving presentations taking place on The Parade from Sunday 1 August to Thursday 5 August. The daily prize-giving for Friday 6 August will be prior to the Overall Prize Giving at Cowes Yacht Haven.

We are going to run more starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron line this year than previously. They will all be on the Squadron inner-line and not split between an inner and outer line as in the past. There will be a rolling five-minute sequence so the start of the class before will be the warning signal for the class about to start. There will be three or four starts before a gap in proceedings which is aimed to be timed so that the ferries can get in and out without too much congestion. The feedback we have had is that people like starting close to Cowes and the historic challenge of Cowes Week is partly built around the difficult tactical scenarios starting and finishing off the Royal Yacht Squadron line.

We will be launching our Competitor App before the Regatta, and this will be the easiest place for you to receive courses for your particular class, as well as receive appropriate communications from the race team keeping you up-to-date with what is going on. There will also be a new race declaration option on the App, partly to make generating race results easier but partly as a safety feature. It is important that we know when you have retired so that we can count back into safe harbour all of the boats that went out to race in the morning. More about that as the regatta draws nearer.

If you have not already entered, but did so in 2019, we will shortly send you a link to a pre-filled entry form which will include the details you entered in 2019. You can use that link to quickly enter, although you do need to update any changes in specific details (if you have changed class as an example!) as well as re-enter a payment method.

The Early Bird entry discount period ends on 28th May. That's the end of this week!

We look forward to seeing you in Cowes at the end of July for some great racing at Cowes Week 2021.

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